Spann v. Wallace
OPINION AND ORDER re 1 PRO SE COMPLAINT against Ieasha Wallace filed by Plaintiff James Spann, Jr. The federal claims contained in the Complaint are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. Any state law claims contained in the Complaint are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJIDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). This case is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Signed by Judge Philip P Simon on 5/19/17. (Copy mailed to pro se party).(cer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
JAMES SPANN, JR., also known as
JAMES LUMAR SPANN, JR.,
CAUSE NO. 3:17CV379-PPS
OPINION AND ORDER
James Spann, Jr., a pro se prisoner, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against his mother, Ieasha Wallace. ECF 1. Spann alleges that his mother has been
secretly taking his money and also fraudulently obtaining various credit accounts in his
name. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I must review 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.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In determining whether the complaint states a claim, the Court
applies the same standard as when deciding a motion to dismiss under FEDERAL RULE
OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 12(b)(6).
Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006).
To survive dismissal, a 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). “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 603. 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) (emphasis in original). I must bear in mind, however, 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 order to state a claim under § 1983 a plaintiff must allege: (1) that defendants
deprived him of a federal constitutional right; and (2) that the defendants acted under
color of state law.” Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006). Here, Spann’s
section 1983 claim is without merit because the defendant is not a state actor that can be
sued for constitutional violations. See Blum v. Yaretsky, 457 U.S. 991, 1004 (1982); Savory
v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006). Therefore, any alleged theft and fraud did not
deprive Spann of a federal constitutional right and this complaint does not state a claim.
Though it is usually necessary to permit a plaintiff the opportunity to file an
amended complaint when a case is dismissed sua sponte, see Luevano v. Wal-Mart, 722
F.3d 1014 (7th Cir. 2013), that is unnecessary where the amendment would be futile.
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.”) Such is
the case here. No amendment could overcome the fact that Ieasha Wallace is not a state
It does not appear that Spann specifically included any state law claims in his
complaint. However, to the extent he was trying to raise a state law tort, this opinion
does not purport to adjudicate any such claim. I will dismiss any state law claims
contained in the complaint without prejudice should Spann wish to pursue them in
state court. See Doe-2 v. McLean County Unit Dist. No. 5 Bd. of Dirs., 593 F.3d 507, 513 (7th
Cir. 2010) (“Ordinarily, when a district court dismisses the federal claims conferring
original jurisdiction prior to trial, it relinquishes supplemental jurisdiction over any
state-law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).”). I offer no opinion about the wisdom of
pursuing this course or the merit of any potential claim he may have.
For these reasons, the federal claims contained in the complaint (ECF 1) are
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE, and any state law claims contained in the complaint
are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). This case is
DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
ENTERED: May 19, 2017
/s/ Philip P. Simon
United States District Court
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