BUCKLEY v. KING et al
Entry Discussing Amended Complaint and Directing Further Proceedings. Buckley shall have through March 12, 2018, to file an Amended Complaint. ***SEE ENTRY*** (Copy to Plaintiff via U.S. Mail) Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 2/12/2018.(JDC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
GERTIE KATRICE BUCKLEY,
KEVIN SMITH Mayor,
THOMAS J. BRODRICK Mayor,
Entry Discussing Amended Complaint and Directing Further Proceedings
Plaintiff Gertie Buckley brings this civil complaint against a number of defendants
alleging that the defendants have violated her civil rights, the Fair Housing Act, the Americans
with Disabilities Act, and Indiana landlord-tenant law, among other things. The Court
understands Buckley to claim that the City of Anderson’s Community Development Department
uses most of the federal funds it receives for housing projects to provide housing for employee’s
family members. She also states that she participated in a lease-to-purchase program which was
terminated and that her home is uninhabitable. She claims that former mayor Kevin Smith fired
Debra King, Kimberly Townsend, and others for mishandling federal funds meant for Housing
and Urban Development projects.
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).
Buckley’s complaint was previously screened and dismissed pursuant to this statute. The
Court explained that Buckley had not stated enough facts to show that she had a right to relief.
Buckley has filed an amended complaint which suffers from the same deficiencies. While
Buckley makes a number of allegations and lists a number of statutes she believes have been
violated, she still has failed to sufficiently state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For
example, a claim under the Fair Housing Act and under other civil rights laws requires an
allegation that the plaintiff was discriminated against based on her race, color, religion, sex, or
national origin. 42 U.S.C. § 3604 (Fair Housing Act); 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff makes no
such allegation here. In addition, any claim based on the Americans with Disabilities Act
requires an allegation that the plaintiff was discriminated against on the basis of a disability, but
she does not claim that she has a disability. Further, Buckley cannot state a claim for relief under
the Housing and Urban Development Act because that law does not provide private individuals
with the right to bring lawsuits. See Burroughs v. Hills, 741 F.2d 1525, 1532 (7th Cir. 1984).
Buckley will have one final opportunity to file an amended complaint. In filing an
amended complaint, she shall conform to the following guidelines: (a) the amended complaint
shall comply with the requirement of Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that
pleadings contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief. . . . ,” which is sufficient to provide the defendants with “fair notice” of the claim and its
basis. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per curiam) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) and quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)); (b) the amended
complaint must include a demand for the relief sought; (c) the amended complaint must identify
what legal injury she claims to have suffered and what persons are responsible for each legal
injury – in other words, the amended complaint must state specifically how each individual
defendant violated her legal rights; and (d) the amended complaint must include the case number
referenced in the caption of this Entry.
Buckley shall have through March 12, 2018, to file an Amended Complaint.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
GERTIE KATRICE BUCKLEY
2936 W 11th St.
Anderson, IN 46011
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
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