Leonard, Joseph v. Clark County Justice System
ORDER Dismissing 1 Complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. Amended complaint due 10/20/2011. Signed by District Judge Barbara B. Crabb on 10/7/2011. (jef),(ps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - JOSEPH LEONARD,
CLARK COUNTY JUSTICE SYSTEM,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Plaintiff Joseph Leonard has filed a proposed civil action, naming the “Clark County
Justice System” as defendant. Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, 28 U.S.C. § 1915,
and does not have the means to make an initial partial payment. Because plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis, I must screen his complaint and dismiss it if it is legally
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or asks for money
damages from a defendant who by law cannot be sued for money damages. 28 U.S.C. §
Plaintiff has included few allegations in his complaint and those he does include are
For the purpose of issuing this order, I am assuming jurisdiction over this case.
vague and confusing. Plaintiff alleges that he has been investigating the Clark County Justice
System for over three years and has discovered that it is corrupt. He says he is seeking “to
be paid for all [his] time, expenses, over the last 3 years. Loss of livestock, milk sales, crops,
feed, and everything else that goes with it.” He also asks to “have everything investigated
by someone [he] trust[s].”
This is not enough information to satisfy Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. Under that rule, a
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement” for each claim “showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). This means that the plaintiff must give
the defendant “fair notice” of his claims and include factual allegations that “raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570
Plaintiff's complaint contains so little information that I cannot determine the basis
for his claims or even what his claims are. Thus, I will dismiss the complaint and give
plaintiff an opportunity to file a new one that contains more information. In redrafting his
complaint, plaintiff should view the exercise as telling a story to people who know nothing
about his situation. Someone reading the complaint should be able to answer the following
· What are the facts that form the basis for plaintiff’s claims?
· Who are the specific defendants (the individuals or entities) that violated plaintiff’s
· What did the defendants do that makes it liable for violating plaintiff’s rights?
· How was plaintiff injured by defendants’ conduct?
If plaintiff believes his constitutional rights were violated, he needs to specify which
rights were violated and how a particular individual or entity violated them specifically. It
is not enough for him to name the “Clark County Justice System,” because this is not an
entity that can be sued. Similarly, if plaintiff believes a defendant violated his rights under
a federal statute, he needs to specify which laws are implicated by the defendant’s actions.
Plaintiff may have until October 20, 2011 to file a new complaint. If he does not
respond to this order by that date, the case will be closed.
IT IS ORDERED that the complaint filed by plaintiff Joseph Leonard is DISMISSED
for failure to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. He may have until October 20, 2011 to file a
proposed amended complaint that gives defendant proper notice of plaintiff’s claims. If
plaintiff fails to respond by that date, the clerk of court is directed to close this case.
Entered this7th day of October, 2011.
BY THE COURT:
BARBARA B. CRABB
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