United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
PHILLIP S. GRIGALANZ Plaintiff,
KRISTI GRIGALANZ, and JOHN C. WIMMERSBURG, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Phillip Grigalanz filed this pro se action seeking
injunctive and monetary relief against his ex-wife Kristi
Grigalanz and Indiana police officer John Wimmersburg. This
is Plaintiff's third attempt to sue Grigalanz and
Wimmersburg in this court; his two previous Complaints were
dismissed for failure to state a cognizable claim. See
Grigalanz v. State of Indiana, et al., Case No.
18-cv-1445-SMY. In his latest Complaint, Plaintiff asserts
claims for obstruction of justice pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 1506 and state law official misconduct claims pursuant
to 720 ILCS 5/33-3. This matter is now before the Court for
consideration of Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed
in Forma Pauperis ("IFP") (Doc. 3). For
the following reasons, the Motion is DENIED
and Plaintiff's Complaint is DISMISSED with
28 U.S.C. § 1915, an indigent party may commence a
federal court action without paying required costs and fees
upon submission of an affidavit asserting the inability
“to pay such fees or give security therefor” and
stating “the nature of the action, defense or appeal
and the affiant's belief that the person is entitled to
redress.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Section 1915 is
meant to ensure that indigent litigants have meaningful
access to the federal courts and applies to non-prisoner
plaintiffs and prisoners alike. Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989).
has sufficiently established his indigence in his Motion and
accompanying affidavit as he states that he is currently
incarcerated and unemployed, has no other income and, that
his prisoner trust account has a balance of approximately
$267. Based upon this information, Plaintiff is unable to pay
the costs of commencing his lawsuit. The Court's inquiry
does not end there because § 1915(e)(2) requires careful
threshold scrutiny of a Complaint filed by a plaintiff
seeking to proceed IFP. Thus, the Court can dismiss a case if
it determines the action 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”). The standards for deciding whether to
dismiss a case for failure to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) are the same as those for reviewing claims
under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Dewalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607, 611-12 (7th Cir.
Plaintiff is seeking damages resulting from Defendants'
misconduct, including prejudice in his Indiana state court
divorce and child custody proceedings and prolonged
estrangement with his stepdaughter. He attempts to raise
civil claims under two criminal statutes, 18 U.S.C. §
1506 and 720 ILCS 5/33-3. However, neither statute authorizes
a private cause of action.
§ 1506 provides the criminal penalties for theft or
alteration of records or process or false bail in proceedings
in any court of the United States. This statute was not
intended to be used in civil litigation or as a basis for a
private right of action. See Shahin v. Darling, 606
F.Supp.2d 525, 538 (D. Del.), aff'd, 350
Fed.Appx. 605 (3d Cir. 2009); Hamilton v. Reed, 29
Fed.Appx. 202, 204 (6th Cir. 2002). Similarly, Plaintiffs
official misconduct claim is asserted under Illinois criminal
statute 720 ILCS §5/33-3 which punishes criminal
misconduct by governmental officials as a Class 3 felony. As
such, Plaintiff has no standing to bring a claim under §
5/33-3 against the defendants herein. See Smith v.
Ziegler, 2019 WL 2088462, at *4 (S.D. Ill. May 13,
2019); Agrawal v. Lambertson, 2008 WL 818503, at *6
(S.D. Ill. Mar. 24, 2008). Accordingly, Plaintiffs Complaint
is DISMISSED with prejudice and his motion
to proceed in forma pauperis is
because Plaintiff continues to file frivolous Complaints
against these defendants, Further discussion is warranted.
Specifically, Plaintiff is ADVISED that
under Alexander v. United States, 121 F.3d 312 (7th
Cir. 1997) and Support Systems International, Inc. v.
Mack, 45 F.3d 185 (7th Cir. 1995), courts have inherent
authority to protect themselves from vexatious litigation by
imposing fines and filing bands. In Alexander, the
Court warned that if the petitioner filed any further
frivolous petitions, he would be fined $500; the fine would
have to be paid before he could commence any other civil
litigation, and any action would be summarily dismissed
thirty days after filing unless otherwise ordered by the
court. Plaintiff should keep Alexander and
Mack in mind before filing any additional actions
related to his Indiana state court divorce and child custody
proceedings. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED
to enter judgment accordingly.