Griffin v. Vatterott
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER. (See Full Order.) IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2 ] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process on the complaint because the complaint is subject to dismissal for lack of jurisdiction and for maliciousness. See Fed.R.Civ.P.12(h)(3) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Signed by District Judge Catherine D. Perry on 10/27/2017. (CBL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
KEITH L. GRIFFIN,
DIRECTOR OF VATTEROTT, et al.,
No. 4:17-CV-2632 DDN
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court upon the application of Keith L. Griffin for leave to
commence this action without payment of the required filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Upon
consideration of the financial information provided with the application, the Court finds that the
application is financially unable to pay any portion of the fee. Therefore, plaintiff will be
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. After reviewing
plaintiff’s complaint, however, this action will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. See
Fed.R.Civ.P.12(h)(3) and for maliciousness. See 28 U.S.C.§1915.
Standard of Review
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma
pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
To state a claim for relief, a complaint must plead more than “legal conclusions” and
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere
conclusory statements.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
A plaintiff must
demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a “mere possibility of misconduct.”
Id. at 679. “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.” Id. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense. Id. at 679.
When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled
facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages in this action against defendants, the Director of
Vatterott and Michael Gans, the Clerk of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Plaintiff has
failed to state the grounds for filing the instant action in Federal Court.
In his “Statement of Claim,” plaintiff alleges that he “graduated from law enforcement
school” in 1988, but his identification was stolen in 1990. He claims that he was licensed to
carry a firearm and graduated with a law degree, but these licenses were also stolen.
Plaintiff states that he “wants to file a lawsuit against [Vatterott] and punitive damages
for attempts to disregard [his] pending lawsuit for court on medical malpractice and a tort claim.”
Plaintiff states that he previously filed a lawsuit and an appeal of the lawsuit in front of Judge
Limbaugh, but his case was dismissed. Plaintiff seeks a “restraining order on Michael Gans” so
he cannot rule against him, as well as monetary damages in an amount of $3.5 million dollars.
At the outset, the Court notes that even pro se litigants are obligated to plead specific
facts and proper jurisdiction and must abide by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff
has failed to do so in this case. See U.S. v. Wilkes, 20 F.3d 651, 653 (5th Cir. 1994); Boswell v.
Honorable Governor of Texas, 138 F.Supp.2d 782, 785 (N.D. Texas 2000); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)
(complaint should contain “short and plaint statement” of claims); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e)(2) (each
claim shall be “simple, concise, and direct”); Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b) (parties are to separate their
claims within their pleadings “the contents of which shall be limited as far as practicable to a
single set of circumstances”).
Liberally construing plaintiff’s complaint as being brought under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the
Court will dismiss the action, without prejudice, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The
amount in controversy is stated in a conclusory manner, and plaintiff has insufficiently alleged
diversity of citizenship. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Furthermore, the instant action does not appear to
arise under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States, and thus, federal question
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 is inapplicable.
Last, the Court believes this action to be malicious. The manifest purpose of plaintiff’s
complaint does not appear to rectify any cognizable harm, but only to harass and disparage both
Judge Limbaugh, who rendered a civil judgment against him, and Michael Gans, who notified
plaintiff that the Court of Appeals ruled against him in a prior appellate action. Title 28 Section
1915 not only allows, but expressly requires, District Courts to dismiss malicious cases. This
case appears to fall directly within the statutory confines.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF
No. 2] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall not issue process on the complaint
because the complaint is subject to dismissal for lack of jurisdiction and for maliciousness. See
Fed.R.Civ.P.12(h)(3) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Dated this 27th day of October, 2017.
CATHERINE D. PERRY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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