the Catholic Church). Those muddy waters would have to be cleared if Ellis were indeed to proceed without payment of the filing fee, but at least for the moment this opinion will assume that Ellis would be able to cure any flaws so as to demonstrate his entitlement to in forma pauperis treatment.
Before the consequences of that assumption are translated into any consideration of Ellis' substantive claims, however, the position of the other putative plaintiffs--University and others that are labeled as "Beta University Police" and "all Beta Auxiliaries" (whatever that may mean)--should be addressed. None of them has offered any showing as to its inability (or their inability in the case of the "auxiliaries") to pay the filing fee. Accordingly leave is not granted to any of them to proceed,
and they are all dismissed as plaintiffs without prejudice. This dismissal however gives any of them the opportunity, within the time specified by Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 59(e), to pay the fee or to tender an appropriate financial showing--and in either event to appear through proper counsel.
To return to Ellis individually, the Complaint says that it is brought pursuant (1) to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (the "Act," 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb to 2000bb-4
), which has enacted a legislative overruling of Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 108 L. Ed. 2d 876, 110 S. Ct. 1595 (1990), (2) to several Amendments contained within the Bill of Rights,
(3) to the Fourteenth Amendment and (4) to a number of provisions of the Civil Rights Acts that have been codified within Title 42. In addition the Complaint seeks to invoke what it terms the pendent jurisdiction of this District Court (although that concept has been overtaken by the supplemental jurisdiction provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1367), by alleging violations of a number of Illinois statutory and constitutional provisions. All of the claims target as defendants the State of Illinois, its Governor Jim Edgar, its Secretary of State George Ryan, Secretary of State investigator Keith Lake and various "other unknown and unnammed [sic] defendants et, al."
Having assumed (in Ellis' favor) his ability to meet the financial-need requirements to proceed in forma pauperis, this Court is next required to determine which if any of his assertions surmounts the hurdle of legal "frivolousness" as defined in Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 104 L. Ed. 2d 338, 109 S. Ct. 1827 (1989) and reconfirmed in Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 112 S. Ct. 1728, 1733-34, 118 L. Ed. 2d 340 (1992). That latter requirement proves fatal to Ellis' attempt to obtain in forma pauperis status:
1. All claims in the Complaint that purport to be based on violations of state law are beyond the jurisdiction of this federal court under Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 79 L. Ed. 2d 67, 104 S. Ct. 900 (1984). Nor is that conclusion altered by the existence of the Act, as a moment's thought demonstrates. Suppose that some conduct of a defendant does violate some state-law provision--that violation still does not render that conduct actionable in the federal court unless the selfsame conduct is violative of some federal right, a determination that must be made independently of the state-law violations. Accordingly all claims that point to state law as a sole source of relief must be and are dismissed.