Spann v. Wallace

Filing 4

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)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA SOUTH BEND DIVISION JAMES SPANN, JR., also known as JAMES LUMAR SPANN, JR., Plaintiff, vs. IEASHA WALLACE, Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 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 actor. 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 Judge United States District Court

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