United States District Court, D. Maine
v. ALANE JOY LEE, Plaintiff PAUL LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, et al., Defendants
ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND
RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF THE CASE IN ITS ENTIRETY
H. Rich III United States Magistrate Judge.
plaintiff, appearing pro se, alleges violations of
the federal constitutional rights of her adult daughter and
several other charges under state and possibly federal law
against the governor of the State of Maine; the police
department of Scarborough, Maine; and unidentified
"police officers" of Cumberland and York Counties.
Legal Complaint regarding filing criminal and civil charges
against Maine Governor Le[P]age, Scarborough Maine Police,
Cumberland County and York County Police Officer[s] in
conjoined and extended abuse charges
("Complaint") (ECF No. 1). I grant the
plaintiff’s request for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis but recommend that the court dismiss the action with
prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
forma pauperis status is available under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1). However, section 1915(e)(2)(B) also
provides, in relevant part:
[T]he court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court
(B) the action or appeal --
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
[under 28 U.S.C. § 1915] are often made sua
sponte prior to the issuance of process, so as to spare
prospective defendants the inconvenience and expense of
answering such complaints." Nietzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989); see also Mallard
v. U.S. Dist. Ct. S. D. Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 307-08
(1989) ("[28 U.S.C. § 1915], for example,
authorizes courts to dismiss a ‘frivolous or
malicious’ action, but there is little doubt they would
have power to do so even in the absence of this statutory
the plaintiff has filed an application to proceed without
paying fees or costs, signed under penalties of perjury, that
states that she receives a monthly Social Security payment of
$844.00, has $1, 000 cash on hand, owns a 2000 Subaru which
she values at $2, 750, owns land valued at $3, 000, and has
monthly expenses, including the cost of supporting her adult
daughter, of approximately $1, 100. Application to Proceed in
District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (ECF No. 3) at
1-2. She accordingly qualifies to proceed in forma
pauperis, and her application to do so is
the in forma pauperis application granted, I review the
plaintiff’s complaint under section 1915(e)(2)(B). As
noted above, the statute that provides for waiver of the
filing fee also requires the court to determine whether the
plaintiff’s case may proceed. In other words, the
plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed if the court
finds it to be frivolous or malicious, seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). In this regard, a pro se
plaintiff’s complaint must be read liberally.
Donovan v. Maine, 276 F.3d 87, 94 (1st Cir. 2002).
case, the fact that the plaintiff brings this action
"[a]s Advocate, mother, and representative to the U.S.
Social Security Administration for my disabled Daughter"
is dispositive. The legal principle that a parent who is not
a licensed attorney may not represent her child, whether a
minor or adult, in a civil action in federal court has long
been recognized by this court. See, e.g., Austin v. Town
of Dexter, 552 F.Supp.2d 38, 39 (D. Me. 2008), and by
binding precedents from the First Circuit Court of Appeals,
e.g., O’Diah v. Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 91
Fed. App’x 159, 160, 2004 WL 67331, at **1 (1st Cir.
2004). The fact that the plaintiff describes her daughter as
"disabled" does not allow this court to override
that principle. See, e.g., Clauden v. Commissioner of
Soc. Sec., No. 4:10CV00034, 2011 WL 2003445, at *1 (W.D.
Va. May 24, 2011) (listing the "vast majority" of
circuit courts of appeal that had held that non-attorney
parents may not litigate the claims of their minor children
in court). The same is true for parents of adult children,
e.g., Hickey v. Wellesley School Comm., 14 F.3d 44
(table), 1993 WL 527964 at *2 n.1 (1st Cir. Dec. 21, 1993)
(adult child may not be represented by parent), and for
parents of a disabled child, Jones v. Syntex Labs.,
Inc., 212 F.Supp.2d 788, 788 (N.D. Ill. 2001).
plaintiff is not a member of the bar of this court, and that
is fatal to her claim brought on ...