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Evans v. Graves

Superior Court of Delaware, Sussex

September 30, 2013

AUGUSTUS HEBREW EVANS, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
T. HENLEY GRAVES, BRENDON O'NEIL, RICHARD MORSE, SEAN O'SULLIVAN, JOHN/JANE DOE, Defendants.

Prothonotary's Office Augustus Hebrew Evans, Jr. Hon. T. Henley Graves J. Brendan O'Neill, Public Defender Richard Morse, Esquire Sean O'Sullivan

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT UPON REVIEW

This 30th day of September, 2013, it appears:

Plaintiff August Hebrew Evans, Jr. ("Evans" or "plaintiff") has filed a complaint naming as defendants the Honorable T. Henley Graves, Superior Court Judge; Brendon O'Neil, [1] Public Defender; Richard Morse, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") of Delaware; Sean O'Sullivan, reporter for the News Journal; and John/Jane Doe, regional director of the News Journal Company. Plaintiff also has filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis.

This Court reviews the motion to proceed in forma pauperis, and in connection with that review, it examines the viability of plaintiff's complaint.[2]

Pertinent to the Court's decision on the motion to proceed in forma pauperis are the following questions and answers in the affidavit plaintiff filed on July 2, 2013:

10. If a prisoner, provide the following requested information.
(a) At any time while incarcerated or detained at any facility, have you previously brought an action or an appeal in a federal court or in any court of this State? Yes.
(b) If the answer to (a) was yes, identify the court(s) and provide the civil action(s) or appeal number(s) for each case. #11-195 LPS
(c) If the answer to (a) above was yes, state the outcome of each action or appeal. Dismissed -Motion Pending!

The purpose of these questions and their answers is to allow the Court to determine whether plaintiff is barred from proceeding in forma pauperis because he previously has filed at least three complaints which were dismissed on the grounds the complaints were either frivolous, malicious and/or failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.[3] Plaintiff did not provide complete answers to these questions. He has filed numerous cases with the Delaware state courts and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware ("District Court"). The courts have allowed some of these actions to proceed. However, the District Court has dismissed three other actions because they were frivolous and/or they failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted: Evans v. McMillian, 2007 WL 4348067 (D. Del. Dec. 5, 2007); Evans v. Wright, 2008 WL 511904 (D. Del. Feb. 21, 2008); Evans v. Seaford Police Department, 2012 WL 1191649 (D. Del. April 3, 2012).[4] In a fourth case, Evans v. Cook, 2007 WL 4348068 (D. Del. Dec. 5, 2007), the Court dismissed one claim as frivolous while it allowed another to proceed.

The Court denies the motion to proceed in forma pauperis because plaintiff has had three previous complaints dismissed as frivolous and/or due to a failure to state a claim.[5] Thus, he is statutorily prohibited from proceeding in forma pauperis.[6]

As noted earlier, in reviewing the motion to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court has reviewed the complaint. That review establishes that the complaint is frivolous and fails to state any claim upon which relief may be granted.

Before reviewing the complaint, it is necessary to outline the criminal matter of State v. Evans, Def. ID# 0609011528A, which gives rise to plaintiff's complaint. In 2007, Evans went to trial before a jury on numerous charges. He insisted on representing himself. Superior Court allowed him to do so and it ordered a member of the Public Defender's Office to act as standby counsel. Her job was limited to answering Evans' legal questions. The jury found Evans guilty of two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, assault in the second degree, aggravated menacing, and resisting arrest with force or violence. Evans was sentenced as an habitual offender on the two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and on the ...


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