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OUTLEY v. EX-WIFE MRS. SYLVIA OUTLEY

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois


February 18, 2004.

MR. FRANK D. OUTLEY, etc., Plaintiff,
v.
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); Page 2 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.

  CONCLUSION

  For the foregoing reasons plaintiffs petition to proceed in forma pauperis and motion for appointment of counsel are denied.

20040218

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