Morales v. Zigler et al
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING Pla until 4/26/2018, to file an Amended Complaint and CAUTIONING Pla that if he does not respond by that deadline, this case will be dismissed w/o further notice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A because it does not state a claim. Signed by Judge William C Lee on 3/13/2018. (Copy mailed to pro se party)(lns)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
FORT WAYNE DIVISION
MARTIN MORALES, JR.,
CAUSE NO.: 1:17-CV-506-WL-SLC
JOSH ZIGLER, MICHAEL ROSS, and
OPINION AND ORDER
Martin Morales, Jr., a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a complaint naming three
Grant County Police Officers. “A document filed pro se is to be liberally construed, and
a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)
(quotation marks and citations omitted). Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
the court must review the merits of a prisoner complaint and dismiss it if the action is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.
In the complaint, Morales recounts numerous events about his arrest,
incarceration, and prosecution. However, he only names one of the defendants in his
descriptions of these events. A complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to “state
a claim that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded factual content allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
Because this complaint does not explain what either Sgt. Josh Zigler or Officer Jeff Wells
did, it does not state a claim against either of them.
This complaint contains only one allegation against Detective Michael Ross. It
alleges he signed an unfiled, unsealed, unwitnessed, unnotarized arrest warrant on June
25, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. However, it does not explain why this is relevant. Morales alleges
he was arrested the previous day without a warrant. It is unclear how an unfiled,
unsealed, unwitnessed, unnotarized document is relevant to either Morales’ State
criminal case or this one. To survive dismissal, the 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). This complaint does not
state a claim. Nevertheless, Morales may be able to state a claim if he files an amended
complaint. See Luevano v. Wal-Mart, 722 F.3d 1014 (7th Cir. 2013).
For these reasons, the court GRANTS Martin Morales, Jr., until April 26, 2018, to
file an amended complaint; and CAUTIONS him if he does not respond by that
deadline, this case will be dismissed without further notice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A because it does not state a claim.
SO ORDERED on March 13, 2018.
s/William C. Lee
JUDGE WILLIAM C. Lee
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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