United States District Court, D. Delaware
Urbain Tah Jibbi, ("Plaintiff"), a citizen of The
Republic of Cameroon and a permanent resident of the United
States, commenced this action on August 23, 2018. (D.I. 2) He
proceeds pro se and has been granted in forma
pauperis status. Plaintiff filed this action alleging
human rights violations and asserts jurisdiction under the
Alien Tort Statute ("ATS"), 28 U.S.C. § 1350,
and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA"),
28 U.S.C. § 1602, et seq. (D.I. 2)
resides in Delaware. He alleges Defendant The Republic of
Cameroon ("Republic of Cameroon") is carrying out
torture, kidnapping, mass arson, murder, property
destruction, and many other on-going human rights violations.
Plaintiff alleges the Republic of Cameroon signed a
"commercial deal" with Defendant Squire Patton
Boggs ("Squire Patton"), a law firm located in
Washington, D.C., and Defendant Mercury LLC
("Mercury"), a company located in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and that these Defendants are aiding and
abetting the commission of human rights violations. (D.I. 2
at 3) Plaintiff alleges under 28 U.S.C. § 1605, the
"commercial deal" lifts the Republic of
Cameroon's immunity under the FSIA.
Complaint alleges the United States of America signed an
agreement with the Republic of Cameroon to provide military
assistance to combat terrorism. The agreement provided that
the military equipment was to be used only for that purpose.
The Complaint does not provide the date of the agreement. The
Complaint alleges the government of Cameroon has used the
military equipment to kill and maim children, old women, and
innocent civilians, and the weapons have been used in
extrajudicial killings of thousands of people in the English
speaking part of Cameroon within the space of two years. The
Complaint does not provide dates of the alleged human rights
Complaint alleges the government of Cameroon has been able to
"get away with these crimes" because it hires
firms, like Defendants, to portray a clean image of the
country. Plaintiff alleges that in August 2018, the
government of Cameroon signed deals costing millions of
dollars to lobby for the government of Cameroon and to give
the "poor nation a good name." (D.I. 2 at 5) The
Complaint further alleges that the millions of dollars in aid
Cameroon receives from the United States is used to pay for
services such as those offered by Squire Patton and Mercury.
Complaint alleges that Squire Patton and Mercury were paid to
paint Cameroon President Paul Biya
("Biya") (who was seeking reelection) and his
government in a false light to enable him to stay in power,
benefit from American taxpayer money, continue to gain
personally from the money, and commit human rights
violations with American-issued military equipment.
The Complaint alleges that the United States relies upon
companies like Squire Patton and Mercury when making aid
decisions. It alleges that most of the aid money is embezzled
but does not indicate who embezzles the money.
Plaintiff alleges that he is affected by the actions of the
government of Cameroon, which is "being aided and
abetted by Defendants." (D.I. 2 at 7) Plaintiff alleges
his property has been burned by the Army of Cameroon and his
businesses have suffered from the war waged by the Cameroon
Army on English speakers. The Complaint does not indicate
when Plaintiff allegedly suffered these losses.
relief, Plaintiff asks the Court to order the government of
Cameroon to allow U.N. investigators into the country; void
the contracts with Squire Patton and Mercury, and refund the
monies paid them to the people of Cameroon; and ban
Defendants (presumably Squire Patton and Mercury) from
entering into commercial contracts with the government of
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).
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 (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 U.S. at 327-28; Wilson v.
Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989); see,
e.g., Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1091-92
(3d Cir. 1995) (holding frivolous a suit alleging that prison
officials took an inmate's pen and refused to give it
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 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. 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,135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014). A complaint may
not dismissed, ...