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Lowry v. Border State Electric

United States District Court, D. Montana, Butte Division

November 20, 2018

BOBBY FRANCIS LOWRY; LOWRY FAMILY HOLDINGS, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
BORDER STATE ELECTRIC; TYLER HALL, Defendants.

          ORDER TO PLAINTIFF LOWRY

          Jeremiah C. Lynch United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff Lowry filed this action on August 13, 2018.

         I. Screening

         Lowry is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis. See Mot. (Doc. 1); Order (Doc. 5). The Court must review his complaint to determine whether it fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         Lowry is also self-represented. "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) (per curiam) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

         II. Lowry's Allegations

         Lowry alleges that, on August 9, 2012, he and/or Lowry Family Holdings, LLC, paid $10, 000.00 to purchase a software program "written in Rockwell Automation's STUDIO5000 software family" from Defendant Border States Electric ("BSE"). See Compl. (Doc. 2) at 2-3.

         In March of 2016, Lowry was arrested. The State accused him of "withholding" a laptop belonging to "a past business associate," Industrial Automation Consulting, Inc. Lowry alleges that he installed or executed the Rockwell program on that laptop. See Id. at 3.

         Lowry asserts that BSE was "ethically require[d].. .to testify as to the factual background of the software ownership, as well as said software's functionality on the disputed laptop." Compl. at 3. But when Lowry's counsel attempted to subpoena Defendant Hall-BSE's local manager-Hall was "unable to testify" because "he had a sudden unexpected flight he must undertake." Id. at 4. BSE represented that "no other employee ... was able to testify." Id.

         Lowry alleges that Hall did not, in fact, have a flight, because "certain parties" acting on Lowry's behalf "contacted [Hall] multiple times at his place of employment." Id. Lowry suggests Hall did not want to testify because he was "a good friend of the owner of Industrial Automation Consulting Inc. Chuck Wambakee." Id.

         Lowry claims that Hall and BSE caused him "enormous financial damage due to the unprofessional behavior of Tyler Hall, as well as Border State Electrics inability to manage its employees, and maintain a zone neutral to its customers in order for it to support its customers." Compl. at 5. He also claims the Defendants "caused enormous health issues as well as placed huge strains on the relationships the Plaintiff maintains." Id. He seeks monetary damages of $640, 000 for four years' lost salary, $120, 000 due to loss of prior contracts, $10, 000 "to offset possible health related cost" as well as costs and "legal fees" incurred in this action. Id.

         III. Deficiencies in Complaint

         A. Intent to File in Federal Court

         Under the heading of "Venue," Lowry says, "The amount of financial claim laid against the above named Defendants mandates this matter brought before a District Court Judge in good standing in the Great State of Montana." Compl. (Doc. 2) at 2.

         This Court is a federal court, not a court of "the Great State of Montana." Lowry may file a claim in state court ...


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