United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
HARRIET TUBMAN, INC. et al., Plaintiffs,
DONALD J. TRUMP, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Harriet Tubman, Inc., seeks leave through its agent, William
Monroe, Jr., to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil
action brought pursuant to Title V of the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 11411-11412.
Because Harriet Tubman, Inc. is unrepresented in this action,
the Court will dismiss this action, without prejudice, due to
the corporation's inability to represent itself, pro se.
Additionally, plaintiff William Monroe, Jr. does not have
standing to proceed under the McKinney Vento Act in his
capacity as an individual plaintiff.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a
complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. To state a claim for relief, a complaint must plead
more than “legal conclusions” and
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action [that are] supported by mere conclusory
statements.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim
for relief, which is more than a “mere possibility of
misconduct.” Id. at 679. “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.”
Id. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a
plausible claim for relief is a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense. Id. at 679.
Harriet Tubman, Inc., through its representative William
Monroe, Jr., states that it is a § 501(c)(3) non-profit
organization that was organized to assist the homeless. The
in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, only allows
the Court to grant pauper status to “persons” who
are not able to pay the filing fee. The United States Supreme
Court has held that a corporation is not a
''person'' within the meaning of the statute
and therefore may not be authorized to file a civil action in
the United States District Court without paying the required
filing fee. Rowland v. California Men's Colony,
506 U.S. 194 (1993). Therefore, Harriet Tubman, Inc.'s
motion to proceed in forma pauperis must be
''[i]t is settled law that a corporation may be
represented only by licensed counsel.'' Carr
Enterprises, Inc. v. United States, 698 F.2d 952, 953
(8th Cir. 1983); 28 U.S.C. § 1654. Harriet Tubman, Inc.
does not have licensed counsel in this action, rather,
William Monroe, Jr., a pro se individual, states that he is
bringing this action on behalf of Harriet Tubman, Inc.
Unfortunately, William Monroe, Jr., may not represent the
interests of Harriet Tubman, Inc. in this litigation, pro se.
As such, the Court must dismiss this action, without
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff William Monroe, Jr.'s
motion to proceed in forma pauperis brought on behalf of him
[Doc. #2] is GRANTED.
FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff Harriet Tubman, Inc.'s
motion to proceed in forma pauperis brought by William
Monroe, Jr. on behalf of the corporation [Doc. #2] is DENIED
as a corporation cannot proceed in forma pauperis.
FURTHER ORDERED that this action is subject to dismissal
because a corporation cannot proceed pro se and plaintiff
William Monroe, Jr. does not have standing to bring the
present action on his own behalf under the McKinney-Vento
FURTHER ORDERED that all remaining motions are DENIED AS
separate Order of Dismissal shall accompany this Memorandum