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Manning v. Westland Village Square Apartments

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 19, 2019

GERALDINE MANNING, Plaintiff,
v.
WESTLAND VILLIAGE SQUARE APPARTMENTS, Defendant.

          ORDER APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS [ECF NO. 1] AND COMPLAINT [ECF NO. 1-1]

          CAM FERENBACH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Geraldine Manning's Application for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 1) and Complaint (ECF No. 1-1). Plaintiff demonstrates an inability to pay the filing fee, but fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Therefore, the Court grants her application to proceed in forma pauperis, but orders that her complaint be dismissed without prejudice.

         IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION

         Every potential plaintiff must pay a filling fee to commence a civil action in federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). The Court may allow a plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis, without prepayment of the filing fee, if the plaintiff can demonstrate an inability to pay or give security for the fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The presiding judge has discretion to determine whether the plaintiff is unable to pay or give security. Lasko v. Hampton & Hampton Collections, LLC, No. 2:15-cv-01110-APG-VCF, 2015 WL 5009787, at *1 (D. Nev. Aug. 21, 2015). The judge bases this determination on the information submitted by the plaintiff. Id.

         Plaintiff Manning reports receiving $775.00 per month in Social Security Income. (ECF No. 1 at 1). She also reports having a total of $300 in checking or savings accounts. (Id. at 2). Plaintiff reports no other income or assets. (Id.). Plaintiff lists no monthly expenses, but the Court notes the complaint is based on a dispute over her rent, which could be over $700 per month. (Id.; ECF No. 1-1 at 2). Based on this information, the Court finds Plaintiff unable to pay or give security for the filing fee and grants her application to proceed in forma pauperis.

         SECTION 1915(e) SCREENING

          When the Court grants an in forma pauperis application, it must screen the case. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The Court must dismiss a case if the action is legally frivolous or malicious, seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Relief can be granted on a claim if it contains sufficient facts that, when accepted as true, make the claim plausible. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In making this determination, the presiding judge accepts all material allegations in the complaint as true and construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Russell v. Landrieu, 621 F.2d 1037, 1039-42 (9th Cir. 1980).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's claims arise from her interactions with Defendant Westland Village Square Apartments, where she resided from December 2017 to June 2019. (ECF No. 1-1). Plaintiff brings three claims titled, “Persecution, ” “Deprivation, ” and “Discrimination.” (ECF No. 1-1 at 2-3).

         In her “Persecution” claim, Plaintiff claims Defendant raised her rent after one month from $514 to $714, in violation of Defendant's rental agreement with LoveLife Family Services, a third-party who assisted with Plaintiff's housing. (ECF No. 1-1 at 2).

         In her “Deprivation” claim, Plaintiff alleges Defendant erroneously and continuously demanded payment of her rent for the month of March 2019, even after she paid with late fees and even after her money order was redeemed on April 4, 2019. (Id.). Plaintiff claims that, on June 4, 2019, employees of the Western Village Square Apartment Office refused her rent payment, citing an outstanding payment from March. (Id. at 2-3). Plaintiff attempted to explain she had not missed any rent payments, and “that's when the Security Guard got in my face, ” kicked her, and threw her outside. (Id. at 3). Plaintiff claims she suffered injuries in this altercation. (Id.). The next day, Plaintiff claims she again attempted to pay her rent, but “a tall white man stood out front, ” preventing her from entering the property. (Id. at 3). Plaintiff attempted to enter from “the other side, ” but again was denied entry. (Id.).

         In her “Persecution” claim, Plaintiff alleges that on June 18, 2019, she and Defendants appeared at an eviction hearing before “Judge David Brown.” (Id. at 3-4). Plaintiff claims Defendants admitted failing to give Plaintiff a 30 day notice of eviction. (Id.). Plaintiff claims the judge dismissed Defendants eviction case, waived the late fees, and ordered that Plaintiff should return to her apartment. (Id. at 4). Pursuant to this hearing, Plaintiff claims she attempted to pay her rent, but was again trespassed by Defendant's security officers. (Id.).

         Plaintiff brings her claims under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution; the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and the Fair Housing Act: 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a), (b), and (f)(3)(B). (ECF No. 1-1 at 1).

         II. ...


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