United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division
JEFFREY L. VIKEN CHIEF JUDGE.
Michael Hunter and the Civil Rights Center of South Dakota,
appearing pro se, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging defendant Baker prevented him from
“soliciting for charity from citizens” on a Rapid
City, South Dakota, sidewalk. (Docket 1 at pp. 1-5). Mr.
Hunter also filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, a motion for a temporary restraining order, an
amended complaint, and a motion to amend the complaint.
(Dockets 2, 3, 6, & 7). The court grants Mr. Hunter leave
to proceed in forma pauperis and, in screening this case,
dismisses the Rapid City Police Department as a defendant.
The court then orders Mr. Hunter to provide a usable address
before allowing service.
Forma Pauperis Status
1915(a)(1) of Title 28 of the United States Code directs the
court to authorize the commencement of a civil action without
prepayment of fees upon proof of plaintiff's inability to
pay. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Mr. Hunter filed a
handwritten declaration attesting to his indigency. (Docket
2-1). The declaration is not fully legible, but the court
discerns that Mr. Hunter has a negative balance on his bank
account, is not employed, and owns a vehicle valued less than
$500. The court finds Mr. Hunter is indigent within the
meaning of § 1915(a) and grants him leave to proceed in
plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the court must
screen his complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. That
Notwithstanding any filing fee, . . . the court shall dismiss
the case at any time if the court determines that--
(B) the action or appeal-
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Subsection (e)(2) allows the
court to sua sponte review a complaint filed with an in forma
pauperis application to determine if the action is frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks monetary relief
against a defendant or defendants who are immune from such
applying these principles, the court must construe
plaintiff's pro se complaint liberally. See Stone v.
Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004). This means
“that if the essence of an allegation is discernible,
even though it is not pleaded with legal nicety, then the
district court should construe the complaint in a way that
permits the layperson's claim to be considered within the
proper legal framework.” Jackson v. Nixon, 747 F.3d
537, 544 (8th Cir. 2014) (internal ...