United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Howard G. Jackson, Plaintiff,
Mark Dayton, Governor of Minnesota, Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Bowbeer United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court on the application to proceed
in forma pauperis (“IFP”) of Plaintiff
Howard G. Jackson. The Court must consider the IFP
application before any other action may be taken in this
matter. After review of the IFP application, this Court
concludes that Jackson qualifies financially for IFP status.
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.Appx. 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. Iqbal, 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.
alleges that the effect of legal rules established by the
State of Minnesota is to shut out persons, such as him, who
are self-represented, disabled, or otherwise unable to follow
those rules. (See Compl. at 4 [Doc. No. 1].) As an
initial matter, although Jackson brings this suit against
Governor Mark Dayton and alleges that the events at issue in
this action took place in “Ramsey County, ” the
exhibits to his complaint are copies of the docket in cases
he has previously filed in the United States District Court
for the District of Minnesota. That does not change this
Court's substantive analysis of Jackson's claims,
though it does indicate, in any event, that Dayton is not a
proper defendant to this lawsuit.
to the substance of Jackson's claims, it is not clear
what specific rules or practices of the judiciary Jackson
might have in mind as being discriminatory. That said,
certain of the lawsuits referenced by Jackson have been
dismissed or recommended for dismissal, either wholly or in
part, for failure to state a claim on which relief may be
granted, or for naming an improper defendant as a party.
See Jackson v. Ossell, No. 17- CV-5483 (JRT/BRT). To
the extent that Jackson objects to those dismissals as
improper, this is not the appropriate place in which to do
so; Jackson may object to any recommendation of dismissal in
the matter in which that recommendation is made, and he may
appeal any order of dismissal entered in this District to the
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
that aside, the Eighth Circuit has been clear that although
pro se litigants are entitled to lenience in certain
respects, “they still must allege sufficient facts to
support the claims advanced.” Stone, 364 F.3d
912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004). This pleading requirement is not
onerous. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require only
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
Court understands that the process of navigating the courts
can be frustrating for a person not trained in the law,
especially if that person is also otherwise impaired.
Nevertheless, Jackson has failed to allege that anyone, much
less defendant Dayton, violated the law in any respect. It is
therefore recommended that this matter be dismissed. Because
amendment of Jackson's complaint is likely to prove
futile in this matter, it is recommended that the dismissal
be effected with prejudice.
on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED
matter be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); and
application to proceed in forma pauperis of
Plaintiff Howard G. Jackson [Doc. No. 2] be
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.
Under 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 ...