United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division
LEONARD T. STRAND CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter before the court is plaintiff's
“complaint” (Doc. No. 1), which the clerk's
office filed on March 27, 2017. Plaintiff did not submit the
required filing fee or an application to proceed in forma
pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) (requiring
$400.00 filing fee for civil actions, except that on
application for a writ of habeas corpus the filing fee is
$5.00); 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (explaining in forma pauperis
proceedings). Moreover, plaintiff's pleading is not
sufficient to commence an action. See Fed. R. Civ.
P. 8 (addressing general rules of pleading). Indeed, the
court has no idea what type of claims, if any, plaintiff is
trying to assert. As such, this action is dismissed
refiling this action (and submitting an application to
proceed in forma pauperis if he cannot afford to pay the
filing fee), plaintiff should keep in mind the following:
(1) After being granted in forma pauperis status, a prisoner
is required to pay the full filing fee, that is, $350.00, by
making payments on an installment basis. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1); see also In re Tyler, 110
F.3d 528, 529-30 (8th Cir. 1997) (“[T]he [Prisoner
Litigation Reform Act] makes prisoners responsible for their
filing fees the moment the prisoner brings a civil action or
files an appeal.”).
(2) As to the general nature of the plaintiff's claims,
the court is typically precluded from interfering in the
interworkings of a state court in criminal matters. See
Sprint Communs., Inc. v. Jacobs, __ U.S. __, __, 134
S.Ct. 584, 591 (2013) (explaining that Younger v.
Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), precludes a court from
intruding into ongoing state criminal prosecutions);
Zanders v. Swanson, 573 F.3d 591, 593-95 (8th Cir.
2009) (determining that district court properly abstained
from hearing claim because there was no showing of bad faith
or other extraordinary circumstances); Norwood v.
Dickey, 409 F.3d 901, 903 (8th Cir. 2005) (listing
factors to be considered).
(3) As to the general nature of the relief that is requested,
the court does not have the authority to investigate or
commence criminal proceedings. See e.g., United
States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456, 464 (1996) (making
clear that it is the executive branch that retains broad
discretion to enforce the Nation's criminal laws). If the
plaintiff believes a crime occurred, he should consult law
enforcement officials, and, after conducting an
investigation, those officials may consult with prosecutors
to determine whether charges are warranted. Whether to
prosecute and what charges to file or bring are decisions
that rest in the prosecutor's discretion. See United
States v. Batchelder, 442 U.S. 114, 124 (1979);
Bordenkircher v. Hayes, 434 U.S. 357, 364 (1978);
United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 693 (1974);
Parkhurst v. Tabor, 569 F.3d 861, 867 (8th Cir.
2009). This court has no power to order the government or a
state to investigate or prosecute certain individuals.
(4) Although courts construe pro se pleadings liberally, pro
se litigants, like all other parties, must abide by the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See, e.g.,
Williams v. Harmon, 294 F. App'x 243, 245 (8th
Cir. 2008) (affirming dismissal where pro se litigant failed
to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure). The
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require parties to formulate
their pleadings in an organized and comprehensible manner.
Specifically, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(1)-(3)
requires that a complaint contain a “short and plain
statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction,
” a “short and plain statement” of the
plaintiff's claims and a “demand for the relief
sought.” Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(d)(1)
provides that, although no technical form of pleading is
required, each claim must be simple, concise and direct.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 10(b) directs parties to
separate their claims within their pleadings and provides
that each claim should be limited as far as practicable to a
single set of circumstances. In addition, Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 10(b) makes clear that each claim that is
founded on a separate transaction or occurrence must be
stated in a separate count where doing so would promote
(5) Venue is proper in the district where the defendants are
located and where the events giving rise to the
plaintiff's claims occurred. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1391. Green County and Dallas County are located in
the Southern District of Iowa, not the Northern District of
clerk's office is directed to send plaintiff a copy of
the form that is routinely utilized by prisoners and
detainees who seek relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
clerk's office is also directed to send plaintiff a copy
of the form that is routinely utilized by prisoners who seek
to challenge the validity of their convictions under 28
U.S.C. § 2254.
 It is apparent from state court
records that plaintiff is facing state criminal charges
and/or is pursuing post-conviction relief with respect to
state court convictions that have become final. See Ruth
v. State, Case No. PCCV021600 (Green Cty. Dist. Ct.);
Ruth v. State, Case No. PCCV002732 (Dallas Cty.
Dist. Ct.); see also State v. Ruth, Case No.
FECR011822 (Carroll Cty. Dist. Ct. April 13, 2017); State
v. Ruth, Case No. FECR012916 (Green Cty. Dist. Ct. Jan.
27, 2017); State v. Ruth, Case No. FECR038606 (Green
Cty. Dist. Ct. Sept. 30, 2016). Iowa state court criminal and
civil records may be accessed online at:
Stutzka v. McCarville, 420 F.3d 757, 760 n.2 (8th Cir.
2005) (addressing court's ability to take ...