MAPES v. MYERS
ENTRY Screening Complaint, Dismissing Insufficient Claims and Directing Further Proceedings. ORDER granting Plaintiff's 2 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. Mr. Mapes shall have through June 12, 2017, in which to show cause wh y Judgment consistent with this Entry should not issue. See Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1022 (7th Cir. 2013) ("Without at least an opportunity to amend or to respond to an order to show cause, an IFP applicant's case could be tossed out of court without giving the applicant any timely notice or opportunity to be heard to clarify, contest, or simply request leave to amend."). Copy to Plaintiff via U.S. Mail. Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 5/10/2017. (MAC)
UNITED STATES DISTICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
) Case No. 1:17-cv-1396-WTL-DML
Entry Screening Complaint, Dismissing Insufficient Claims
and Directing Further Proceedings
The plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis, dkt , is granted. The assessment
of even a partial filing fee is not feasible at this time.
District courts have an obligation under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) to screen complaints
before service on the defendants, and must dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or malicious,
fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from
such relief. Dismissal under the in forma pauperis statute is an exercise of the Court’s discretion.
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 34 (1992). In determining whether the complaint states a claim,
the Court applies the same standard as when addressing a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006). To
survive dismissal under federal pleading standards,
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face. 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.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Thus, a “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).
The plaintiff’s claims are brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. A cause of action is
provided by 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against “[e]very person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory, . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any
citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws” of the United States.
Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights; instead, it is a means for vindicating federal
rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989) (citing Baker v.
McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3 (1979)). The initial step in any § 1983 analysis is to identify the
specific constitutional right which was allegedly violated. Id. at 394; Kernats v. O’Sullivan, 35
F.3d 1171, 1175 (7th Cir. 1994); see also Gossmeyer v. McDonald, 128 F.3d 481, 489-90 (7th Cir.
Here, the plaintiff has filed a motion for request of hearing that the Court construes as a
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Mr. Mapes alleges he was wrongfully convicted of a
crime in Texas that would require him to register as a sex offender in Indiana pursuant to Indiana
Code § 11-8-8-19. He alleges that the requirement he register as a sex offender in Indiana violates
his rights under the First, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
In Wallace v. State, 905 N.E.2d 371 (Ind. 2009), the Indiana Supreme Court held the ex
post facto clause of the Indiana Constitution prohibits the application of Indiana Sex Offender
Registration Act (“SORA”) to an individual whose offense predates the enactment of the statute.
Id. at 384. In Wallace, the Court determine that no person is required to register as a sex offender
on the Indiana registry if they committed their offense prior to July 1, 1994. Here, based on the
documents the plaintiff attached to his complaint, it appears that the crime he committed in Texas
for which he is required to register in Indiana occurred in 1998. [dkts. 1-1, at pp. 3-27]. As such,
the holding in Wallace provides him no protection from the Indiana registration requirement.
Mr. Mapes’ complaint fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted. He states that
he has shown that he was wrongfully convicted; however, it does not appear from the complaint
that a Texas state court has determined Mr. Mapes was wrongfully convicted or that any court has
vacated his conviction. As such, he does not have a constitutional claim challenging the
requirement that he register on the Indiana Sex Offender Registry. Because Mr. Mapes has not
shown that his conviction in Texas has been vacated, nothing in the conduct Mr. Mapes attributes
to the defendant violated any of his federally secured rights.
Otherwise, all of the remaining arguments in Mr. Mapes complaint are simply conclusory
statements of law that have no relation to his claim. As the Supreme Court recently explained, “[a]
pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause
of action will not do.’ Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]’ devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.’” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007).
For example, Mr. Mapes refers to an appeal he filed with an unidentified entity:
Similarly, Mr. Mapes’ complaint recites legal doctrines that have no connection to the
allegations in his complaint:
Because the Court has been unable to identify a viable claim for relief against this
defendant, the complaint is subject to dismissal.
Mr. Mapes shall have through June 12, 2017, in which to show cause why Judgment
consistent with this Entry should not issue. See Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014,
1022 (7th Cir. 2013) (“Without at least an opportunity to amend or to respond to an order to show
cause, an IFP applicant’s case could be tossed out of court without giving the applicant any timely
notice or opportunity to be heard to clarify, contest, or simply request leave to amend.”)
IT IS SO ORDERED.
PO Box 36092
Indianapolis, IN 46236
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
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