United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the Application to Proceed
in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (d/e 2).
This is one of four cases Plaintiff Cheryl Savage has filed
in this Court during the month of August 2019. Also listed as a
Plaintiff is John Rutherford, but he did not sign the
Complaint. Plaintiffs have not paid the filing fee. Ms.
Savage has filed an affidavit demonstrating she is unable to
prepay fees or costs associated with filing this action. She
indicates therein that John Rutherford is her 93-year-old
father, that she lives with him, and that his income is $13,
750 per year. Because Mr. Rutherford has not signed the
Complaint and has not filed an application to proceed without
prepaying fees or costs, Mr. Rutherford is dismissed from
this action. Ms. Savage is granted leave to proceed in forma
Court must dismiss any case brought in forma pauperis if the
case fails to state a claim for which relief may be granted.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). Because Ms. Savage lacks
standing to bring this claim, the Complaint fails to state a
federal claim, and the Court lacks jurisdiction, the
Complaint is dismissed without prejudice.
reviewing the Complaint, the Court accepts the factual
allegations as true, liberally construing them in
Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements and
labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to
"'state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.'" Alexander v. U.S., 721 F.3d 418,
422 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoted cite omitted). The following
facts come from the Complaint.
Savage names as Defendants in the caption of her lawsuit
Premier Bank of Jacksonville (Premier Bank); Town and Country
Bank of Jacksonville (Town and Country); Paul White, former
CEO of Premier Bank and president of Town and County; and
Eddie Carpenter. Ms. Savage alleges that Premier Bank
foreclosed on “plaintiffs” property in April 2011
and the foreclosure continued for four years. Premier Bank
asked for more money than was owed. While attempting to
negotiate, Premier Bank offered to settle the judgments for
$90, 183.45, which did not include the balances owed on four
unsecured promissory notes signed by Mr. Rutherford. Ms.
Savage and Mr. Rutherford did not know anything about four
unsecured promissory notes. Mr. Rutherford never made any
personal or unsecured loans with Premier Bank or Town and
County Bank. Ms. Savage filed a formal complaint with the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Rodney Jokerst conducted
an interview and asked White, “why would you make
Rutherford an unsecured loan?” White stated he needed
it for business purposes. Ms. Savage asked for the
“paper trail, ” including canceled checks and
loan applications, but she has received nothing. Premier Bank
filed suit against Rutherford in 2016 but dropped the case
when Ms. Savage got “APEX” to ask for the paper
Savage alleges that White fabricated the loans so
“they” could place liens and take property they
had no right to take. She alleges that Carpenter was aware of
the fabricated loans, could not produce a “paper
trail” on the loans, but still filed a lawsuit and
harassed “Plaintiffs” to pay off the loans. Ms.
Savage described the resulting injury as follows:
“fabricated loans, and lawsuits from this on John
Rutherford has caused bleeding ulcers, heart attacks and
other medical conditions due to the stress of fear of loss,
lawsuits.” Ms. Savage seeks $2 million in compensatory
damages and punitive damages. The Civil Cover Sheet
identifies the causes of action as “1542c & 1601
Truth Lending, etc.” and “Abusive Mortgage
Violations of TILA, OCC, CFPB etc.” The Complaint form
itself invokes jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §1331, 28
U.S.C. § 1343(a)(3), and/or 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Savage does not have standing to bring this claim. A federal
court's jurisdiction is limited to “Cases”
and “Controversies, ” and no case or controversy
exists if the plaintiff lacks standing. U.S. Const. art. III,
§ 2; Johnson v. U.S. Office of Pers. Mgmt., 783
F.3d 655, 660 (7th Cir. 2015). A plaintiff establishes
standing by showing (1) that she suffered an injury that is
(a) concrete and particularized and (b) actual or imminent;
(2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action
of the defendant; and (3) that it is likely that a favorable
decision will redress the injury. Berger v. Nat'l
Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 843 F.3d 285, 289 (7th
Cir. 2016). A plaintiff generally must assert her own legal
rights and interests and cannot rest her claim to relief on
the legal rights or interests of third parties. Swanson
v. City of Chetek, 719 F.3d 780, 783 (7th Cir. 2013).
Ms. Savage alleges that Mr. Rutherford was harmed but does
not allege any injury to herself. Therefore, Ms. Savage lacks
standing to bring her claims.
addition, the Complaint fails to state a claim. The
Complaint, which Ms. Savage completed on a preprinted form,
invokes jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §1331, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1343(a)(3), and/or 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
1331 provides that “district courts shall have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 1331. To invoke jurisdiction under §
1331, Ms. Savage must bring a claim arising under federal
law. Section 1343(a)(3) “covers only civil rights
claims against state actors and has had no legal effect since
1976, when Congress amended § 1331 to eliminate any
amount-in-controversy requirement” Myles v. United
States, 416 F.3d 551, 554 (7th Cir. 2005). Finally, to
bring a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege (1)
the deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution or
laws of the United States and (2) the alleged deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of law.
Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816,
822 (7th Cir. 2009). Ms. Savage has not plausibly alleged a
§ 1983 claim here.
Savage's Civil Cover Sheet identifies “1542c &
1601 Truth in Lending etc.” and “abusive mortgage
violations of TILA, OCC, CFPB, etc.” Her references to
OCC and CFPB are not clear. She may be referring to the
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau, but such a reference does not
state a federal claim.
the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et
seq., Congress enacted the Act “to assure a
meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer
will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms
available to him and avoid the uninformed use of credit, and
to protect the consumer against inaccurate and unfair billing
and credit card ...