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 Recovery
Innovations International located in Ellendale,
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, a federal
question, and federal diversity. (D.I. 1-1 at 2). The Court
proceeds to screen the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
alleges that on January 31, 2017, after his mother called
Recovery innovations and the Delaware State Police arrived at
their home, he was taken for a psychiatric evaluation. He was
arrested and held at the Seaford Nanticoke Hospital for over
12 hours and transported to Recovery Innovations. Jones
alleges that when the hold expired, Nanticoke could find no
reason to hold him, and Recovery Innovations (who diagnosed
Jones as schizophrenic) said a hold had been placed by the
Delaware State Police.
was held at Recovery Innovations for approximately 24 hours.
He alleges that the food was spoiled and rancid with mold,
and that he was seen by a "television psychiatrist, long
distance." (D.I. 1-1 at 3). From there, he was
transferred to Dover Behavioral Health. Jones alleges that
from January 31 to February 1, 2017, there is a "past
history of vile persecution and citizen rights deprivation
meant to immorally, illegally main, injure, kill the
plaintiff, cause him to commit suicide." (D.I. 1-1 at
2). As alleged in Jones v. Kent County Superior
Court, Civ. A. No. 14-394-RGA, two court hearings were
held at the Kent County Superior Court while Jones was at
Dover Behavioral Health, Jones was unable to attend the
hearings, and an order was entered for him to continue
treatment for schizophrenia, take medication, and see a
alleges numerous violations of federal criminal law, Delaware
state law, and amendments of the United States Constitution.
(Id. at 4-7). 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).
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." 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.'" 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 Const. 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).
allegations in the complaint are legally and factually
frivolous. As pled, there is no legal basis for Jones'
claims. At most, Jones alleges that he was served inedible
food during his very short stay at Recovery Innovations. The
Court finds the allegations are conclusory and somewhat
delusional. Based on the Court's experience, the
Complaint does not state a plausible claim for relief.
See Iqbal, 556 U.S. ...