Carranza v. American Electric Power of Indiana Michigan
OPINION AND ORDER re 1 PRO SE COMPLAINT filed by Plaintiff Silvia Regina Carranza. Plaintiff GRANTED until 6/7/2017 to file an Amended Complaint. Plaintiff CAUTIONED if she does not amend her Complaint by the deadline, this case may be dismissed. Signed by Judge Philip P Simon on 5/10/17. (Copy mailed to pro se party).(cer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
SILVIA REGINA CARRANZA
AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER OF
) CAUSE NO. 3:17-CV-325-PPS-MGG
OPINION AND ORDER
Silvia Regina Carranza, a pro se plaintiff, filed a complaint that from which I am
unable to glean her basis of her claims. [DE 1.] Carranza seeks to proceed with this
lawsuit without paying the filing fee. [DE 2.] Because she is trying to file this case free
of charge, I must review the 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. 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B).
Section 1915(e)(2)(B) applies to prisoner and non-prisoner complaints alike, regardless
of fee status. Rowe v. Shake, 196 F.3d 778, 783 (7th Cir. 1999).
To survive dismissal, the complaint must state a claim for relief that is plausible
on its face. Bissessur v. Indiana Univ. Bd. of Trs., 581 F.3d 599, 602-03 (7th Cir. 2009)
(citing and quoting Twombly and Iqbal). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at 602. Thus, 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). Nevertheless, I
must bear in mind that “[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).
In this case, Carranza’s complaint does not clearly state the basis of her claims. It
is unclear to me whether she is alleging that (1) the Defendant is in violation of the
Bankruptcy Court’s Order discharging her debt, (2) the Defendant is in violation of the
Bankruptcy Court’s Order Granting Motion for Reasonable Utility Deposit, (3) the
Defendant is committing rate discrimination against her as a result of her bankruptcy,
or (4) all or none of the above. The way the complaint is drafted, it is too muddled for
me to identify what facts Carranza claims give rise to liability on the part of the
Defendant. Given Carranza is pro se and she may have a valid claim that is lost in her
explanation, I will give her a single opportunity to amend the complaint to clarify her
claims. Her complaint must comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and contain
a short a plain statement of the grounds for the Court’s jurisdiction, a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that she is entitled to relief, and a demand for the relief
The Court GRANTS Carranza until June 7, 2017 to amend the complaint to
clarify her claims such that I may properly screen them pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§1915(e)(2)(B). The Court CAUTIONS Carranza that if she does not amend her
complaint by the June 7, 2017 deadline, this case may be dismissed without further
ENTERED: May 10, 2017.
s/ Philip P. Simon
PHILIP P. SIMON, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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