United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
Kristine G. Baker, United States District Judge.
the Court is the motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis filed by plaintiff Lakhraj Manohar (Dkt. No.
1). Also before the Court is Mr. Manohar's motion to
expedite (Dkt. No. 6). For the following reasons, the Court
grants Mr. Manohar's motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis (Dkt. No. 1), dismisses without prejudice
his complaint, and denies as moot his motion to expedite
(Dkt. No. 6).
Mr. Manohar seeks to proceed in forma pauperis, the
Court must undertake a two-step screening process.
Martin-Trigona v. Stewart, 691 F.2d 856, 857 (8th
Cir. 1982). First, the Court must determine whether Mr.
Manohar is financially eligible to proceed in forma
pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Id.
Based on Mr. Manohar's application, Mr. Manohar has
neither the funds nor the income to pay the filing fee (Dkt.
No. 1). Therefore, the Court grants Mr. Manohar's motion
to proceed in forma pauperis and will permit Mr.
Manohar to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee (Dkt.
the Court must determine whether the complaint should be
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Martin-Trigona, 691 F.2d at 857. Section
1915(e)(2)(B) authorizes a district court to dismiss
“at any time” an in forma pauperis
complaint that is: (i) frivolous or malicious, (ii) fails to
state claim upon which relief may be granted, or (iii) seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. This action presents similar issues as those
addressed in the well-reasoned opinion of Key v.
Does, which addressed whether the complaints
nonprisoners who proceed in forma pauperis are
subject to § 1915(e)(2)(B). 217 F.Supp.3d 1006 (E.D.
noted by Judge Holmes in Key, every United States
Circuit Courts of Appeal to have addressed this issue has
held that § 1915(e)(2)(B) applies equally to nonprisoner
complaints as it does to prisoner complaints. See, e.g.,
Michau v. Charleston Cty., S.C., 434 F.3d 725, 738 (4th
Cir. 2006); Lister v. Dep't of Treasury, 408
F.3d 1309, 1312 (10th Cir. 2005); Newsome v. EEOC,
301 F.3d 227, 231-33 (5th Cir. 2002); Cieszkowska v. Gray
Line N.Y., 295 F.3d 204, 205-06 (2d Cir. 2002);
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126 n. 7 (9th Cir.
2000); Rowe v. Shake, 196 F.3d 778, 783 (7th Cir.
1999); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608
(6th Cir. 1997) overruled on other grounds by Lafountain
v. Harry, 716 F.3d 944, 951 (6th Cir. 2013).
while the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet
conclusively resolved this issue, it has affirmed multiple
decisions dismissing nonprisoner cases under § 1915.
See, e.g., Stebbins v. Stebbins, 575
Fed.Appx. 705 (8th Cir. 2014) (unpublished per curiam);
Fogle v. Blake, 227 Fed.Appx. 542 (8th Cir. 2007);
Benter v. Iowa, 221 Fed.Appx. 471 (8th Cir. 2007);
Carter v. Bickhaus, 142 Fed.Appx. 937 (8th Cir.
2005) (unpublished per curiam). Any of the grounds listed in
§ 1915 provide a sufficient basis for this Court to
dismiss the complaint before service and without leave to
amend. See Higgins v. Carpenter, 258 F.3d 797, 800
(8th Cir. 2001); see also Christiansen v. Clarke,
147 F.3d 655, 658 (8th Cir. 1998), cert denied, 525
U.S. 1023 (1998). Because Mr. Manohar is proceeding pro
se, his complaint must be construed liberally. See
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976).
Nevertheless, pro se litigants must allege
sufficient facts to support the claims contained in the
complaint. Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th
allegations of Mr. Manohar's complaint appear to stem
from an administrative decision of the Arkansas Department of
Human Services (“the Department”) (Dkt. No. 2,
4). Mr. Manohar's complaint names as separate defendants
Lacy Grambling, who is identified as an attorney ad
litem with the Department; James Barr, who is identified
as an attorney with the Department; Latasha Gause, who is
identified as a county case worker with the Department; and
Johnny Dunigan, who appears to be an attorney in private
practice in Arkansas. Mr. Manohar, when identifying what he
wants the Court to do for him, claims he wants the right to
“a fair opportunity for an independent paternity test
and for a fair due process of law concerning case
[sic]” (Id., at 5).
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). When screening a
complaint pursuant to § 1915, “the district court
must accept the allegations contained in the complaint as
true and all reasonable inferences from the complaint must be
drawn in favor of the nonmoving party.” Young,
244 F.3d at 627.
Court determines that Mr. Manohar's complaint does not
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). The Court determines that Mr. Manohar's
complaint seeks to allege a cause of action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 but fails to do so (Dkt. No. 1). Construed
liberally, Mr. Manohar's complaint appears to allege that
the defendants caused a deprivation of “fair due
process of law” (Id.). However, Mr. Manohar
does not articulate how the actions of any one of the
defendants have caused a denial of his right to due process
initial matter, Mr. Manohar does not identify in his
description of the facts any act allegedly taken by separate
defendant Mr. Dunigan. Aside from being identified as a
defendant, there is no mention of Mr. Dunigan in regard to
the conduct about which Mr. Manohar complains. Therefore, as
to Mr. Dunigan, pursuant to § 1915, this Court dismisses
without prejudice Mr. Manohar's complaint for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Dkt. No. 2).
Mr. Manohar does identify separate defendants Ms. Grambling,
Mr. Barr, and Ms. Gause in the description of the facts about
which he complains, Mr. Manohar does not clearly identify
what acts each defendant is alleged to have taken or how
those alleged acts purportedly caused a deprivation of his
civil rights. Mr. Manohar does not explain the separate
defendants' roles in the conduct about which he
complains. Further, Mr. Manohar generally alleges that
“workers lying [sic] under oath and processing
documents in a timely manner” and complains about
“favoritism” and “conflict of interest,
” but Mr. Manohar does not identify who these workers
are or articulate specific allegations against specific
individuals (Dkt. No. 2, 4). Mr. Manohar's complaint does
not state a facially plausible claim and therefore does not
satisfy the requirements of Twombly and
for the reasons stated above, the Court must dismiss the
action for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). Consequently,
the Court dismisses without prejudice Mr. Manohar's
complaint (Dkt. No. 1) and denies as moot Mr. Manohar's