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Liggon-Redding v. American Securities

May 29, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Kosik


Before the court is E. Liggon-Redding's (hereinafter "Plaintiff") complaint and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docs. 1 & 2). For the reasons that follow we will dismiss Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and close this case.


On January 30, 2006, Plaintiff filed a complaint, pro se, in this district against the above defendants asserting claims of breach of contract. That case was docketed under the number 06-cv-227. The facts of that case are set forth in a Memorandum and Order issued by Judge James M. Munley on January 31, 2006. Plaintiff's first action against the defendants noted that Plaintiff's home was destroyed in a fire. Plaintiff's insurer was defendant, American Securities Insurance Company (hereinafter "American Securities"), and defendant, National City Mortgage (hereinafter "National City"), serviced Plaintiff's mortgage. Plaintiff claimed that American Securities issued a check in the amount of $39,281.23 for the loss of her home. Defendant, National City, agreed to accept that amount in satisfaction of the mortgage. According to Plaintiff, American Securities then paid National City a total of $87,992.49. Plaintiff sought damages from National City for the difference between those two amounts, roughly $48,000.00. She also requested damages from American Securities totaling roughly $60,000.00. That sum represented the remaining amount of insurance coverage on the home after the payment to National City.

On January 31, 2006, Judge Munley dismissed Plaintiff's action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Specifically, Judge Munley held that Plaintiff's claims against each defendant did not exceed $75,000.00, the amount in controversy necessary to establish diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal to the Third Circuit on March 2, 2006. Plaintiff subsequently wrote a letter to Judge Munley on May 11, 2006. In that correspondence, Plaintiff related that she had been sued by Penn Forrest Township in the Court of Common Pleas for Carbon County. The township sought to have the fire damaged building declared a nuisance and to force Plaintiff to demolish the structure. Plaintiff further noted that she had unsuccessfully attempted to join American Securities and National City as third party defendants in that case.

On May 9, 2007, Plaintiff filed a second pro se actionapparently arising out of the same events that served as the basis for the earlier breach of contract suit. That case was docketed under the number 07-cv-847. She cited to 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-68, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1984 (RICO), as the basis for federal question jurisdiction. In that action, Plaintiff alleged only that "American Security Insurance Company and National City Mortgage conspired and are in collusion to deprive plaintiff of the proceeds of her fire insurance money." By order of May 16, 2007, this court dismissed Plaintiff's RICO action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). Specifically, we determined that Plaintiff failed to state any basis for a RICO action that could entitle her to relief. In our May 16, 2007, order, this court noted that Plaintiff had filed several actions in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Plaintiff has now filed a second RICO action in this court against the same defendants and including identical accusations. Plaintiff filed her third pro se complaint along with a motion to proceed in forma pauperis on May 23, 2007. (Docs. 1 & 2). Plaintiff's complaint levels accusations of collusion and conspiracy on the part of the defendants and provides some detail of the defendants' alleged misdeeds. Essentially, Plaintiff accuses American Security of submitting false information regarding the extent of the fire damage to her home in an attempt to defraud Plaintiff out of fire insurance proceeds. See Complaint at 1. She contends that National City forced Plaintiff to take out a homeowner's insurance policy naming National City as the beneficiary. See Id. Plaintiff further alleges that National City returned mortgage payments to Plaintiff so that it could fraudulently foreclose on the property. See Id. at 3. Plaintiff avers that the defendants burned down her home in response to prior disagreements. See Id. at 1 & 2.


28 U.S.C.A. §1915(e)(2) provides that a court may sua sponte dismiss a case filed by a plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis under certain conditions. The section states as follows:

(2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that

(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or

(B) the action or appeal

(I) is frivolous or malicious;

(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may ...

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