United States District Court, D. Delaware
DURRAN M. HYLAND, for Family Hyland, Plaintiff,
BANK OF AMERICA and JEFF D'AMBROSIO CHEVROLET, Defendants.
plaintiff, Durran M. Hyland ("Hyland"), commenced
this action on May 30, 2017. (D.I. 2.) He appears pro
se and was granted permission to proceed in
forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (D.I.
5.) The court proceeds to review and screen the complaint
pursuant to 28U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
not clear, it appears Hyland, or a family member, traded in a
2011 Chevy Malibu and purchased a 2017 Chevy Impala from the
defendant Jeff D'Ambrosio Chevrolet ("D'Ambrosio
Chevrolet) on December 9, 2016. It appears that the defendant
Bank of America ("Bank of America") financed the
purchase. Hyland alleges that he "endorsed the back of
the contract with instruction to offset the payment"
and, therefore, "the agreement became a negotiable
instrument." (D.I. 2 at 4.) Hyland was told by
individuals from Bank of America that the contract was under
review. Hyland explained that "the endorsement on the
back of the contract was written to offset or discharge as a
full settlement of all debts and loans." (Id.
alleges that Bank of America put the 2017 Chevy Impala
contract under review and towed it from his residence during
the week of April 14, 2017 despite his explanation of the
issue. (Id. at 4, 6.) Hyland alleges that Bank of
America sent him a notice that, as of April 28, 2017, it
planned to sell the property. As a courtesy, Hyland sent a
demand draft instrument in the sum of $41, 319.63. He was
told that it was also under review and that Bank of American
was checking the validity of the document.
complaint indicates that the basis for this court's
jurisdiction is "Article 1, the Legislative Branch,
Section 10 Powers Prohibited of States." (D.I. 2 at 3.)
The civil cover sheet indicates that the claims arise under
12 U.S.C. § 1813(1). Hyland seeks return of the 2017
Chevy Impala and the demand draft both of which he values at
$81, 011.15. Since the filing of the complaint, Hyland
has filed a motion for an order to show cause and a motion
for default judgment as to Bank of America. (D.I. 4, 8.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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
Hyland 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 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 Hyland 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. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009); BellAtl 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.
the pleading regime established by Twombly and
Iqbal, a court 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, the
court should 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."
not clear, it appears that Hyland raises claims on his
behalf, as well as on the behalf of the Hyland Family. As a
non-attorney, Hyland may not act as an attorney for other
individuals and may only may only represent himself in this
court. 28 U.S.C. § 1654; see also Osei-Afhye v. The
Medical Coll of Pennsylvania,937 F.2d 876 (3d Cir.
1991) (non-lawyer appearing pro se may not act as
attorney for his children). Accordingly, the court does not
consider any claims that Hyland attempts to raise on behalf