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Akinlemibola v. Chicago-Kent College of Law

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

January 27, 2017

GRACE AKINLEMIBOLA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHICAGO-KENT COLLEGE OF LAW, and CAROLYN SHAPIRO, Defendants. Dist. Ct. No. 17 C 290

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

         Pro se plaintiff Grace Akinlemibola ("Akinlemibola") has appealed to our Court of Appeals from this Court's January 18, 2017 memorandum order ("Order") dismissing her self-drafted Complaint and this action. In accordance with its regular practice when an appellant seeks to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") as has been done here, the Court of Appeals has transmitted her IFP application to this Court for a ruling in the first instance.

         Because Akinlemibola had also sought to proceed IFP in the District Court, the January 18 order of dismissal addressed that subject at the outset of the Order that ended by dispatching Akinlemibola's Complaint and the action itself. Based on her IFP Application filed in the District Court, IFP status was denied for the reasons stated in the Order, a copy of which is attached for informational purpose (see the brief discussion at the bottom of page 1 and the top of page 2).

         Before the Court of Appeals, Akinlemibola has completed its somewhat different form, including the required "Affidavit Accompanying Motion for Permission To Appeal In Forma Pauperis" (Dkt. No. 5-2) that fleshes out the financial information disclosed by the motion by tendering an attached explanation. In sum, what Akinlemibola's total submissions reflect is (1) that during the past 12 months she has indeed received total income of just short of $100,000 (with the first ten months having been spent in employment with the City of Chicago and with the last two months providing gross monthly pay in excess of $13,000), (2) that she resides in a $160,000 condominium and (3) that she drives a 2016 Lincoln valued at $40,000. Despite those indicia that scarcely suggest the level of poverty that evidence the inability to muster up a $505 filing fee, she explains that she is financially strapped because she is launching a business development in which she is the sole stockholder and which, if successful, will be enormously profitable. [1]

         This Court will not presume to set Akinlemibola's priorities for her. In its view, however, her submission is wholly inadequate to allow Akinlemibola to avoid paying the filing fee in the Court of Appeals. This Court accordingly recommends the denial of Akinlemibola's motion (Dkt. No. 4 in the District Court docket) to proceed in forma pauperis before the Court of Appeals.

         MEMORANDUM ORDER

         This lawsuit, one of five filed on the same day (January 13, 2017) by pro se plaintiff Grace Akinlemibola ("Akinlemibola"), has come to this Court's calendar via the District Court's computerized random assignment system. Somewhat astonishingly, Akinlemibola has coupled her self-prepared Complaint with an In Forma Pauperis Application ("Application") even though Application ¶ 2.A. represents that she receives a monthly salary of $13,345 and several other portions of the Application demonstrate that her claims of poverty must be viewed as having been submitted in bad faith.

         Indeed, Complaint ¶ 27 alleges:

Plaintiff started a private business in February of 2016 to create a new avenue of prosperity for herself, where her business made over $3 million dollars in accrual-based income its first fiscal year of only ten and a half months and is worth slightly over $1 billion dollars. Plaintiff amassed her first fiscal year of income based on gaining consulting contracts with many entrepreneurs and solving new ways to fix some of their problems and negotiating cumulative management strategies. Her businesses are worth a total of over $1 billion dollars, where Plaintiff owns over 40 different brands and products.

         And quite apart from her claim of being a billionaire on paper (which might perhaps be discounted as a pie-in-the-sky claim), other portions of the Application show her receipt of salary and professional income of more than $100,000 in the last 12 months (Application ¶ 4.A. and B.), $150,000 in equity in a condominium (id. ¶ 7) and a $14,000 equity in a 2016 Lincoln worth $40,000 (id. ¶ 8).

         Accordingly the Application is denied out of hand. Akinlemibola is ordered to pay the $400 filing fee to the Clerk of Court on or before January 27, 2017.

         As for federal subject matter jurisdiction, Akinlemibola's Complaint ¶ 10 reads:

In addition to state law claims, Plaintiff also brings this action as a violation of rights secured by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983.

         But one of her two defendants, Chicago-Kent College of Law, is clearly not a "state actor" to which 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") applies, so that Akinlemibola's ability to enter the federal courthouse door in the figurative sense has to hinge on the notion that the other defendant, Carolyn Shapiro ("Shapiro"), deprived her of those constitutional rights "under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom or usage, of any State or Territory" -- the ...


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