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Locke v. Inn

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


March 18, 2008

JULIANNE LOCKE, PLAINTIFF
v.
HAMPTON INN, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

On March 5, 2008, Julianne Locke filed suit against her former employer the Hampton Inn alleging retaliation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e (Doc. 1). Specifically, Locke alleges that the Hampton Inn retaliated against her for filing a charge of discrimination against it.*fn1

Now before the Court is Locke's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc . 2). By granting a motion for pauper status, a court authorizes a lawsuit to proceed without prepayment of fees. For many years, the federal district courts granted such motions if the movant was indigent and the complaint was neither frivolous nor malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Since the enactment of the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), however, courts are required to conduct a more thorough analysis before granting pauper status. The Seventh Circuit has clarified that the PLRA "changed § 1915 not only for cases brought by prisoners, but in some respect for all indigent litigants." Hutchinson v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 899 (7th Cir. 1997). Under the PLRA, the court must screen any indigent's complaint (those filed by prisoners and non-prisoners alike) and dismiss the complaint if (a) the allegation of poverty is untrue, (b) the action is frivolous or malicious, (c) the action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or (d) the action seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

Locke's motion survives § 1915(e)(2) review. She furnished an affidavit documenting her poverty. The action appears to be neither frivolous nor malicious. At this point, the Court cannot conclude that the complaint fails to state a claim or that the named defendant is immune from suit.

Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Locke's application to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2). The Court DIRECTS the Clerk's Office to prepare and issue the summons for the named Defendant. Once the summons is issued, the Clerk's Office shall prepare USM-285 forms for Defendant. Further, the Court DIRECTS the United States Marshal to obtain service on same. Costs of service shall be borne by the United States of America.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

DavidRHer|do| Chief Judge United States District Court


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