United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
September 5, 2019, William Lee Grant II (“Grant”)
filed a pro se complaint naming the U.S. Department
of Defense and the State of Illinois as defendants (Doc. 2).
Grant also has filed a motion seeking leave to proceed in
forma pauperis (“IFP”) (Doc. 3) and a
“motion to file exhibit using computer disk”
1915 is meant to ensure that indigent litigants have
meaningful access to the federal courts, and it applies to
non-prisoner plaintiffs and prisoners alike. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989); Floyd v. United
States Postal Serv., 105 F.3d 274, 275-77 (6th Cir.
1997) (overruled on other grounds) (“[T]he only logical
interpretation of the statute is that non-prisoners have the
option to proceed in forma pauperis under §
1915(a).”). Under Section 1915, an indigent party may
commence a federal court action, without paying required
costs and fees, upon submission of an affidavit asserting
inability “to pay such fees or give security
therefor” and stating “the nature of the action,
defense or appeal and affiant's belief that the person is
entitled to redress.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1).
Court's inquiry does not end there, however, because
Section 1915(e)(2) requires careful threshold scrutiny of the
complaint filed by a plaintiff seeking to proceed IFP. A
court can dismiss a case if the court determines that 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.”). Thus,
resolution of the motion for IFP requires the undersigned
District Judge to review the allegations of the complaint.
reviewing the complaint filed by Grant, the undersigned is
cognizant of the imperative that courts construe pro
se claims generously. Buechel v. United States,
746 F.3d 753, 758 (7th Cir. 2014). But the complaint 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). Additionally, the
Court is not required to be an advocate for a pro se
party, nor is it required to accept inferences drawn by him
if such inferences are unsupported by facts set forth in the
complaint. See Radivojevic v. Granville Terrace Mut.
Ownership Trust, No. 00 C 3090, 2000 WL 1433999, at *2
(N.D. Ill. Sept. 27, 2000).
has filed a “Civil Liberties Complaint, ” in
which he alleges that Ronald Reagan directed the Secretary of
Defense to “create him” in order to predict
future nuclear attacks, and he was created in the basement of
the Pentagon in 1990. He alleges that Gregory Harris bribed
his family, directed Grant's optometrist to give him an
incorrect lens prescription that would diminish Grant's
vision, and directed that Grant's orthodontist drill the
enamel off his teeth. Grant also makes rambling and
non-sensical allegations about wrongdoings of various public
figures. In fact, he recently filed another case before the
undersigned, in which he made similar allegations.
See 19-cv-1104-NJR-RJD. As the undersigned noted in
that case, Grant has attempted to file a similar rendition of
this complaint on numerous occasions before courts across the
country. Grant mentions the other cases in his
complaint (Doc. 2, p. 2).
extent there are any potential constitutional claims buried
within Grant's eleven-page complaint of rambling
allegations, the Court finds the facts to be largely
unbelievable. Sometimes a suit is dismissed because the facts
are unbelievable, “even though there has been no
evidentiary hearing to determine their truth or
falsity.” Gladney v. Pendleton, 302 F.3d 773,
774 (7th Cir. 2002). The Supreme Court has held that district
judges, who are “all too familiar with factually
frivolous claims, ” are in the best position to
determine which claims fall into that category. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). Overall, the Court
finds that Grant's claims are baseless. See, e.g.
Davis v. Allen County Sheriff, No. 1:05-CV-163-TS, 2005
WL 1431903, at *2 (N.D. Ind. Jun. 9, 2005) (dismissing
complaint under Section 1915A as frivolous because the claims
were unbelievable); see Zappley v. United States,
No. 04C0434, 2005 WL 1334606, at *1 (E.D. Wisc. June 6, 2005)
(“A court can dismiss a suit as factually frivolous
pursuant to §1915(e)(2)(B)(i) when the facts alleged in
the complaint are ‘clearly baseless,'
‘delusional' or ‘incredible.'”)
(citing Denton, 504 U.S. at 32-33)).
the Court finds it unnecessary to grant leave to refile an
amendment. The Court is not required to allow frivolous
litigation to bog down the judiciary. See e.g. Walton v.
Walker, 364 Fed.Appx. 256, 257-58 (7th Cir. 2010)
(affirming dismissal with prejudice of plaintiff's
sprawling 82-page complaint considering his history of
meritless litigation), see also Chung v. KPMG LLP,
104 Fed.Appx. 576, 577 (7th Cir. 2004) (dismissal with
prejudice was warranted when plaintiff had a history of
redundant and frivolous filings). Grant is once again
WARNED that continuous frivolous filings in
this district may result in a filing ban.
because the Court finds that Grant's allegations fail to
state a claim for relief, the motion for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis (Doc. 3) is
DENIED, and this action is DISMISSED
with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). The “motion to file exhibit using
computer disk” (Doc. 4) is DENIED as
moot. The Clerk of Court is
DIRECTED to return the disk to Grant and to
enter judgment accordingly.
an abundance of caution, the Court advises Grant as follows.
If Grant wishes to contest this Order, he has two options. He
can ask the Seventh Circuit to review the Order, or he can
first ask the undersigned to reconsider the Order before
appealing to the Seventh Circuit.
Grant chooses to go straight to the Seventh Circuit, he must
file a notice of appeal within 60 days from the
entry of judgment or order appealed from. Fed. R. App. P.
4(a)(1)(B). The deadline can be extended for a short time
only if Grant files a motion showing excusable neglect or
good cause for missing the deadline and asking for an
extension of time. Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(5)(A), (C); see
also Sherman v. Quinn, 668 F.3d 421, 424 (7th Cir. 2012)
(explaining the good cause and excusable neglect standards);
Abuelyaman v. Illinois State Univ., 667 F.3d 800,
807 (7th Cir. 2011) (explaining the excusable neglect
other hand, if Grant wants to start with the undersigned, he
should file a motion to alter or amend the judgment under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). The motion
must be filed within twenty-eight (28) days of the
entry of judgment, and the deadline cannot be
extended. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e); 6(b)(2). The motion must also
comply with Rule 7(b)(1) and state with sufficient
particularity the reason(s) that the Court should reconsider
the judgment. Elustra v. Mineo, 595 F.3d 699, 707
(7th Cir. 2010); Talano v. Nw. Med. Faculty Found.,
Inc., 273 F.3d 757, 760 (7th Cir. 2001); see also
Blue v. Hartford Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 698 F.3d 587,
598 (7th Cir. 2012) (“To prevail on a Rule 59(e) motion
to amend judgment, a party must clearly establish (1) that
the court committed a manifest error of law or fact, or (2)
that newly discovered evidence precluded entry of
judgment.”) (citation and internal quotation marks
as the Rule 59(e) motion is in proper form and timely
submitted, the 60-day clock for filing a notice of appeal
will be stopped. Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4). The clock will
start anew once the undersigned rules on the Rule 59(e)
motion. Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(A), (a)(4), (a)(4)(B)(ii). To
be clear, if the Rule 59(e) motion is filed outside the
28-day deadline or “completely devoid of substance,
” the motion will not stop the clock for filing a
notice of appeal; it will expire 60 days from the entry of
judgment. Carlson v. CSX Transp., Inc., 758 F.3d
819, 826 (7th Cir. 2014); Martinez v. Trainor, 556
F.2d 818, 819-20 (7th Cir. 1977). Again, this deadline can be
extended only on a written motion by Grant showing excusable
neglect or good cause.
Grant chooses to appeal to the Seventh Circuit, he can do so
by filing a notice of appeal in this Court. Fed. R. App. P.
3(a). The current cost of filing an appeal with the Seventh
Circuit is $505.00. The filing fee is due at the time the
notice of appeal is filed. Fed. R. App. P. 3(e). If Grant
cannot afford to pay the entire filing fee up front, he must
file a motion for leave to appeal in forma pauperis
(“IFP motion”). See Fed. R. App. P.
24(a)(1). The IFP motion must set forth the issues Grant
plans to present on appeal. See Fed. R. App. P.
24(a)(1)(C). If he is allowed to proceed IFP on appeal, he
will be assessed an ...