UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION
March 24, 1998
ANTHONY TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
FEDERAL EXPRESS, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHADUR
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Anthony Taylor ("Taylor") has submitted a self-prepared handwritten Complaint against his employer or ex-employer Federal Express.
Because he has neither paid the $ 150 filing fee nor filled out a form Application To Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees ("Application"), that alone would call for the rejection of the Complaint. But to avoid any effort on his part to cure that omission (possibly incurring needless expense), this Court will examine Taylor's substantive allegations. For the reasons stated here, the Complaint and this action are dismissed--but without prejudice.
Suppose that Taylor did complete an Application that could establish his qualification to be excused from payment of the filing fee in purely financial terms. Even so, to acquire status as an in forma pauperis plaintiff, a litigant is also required to set out some non-"frivolous" claim in the legal sense defined by Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325, 104 L. Ed. 2d 338, 109 S. Ct. 1827 (1989) and reconfirmed in Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33, 118 L. Ed. 2d 340, 112 S. Ct. 1728 (1992)--and that is the hurdle that trips Taylor up.
Taylor's allegations appear to be susceptible to two potential readings. To the extent that they may be read to advance a defamation claim, federal court jurisdiction (rather than state court jurisdiction) would have to be predicated on diversity of citizenship--and in that respect the Complaint is not only lacking in the essential jurisdictional allegations as to the parties' respective states of citizenship, but it also fails to provide any reasonable predicate (let alone any express allegation) that would establish the requisite over-$ 75,000 amount in controversy. And as for the alternative possible reading of Taylor's allegations as charging Federal Express with race-based employment discrimination, he has not made the necessary showing of having pursued the administrative remedy that is a precondition to such a lawsuit.
Accordingly, no basis appears--even with the favorable reading required by Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21, 30 L. Ed. 2d 652, 92 S. Ct. 594 (1972)(per curiam)--for Taylor to present a claim that meets even the minimal Neitzke-Denton standards. That being so, as stated at the outset of this opinion, both the Complaint and this action are dismissed (but without prejudice, see Denton, 504 U.S. at 34).
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: March 24, 1998
JUDGMENT IN A CIVIL CASE
Decision by Court. This action came to trial or hearing before the Court. The issues have been tried or heard and a decision has been rendered.
IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED final judgment is entered dismissing this action without prejudice.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
Anthony Taylor Plaintiff
Federal Express Defendant
COMPLAINT Case Number 98 C 1764
I Anthony Taylor was accused late March of "97" of stealing a watch from Federal Express which accusation turn out to be false. I was suspended from work, and when returned to work I was taunted by coworkers, which cause me stress, and to be looked upon as a thief and it brought down (destroyed), my clean reputation and character, destroyed my name, drug my name through the mud with such slanderous accusations the emotional stress took me through changes in my life. The slander, and defamation of character placed me through bad changes.
I truly believe I was accused of this because I am Black. And they approached the situation with the attitude that I am Black and all Blacks are crooks.
ANTHONY TAYLOR (SIGNATURE)
1444 S. KOSTNER
Chicago IL 60623