United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER SCREENING PLAINTIFF'S
COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(E).
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.
action, Plaintiff Nicholaus Ahearn seeks relief under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 and on state law claims of fraud and
medical negligence against Defendant Inland Hospital arising
out of Plaintiff's involuntary hospitalization.
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis,
which application the Court granted. (ECF Nos. 4, 6). In
accordance with the in forma pauperis statute, a
preliminary review of Plaintiff's amended complaint is
appropriate. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
a review of Plaintiff's amended complaint (ECF No. 7), I
recommend the Court dismiss the amended complaint.
consider the merits of Plaintiff's claims, the Court must
have subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3) (“If the court determines at any
time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court
must dismiss the action.”); see also Florio v.
Olson, 129 F.3d 678, 680 (1st Cir.1997) (providing that
a court has “an obligation to inquire sua
sponte into the subject matter jurisdiction of its
cases, and to proceed no further if such jurisdiction is
lacking” (internal citations and quotations omitted).)
addition to the primary concern over jurisdiction, when a
party is proceeding in forma pauperis, “the
court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court
determines, ” inter alia, that the action is
“frivolous or malicious” or “fails to state
a claim on which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). “Dismissals [under § 1915]
are often made sua sponte prior to the issuance of
process, so as to spare prospective defendants the
inconvenience and expense of answering such
complaints.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 324 (1989).
considering whether a complaint states a claim for which
relief may be granted, courts must assume the truth of all
well-plead facts and give the plaintiff the benefit of all
reasonable inferences therefrom. Ocasio-Hernandez v.
Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). A
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). “The relevant question ... in assessing
plausibility is not whether the complaint makes any
particular factual allegations but, rather, whether
‘the complaint warrant[s] dismissal because it failed
in toto to render plaintiffs' entitlement to
relief plausible.'” Rodríguez- Reyes v.
Molina-Rodríguez, 711 F.3d 49, 55 (1st Cir. 2013)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 569 n. 14).
a pro se plaintiff's complaint is subject to “less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,
” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972),
the complaint may not consist entirely of “conclusory
allegations.” Young v. Wells Fargo, N.A., 717
F.3d 224, 231 (1st Cir. 2013). See also Ferranti v.
Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 890 (1st Cir. 1980) (explaining
that the liberal standard applied to the pleadings of pro se
plaintiffs “is not to say that pro se plaintiffs are
not required to plead basic facts sufficient to state a
to Plaintiff's amended complaint, Plaintiff is a 22
year-old man who lives in Eddington, Maine. (Amended
Complaint at 1, ¶ 2, ECF No. 7.) Defendant is a
“private hospital” located in Waterville, Maine.
(Id. at 1, ¶ 3.) Plaintiff alleges Defendant
acted “on behalf of the state through the process of
involuntary hospitalization.” (Id.)
February 3, 2015, Plaintiff appeared in Defendant's
emergency room for treatment of a “basic hand
injury.” (Id. at 2, ¶ 1.) Plaintiff
alleges he was involuntarily hospitalized by Defendant for
fraudulent reasons, which include Defendant's
determination that Plaintiff engaged in acts of self-harm,
and threatened to assault members of Defendant's staff.
(Id. at 2, ¶¶ 3 - 7.) Plaintiff maintains
he spent “approximately 1 year 6 months on involuntary
treatment” including time “in a forced group home
setting” and in a “mental facility.”
(Id. at 2, ¶ 10.)
asserts Defendant's conduct constitutes false
imprisonment and an unreasonable seizure in violation of the
Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
(Id. at 2, Claim 1.) Plaintiff further alleges that
Defendant is ...