Browne v. Rowhena
OPINION AND ORDER: The Court GRANTS Anthony Damon Browne until 11/12/19 to file an amended complaint and CAUTIONS Anthony Damon Browne that, if he does not respond by that deadline, this case will be dismissed without further notice. Signed by Judge Philip P Simon on 10/10/19. (Copy mailed to pro se party). (nal)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
ANTHONY DAMON BROWNE,
CAUSE NO.: 3:19-CV-832-PPS-MGG
OPINION AND ORDER
Anthony Damon Browne, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a complaint. “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, I 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, Browne asserts several State law claims against Rob Rowhena,
including defamation, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, and nuisance claims.
A complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to “state a claim to relief 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). In the complaint, Browne does not explain the factual
basis for his claims, including the identity of the defendant, what the defendant did to
harm him, and the location and the timing of these events. As a result, the complaint
does not plausibly state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Additionally, it is not clear that the court has subject matter jurisdiction over
Browne’s claims. See Buethe v. Britt Airlines, Inc., 749 F.2d 1235, 1238 n.3 (7th Cir. 1984)
(“[I]t is axiomatic that subject matter jurisdiction cannot be waived, and that courts
must raise the issue sua sponte when it appears that subject matter jurisdiction is
lacking.”). As a federal district court, this court has subject matter jurisdiction over
claims arising under federal law or for claims where there is diversity of citizenship
between the parties. 28 U.S.C. § 1331; 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Browne resides in the State of
Indiana, and his filings suggest that the defendant is his former landlord, who also
resides in the State of Indiana. Further, the complaint contains no indication that the
defendant violated Browne’s rights under federal law. As a result, it appears that the
court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, and Browne cannot proceed on this complaint.
Nevertheless, Browne may file an amended complaint. See Luevano v. Wal-Mart,
722 F.3d 1014 (7th Cir. 2013). However, he should file an amended complaint only if he
believes that he can address the deficiencies set forth in this order. If he chooses to file
an amended complaint, he should obtain the court’s approved form from the jail law
library, and he must put the case number of this case on it, which is on the first page of
this order. At minimum, he should describe his interactions with each individual
defendant in detail, including names, dates, locations, and explain how each defendant
was responsible for harming him.
For these reasons, the court:
(1) GRANTS Anthony Damon Browne until November 12, 2019, to file an
amended complaint; and
(2) CAUTIONS Anthony Damon Browne that, if he does not respond by that
deadline, this case will be dismissed without further notice
ENTERED: October 10, 2019.
/s/ Philip P. Simon
PHILIP P. SIMON, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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