United States District Court, D. Delaware
Matthew Jones, Greenwood, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
Rachelle R. Cutrona, Esquire, and Tiffany Anne Poole,
Esquire, Poole, Mensinger, Cutrona & Ellsworth-Aults,
Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Rachelle R. Cutrona.
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 June 25, 2019. (D.I. 2). Defendant Rachelle
Cutrona filed a motion to dismiss and an amended motion to
dismiss, opposed by Plaintiff. (D.I. 5, D.I. 6, D.I. 7). The
Court proceeds to review and screen the Complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
resides in Greenwood, Delaware. (D.I. 2 at 1). Plaintiff
alleges that on November 6, 2014, Defendant Kathryn Jones,
through her attorney, Rachelle Cutrona, filed a lawsuit
against him in the Delaware Family Court, No. N14J-04433.
(Id. at 2). He alleges that judgment was entered
against him one day later. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges
that he was never notified that a case had been filed against
him, that he needed to appear in court, or that judgment was
entered against him. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that
he does not know Jones and has no legal relationship with
alleges fraud, theft, and denial of his right to legal
procedure and due process by Defendants, all in violation of
18 U.S.C. §§ 1028 and 1341, the Sixth and
Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and § 3103 of the
Delaware Code. (Id. at 3-4). Plaintiff alleges that
as a result of the judgment he has suffered serious damage to
his finances, credit and reputation. (Id. at 5). He
seeks $100, 000 in compensatory damages. (Id.).
moves to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (D.I. 5,
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
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).
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 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