United States District Court, D. Delaware
Matthew Jones, Greenwood, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
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 March 2017 in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the
Harrington Police Department and the Justice of the Peace
Court No. 6, in and for Kent County, Delaware. The matter was
transferred to this Court on April 11, 2017. (D.I. 4). Jones
asserts jurisdiction by reason of a United States government
defendant and a federal question. The Court proceeds to
screen the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
alleges that from September 23, 2016 to the present, long
standing enslavement, sexual slavery, forced labor, identity
theft, larceny, forgery, assault, attempted murder, rape,
pedophilia, and other felonious acts were committed. (D.I.
1-1 at 2). Jones alleges the acts occurred as a result of a
September 23, 2016 traffic stop when Jones was stopped and
ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt.
time of the traffic stop, Jones told the officer that he was
kidnapped, that he had been kidnapped all his life, and that
he desperately needed medical treatment. Jones proceeded to
tell the officer about his history and advised the officer
that he would be committing a felony if he ticketed Jones.
The officer disagreed, ticketed Jones, and told Jones that he
could call a mental health ambulance if Jones wished. Jones
declined. Jones mailed in his ticket and pled "not
guilty." (Id. at 3). The matter was set to be
tried on February 27, 2017.
alleges that he has been arrested by the Harrington Police
Department on four other occasions and has appeared in the
Justice of the Peace Court No. 6. The arrests occurred in
2005, 2009, and 2011. Jones was found guilty in two of the
charges and the other two charges were dismissed. He alleges
there were also traffic incidents and police contacts in
other jurisdictions and relates his history of kidnapping,
which began in 1986 in Harrington, Delaware.
complains that: (1) he has been arrested by the Harrington
Police Department, fined, hospitalized, expected to appear in
court, and held to court orders by the Police Department; and
(2) he has been fined, punished, and held to court orders by
the Justice of the Peace Court. (Id. at 5). Jones
alleges numerous violations of federal criminal law, Delaware
state law, and amendments of the United States Constitution.
(Id. at 6-10). He seeks seven billion dollars in
damages and to have his actual identity restored.
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).
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).
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." BellAtl. 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.'" Daw's 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