United States District Court, D. Rhode Island
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
PATRICIA A. SULLIVAN United States Magistrate Judge.
August 9, 2018, Plaintiff Richer Gosselin filed a pro
se complaint and a motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis (“IFP”). ECF Nos. 1 & 2.
The IFP motion was referred to me. Soon after, on August 16,
2018, Plaintiff filed a demand for a jury trial. ECF No. 4.
of Plaintiff's IFP application, this case is subject to
preliminary screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
After reviewing the complaint, which is the operative
pleading (ECF No. 1),  I find that it fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. Accordingly, unless Plaintiff
files an amended complaint that cures the deficiencies, I
recommend that the case be dismissed without prejudice. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1); see
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). Although
this finding moots Plaintiff's request for IFP status, I
will also address how his submissions on that issue are
asserts Defendant unlawfully foreclosed on his house and sold
it to a third party. ECF No. 1 at 7. Plaintiff contends a
wide variety of federal and state laws support his case.
According to Plaintiff, the property is located at 4561 Main
Street in Tiverton, Rhode Island. Id. Plaintiff
alleges this property is also the headquarters of the
“Acoaxet Micmac Tribe and Pokanoket Nation[, ]”
which he holds out as his tribal affiliation. Id. at 3
(all caps omitted). The first six pages of the complaint
consist of treatise-like explanations of international law
documents and doctrines. Id. at 1-7 (discussing, for
example, the Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law of
the United States after addressing the Apartheid Convention).
The remainder includes a few factual allegations about the
sale of Plaintiff's property, but it primarily features
numerous legal conclusions and recitations of causes of
action. Sprawling and internally confusing, the complaint
does not communicate Plaintiff's claims in a coherent
manner. At bottom, the pleading fails to
articulate a legally cognizable reason why the foreclosure
that seems to be in issue was unlawful.
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A
is the same used when ruling on a motion to dismiss under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Hodge v.
Murphy, 808 F.Supp.2d 405, 408 (D.R.I. 2011). To survive
a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient
factual allegations 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)). “Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Dismissal under Rule
12(b)(6) is necessary “[i]f the factual allegations in
the complaint are too meager, vague, or conclusory to remove
the possibility of relief from the realm of mere
conjecture[.]” Newman v. Lehman Bros. Holdings
Inc., 901 F.3d 19, 25 (1st Cir. 2018). The Court
“will not mine a lengthy complaint searching for
nuggets that might refute obvious pleading
deficiencies.” Neubauer v. FedEx Corp., 849
F.3d 400, 404 (8th Cir. 2017) (alteration omitted).
complaint not only fails to clear the Iqbal/Twombly
bar, but also does not meet the basic pleading requirements
in Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), which mandates that a complaint must
contain a short and plain statement of the claim. The
complaint lacks a comprehensible “plain statement of
[any] claim” that could be the basis for a potentially
viable lawsuit in federal court. While Plaintiff discusses
numerous international law concepts and names a variety of
state and federal claims, he does not show how specific
conduct of any person or entity entitles him to relief. I
find the pleading should be dismissed at screening.
find Plaintiff's IFP motion is insufficient. Plaintiff
submitted a standard IFP form, but the middle page of the
form is missing. As Plaintiff filed the affidavit, it goes
from question number two directly to question number eight.
This is a problem because it leaves me in the dark as to
Plaintiff's financial state. Facing an application that
provides no information on Plaintiff's assets, I find
Plaintiff filed insufficient information to establish he is
entitled to have the costs of this action defrayed at public
expense. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a); see Jones v. Deutsche
Bank Nat. Tr. Co., No. 13-CV-00293 DLI JMA, 2013 WL
789860, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 1, 2013) (rejecting an IFP
application because the “financial information”
stated “zero dollars in income and assets[, ]”
which was “insufficient for the court to determine
whether [the party] is able to pay the filing fee”).
affidavit supporting his IFP motion includes arguments about
tax law and how it applies under federal Indian law. ECF No.
2-1. But that is not pertinent to IFP. “When
considering a motion filed pursuant to § 1915(a),
‘the only determination to be made by the court . . .
is whether the statements in the affidavit satisfy the
requirement of poverty.'” Martinez v. Kristi
Kleaners, Inc., 364 F.3d 1305, 1307 (11th Cir. 2004)
(per curiam) (quoting Watson v. Ault, 525 F.2d 886,
891 (11th Cir. 1976)) (alteration omitted). Focusing on the
relevant question, Plaintiff's submissions fail to
provide enough information to find IFP is justified.
on the foregoing, I provisionally recommend that
Plaintiff's IFP motion should be denied and that his
complaint should be dismissed. However, because the
deficiencies in both the IFP motion and the complaint may be
curable, I further recommend that the Court first direct
Plaintiff to file an amended complaint that cures the
deficiencies identified above and to file a complete IFP
application, both within thirty days of the Court's
adoption of this report and recommendation. If Plaintiff
fails to file an amended complaint, or if the amended
complaint fails to cure the deficiencies noted in this report
and recommendation or otherwise fails to state a claim, or is
frivolous or malicious, I recommend that the complaint be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). If the complaint
survives screening but Plaintiff fails to file a complete IFP
application that demonstrates his eligibility for IFP status,
I recommend that the IFP motion be denied and that he be
ordered to pay the filing fee. If he has been denied IFP
status and fails to pay the filing fee, I recommend that the
case be dismissed without prejudice.
objection to this report and recommendation must be specific
and must be served and filed with the Clerk of the Court
within fourteen (14) days after its service on the objecting
party. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); DRI LR Cv 72(d).
Failure to file specific objections in a timely manner
constitutes waiver of the right to review by the district
judge and the right to appeal the Court's decision.
See United States v. Lugo Guerrero, 524 F.3d 5, 14
(1st Cir. 2008); Park Motor Mart, Inc. v. Ford Motor
Co., 616 F.2d 603, 605 (1st Cir. 1980).
 Because Plaintiff is pro se,
I have employed a liberal construction of his filing. See
Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Instituto de
Educacion Universal Corp. v. U.S. Dep't of Educ.,
209 F.3d 18, 23 (1st Cir. 2000). Nevertheless, it fails to
state a claim.
 Plaintiff's tribal affiliation is
not clear. The Narragansett Indian Tribe is the only
federally recognized tribe of Native American people in the
State of Rhode Island. See 81 Fed. Reg. No. 19,
5019-25 (Jan. 29, 2016), available at,
The Aroostook Band of Micmacs is a federally recognized tribe
headquartered in Maine. See id. The Pokanoket Tribe
includes people with Native ancestry and historical
connections to land in the New England area, but as an entity
it lacks recognition from federal or state governments.
See Pokanoket Nation takes step forward in struggle for
identity, ancestral lands, Providence Journal (Oct. 9,
2017), available at,
Letter from Steering Committee of the Native American and
Indigenous Studies Initiative, Brown University (Aug.
24, 2017), available at,
The Tiverton address appears to be Plaintiff's personal
home and ...