Bradley v. Wisconsin Department of Children and Families et al
ORDER signed by Judge J.P. Stadtmueller on 9/14/2017: DENYING 2 Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed Without Prepayment of the Filing Fee; DENYING as moot 5 Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint and for Preliminary Relief, 6 Pla intiff's Motion to Change Judge, 7 Plaintiff's Motion to Reassign Case, and 8 Plaintiff's Motion to Seal Case and for Settlement; DISMISSING case with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§ 1915(e)(2)(B) as FRIVOLOUS; and CERTIFYING that any appeal from this matter would not be taken in good faith pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) unless Plaintiff offers bonafide arguments supporting her appeal. (cc: all counsel, via mail to Elouise Bradley) (jm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
Case No. 17-CV-509-JPS-JPS
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES,
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE, JENNIFER SABREE, JANE
ABSHIRE, REBECCA MCFADDEN,
MILWAUKEE COUNTY, and
BUREAU OF MILWAUKEE CHILD
Plaintiff filed a pro se complaint taking issue with various actions of
Defendants. (Docket #1). This matter comes before the court on Plaintiff’s
motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket #2). Notwithstanding the
payment of any filing fee, the Court must dismiss a complaint if it raises
claims that are “frivolous or malicious,” that is, fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in
law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Hutchinson ex rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900
(7th Cir. 1997). The court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where
it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual
contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. “Malicious,”
although sometimes treated as a synonym for “frivolous,” “is more usefully
construed as intended to harass.” Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 110910 (7th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted).
Plaintiff’s complaint is largely incoherent. The Court gathers that
Plaintiff’s concerns center on Defendants’ role in shutting down her
daycare facility. (Docket #1 at 2-3). Despite her difficult-to-follow
allegations, Plaintiff herself is no stranger to this Court. In fact, she has filed
a complaint in this District alleging similar underlying facts three prior
times in the previous five years. Bradley v. Division of Children and Family
[Bradley I], 12-CV-1244-RTR; Bradley v. Sabree et al. [Bradley II], 14-CV-429JPS; Bradley v. Sabree et al. [Bradley III], 15-CV-1384-PP. In each prior case,
Plaintiff’s complaint was dismissed with prejudice. Bradley I, (Docket #17);
Bradley II, (Docket #23); Bradley III, (Docket #21). Plaintiff appealed each
dismissal and the Court of Appeals affirmed in each instance. Bradley I,
(Docket #25); Bradley II, (Docket #35); Bradley III, (Docket #35).
All of the prior complaints were rejected upon a considered analysis
of numerous grounds for dismissal, including the court’s jurisdiction,
application of preclusion doctrines, failure to exhaust administrative
remedies, and the failure to state viable claims. The Court will not allow
Plaintiff to continue to waste scarce taxpayer resources occupying its time
with repeated filings concerning the same subject matter which warrant
dismissal for the same reasons. This is the definition of frivolity and
Plaintiff’s complaint will be dismissed on that ground.
Plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis must be
denied, in any event. (Docket #2). The privilege to proceed without
payment of costs and fees “is reserved to the many truly impoverished
litigants who…would remain without legal remedy if such privilege were
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not afforded to them.” Brewster v. N. Am. Van Lines, Inc., 461 F.2d 649, 651
(7th Cir. 1972). Plaintiff’s motion reveals that her monthly income exceeds
her expenses by over $500.00. (Docket #2 at 2). Plaintiff also has substantial
equity in her home. Id. at 3. Plaintiff’s only explanation for not wanting to
pay the filing fee is that her previous cases have been dismissed. Id. at 4.
Because it is not clear that Plaintiff would be unable “to provide
[her]self…with the necessities of life,” if required to pay the filing fee, the
Court cannot find her indigent. Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335
U.S. 331, 339 (1948).
Plaintiff filed a number of nonsensical motions subsequent to
submitting her complaint and motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket
#5, #6, #7, and #8). Each will be denied as moot. Finally, the Court of Appeals
has warned Plaintiff that her continued frivolous appeals may result in
sanctions. Bradley III, (Docket #35 at 4). This Court now provides the same
warning. If Plaintiff continues to submit frivolous filings, she may be
subject to sanctions, including monetary penalties or a general prohibition
on filing in this District. See Support Sys. Int’l, Inc. v. Mack, 45 F.3d 185 (7th
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis
(Docket #2) be and the same is hereby DENIED;
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff’s miscellaneous motions
(Docket #5, #6, #7, and #8) be and the same are hereby DENIED as moot;
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action be and the same is
hereby DISMISSED with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)
as frivolous; and
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THE COURT FURTHER CERTIFIES that any appeal from this
matter would not be taken in good faith pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3)
unless Plaintiff offers bonafide arguments supporting her appeal.
The Clerk of Court is directed to enter judgment accordingly.
Dated at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this 14th day of September, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
J. P. Stadtmueller
U.S. District Judge
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