United States District Court, D. Delaware
MATTHEW N.P. JONES, Plaintiff,
U.S. SENATOR TOM CARPER, Defendant.
Matthew N.P. Jones, Greenwood, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Matthew Jones appears pro se and has been granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. He commenced
this action on September 5, 2018. (D.I. 2). Jones asserts
jurisdiction by reason of a federal question and the United
States government as a defendant. The Court proceeds to
screen the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
has named U.S. Senator Tom Carper as the sole defendant. In
the Complaint, Jones provides his biography beginning at
birth. Many of the allegations are similar to those found in
other cases filed by Plaintiff, including Civ. No.
17-1837-RGA and Civ. No. 18-1380-RGA. Plaintiff alleges
rapes, beatings and abuse, and that Senator Carper did
nothing about them.
allegations directed towards Defendant are raised pursuant to
federal criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3, as an accessory
after the fact. (D.I. 2 at 9). Plaintiff alleges that he met
Defendant during Dover Days in the 1990's. Plaintiff told
Defendant he was a rape victim and needed immediate
assistance. Plaintiff met Defendant again when Defendant was
a guest at Plaintiff's school. Plaintiff has also written
Defendant letters, visited his offices in Georgetown and
Dover, Delaware, and contacted him on Facebook. Finally,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant is responsible for the
spread of poison water in Delaware. He seeks ten billion
dollars in damages.
moves for my recusal under 28 U.S.C. § 455(a). (D.I. 5).
He claims that I have been abusive in denying him in
forma pauperis status and refusing to issue U.S. Marshal
service of summons and complaint in cases where he was
granted in forma pauperis status. Jones contends
that I set and hold him to deadlines, but do not hold his
opponents to any deadlines, including deadlines of default
judgment. He contends that even after evidence has been
provided, I have taken no action on his behalf. Thus,
Plaintiff contends that he remains kidnapped, raped, and
poisoned under a false identity, all in violation of his
First, Second, Eighth, and Thirteenth Amendment rights.
is required to recuse himself "in any proceeding in
which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned."
28 U.S.C. § 455(a). The test for recusal under §
455(a) is whether a "reasonable person, with knowledge
of all the facts, would conclude that the judge's
impartiality might reasonably be questioned," In re
Kensington Int'l Ltd., 368 F.3d 289, 301 (3d Cir.
2004), not "whether a judge actually harbors bias
against a party," United States v. Kennedy, 682
F.3d 244, 258 (3d Cir. 2012). Under § 455(b)(1), a judge
is required to recuse himself "[w]here he has a personal
bias or prejudice concerning a party."
either subsection, the bias necessary to require recusal
generally "must stem from a source outside of the
official proceedings." Liteky v. United States,
510 U.S. 540, 554 (1994); Selkridge v. United of Omaha
Life Ins. Co., 360 F.3d 155, 167 (3d Cir. 2004). Hence,
"judicial rulings alone almost never constitute a valid
basis for a bias or partiality motion." Liteky,
510 U.S. at 555.
evident that Plaintiff takes exception to my prior rulings
and this serves as his basis to seek recusal. A reasonable,
well-informed observer could not believe that the rulings
were based on impartiality, bias, or actual prejudice by me.
Nor do my rulings demonstrate the Court acting in such manner
when ruling in the cases wherein Jones is a party. After
careful and deliberate consideration, the undersigned
concludes that the Court has no actual bias or prejudice
towards Jones and that a reasonable, well-informed observer
would not question the Court's impartiality. In light of
the foregoing standard, and after considering Plaintiff's
assertions, I conclude that there are no grounds for my
recusal under 28 U.S.C. § 455. Therefore, I will deny
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 ...