Huot v. Montana State Department of Child and Family Services et al

Filing 9

OPINION AND ORDER Screening and Dismissing Case; denying as moot 2 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis; denying as moot 3 Motion to Appoint Counsel ; denying as moot 4 Motion to set aside adoption and reinstate full parental rights. Signed by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange on 8/16/2017. (JLS)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FILED DISTRICT OF SOUTH DAKOTA AUG 1 6 2017 SOUTHERN DIVISION SAFRON HUOT, ' CIERK 4:17-CV-04I03-RAL Plaintiff, OPINION AND ORDER vs SCREENING AND MONTANA STATE DEPARTMENT OF DISMISSING CASE CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES, MONTANA SUPREME COURT, DEER LODGE CO. DISTRICT COURT OF MONTANA, JUDGE RAY DAYTON, CAE BOYAL, CINDY JOHNSON, DEER LODGE MEDICAL CENTER, WAYNE R. MARTIN, MD, SUSANNE M CLAGUE, BEN KRAKOWKA, SUSAN DAY, PH.D ; DAVE FENCHAK, MARY JO FORTNER, ROGER FORTNER, Defendants Plaintiff, Safron Huot, has filed a pro se complaint (Doc 1), as well as a Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Paupens(Doc 2), Motion to Appoint Counsel(Doc 3), and Motion to Set Aside Adoption and Reinstate-Full Parental Rights (Doc 4). Plaintiff has filed similar complaints in many other distncts.' Because Plaintiff has submitted a Motion to Proceed In Forma Paupens, the court must conduct an initial screemng of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) The screemng IS a two-step screening process Martin-Tngona v Stewart, 691 F 2d 856, 857 (8"^ Cir. 1982), see also. Key v Does, 217 F. Supp 3d 1006, J006 (E.D Ark 2016). First, distnct courts must A search of "Hout, Safron" and "Huot, Safron" on PACER indicates that the plaintiff has filed in at least 40 districts determine whether a plaintiff is finaneially eligible to proeeed in forma paupens under 28 U S C. § 1915(a) Id Second, distnct courts are to determine whether the complaint should be dismissed under 28 U S C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Id. This court may authonze the commencement of suit without prepayment of fees when an applicant files an affidavit stating she is unable to pay the costs of the lawsuit 28 U S C § 1915. Determining whether an applicant is sufficiently impovenshed to qualify to proeeed m forma paupens under § 1915 is committed to the court's discretion Cross v Gen Motors Corp , 721 F 2d 1152, 1157 (8"^ Cir 1983) "In forma paupens status does not require a litigant to demonstrate absolute destitution." Lee v McDonald's Corp., 231 F 3d 456 (8'*' Cir. 2000) Based upon her application, the sole income for Plaintiff is denved from TANF payments of $467 per month and food stamp payments of $313 per month Including only expenses with pnees. Plaintiffs monthly expenses are estimated to be approximately $267 Plaintiff also has one daughter currently dependent on Plaintiff for support Plaintiff does not own any assets Considenng all the information in the financial affidavit, the Court finds that Plaintiff has made the requisite financial showing to proceed m forma paupens. But the inquiry does not end there Under § 1915, the court must review the claims m the complaint to determine if they are (1) fiivolous or malicious, (2) fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or(3) seek monetary relief against a defendant who has immunity. See 28 U.S C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face" Bell Atlantic Corp v Twombly, 550 U S 544,570 (2007) A plaintiffs complaint "does not need detailed factual allegations . . [but] requires more than labels and conclusions " Id At 555 "Factual allegations must be enough to raise a nght to relief above the speculative level.."Id When determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, this Court "assumes as true all factual allegations m the pleadings, interpreting them most favorably to the [pleader]" Magee v Trustees Of Hamline Umv, 747 F.3d 532,534-35 (8^^ Cir. 2014) Plaintiff IS proceeding pro se and her complaint is therefore entitled to a liberal construction Atkinson v Bohn, 91 F 3d 1127,1129 Cir 1996)(per cunam) Although pro se complaints are to be construed liberally, "they must still allege facts sufficient to support the claims advanced"Stone v Harry, 364 F 3d 912,914 Cir 2004) The court is not required to supply additional facts for a pro se plaintiff, nor construct a legal theory that assumes facts which have not been pleaded Id Plaintiff asserts that federal question junsdiction is present in this matter Doc 1 She seeks damages from the Montana State Department of Child and Family Services, the Montana Supreme Court, the Deer Lodge County Distnct Court of Montana, and Judge Ray Dayton, as well as attorneys, guardians ad htem, psychologists, family members, and other individuals involved m that proceeding Doc 1. She also seeks full custody of her children. The present case is clearly related to Huot v. Montana State Department of Child and Family Services, et al, No 3 16-cv-01767-KI(D Oregon Sept 6, 2016) In that case, the distnct court provided multiple reasons why subject matter junsdiction does not exist Id The distnct court also explained venue and discussed why certain defendants could not be sued Whether the suit IS venued m federal court m Oregon or South Dakota, the same reasons for dismissal apply to this suit brought against Montana State agencies, employees, and others involved m a Montana- child custody issue Because the plaintiffs factual allegations are the same, the reasoning as set forth m Huot v Montana State Department ofchild and Family Services, et al, Case ft 3:16-cv-01767-KI (D. Or. Sept. 13, 2016),justifies dismissal in this action for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. Therefore, it is ORDERED that PlaintifTs Complaint(Doc 1) be dismissed. It is further ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc 2), Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc 3), and Motion to Set Aside Adoption and Reinstate Full Parental Rights(Doc 4)are denied as moot in light ofthe dismissal of the case. DATED August 16, 2017. BY THE COURT: ROBERTO A. LANGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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