United States District Court, D. Nebraska
DAWN RUCKER, Parent on behalf of Demetrius Rucker, Incapacitated Individual; Plaintiff,
JAMIESHA SMITH, DRUG DEALERS, JASON TIERNEY, General Laborer; and NORIEGA ET AL, Terrorist; Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf, Senior United States District Judge.
Dawn Rucker (“Rucker”) filed her Complaint
(Filing No. 1) on September 29, 2017, and has been granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Filing No. 5). The court
now conducts an initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint
to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
bring this action as “[p]arent on behalf of Demetrius
Rucker - Incapacitated Individual.” (Filing No. 1 at
CM/ECF p.1.) Rucker is the mother of 22-year-old Demetrius
Rucker (“Demetrius”), who Rucker alleges is
mentally incapacitated due to illegal drug use. (Id.
at CM/ECF pp.4, 9-10.) Rucker alleges that Defendants
Jamiesha Smith, Jason Tierney, and “others” are
selling drugs out of Demetrius' apartment and
intentionally associating Demetrius in their illegal
activities. (Id. at CM/ECF p.4.) As relief, Rucker
requests that Demetrius be placed in inpatient rehabilitation
in a mental institution and receive certain therapies from a
specified provider. (Id.)
APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must dismiss a complaint or
any portion of it that states a frivolous or malicious claim,
that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,
or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to
“nudge their claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be
dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair
notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a
general indication of the type of litigation
involved.'” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase
Bank, N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir.
1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be
liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a
lesser pleading standard than other parties.”
Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted).
DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS
are several problematic issues with Rucker's Complaint,
especially because she is attempting to proceed in a
representative capacity. As discussed below, Rucker has
failed to allege that the court has jurisdiction over this
matter or that she has standing to bring any claims on behalf
of her son.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994).
The subject-matter jurisdiction of the federal district
courts is generally set forth in 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331
and 1332. Under these statutes, federal jurisdiction is
available only when a “federal question” is
presented (i.e., in a civil action arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States) or when
the parties are of diverse citizenship and the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000.
Rucker cites the following provisions as bases for federal
question jurisdiction: (1) “Nebraska Criminal Rules
3.1(C)(1), (2) & 5.1(2)(A), (B), (C) - Emergency &
9.1;” (2) 42 U.S.C. § 2254; (3) 28 U.S.C. §
2241; and (4) “Freedom to use laced Marijuana (k-2 with
crank unknowingly).” The court was unable to determine
in its research what Rucker is referring to by the
“Nebraska Criminal Rules.” Regardless, Nebraska
state criminal rules would not serve as a basis of federal
court believes Rucker's reference to 42 U.S.C. §
2254, a repealed statute, was intended to mean 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 since both it and 28 U.S.C. § 2241 address
federal habeas relief. Construed as such, the Complaint fails
to allege any basis for habeas relief. Federal district
courts have jurisdiction to grant habeas relief under 28
U.S.C. §§ 2241(c)(3) or 2254(a) only on the ground
that the petitioner is in custody in violation of the
Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States. Rucker
does not allege that Demetrius is in custody, let alone that
he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or federal
law. Moreover, to the extent Rucker seeks habeas relief for
Demetrius as his “next friend, ” she has failed
to allege sufficient facts to establish “next
friend” standing. See Whitmore v. Arkansas,495 U.S. 149, 163-64 (1990) (“‘[N]ext friend'
standing is by no means ...