Sabree v. Phakamile-El
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING Plaintiff's Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and DISMISSING the Complaint. Signed by District Judge Laurie J. Michelson. (KJac)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 17-12884
Honorable Laurie J. Michelson
Wayne County Treasurer,
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S APPLICATION TO
PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Bomani Phakamile-El filed this lawsuit challenging the tax foreclosure of his
property. (R. 1.) Before the Court is Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis. (R. 2.)
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), the Court may waive a person’s filing fees if he shows that
he is “unable to pay such fees.” In his affidavit, the Plaintiff avers that he earns $500.00 every two
weeks. (R. 2.) The Court therefore finds that the Plaintiff is unable to pay the required filing fee.
In cases where a plaintiff has been permitted to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court must
screen the Complaint. In particular, “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that
may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . .
(B) the action or appeal—(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may
be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Although a pro se litigant is entitled to a liberal construction of his
pleadings and filings, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’ ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937,
1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct.
1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). Dismissal of the case is appropriate where “the claim is based on
an indisputably meritless legal theory[.]” Wilson v. Yaklich, 148 F.3d 596, 600 (6th Cir.1998).
Moreover, an IFP complaint “is frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.”
Nietzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 (1989). Factual
frivolousness includes allegations that are “clearly baseless,” “fantastic,” or “delusional.” Id. at
The Court cannot discern any relationship between the three state causes of action
specifically identified in Plaintiff’s complaint -- fraud, trespass and trespass on the case -- and the
allegations he makes within those claims, which all appear to be based on federal statute or the
Constitution. For example, under his trespass claim, he asserts the County violated his Miranda
rights. (R. 1, PID 6.) To the extent Plaintiff is seeking to assert federal constitutional claims arising
out of some foreclosure of his property by the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office, he has failed to
allege any discernable facts to support such claims. The Court notes that Plaintiff filed another
lawsuit involving the same property at issue here. That case was summarily dismissed as follows:
Here, plaintiff’s complaint—entitled “Writ of Stay and Abate”—has no basis in
law or fact. It is a convoluted jumble of legal jargon and citations to state and federal
constitutions and the Uniform Commercial Code. Plaintiff’s only assertion
resembling an argument is that he should not have to pay taxes or suffer the
consequences of not paying because he “did not consent [or] agree” to pay taxes.
Id. ¶ 14.
No one likes taxes. But unfortunately for plaintiff, the Taxman does not need to
secure our permission or consent before collecting property taxes. Because this
complaint has no basis in law, it is frivolous.
The complaint here is similarly defective and dismissal is warranted pursuant to
Accordingly, for the reasons stated, Plaintiff’s complaint is hereby dismissed.
s/Laurie J. Michelson
LAURIE J. MICHELSON
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: October 26, 2017
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The undersigned certifies that the foregoing document was served upon counsel of record
and any unrepresented parties via the Court=s ECF System to their respective email or First Class
U.S. mail addresses disclosed on the Notice of Electronic Filing on October 26, 2017.
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