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In re Calhoun County Contracting Corp.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 28, 2019

In Re CALHOUN COUNTY CONTRACTING CORPORATION, Debtor.
v.
NEWTEK SMALL BUSINESS FINANCE, Appellee. HARRY D. RIMBEY, Appellant,

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF JUDGE:

         On July 8, 2019, Appellant Harry D. Rimbey filed a notice of appeal from an order of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Illinois (Doc. 2). This matter is now before the Court on Mr. Rimbey's amended Appellant's Brief and Response to Order Reserving Ruling in support of his Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (“IFP “) (Docs. 13, 19, 20). This Court previously reserved ruling on the Motion for Leave to Proceed IFP and dismissed Appellant's Brief without prejudice because the brief did not include any of the ten criteria listed in Fed.R.Bankr.P. 8014(a).

         As previously discussed, Mr. Rimbey has demonstrated his indigence in this case under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The Court's inquiry does not end there, however, because Section 1915(e)(2) requires careful threshold scrutiny of the appeal. Under § 1915(e)(2)(B), the court “shall” dismiss an appeal if it is clearly frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim, or is a claim for money damages against an immune defendant. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see also Hoskins v. Poelstra, 320 F.3d 761, 763 (7th Cir. 2003) (“District judges have ample authority to dismiss frivolous or transparently defective suits spontaneously, and thus save everyone time and legal expense.”). Thus, resolution of the motion for IFP requires the undersigned to review the allegations of Mr. Rimbey's appeal.

         In reviewing Mr. Rimbey's pleadings, the undersigned is aware that courts construe pro se claims generously. Buechel v. United States, 746 F.3d 753, 758 (7th Cir. 2014). The Court accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally construing those allegations in the plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645 (7th Cir. 2013). Conclusory statements and labels, however, are not enough. The plaintiff must allege enough facts to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Alexander v. United States, 721 F.3d 418, 421 (7th Cir. 2013). An action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).

         Legal Standards

         District courts have jurisdiction to hear appeals from a bankruptcy court's “final judgments, orders, and decrees.” 28 U.S.C. § 158(a). Bankruptcy appeals are governed by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, which require an appellant's brief to contain the following:

(1) a corporate disclosure statement, if required by Rule 8012;
(2) a table of contents, with page references;
(3) a table of authorities-cases (alphabetically arranged), statutes, and other authorities-with references to the pages of the brief where they are cited;
(4) a jurisdictional statement, including:
(A) the basis for the bankruptcy court's subject matter jurisdiction, with citations to applicable statutory provisions and stating relevant facts establishing jurisdiction;
(B) the basis for the district court's or BAP's jurisdiction, with citations to applicable statutory provisions and stating relevant facts establishing jurisdiction;
(C) the filing dates establishing the timeliness of the appeal; and
(D) an assertion that the appeal is from a final judgment, order, or decree, or information establishing the district court's or ...

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