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Blaylock v. Hartford

United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division

May 22, 2015

NATHAN MARK BLAYLOCK, Plaintiff,
v.
BRANDON C. HARTFORD, GREAT NORTHWEST INSURANCE COMPANY, TERRY SCHEAR, and GAB, ROBBIN INSURANCE, Defendants.

ORDER

CAROLYN S. OSTBY, Magistrate Judge.

Pro se Plaintiff Nathan Blaylock filed an application to proceed in district court without prepaying fees or costs ( ECF 1 ) and a proposed Complaint ( ECF 2 ). The application to proceed without prepaying fees or costs is sufficient to make the showing required by 28 U.S.C. §1915(a). The request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). This Court, however, lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Blaylock's claims and therefore, this matter should be dismissed.

I. STATEMENT OF CASE

A. Parties

Blaylock is a citizen of Montana residing in Laurel, Montana. The named Defendants are: Brendon C. Hartford, a citizen of Montana and an attorney in Billings, Montana; Great Northwest Insurance in St. Paul, Minnesota; Terry Schear, a citizen of Montana and an insurance adjuster at GAB, Robbin Insurance; and the property owner of Laurel Gardens, Laurel Montana. Complaint (ECF 2) at 1, 5.

B. Allegations

Blaylock alleges he was injured in a slip and fall at Laurel Gardens in Laurel, Montana on February 6, 2011. He retained Brendon Hartford to represent him in his slip and fall case against Laurel Gardens. Blaylock alleges Hartford did not protect his rights against Great Northwest Insurance. He alleges Hartford lied and said he would file his case but he did not. He fired Hartford in 2014 and the insurance adjuster "run out the door after he talked" to Hartford. Complaint (ECF 2) at 5-6.

Blaylock is suing Hartford and Terry Schear for not taking action to get him his medication and not paying his medical bills. He states he is suing Hartford and the insurance company for medical bills, pain and suffering and stress. He alleges the insurance company was sold in 2011 and he was not notified. Complaint (ECF 2) at 7.

II. INITIAL SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT

A. Standard

Because Blaylock is proceeding in forma pauperis, his Complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Section 1915(e)(2)(B) requires the Court to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis before it is served if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

A complaint is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint is malicious if not pled in good faith. Kinney v. Plymouth Rock Squab. Co., 236 U.S. 43, 46 (1915). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if a plaintiff fails to allege the "grounds" of his "entitlement to relief." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation omitted). Rule 8(a)(2) requires a complaint to "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) (quotations omitted).

"A document filed pro se is to be liberally construed, ' and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Cf. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e) ("Pleadings must be construed so as to do justice.").

Although the statute requires a dismissal for the reasons stated, it does not deprive the district court of its discretion to grant or deny leave to amend. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000). The Court can decline to grant leave to amend if "it determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts." ...


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