Paige v. US Commission on Civil Rights
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING 2 MOTION for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis by Plaintiff Jena K Paige. The 1 PRO SE COMPLAINT filed by Plaintiff Jena K Paige is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Signed by Judge Rudy Lozano on 4/4/17. (Copy mailed to pro se party).(cer)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
FORT WAYNE DIVISION
JENA K. PAIGE,
) CAUSE NO. 1:17-cv-82
U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the Motion to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis, filed by pro se Plaintiff, Jena K. Paige, on March
For the reasons set forth below, the motion
(DE #2) is DENIED and the complaint (DE #1) is DISMISSED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Commission on Civil Rights.”
(DE #1 at 1.)
She alleges that she
“was discharged from the United States Air Force without any
disability,” that the Department of Veteran Affairs has denied her
due compensation for her disability, and that if she “were to
notify the Civil Right’s about this matter to seek their assistance
in protecting [her] substantial rights of discrimination they would
tell me that they cannot help/defend/nor protect me from the
discrimination [of] the Department of Veteran Affairs.”
(DE #1 at
Paige alleges that the Civil Right’s Commission “would and
should have a duty to assist, but due to the laws would not.”
#1 at 5.)
Paige was discharged from the Air Force on June 2, 2006.
#1 at 19.)
Since 2006, she has filed a number of civil cases
against the United States or the Air Force in the District Court
for the Southern District of Georgia, all contending her military
discharge was fraudulent.
See, e.g., Paige v. United States,
4:2010-cv-210 (S.D. Ga. Sept. 13, 2010); Paige v. United States Air
Force, 4:2009-cv-182 (S.D. Ga. Nov. 30, 2009); Paige v. United
States, 4:2008-cv-71 (S.D. Ga. Apr. 8, 2008); Paige v. United
States, 4:2007-cv-151 (S.D. Ga. Oct. 9, 2007). Each of these cases
was dismissed on various grounds, including that Paige had not
exhausted her administrative remedies, that the case was barred by
the statute of limitations and/or that the case was frivolous.
See, e.g., 4:2010-cv-210 (“As the Court has repeatedly explained to
her, her claims are frivolous, duplicative, and time-barred.”).
The Southern District of Georgia eventually enjoined Paige from
filing any more complaints in that court related to her military
In re Jena Paige, 4:2010-mc-40 (S.D. Ga. Sept. 30,
2010) (“[Paige] is advised that her crusade against the United
States is at an end.
Paige should be ENJOINED from filing any
further complaints relating to her discharge from the United States
Should she file another such complaint, she will be
subject to contempt for violating the Court’s injunction.”).
Paige then filed a lawsuit in this Court, focusing on her
military discharge and asking the Court to review the adverse
decision she got from the Southern District of Georgia and the
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
See Jena Paige and Jamal Paige
v. United States of America, Case No. 1:11-cv-54 (N.D. Ind. Mar. 8,
The Honorable Philip P. Simon denied the motion for in
forma pauperis in that case, finding it frivolous due to the
earlier lawsuits and because it failed to state a plausible claim
for relief. Id.
With regard to Paige’s request to proceed IFP, the IFP
statute, 28 U.S.C. section 1915, allows an indigent plaintiff to
commence a civil action without prepaying the administrative costs
(e.g. filing fee) of the action. See 28 U.S.C. section 1915(a)(1);
see also Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 27 (1992).
presented with an IFP application, the district court makes two
determinations: (1) whether the suit has sufficient merit; and (2)
whether the plaintiff’s poverty level justifies IFP status. See 28
U.S.C. section 1915(e)(2); Denton, 504 U.S. at 27; Smith-Bey v.
Hosp. Adm’r, 841 F.2d 751, 757 (7th Cir. 1988).
If a court finds
that the suit lacks sufficient merit or that an inadequate showing
of poverty exists, the court must deny the in forma pauperis
See Smith-Bey, 841 F.2d at 757.
Looking at the first determination, an indigent party may
commence an action in federal court, without prepayment of costs
and fees, upon submission of an affidavit asserting an inability
“to pay such costs or give security therefor.”
28 U.S.C. §
Here, Paige’s filings indicate she receives Social
Security disability benefits in the amount of $1,010 per month and
a VA pension of $300, and she is supporting a child.
(DE #2 at 2.)
Paige did not answer two of the questions on the form (including
how much money she has and the value of her property).
assuming, arguendo, that Paige has sufficiently established she is
unable to prepay the filing fee, her application still fails
because she has not satisfied the second requirement.
Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) directs the court to screen
all complaints filed with requests to proceed in forma pauperis,
and to dismiss the case if the court determines that the action is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may
be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.
This complaint is frivolous.
multiple Georgia cases and the other case filed in the Northern
District of Indiana have repeatedly foreclosed Paige’s similar
claims, finding they were frivolous and barring her from further
Additionally, this complaint also fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted.
Courts apply the same standard under
section 1915(e)(2)(B) as when addressing a motion to dismiss under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Luevano v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1018, 1027 (7th Cir. 2013).
plaintiff is required to include allegations in the complaint that
“plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief,
raising that possibility above a ‘speculative level’” and, “if they
do not, the plaintiff pleads itself out of court.”
Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007)
(quoting in part Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 569
n. 14 (2007)). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all
the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quotation marks, ellipsis,
citations and footnote omitted). Thus, a “plaintiff must do better
than putting a few words on paper that, in the hands of an
imaginative reader, might suggest that something has happened to
her that might be redressed by the law.”
Swanson v. Citibank,
N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 403 (7th Cir. 2010) (emphasis in original).
Here, Paige’s allegations are confusing and do not state a
plausible claim for relief.
She seems to allege that if she were
to notify the Civil Rights Commission about her allegations and
seek its assistance, then the Commission would not help her.
#1 at 8.)
This mere speculation about what the Commission might
hypothetically do is insufficient to state a claim.
550 U.S. at 555.
It is unclear what claim Paige is making about
how the Commission’s actions (or inactions) could properly be
redressed in a lawsuit.
Finally, any non-speculative, cognizable
claim against the Commission would still likely be disposed of on
See, e.g., Crenshaw v. Baynerd, 180 F.3d 866,
868 (7th Cir. 1999).
For all of these reasons, Paige has failed to
state a claim for plausible relief.
For the reasons set forth above, the Motion to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis (DE #2) is DENIED and the complaint (DE #1) is
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
DATED: April 4, 2017
/s/ RUDY LOZANO, Judge
United States District Court
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