United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
WELLS ROBY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is a Notice of Removal (R. Doc. 1) filed by the
pro se pauper Plaintiff Glinda Marie Singleton
(“Plaintiff”) attempting to remove her suit filed
in the 32nd Judicial District Court. In accordance with Title
28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and the consent of the parties, this
matter has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge
for all further proceedings and entry of judgment. Upon
review, the Court has determined that the Notice of Removal
is frivolous. As such, for the following reasons, the instant
case, Civil Action No. 16-16364, is DISMISSED WITHOUT
Plaintiff filed her notice of removal on November 14, 2016,
which was docketed in this District Court as Singleton v.
Office of Personnel Management, Civ. No. 16-16364. (R.
Doc. 1). The Notice of Removal purports to remove from the
32nd Judicial District Court for Terrebonne Parish
the Plaintiff's suit she filed against: the Office of
Personnel Management; Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the
Department of Homeland Security; Pauline Campbell, Director
of Equal Rights at the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(“FEMA”); Willisa Donald, Director of the Office
of Equal Rights; John White, Director at National Finance
Center, Department of Agriculture; and Washington D.C.. R.
Doc. 1-1, p. 2. In her original complaint filed in state
court, the Plaintiff filed suit under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a) alleging
racial and gender based discrimination while she was employed
with FEMA. Id. She alleges that she faced racial and
sexual harassment during her employment and that nothing was
done to remedy the situation. Id. After receiving
her notice of her right to sue, the Plaintiff filed the suit
in the state court seeking an injunction ordering the City to
provide sufficient remedial relief to make her whole, adopt
and modify existing policies governing racial and sexual
harassment, to provide adequate training to employees
regarding racial and sexual harassment, and to take other
appropriate measures to overcome effects of discrimination.
Id. at p. 3. She also seeks an award of compensatory
damages. Id. at p. 4. On November 29, 2016, the
Court granted leave to the Plaintiff to proceed in forma
pauperis. R. Doc. 4.
to the Plaintiff's filing a Notice of Removal, on October
6, 2016, Defendants FEMA, the Department of Homeland
Security, the Office of Personnel Management, and the
National Finance Center filed a notice of removal, removing
the Plaintiff's same state court action from the 32nd
Judicial District Court. Singleton v. Office of Personnel
Management, Civ. No. 16-15333, R. Doc. 1. This case was
docketed separately from the following notice of removal,
although both cases attempted to remove the same underlying
state court case. On November 30, 2016, both cases were
consolidated. R. Doc. 7. On January 5, 2017, the case was
referred to the Magistrate Judge by consent of the parties
under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). R. Doc. 8.
time, the Court has conducted a review of the Plaintiff's
notice of removal. Because the Plaintiff's removal is
improper and because the underlying state court case has
already been removed, the undersigned orders dismissal
without prejudice for the reasons discussed supra.
District Court may dismiss without prejudice a pro se
litigant's complaint if it is frivolous or
malicious.” Harris v. United States Dept. of
Justice, 680 F.2d 1109, 1111 (5th Cir.1982) (citing
Mitchell v. Beaubouef, 581 F.2d 412, 416 (5th Cir.
1978)). As the Fifth Circuit in Harris explained:
The two stage procedure that has been adopted in this Circuit
for processing prisoner pro se complaints filed in forma
pauperis has full application in the present context for
it gives adequate protection to those not represented by
attorneys and comports with the explicit provisions of 28
U.S.C. [§] 1915. The District Court first decides
whether the litigant meets the economic requirements to
proceed in forma pauperis. Then, pursuant to [§]
1915[(e)(2)], the Court may dismiss the complaint if, upon
giving it the liberal reading traditionally granted pro se
complaints, it determines that it is unmeritorious, frivolous
680 F.2d at 1111 (internal citations omitted); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see also Phillips
v . City of Dallas, 2015 WL 233336, at *4 (N.D.
Tex. Jan. 14, 2015) (noting that “a district court may
summarily dismiss a complaint filed in forma
pauperis if it concludes that the action” is
frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim).
Court has broad discretion in determining the frivolous
nature of the complaint. See Cay v. Estelle, 789
F.2d 318 (5th Cir. 1986), modified on other grounds,
Booker v. Koonce, 2 F.3d 114 (5th Cir. 1993). However,
the Court may not sua sponte dismiss an action
merely because of questionable legal theories or unlikely
factual allegations in the complaint.
is frivolous only when it lacks an arguable basis either in
law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319
(1989); Talib v. Gilley, 138 F.3d 211, 213 (5th Cir.
1998). A claim lacks an arguable basis in law if it is based
on an undisputably meritless legal theory, such as if the
complaint alleges the violation of a legal interest which
clearly does not exist. Harper v. Showers, 174 F.3d
716, 718 (5th Cir. 1999). It lacks an arguable factual basis
only if the facts alleged are "clearly baseless, "
a category encompassing fanciful, fantastic, and delusional
allegations. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33
(1992); Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28. Therefore, the
Court must determine whether the plaintiffs' claims are
based on an undisputably meritless legal theory or clearly
baseless factual allegations. Reeves v. Collins, 27
F.3d 174, 176 (5th Cir. 1994); see Jackson v.
Vannoy, 49 F.3d 175, 176-77 (5th Cir. 1995); Moore
v. Mabus, 976 F.2d 268, 269 (5th Cir. 1992).
the Court is a veritable Gideon's Knot. On October 6,
2016, a number of the Defendants removed the Plaintiff's
underlying state court claim. Singleton v. Office of
Personnel Management, Civ. No. 15-15333, R. Doc. 1.
Subsequently, possibly out of confusion inherent in the legal
complexities of Federal Procedure, the Plaintiff also filed a
Notice of Removal in the instant case. R. Doc. 1. This series
of events creates a seemingly challenging puzzle for the