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.
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. 3, Georgetown, 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. 9).
Plaintiff opposes the motion to dismiss. (D.I. 10). The Court
proceeds to screen the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
alleges that from December 31, 2014 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. 3
at p.2). Jones alleges the acts occurred as a result of his
mother's call to 911, the Delaware State Police arriving
at their home, and his arrest for felony assault.
(Id.). Plaintiff was held without bail. The case was
ultimately dismissed. (Id. at p.4). The Complaint
refers to a number of other traffic incidents that occurred
between 2002 and 2006.
alleges numerous violations of federal criminal law, Delaware
State law, and amendments of the United States Constitution.
(Id. at pp.5-10). 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).
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). 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).
well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere labels and
conclusions. SeeAshcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544
(2007). 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 must take three
steps: (1) take note of the elements the plaintiff must plead
to state a claim; (2) identify allegations that, because they
are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the
assumption of truth; and (3) when there are well-pleaded
factual allegations, assume their veracity and then determine
whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.
Connelly v. Lane Const. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d
Cir. 2016) (internal citations and quotations omitted).
Elements are sufficiently alleged when the facts in the
complaint "show" that the plaintiff is entitled to
relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2)). 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."
sole defendant is the Justice of the Peace Court No. 3. 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. Thomburgh,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