United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
N. LEUNG, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Samantha Latraille alleges that defendant “Semone
Watson stole a 10 million dollar check and my identity to
cash it.” Compl. at 4 [ECF No. 1]. With that (and only
that) allegation, Latraille brings this action for fraud
against both Watson and the United States government.
Latraille did not pay the filing fee for this action, but
instead applied for in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) status. See ECF No. 2. That IFP
application is now before the Court and must be considered
before any other action may be taken in this matter.
review of that IFP application, this Court concludes that
Latraille qualifies financially for IFP status. That said, an
IFP application will be denied, and an action will be
dismissed, when an IFP applicant has filed a complaint that
fails to state a cause of action on which relief may be
granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii);
Atkinson v. Bohn, 91 F.3d 1127, 1128 (8th Cir. 1996)
(per curiam); Carter v. Schafer, 273 Fed. App'x
581, 582 (8th Cir. 2008) (per curiam) (“[C]ontrary to
plaintiffs' arguments on appeal, the provisions of 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e) apply to all persons proceeding IFP and
are not limited to prisoner suits, and the provisions allow
dismissal without service.”). In reviewing whether a
complaint states a claim on which relief may be granted, this
Court must accept as true all of the factual allegations in
the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff's favor. Aten v. Scottsdale Ins. Co.,
511 F.3d 818, 820 (8th Cir. 2008). Although the factual
allegations in the complaint need not be detailed, they must
be sufficient to “raise a right to relief above the
speculative level . . . .” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint must
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Id. at 570. In assessing the
sufficiency of the complaint, the court may disregard legal
conclusions that are couched as factual allegations. See
Ashcroft v. tlineIqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). Pro se
complaints are to be construed liberally, but they still must
allege sufficient facts to support the claims advanced.
See Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir.
initial matter, there is no basis whatsoever provided in the
complaint for Latraille's inclusion of the United States
government as a defendant. Latraille offers no reason why she
has sued the United States, and the misconduct alleged by
Latraille relates only to Watson. Any claims putatively
brought against the United States must therefore be dismissed
at the outset for failure to state a claim on which relief
may be granted.
shorn of the United States as a defendant, all that remains
of this lawsuit is a single state-law cause of action (fraud)
alleged by a citizen of Minnesota against another citizen of
Minnesota. See Compl. at 3. Because the claim
presented by Latraille arises under state law and implicates
no significant federal issue, this remaining claim does not
present a federal question sufficient to invoke 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331 as a basis for original
jurisdiction. See, e.g., Grable &
Sons Metal Products, Inc. v. Darue Engineering &
Mfg., 545 U.S. 308, 312-13 (2005). Because both
Latraille and Watson are citizens of Minnesota, the Court
cannot have original jurisdiction over this matter on the
grounds of the parties' diversity of citizenship.
see 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). And the Eighth Circuit
has made clear that when all claims in a complaint over which
a Court has original subject-matter jurisdiction have been
dismissed before trial (as this Court has recommended), the
court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over any remaining state-law claims. See Hervey v. Cnty.
of Koochiching, 527 F.3d 711, 726-27 (8th Cir. 2008).
this Court now recommends that any claims against the United
States government be dismissed without prejudice for failure
to state a claim on which relief may be granted, and that all
claims against Watson be dismissed without prejudice for lack
of subject-matter jurisdiction.
on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED THAT:
1. This matter be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
2. The application to proceed in forma pauperis of
plaintiff Samantha Latraille [ECF No. 2] be DENIED.
Objections: This Report and Recommendation is not an
order or judgment of the District Court and is therefore not
appealable directly to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Local Rule 72.2(b)(1), “a party may file and serve
specific written objections to a magistrate judge's
proposed finding and recommendations within 14 days after
being served a copy” of the Report and Recommendation.
A party may respond to those objections within 14 days after
being served a copy of the objections. LR 72.2(b)(2). ...