Stone v. Meijer et al
OPINION AND ORDER: This matter is DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and Mr. Stone's petition to proceed in forma pauperis (DE 2 ) is DENIED as moot. Signed by Judge Jon E DeGuilio on 12/15/2016. (lhc)(cc: Plaintiff)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
KIEL RICHARD STONE,
MEIJER and INDIANA STATE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH,
OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Kiel Richard Stone filed a pro se complaint on November 30, 2016 [DE 1], as
amended on December 7, 2016 [DE 3], as well as a petition for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis [DE 2]. Mr. Stone sued Meijer and the Indiana State Department of Health claiming
that Meijer drinking water has made him sick and damaged his immune system and that the
Indiana State Department of Health is responsible for not testing the water after he complained.
The Court is aware that Mr. Stone has filed a series of other complaints against law enforcement
agencies and others allegedly responsible for an illegal wiretap, along with additional fantastical
allegations concerning his allegedly being poisoned. See 3:16-cv-00762-RL-MGG Stone v.
Indiana State Police, et al.; 3:16-cv-00765-WCL-MGG Stone v. Laurys; 3:16-cv-00771-WCLMGG Stone v. Indiana State Department of Health; 3:16-cv-00772-WCL-MGG Stone v. The
Dan Lebtard Show with Stugotz et al.; 3:16-cv-00787-JTM-MGG Stone v. Sprint; 3:16-cv00792-JD-MGG Stone v. Dish Network; 3:16-cv-00831-JVB-MGG Stone v. Laurys; and 3:16cv-00847-JTM-MGG Stone v. Dish Network.
Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) directs courts 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. See Luevano v. Wal-Mart, 722 F.3d
1014, 1022 (7th Cir. 2013) (“The only difference regarding IFP and fee-paying plaintiffs arises
in section 1915(e), which directs courts to screen all complaints filed with requests to proceed
IFP and provides that ‘the court shall dismiss the case at any time’ if, among other things, the
action is frivolous or malicious or ‘fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted . . .’”)
(quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)). However, the Court must first determine whether it has
subject matter jurisdiction over the case.
Plaintiff’s complaint does not identify any federal law under which his food poisoning
claim may be brought. Accordingly, there is no federal jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Moreover, he has alleged no facts to establish jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (requiring
plaintiff and defendants to be citizens of different states and an amount in controversy exceeding
$75,000). The complaint suggests no other bases for federal jurisdiction.
Ordinarily when jurisdictional allegations in a complaint are deficient, the Court directs
the plaintiff to file an amended jurisdictional statement. However, in this case that would be
futile because Plaintiff’s complaint fails to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face
which could provide a basis for subject matter jurisdiction. See Carpenter v. PNC Bank, Nat.
Ass’n, No. 15-2732, 633 Fed. Appx. 346, 348 (7th Cir. Feb. 3, 2016) (noting that while it is
usually necessary “to give pro se litigants one opportunity to amend after dismissing a
complaint[,] . . . that’s unnecessary where, as here, ‘it is certain from the face of the complaint
that any amendment would be futile or otherwise unwarranted.’”) (internal citation and citation
omitted); see also Hukic v. Aurora Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, 432 (7th Cir. 2009) (“[C]ourts
have broad discretion to deny leave to amend where . . . the amendment would be futile.”).
Thus, the Court will not give Plaintiff leave to amend since there is no reason to believe
Plaintiff’s allegations could be remedied by further pleading. Accordingly, this matter is
DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and Mr. Stone’s petition to proceed in forma
pauperis [DE 2] is DENIED as moot.
The Court also reminds Mr. Stone of “the inherent power of a federal court to sanction a
litigant for bad-faith conduct.” Chambers v. NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 35 (1991). “‘Federal
courts have both the inherent power and constitutional obligation to protect their jurisdiction
from conduct which impairs their ability to carry out Article III functions.’” In re McDonald,
489 U.S. 180, 184 (1989) (quoting In re Martin-Trigona, 737 F.2d 1254, 1261 (2d Cir. 1984)).
Although it is a drastic step to prospectively bar a plaintiff, or to impose a fine for filing
vexatious cases, such actions are within the power of this Court, and they may prove warranted if
Mr. Stone persists in filing the same frivolous cases repeatedly.
ENTERED: December 15, 2016
/s/ JON E. DEGUILIO
United States District Court
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