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 Defendants.
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 June 2017 in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against several
State of Delaware Defendants. The matter was transferred to
this Court on July 21, 2017. (D.I. 5). Jones asserts
jurisdiction by reason of a federal question and diversity of
citizenship. He alleges that his claims arise under federal
criminal statutes and the Fifth Amendment of the United
States Constitution. Defendants move 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. 7). Plaintiff opposes the motion to
dismiss. (D.I. 8). The Court proceeds to screen the Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Complaint is a rambling, disjointed biography of Jones'
life that skips from topic to topic. He claims he was taken
from his parents at birth and given to another couple. He
states that he has been imprisoned illegally since birth for
sexual reasons. He describes acts taken against him from the
time he was an infant through high school. Jones has been
diagnosed with schizophrenia, has had forced hospitalizations
sixteen times, and court-ordered administration of
anti-psychotic medications. The Complaint describes various
hospitalizations and the treatment received.
alleges the Attorney General "has taken no action to end
the bloodshed, continues to work for the villains, and moves
on their behalf." (D.I. 1-2 at 13). He alleges,
"[T]he Attorney General's Office has made blatant
death threats on the judges and other attorneys to continue
the murderous rage that he and the police have implemented
over [his] entire life in their illegal parsonage to sexual
slavery." (Id. at 13-14). Plaintiff asks to be
released from slavery. The Complaint also discusses various
lawsuits Plaintiff has filed and decisions rendered in the
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.
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). 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)). ...