United States District Court, D. Delaware
Matthew Jones, Greenwood, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Matthew Jones, who appears pro se and has been
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, filed
this action on May 13, 2019. (D.I. 2). He asserts
jurisdiction by reason of a federal question. The Court
proceeds to review and screen the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
alleges that on November 1, 2017, the Mobile Crisis
Intervention team arrived at his house in response to a
Facebook post Plaintiff had made earlier in the evening.
(D.I. 2 at 2). The Facebook post, as described in the
Complaint, was delusional. The team determined that Plaintiff
was schizophrenic, removed him from his home, placed him in
confinement, and medicated him with antipsychotic
alleges that Defendant Officer William Thomas is an employee
of a municipality in the State of Delaware, which I interpret
to mean that Officer Thomas works for a local police
department. (Id. at 1). He alleges that Defendant:
(1) censored his First Amendment rights to free speech and
freedom of the press; (2) misdiagnosed him in violation of 18
U.S.C. §1035; (3) caused assault and battery when he was
medicated unnecessarily for a disease he does not have; and
(4) risked harm on his mother's life by removing
Plaintiff (his mother's caregiver) from his mother's
life. (Id. at 2-3). The Complaint describes
schizophrenia in great detail. (Id. at 3-6).
indicates that he raises his claims under the Federal Tort
Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2674, as well as 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (D.I. 2 at 7). He also refers to immunity under
Delaware's County and Municipal Tort Claims Act, 10 Del.
C. § 4011 (a). Plaintiff alleges that as a direct and
proximate result of the negligent conduct of Defendant, he
has suffered serious bodily injury. He sees two million
dollars in compensatory damages.
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. 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).
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, 574 U.S. 10 (2014). A complaint may not
be dismissed, however, for imperfect statements of the legal
theory supporting the claim asserted. See Id. at 10.
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 are 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 ...