United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
February 18, 2004.
MR. FRANK D. OUTLEY, etc., Plaintiff,
EX-WIFE MRS. SYLVIA OUTLEY, etc., Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES MORAN, Senior District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Frank Outley brought this action against his ex-wife, Sylvia
Outley. In his civil cover sheet plaintiff states that his cause of
action is conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit conspiracy. Along with his
complaint, plaintiff filed a petition to proceed in forma pauperis and a
motion for appointment of counsel. For the following reasons, both
plaintiffs petition and motion are denied.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) we may authorize plaintiff to proceed
in forma pauperis if he demonstrates an inability to pay the required
costs and fees. In his affidavit, plaintiff states that he has been
unemployed for two and-a-half years; that his only income is $552 a month
from social security; and that he has no assets. He has shown his
inability to pay court costs.
Our inquiry does not end there, however. As part of the initial review
of a petition to proceed in forma pauperis, we analyze the claims and
dismiss the complaint if we determine that the action Is frivolous or
malicious, it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
seeks damages from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)(ill);
Alston v. Debruyn. 13 F.3d 1036, 1039 (7th Cir. 1994). We review the
claim using the same standard as a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Zimmerman v. Tribble. 226 F.3d 568, 571
(7th Cir. 2000). Pursuant to that rule we dismiss a claim only if it
appears beyond a doubt that there exist no facts to support the
allegations. Conley v. Gibson. 355 U.S. 41.45-46 (1957). Complaints by
pro se parties should "be liberally construed and not held to the
stringent standards expected of pleadings drafted by lawyers." McCormick
v. City of Chicago. 230 F.3d 319, 325 (7th Cir. 2000).
Though a pro se party is not held to stringent standards, his complaint
must state an intelligible claim. After reviewing the plaintiffs
twenty-four page handwritten complaint, we are unable to determine the
plaintiffs allegations. The complaint is packed with names, numbers,
addresses, phrases, circles and arrows, none of which makes clear the
nature of the plaintiffs action. The complaint fails to provide defendant
with notice of plaintiffs allegations, thus making it impossible to draft
an effective response. Since plaintiffs complaint does not state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, his petition to proceed in forma
pauperis and his motion for appointment of counsel are denied.
For the foregoing reasons plaintiffs petition to proceed in forma
pauperis and motion for appointment of counsel are denied.
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