Swift v. Thomas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - Swift will have 30 days to file an amended complaint that clearly states a claim upon which relief may be granted against Judge Thomas in accordance with this order. If Swift fails to file an amended complaint, his claims ag ainst him will be dismissed without further notice. The Clerk of the Court is directed to set a pro se case management deadline in this case using the following text: August 3, 2015: check for amended complaint. The Court reserves the right to conduct further review of Swifts claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) after he addresses the matters set forth in this order. ***Pro Se Case Management Deadlines: ( Pro Se Case Management Deadline set for 8/3/2015:check for amended complaint) Ordered by Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp. (Copy mailed to pro se party)(MKR)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
WADIE THOMAS, Judge Juvenile
Court, Douglas County Nebraska,
Plaintiff Charles Swift, a nonprisoner, filed his pro se Complaint (Filing No. 1) in this
matter on February 19, 2015. Swift has been given leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(Filing No. 6.) The Court now conducts an initial review of the Complaint to determine
whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e).
I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
Swift filed this action against Judge Wadie Thomas. His allegations, in their entirety,
are as follows:
We pray for declaratory “thomas” violated our due process rights where on
1-27-15 conducted “check” hearing in case JV13-2407 on his docket wherein
our minor progeny “stolen” “kidnapped.”
(Filing No. 1 at ECF 1-2.)
II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
The court reviews in forma pauperis complaints to determine whether summary
dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must dismiss a complaint
or any portion of it that states a frivolous or malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Pro se plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to “nudge their claims
across the line from conceivable to plausible,” or “their complaint must be dismissed.” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“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.”).
“The essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
is to give the opposing party ‘fair notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and
a general indication of the type of litigation involved.’” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank,
N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973
(8th Cir. 1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be liberally construed, and pro se
litigants are held to a lesser pleading standard than other parties.” Topchian, 760 F.3d at
849 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
III. DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS
Here, the Court cannot determine with any certainty Swift’s basis for suing Judge
Thomas. He alleged only that Judge Thomas held a hearing in a juvenile court case.
Swift’s statement that his “progeny” was “kidnapped” is conclusory. In short, Swift did not
plead factual content that allows the Court to draw the reasonable inference that Judge
Thomas is liable for any misconduct.
On the Court’s own motion, Swift will be given 30 days to file an amended complaint
that sufficiently describes his claims against Judge Thomas. Swift should be mindful to
explain what Judge Thomas did to him, when Judge Thomas did it, how Judge Thomas’s
actions harmed him, and what specific legal right Swift believes Judge Thomas violated.
If Swift fails to file an amended complaint in accordance with this order, his claims against
Judge Thomas will be dismissed without prejudice and without further notice. Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED:
Swift will have 30 days to file an amended complaint that clearly states a
claim upon which relief may be granted against Judge Thomas in accordance with this
order. If Swift fails to file an amended complaint, his claims against him will be dismissed
without further notice.
The Clerk of the Court is directed to set a pro se case management deadline
in this case using the following text: August 3, 2015: check for amended complaint.
The Court reserves the right to conduct further review of Swift’s claims
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) after he addresses the matters set forth in this order.
DATED this1st day of July, 2015.
BY THE COURT:
s/Laurie Smith Camp
Chief United States District Judge
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