United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL
F. Cox U.S. District Judge
pro se, Otis Williams III (“Williams”)
filed this action on February 28, 2017. Indigent litigants
may request a waiver of filing fees under 28 U.S.C. §
1915. Along with Williams's complaint, on February 28,
2017, he filed an application to allow him to proceed in
forma pauperis (without prepayment of the required
filing fee). (Docket Entry No. 2).
action was originally assigned to the Honorable Linda V.
Parker, who granted Williams's application to proceed
in forma pauperis in an order issued on February 28,
March 24, 2017, Williams filed an Amended Complaint. (Docket
Entry No. 5). Thereafter, on April 5, 2017, Judge Parker
disqualified herself from this action and the action was
randomly reassigned to the undersigned. (Docket Entry No. 6).
Williams is proceeding in forma pauperis, the
applicable statute requires this Court to dismiss this case,
at any time, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2)
(“the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the
court determines that” the action “fails to state
a claim on which relief may be granted.”). In addition,
even where a plaintiff has paid the filing fee, “a
district court may, at any time, sua sponte dismiss
a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant
to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when
the allegations of a complaint are totally implausible,
attenuated, unsubstantial, frivolous” or devoid of
merit. Apple v. Glenn, 183 F.3d. 477, 479 (6th Cir.
this Court is mindful that pro se complaints must be
liberally construed, even when so construed, Williams's
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted to him.
original complaint identified Williams as the only Plaintiff
in this action, and the complaint was signed by Williams
alone. (Docket Entry No. 1 at Pg ID 2 and 55).
March 24, 2017, Williams filed an Amended Complaint, which
replaced his original complaint and is now the operative
complaint in this action. The Amended Complaint is also
signed by Williams alone. Williams expressly acknowledges
that he is proceeding pro se (ie., that he is not an
attorney) yet Williams purports to represent numerous other
individuals in this action. The Amended Complaint names
numerous Defendants, along with 1-100 unidentified
“john doe” individual defendants and 1-100
unidentified “john doe” corporate defendants.
Amended Complaint seeks to prevent the foreclosure of various
mortgages, secured by real property. While the Amended
Complaint purports to include five state-law claims
(“Lack of Standing to Foreclose, ” “Fraud
in the Concealment, ” “Fraud in the Inducement,
” “Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress,
” and “Slander of Title”), all of those
claims are related to the underlying mortgages - none of
which is alleged to be a mortgage agreement to which Williams
himself is a party.
well established that a party in federal court must proceed
either through licensed counsel or on his or her own behalf.
See U.S.C. § 1654; see also Fed. R.
Civ. P. 11(a) (“[e]very pleading, written motion, and
other paper shall be signed by at least one attorney of
record in the attorney's individual name, or, if the
party is not represented by an attorney, shall be signed by
the party.”). No pro se plaintiff may sign
pleadings, or initiate a civil action, on behalf of another
person. Sheperd v. Wellman, 313 F.3d 963, 970-71
(6th Cir. 2002). Where a person attempts to proceed pro
se on behalf of another, the appropriate remedy is
dismissal. Id.; see also Jackson v. Caldwell, 2009
WL 4042917 (E.D. Mich. 2009).
the Court hereby DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE any claims that
Williams purports to bring on behalf of others in this
action. Williams may only assert claims in this action on his
most part, Williams's Amended Complaint consists of an
incoherent stream of words and legal phrases. Even with a
liberal reading of the allegations in the Amended Complaint,
this Court is unable to discern any cognizable claim brought
on Williams's own behalf. Accordingly, the Court ORDERS
that Williams's own claims are DISMISSED for failure to
state a claim, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).
addition, this Court also lacks subject jurisdiction over
this action. The Amended Complaint asserts only state-law
claims and reflects that diversity jurisdiction does not
exist, as Williams indicates he is a citizen of Michigan and
has named Defendants that are also citizens of Michigan,
along with 200 unidentified “john doe”
defendants, whose citizenship is not specified. The action is
therefore DISMISSED FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION.
the Court notes that two documents titled “Notice of
Removal” (Docket Entry Nos. 7 & 8) were filed on
the docket in this action on April 10, 2017, by persons other
than Williams. Those “Notices of Removal, ”
signed by Gregory Simmons and Ernest Cornelius, purport to
remove two landlord tenant cases from the 36th ...