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Jones v. Bauer

United States District Court, D. Delaware

May 14, 2019

MATTHEW JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. FREDERICK V. BAUER, et al., Defendants.

          Matthew Jones, Greenwood, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S District Judge

         Plaintiff Matthew Jones, who appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, filed this action on August 8, 2018. (D.I. 2). He asserts jurisdiction by reason of a federal question. The Court dismissed the original Complaint following screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Plaintiff was given leave to amend only as to claims raised under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (D.I. 8 at 6; D.I. 9). Plaintiff timely filed an Amended Complaint. (D.I. 10). The Court proceeds to review and screen the Amended Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         BACKGROUND

         As discussed in the Court's November 19, 2018 Memorandum Opinion, Plaintiff raises claims similar to those in other cases he filed in this Court against different defendants. Plaintiff complains of actions between 2015 through 2017. (D.I. 10 at 3). The Amended Complaint alleges that Plaintiff has been: (1) held against his will and confined in violation of the Eighth Amendment; (2) erroneously injected with "life-threatening medications" in "life-threatening doses" in violation of the Eighth Amendment; (3) forced to swallow anti-psychotic medications when he does not suffer from a psychotic disease; (4) diagnosed with a "stigmatized mental disease that involves eating waste, delusions, hallucinations, and illiteracy" in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment; and (5) defrauded by the medical profession and legal system who work "in stolen, forged, and shared identities." (D.I. 10 at 4-10).

         As he did in the original Complaint, Plaintiff raises claims under federal criminal statutes, refers to the Mental Health Bill of Rights, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Id. at 3, 6- 12). The Amended Complaint also mentions 42 U.S.C. § 1985 and refers to Delaware law. (Id. at 3, 5). Plaintiff seeks two billion dollars in damages. (Id. at 14).

         LEGAL STANDARDS

         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).

         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).

         Plaintiff 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.'" Daw's 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.

         When 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 will be a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff was given leave to amend only as to claims raised under § 1983. (D.I. 8 at 6). He realleges and attempts to reinstate other dismissed claims. Plaintiff was not given ...


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