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Crawford v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

October 2, 2017

DONOVAN EARL CRAWFORD and CLAUDINE ELENA CRAWFORD, Plaintiffs,
v.
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the required frivolity review of Plaintiffs Donovan Earl Crawford and Claudine Elena Crawford's (“Plaintiffs”) “Complaint of Irrepairable [sic] Damage Planned by Defendants” [3] and “Notice and Application for Emergency Preliminary Injunction” [4], which the Court construes liberally and together as Plaintiffs' Complaint.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On October 26, 2015, Plaintiffs filed in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, a petition seeking to enjoin Defendants from foreclosing on their home. ([4] at 3).

         On October 6, 2016, the Fulton County Superior Court dismissed Plaintiffs' petition. (Id.). Plaintiffs appealed.

         On September 8, 2017, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the Fulton County Superior Court order dismissing Plaintiffs' petition. (Id. at 4).

         On September 18, 2017, Plaintiffs moved, in the Georgia Court of Appeals, for reconsideration of its September 8th order. (Id.).

         On September 29, 2017, Plaintiffs, proceeding pro se, filed in this Court an application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) and their Complaint. In it, Plaintiffs summarize the proceedings in state court and seek to enjoin Defendants from foreclosing on their home “on the grounds that an injunction is needed until the application for reconsideration in the Court of Appeals in the State of Georgia is determined.” (Id. at 2).

         On September 29, 2017, Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker granted Plaintiffs' IFP Application and directed the Clerk of Court to submit this action to the Court for review of Plaintiffs' Complaint. ([2]).

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         A court must dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if at any time the court determines the action is frivolous or malicious or that it fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(ii). “Failure to state a claim under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard as dismissal for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).” Wilkerson v. H&S, Inc., 366 Fed.Appx. 49, 51 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing Mitchell v. Farcass, 112 F.3d 1483, 1490 (11th Cir. 1997)). Under this standard, “a complaint must 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) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “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 misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         Review for frivolousness, on the other hand, “‘accords judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless.'” See Miller v. Donald, 541 F.3d 1091, 1100 (11th Cir. 2008) (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989)). A claim is frivolous when it “has little or no chance of success, ” that is, when it appears “from the face of the complaint that the factual allegations are ‘clearly baseless' or that the legal theories are ‘indisputably meritless.'” Carroll v. Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th Cir. 1993) (quoting Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327).

         Plaintiffs filed their Complaint pro se. “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) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Nevertheless, a pro se plaintiff must comply with the threshold requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Beckwith v. Bellsouth Telecomms. Inc., 146 Fed.Appx. 368, 371 (11th Cir. 2005). “Even though a pro se complaint should be construed liberally, a pro se complaint still must state a claim upon which the Court can grant relief.” Grigsby v. Thomas, 5 ...


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