United States District Court, D. Delaware
Matthew Jones, Greenwood, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
ANDREWS, U.S, DISTRICF JUDGE.
Matthew Jones, who appears pro se and has been
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, filed
this action in March 2017 in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The matter was
transferred to this Court on April 10, 2017. (D.I. 4). Jones
asserts jurisdiction by reason of a United States government
defendant, a federal question, and diversity. The Court
proceeds to screen the Amended Complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Amended Complaint alleges that the matters complained of
occurred between February 10, 2017 through February 17, 2017,
at Defendant Kent County Superior Court ("Superior
Court") and at Defendant Dover Behavioral Health System
("DBH"). (D.I. 17 at 2). Plaintiff alleges that he
was deprived of his right to trial, he was not allowed to
attend his trial, and he was not allowed to speak or present
evidence, all in violation of the Sixth Amendment.
(Id.). In this regard, Plaintiff invokes 42 U.S.C.
§§ 9501 and § 1985. (Id.). The date
of the trial and its outcome are not provided.
alleges that he was forced to take medication, but the side
effects were not discussed with him and he was not provided
with literature that explained alternative options, in
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 95011 (C) i-vi. (Id.).
Plaintiff alleges "attempted murder" because he was
lethally dosed with medications for diseases that he does not
have, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 241. (Id. at
3). He alleges that before he left DBH he was given three
large daily injections by staff who said that it "should
kill [him]" in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1113 and
1117. (Id.). He also alleges, "[W]hile there,
[he] was tackled by a group of staff members and punched
several times in the face," which resulted in injury, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 7. (Id.).
alleges that his "condition was maliciously made. A
known falsehood, schizophrenia. Symptoms of the disease were
that [Plaintiff] 'delusionally' believe[s] that Linda
C. Jones is not [Plaintiff's] birth mother," in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1035. (Id. at 2).
Plaintiff alleges that schizophrenia can be detected by a
brain scan, but Defendants did not conduct a scan.
(Id. at 3). Plaintiff alleges that "on his
own," he paid to scan his brain for schizophrenia and
other mental illness. (Id.). The results indicate
that he has "a disease free and healthy brain."
Amended Complaint alleges that Defendants refused to release
records of Plaintiff's stay, the hearing, or any of
Plaintiff's legal or medical records, although the
hospital released partial records after Plaintiff paid
"hundreds of dollars" for them. (Id.).
Possibly in response to the prior dismissal of the Superior
Court as a defendant, Plaintiff alleges that the Eleventh
Amendment does not apply because he and Defendants are all
legal residents of the State of Delaware. He seeks two
billion dollars in damages. (Id. at 4).
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." 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. Tourscherv. 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 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 amended 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.'" Davis 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, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014). A complaint
may not be 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 ...