Moffat v. Rice

Filing 7

MEMORANDUM OPINION; signed by Chief Judge Robert Holmes Bell (Chief Judge Robert Holmes Bell, ymc)

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Moffat v. Rice Doc. 7 Case 1:06-cv-00884-RHB Document 7 Filed 12/21/2006 Page 1 of 3 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION PENNEY JEAN MOFFAT, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) ) CONDOLEEZZA RICE, et al., ) ) Defendants. ) ____________________________________) Case No. 1:06-cv-884 Honorable Robert Holmes Bell MEMORANDUM OPINION Presently pending before this court is a complaint brought by a plaintiff who styles herself Penney-Jean: Moffat, brought against Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State of the United States. The complaint cites numerous sections of the Uniform Commercial Code, as well as provisions of the United States Constitution and Michigan law. Although brought in this district, the complaint specifically alleges that the United States District Court for the District of Columbia is the proper venue. Beyond that, the nature of plaintiff's claim is not readily apparent, as the complaint is a concatenation of legalese and incomprehensible citations to commercial law. For relief, plaintiff asks this court to compel the Secretary of State to issue a "certificate of loss of citizenship," which plaintiff apparently believes will somehow divest the United States government of any authority it has over plaintiff. The court has granted plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis, in light of her indigence. Under the provisions of federal law, PUB. L. No. 104-134, 110 STAT. 1321 (1996), the court is required to dismiss any action brought under federal law in forma pauperis if the complaint Case 1:06-cv-00884-RHB Document 7 Filed 12/21/2006 Page 2 of 3 is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2). An action may be dismissed as frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Accordingly, an action is frivolous within the meaning of section 1915(e)(2) when it is based on either an inarguable legal conclusion or fanciful factual allegations. 490 U.S. at 325. A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted when it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations of the complaint. Benzon v. Morgan Stanley Distrib., Inc., 420 F.3d 598, 605 (6th Cir. 2005). In applying these standards, the court must read plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), and accept plaintiff's allegations as true, unless they are clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). Applying these standards, the court has no hesitation in concluding that plaintiff's complaint is utterly frivolous. Plaintiff alleges no connection between her cause of action and this district that would give this court personal jurisdiction over the Secretary of State or create proper venue. Indeed, plaintiff affirmatively alleges that proper venue lies in the District of Columbia. More basically, the complaint does not assert any fact from which a court might conclude that the Secretary of State has in any way abridged plaintiff's federal rights or should be compelled to take any action with regard to plaintiff or her citizenship. -2- Case 1:06-cv-00884-RHB Document 7 Filed 12/21/2006 Page 3 of 3 The court will therefore enter an order of dismissal of this action as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2). The court will also deny plaintiff leave to appeal in forma pauperis, the court finding that any appeal would be frivolous and taken in bad faith. Date: December 21, 2006 /s/ Robert Holmes Bell ROBERT HOLMES BELL CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE -3-

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