United States District Court, D. Delaware
Matthew Jones, Greenwood, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
Clement Handlon, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department
of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendant.
ANDREWS, U.S. District Judge
Matthew Jones, who appears pro se and has been
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, filed
this action in December 2016 in the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the
Justice of the Peace Court No. 4, Sussex County, Delaware.
The matter was transferred to this Court on December 21,
2016. (D.I. 2). Jones asserts jurisdiction by reason of a
federal question and alleges that his claims arise under the
Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States.
Defendant moved to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1)
and 12(b)(6) prior to review and screening of the Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). (D.I. 6).
Plaintiff opposes the motion to dismiss. (D.I. 7). Briefing
on the matter is complete. The Court proceeds to screen the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
alleges that from September 17, 2015 to the present, long
standing enslavement, malicious prosecution, fraudulent
medical diagnosis, sexual slavery, forced labor, identity
theft, larceny, forgery, assault, attempted murder, rape,
pedophilia, and other felonious acts were committed. (D.I.
1-1 at p.2). Jones alleges the acts occurred as a result of a
September 17, 2015 traffic stop when he was ticketed for
using a cell phone while driving. The case was heard in the
Justice of the Peace Court No. 4. When the arresting officer
did not appear at Jones' trial, the case was dismissed.
(Id. at p.3). The Complaint refers to a number of
other traffic incidents that occurred between 2002 and 2010.
alleges numerous violations of federal criminal law, Delaware
law, and amendments to the United States Constitution.
(Id. at pp.6-8). He seeks two billion dollars in
federal court may properly dismiss an action sua
sponte under the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) if "the action is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief." Ball v. Famiglio, 726
F.3d 448, 452 (3d Cir. 2013); see also 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2) (in forma pauperis actions). The
Court must accept all factual allegations in a complaint as
true and take them in the light most favorable to a pro
se plaintiff. Phillips v. County of Allegheny,
515 F.3d 224, 229 (3d Cir. 2008); Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). Because Plaintiff
proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally construed
and his complaint, "however inartfully pleaded, must be
held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. at 94 (citations omitted).
action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i), a court may dismiss a complaint as
frivolous if it is "based on an indisputably meritless
legal theory" or a "clearly baseless" or
"fantastic or delusional" factual scenario.
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28; Wilson v.
Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989); see,
e.g., Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1091-92
(3d Cir. 1995) (holding frivolous a suit alleging that prison
officials took an inmate's pen and refused to give it
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is
identical to the legal standard used when ruling on Rule
12(b)(6) motions. Tourscher v. McCullough, 184 F.3d
236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999) (applying Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
standard to dismissal for failure to state a claim under
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)). However, before dismissing a complaint
or claims for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted pursuant to the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915, the Court must grant Plaintiff leave to amend
his complaint unless amendment would be inequitable or
futile. See Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp., 293 F.3d
103, 114 (3d Cir. 2002).
proceeds pro se and, therefore, his pleading is
liberally construed and his complaint, "however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Under Rule 12(b)(6),
a motion to dismiss may be granted only if, accepting the
well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and viewing
them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, a court
concludes that those allegations "could not raise a
claim of entitlement to relief." Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 558 (2007). "Though
'detailed factual allegations' are not required, a
complaint must do more than simply provide 'labels and
conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action.'" Davis v.
Abington Mem'l Hosp., 765 F.3d 236, 241 (3d Cir.
2014) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). In
addition, a plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show
that a claim has substantive plausibility. See Johnson v.
City of Shelby, __ U.S.__, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014). A
complaint may not dismissed, however, for imperfect
statements of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted.
See Id. at 346.
reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, a court should
follow a three-step process: (1) consider the elements
necessary to state a claim; (2) identify allegations that are
merely conclusions and therefore are not well-pleaded factual
allegations; and (3) accept any well-pleaded factual
allegations as true and determine whether they plausibly
state a claim. See Connelly v. Lane Constr. Corp.,
809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016); Williams v. BASF
Catalysts LLC, 765 F.3d 306, 315 (3d Cir. 2014).
Deciding whether a claim is plausible will be a
"context-specific task that requires the reviewing court
to draw on its judicial experience and common sense."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
sole defendant is the Justice of the Peace Court No. 4 in and
for Sussex County, Delaware. The Eleventh Amendment protects
states and their agencies and departments from suit in
federal court regardless of the kind of relief sought.
Pennhurst State School & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465
U.S. 89, 100 (1984). "Absent a state's consent, the
Eleventh Amendment bars a civil rights suit in federal court
that names the state as a defendant." Laskaris v.
Thornburgh,661 F.2d 23, 25 (3d Cir. 1981) (citing
Alabama v. Pugh,438 U.S. 781 (1978)). Delaware has
not waived its immunity from suit in federal court; although
Congress can abrogate a state's ...