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Ruther v. United States

United States District Court, Third Circuit

August 8, 2013

L. RUTHER, Plaintiff
v.
UNITED STATES OFFICERS, Defendants

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

SUSAN E. SCHWAB, District Judge.

I. Introduction.

The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, has filed a complaint and a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. The complaint, which is illegible and unreadable, fails to comply with the pleading requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8, and as such, it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. We recommend that the plaintiff's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis be granted, that the complaint be dismissed, and that the plaintiff be granted leave to file an amended complaint.

II. Factual Background and Procedural History.

The plaintiff, L. Ruther, began this case by filing a document, which we construe as a complaint, and an application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. [1] The complaint does not clearly name a defendant, but in what appears to be the caption of the complaint, Ruther lists "United States Officers." We cannot decipher the allegations in the complaint. Although we recognize certain words, we have no idea what Ruther is complaining about or what relief he is seeking.

III. Discussion.

A. Screening of Pro Se Complaints-Standard of Review.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), if the plaintiff establishes that he or she is unable to pay the costs of the suit, the court may allow a plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis. In re Binsack, 446 F.Appx. 445, 447 (3d Cir. 2011). Although there is language in the statute that refers to prisoners, § 1915(a) is not restricted to prisoner suits. Martinez v. Kristie Kleaners, Inc., 364 F.3d 1305, 1306 n. 1 (11th Cir. 2004). In an action in which the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, we are obliged to review the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) which provides:

(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 upon which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune ...

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