Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Johnson v. Purzyci

United States District Court, D. Delaware

December 1, 2017

WILBUR JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL S. PURZYCKI, et al., Defendants.

          Wilbur Johnson, Wilmington, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. District Judge

         Plaintiff Wilbur Johnson, commenced this civil rights action on August 28, 2017. (D.I. 2). He appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 4). The Court proceeds to review and screen the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         BACKGROUND

         On July 17, 2017, Defendant City of Wilmington, filed a writ of monition to recover payment of owed taxes and assessments and naming Plaintiff and Delores C. Johnson as Defendants. (D.I. 2 at p.10-14). The case is filed in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County, City of Wilmington v. Johnson, C.A. No. N17J-05456. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants through false facts, fraud, trickery, deceit, harassment, color of law, extortion, malfeasance, and a "diabolic systematic" scheme, are unconstitutionally depriving Plaintiff and his family of their property in violation of the Constitution and numerous laws. (D.I. 2 at 5). Plaintiff states that he is in the process of trying to sell the property and that the City is attempting take his family property without due process and equal access to the courts. The Court takes judicial notice that the real property at issue was sold at a Sheriff Sale on October 10, 2017, and that Plaintiff was advised of the sale. See C.A. No. N17J-05456, at BL-11. The state case remains pending and, to date, there has been no transfer of deed.

         Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief to stay the Court action.

         SCREENING OF COMPLAINT

         A 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.

         An 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).

         The 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. Tourscherv. 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).

         A well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere labels and conclusions. See Ashcroft 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.

         A court reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint must take three steps: (1) take note of the elements the plaintiff must lead to state a claim; (2) identify allegations that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not well-pleaded factual allegations; 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 Constr. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016). 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." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).

         ABSTENTION

         Under the Younger abstention doctrine, a federal district court must abstain from hearing a federal case which interferes with certain state proceedings. See Younger v. Harris,401 U.S. 37 (1971). The Court may raise the issue of Younger abstention sua sponte. O'Neill v. City of Philadelphia,32 F.3d 785, 786 n.1 (3d Cir. 1994). Under Younger, federal courts are prevented from enjoining pending state proceedings absent extraordinary circumstances.[1]Middlesex Cnty. Ethics Comm. v. Garden State Bar Ass'n,457 U.S. 423, 437 (1982). Abstention is appropriate only when: (1) there are ongoing state proceedings that are judicial in nature; (2) the state proceedings implicate important state interests; and (3) the state proceedings provide an adequate opportunity to raise the federal claims. Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666, 670 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.