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 July 2017 in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against St. Francis
Catholic Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. The matter was
transferred to this Court on August 2, 2017. (D.I. 5). Jones
asserts jurisdiction by reason of a United States government
defendant, a federal question, and federal diversity. (D.I. 4
at p.2). The Court proceeds to screen the Complaint pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
indicates that he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and
is "Court j Ordered to treatment and medications."
(D.I. 4 at p.6). He has been involuntarily hospitalized many
times from 2005 through 2017 and medicated against his will.
to the complaint, the dates of occurrence(s) are May 23,
2017, June 1, 2017, July 9, 2017, and from 1986 to the
present date. (Id. at p.3). Plaintiff visited
Defendant one day during the summer to have his broken nose
"reset, put in place, and/or repair[ed]."
(Id.). He alleges that Defendant refused to repair
his broken nose and told Plaintiff surgery was required.
(Id. at p.5). Plaintiff was told to see an ENT,
plastic surgeon and/or undergo a rhinoplasty and/or cosmetic
surgery. (Id. at p.7). When he presented to the
hospital, he was questioned by hospital staff who suspected
that Plaintiff suffered from schizophrenia, but he was not
held against his will and was free to leave. (Id. at
pp. 4, 7).
states that all of the defendants (there is only one named
defendant) with whom he came into contact are identity
thieves practicing under the guise of law and medicine, and
they are fraudulently acting as government employees.
(Id. at pp. 9, 10). He alleges their fraudulent
testimony has adversely affected him. (Id. at p.
10). Plaintiff claims that he has survived many murder
attempts, suffered many injuries, suffered side effects from
the medication he must take, been raped, and his diagnoses
have hurt his reputation. (Id. at p. 17). He seeks
two billion dollars in damages.
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." i
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).
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 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).
allegations in the complaint are legally and factually
frivolous. As pled, there is no legal basis for Jones'
claims. The allegations are conclusory, somewhat delusional,
and do not state a plausible claim for relief. See
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Nor does the Court have
jurisdiction. There is no federal defendant. There is no
federal question. The parties are not diverse. ...