United States District Court, D. Idaho
ARTHUR W. GREYDANUS, Plaintiff,
SHERRIE BENWAY; JOHN BENWAY; THE NORTH PACIFIC UNION CONFERENCE OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS; AND, BONNER COUNTY ADMINISTRATION, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill, Chief U.S. District Court Judge
the Court is Plaintiff's Petition (Dkt. 1) to Proceed in
Forma Pauperis. Previously the Clerk of Court conditionally
filed Plaintiff's Complaint, subject to review by the
Court to determine whether Plaintiff is entitled to proceed
in forma pauperis. For the following reasons, the
Court will grant the petition (Dkt. 1). Having reviewed the
record, and otherwise being fully informed, the Court enters
the following order dismissing Plaintiff's Complaint
(Dkt. 2) with leave to amend.
W. Greydanus submitted a Complaint and exhibit list comprised
of 97 total pages (Dkt. 2). Only a distilled version of the
factual record is necessary for purposes of review. At its
core, the Complaint is the result of a two-year dispute
between landlords, tenants, and neighbors.
2016, Greydanus and his son moved to Athol, Idaho from
California with their belongings and a travel trailer.
Ex. B, Dkt. 2-1. In June 2016, Defendants John and
Sherrie Benway (the “Benways”), husband and wife,
met Greydanus on their property to discuss leasing two
parcels of land, lots “P-11” and “P-12,
” to the Greydanus family. Id. By July 2016,
Greydanus successfully negotiated a lease-to-purchase
agreement with the Benways, which the parties orally agreed
to pursue after a one-year probationary period. Id.
Based on these mutual understandings, Greydanus began making
improvements to the property. Id. By December 2016,
Greydanus completed construction of a cabin, storage shed,
livestock stables, and a two-story barn on the property.
Ex. E., Dkt. 2-3. At no point was any lease, deed of
trust, or contract signed by either party.
2017, with no successful subsequent negotiations,
parties' relationship began to sour. On June 1, 2017,
Sherrie Benway unsuccessfully requested that the Greydanus
family leave the premises. Ex. D, Dkt. 2-2. On July
11, the Benways increased the previously agreed $400 monthly
rent to $1, 500. Compl. ¶ 5, Dkt. 2. After
Greydanus refused to pay increased rent, the Benways filed
for an expedited eviction proceeding on July 12, 2017.
Ex. C, Dkt. 2-2. That same day, Greydanus filed a
construction lien on lots “P-11” and
“P-12” for $41, 000 in improvements made to the
property. Ex. E, Dkt. 2-3. It was around this time
that the police became increasingly involved with the
dispute. Ex. F, Dkt. 2-3.
August 23, 2017, a state court determined that Greydanus had
agreed to a month-to-month lease agreement with the Benways
and approved the eviction. Ex. D, Dkt. 2-2. That
night, Greydanus's landlord came to the property to
deliver mail, but a fight ensued between Greydanus and at
least three other individuals. Compl., Dkt. 2. When
Bonner County Sheriff's officers arrived, Greydanus and
his son were both arrested and charged with aggravated
assault. Ex. F, Dkt. 2-3. As a result of the
skirmish, both Greydanus and a neighbor required medical
treatment at a local hospital. Dkt. 2; Ex. A, Dkt.
2-1. Greydanus and his son remained in custody for roughly
one month. Dkt. 2.
Greydanus and his son were in county jail, Sherrie Benway
searched through their belongings and stole approximately $5,
000 worth of personal property. Id. After his
release, Greydanus was granted a judgment against Sherrie
Benway in small claims court. Id. On February 27,
2018, Greydanus asked the Sheriff's Department to arrest
Sherrie Benway for grand theft. Id. On February 28,
the Sheriff's Department arrested, instead,
Greydanus's son on a California warrant. Id.
being ordered to pay $25, 000 in restitution to Jimmie Bailey
at a hearing on June 5, 2018, Greydanus submitted this
Complaint (Dkt. 2) in District Court. Ex. A, Dkt.
2-1. The Complaint alleges, inter alia, a conspiracy
amongst the Bonner County Administration and the Benways to
deprive Greydanus of his property.
Application for In Forma Pauperis Status
order for any litigant to file a civil complaint in federal
court, that litigant must either pay the filing fee in full
at the time of filing or seek in forma pauperis status, which
allows the litigant to pay the filing fee over time. In
either case, the litigant must pay the full filing fee for
having filed the complaint, regardless of whether that
person's case is eventually dismissed or is unsuccessful.
has requested in forma pauperis status. To determine
whether a party should be allowed to proceed in forma
pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, a court should
review the overall financial situation of the applicant,
including all of the assets and liabilities of the applicant.
See Zaun v. Dobbin,628 F.2d 990, 992-93 (7th
Cir.1980). In support of his request, Greydanus filed an
Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (Dkt. No. 1).
Greydanus includes a statement, as required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1), that he is “unable to pay the filing
fee at the time of filing as a result of [his]
poverty.” Id. at p. 1. Greydanus has
also included documentation showing that he is a recipient of
Social Security benefits, unemployed, and without a permanent
residence. Id. at pp. 2-7. ...