Lietzke v. City of Montgomery et al
ORDER Dismissing Case and granting 3 Motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Signed by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken on 1/5/17. (SB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH DAKOTA
ORDER GRANTING IN FORMA
PAUPERIS AND DISMISSING CASE
CITY OF MONTGOMERY, et al.; and
On December 5, 2016, plaintiff Bill Lietzke filed a complaint against the
defendants. (Docket 1). Mr. Lietzke moves for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Docket 3). Mr. Lietzke has an Alabama address, defendants are in
Alabama, and the facts he pleads in his complaint all took place in Alabama.
A federal court may authorize the commencement of suit without
prepayment of fees when an applicant files an affidavit stating he is unable to
pay the costs of the lawsuit.
28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Determining whether an
applicant is sufficiently impoverished to qualify to proceed in forma pauperis
under § 1915 is committed to the court’s discretion.
Corp., 721 F.2d 1152, 1157 (8th Cir. 1983).
Cross v. Gen. Motors
“In forma pauperis status does not
require a litigant to demonstrate absolute destitution.”
Lee v. McDonald’s
Corp., 231 F.3d 456, 459 (8th Cir. 2000). Mr. Lietzke provided a statement of
his income in the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
The court finds Mr. Lietzke is indigent and grants him leave to proceed in forma
Under federal law, “the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court
determines that . . . the action . . . fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). The determination of whether a court
has personal jurisdiction over a defendant is normally a two-step analysis.
Northrup King Co. v. Compania Productora Semillas Algodoneras Selectas, S.A.,
51 F.3d 1383, 1387 (8th Cir. 1995).
First, the applicable state long-arm
statute, SDCL § 15-7-2, must be satisfied, and second, the court’s exercise of
jurisdiction must comport with due process.
South Dakota construes its
long-arm statute to confer jurisdiction to the fullest extent permitted by the Due
Dakota Indus. v. Ever Best Ltd., 28 F.3d 910, 915 (8th Cir.
Therefore, the analysis collapses into one step: the due process analysis.
Due process allows a court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a
non-resident defendant only if doing so is consistent with traditional notions of
fair play and substantial justice, and if the defendant has sufficient “minimum
contacts” with the forum state.
World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444
U.S. 286, 291 (1980); International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316
In order to exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant,
the non-resident defendant’s conduct and connection with the forum state must
be such that it “should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there.”
World–Wide Volkswagen Corp., 444 U.S. at 297.
“The question is whether a
defendant has followed a course of conduct directed at the society or economy
existing within the jurisdiction of a given sovereign, so that the sovereign has the
power to subject the defendant to judgment concerning that conduct.”
J. McIntyre Mach., Ltd. v. Nicastro, 564 U.S. 873, 884 (2011) (plurality opinion).
Mr. Lietzke’s complaint does not allege events that took place in the State
of South Dakota and he does not allege defendants have systematic and
continuous minimum contacts with South Dakota.
actions which plaintiff claims took place in Alabama.
The complaint alleges only
There is no evidence that
defendants purposely directed activities toward South Dakota, that they
conducted activities here or that they injured Mr. Lietzke in South Dakota.
Defendants had no contact with South Dakota, the forum state.
lacks jurisdiction over Mr. Lietzke’s claims and lacks personal jurisdiction over
Even though defendants have not been served and therefore have not
raised the issue of jurisdiction, when an in forma pauperis applicant files a
complaint that does not include any allegations supporting personal jurisdiction
over the named defendants, the case can properly be dismissed sua sponte.
Sanders v. United States, 760 F.2d 869 (8th Cir. 1985); Morton v. Sony Parts
Exch.-Ctr., 205 F.3d 1346 (8th Cir. 2000) (unpublished); Moore v. Bertsch, 450
F. App’x 561 (8th Cir. 2012).
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that Mr. Lietzke’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
(Docket 3) is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii),
Mr. Lietzke’s complaint (Docket 1) is dismissed without prejudice.
Dated January 5, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
/s/ Jeffrey L. Viken
JEFFREY L. VIKEN
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?