United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER SCREENING COMPLAINT
PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.
action, Plaintiff Dawn Algieri alleges there is “an
assembly going on here underground, ” and makes various
assertions regarding her family, the location at which she is
evidently residing, her social security checks, and her
property. Plaintiff filed an application to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 3), which application the Court granted.
(ECF No. 6.) In accordance with the in forma pauperis
statute, a preliminary review of Plaintiff's complaint is
appropriate. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
a review of Plaintiff's complaint,  I recommend the
Court dismiss the matter.
federal in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, is
designed to ensure meaningful access to the federal courts
for those persons unable to pay the costs of bringing an
action. When a party is proceeding in forma pauperis,
however, “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” or
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 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
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),
this is “not to say that pro se plaintiffs are not
required to plead basic facts sufficient to state a claim,
Ferranti v. Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 890 (1st Cir.
1980). To allege a civil action in federal court, it is not
enough for a plaintiff merely to allege that a defendant
acted unlawfully; a plaintiff must affirmatively allege facts
that identify the manner by which the defendant subjected the
plaintiff to a harm for which the federal district court can
provide a remedy. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, ' possessing
‘only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute.'” Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. 251,
256 (2013) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
America, 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). “It is to be
presumed that a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction,
and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the
party asserting jurisdiction.” Kokkonen, 511
U.S. at 377 (citation omitted). “A court is duty-bound
to notice, and act upon, defects in its subject matter
jurisdiction sua sponte.” Spooner v. EEN,
Inc., 644 F.3d 62, 67 (1st Cir. 2011). A review of
Plaintiff's complaint fails to reveal a basis upon which
this Court could exercise either federal question
jurisdiction or diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 and 1332.
to section 1331, federal district courts “have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 1331. Plaintiff's complaint does not
assert a recognizable claim based on the United States
Constitution, a federal statute, or a federal treaty.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim
within the Court's federal question jurisdiction.
to section 1332, federal district courts also have original
jurisdiction “where the matter in controversy exceeds
the sum or value of $75, 000 … and is between citizens
of different States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). In
order for Plaintiff's claim to come within this
Court's diversity jurisdiction, Plaintiff and all
Defendants must have been citizens of different states on the
date the complaint was filed. Aponte-Dávila v.
Municipality of Caguas, 828 F.3d 40, 46 (1st Cir. 2016).
Given that Plaintiff's filing reflects that she resides
in Portland, and that at least some of the defendants
evidently reside in Maine, Plaintiff has failed to allege a
claim within the Court's diversity jurisdiction.
Plaintiff's filings are difficult to comprehend, and the
gravamen of Plaintiff's complaint is difficult to
discern. As the United States Supreme Court has recognized,
“a finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate when
the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the
wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially
noticeable facts available to contradict them.”
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 - 33 (1992)
(quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325,
327-28 (1989)). Consistent with this principle, this Court
(Barbadoro, J., sitting by designation) recently dismissed as
frivolous a complaint in which the plaintiff's
allegations were “disjointed and largely conclusory,
and frequently fail[ed] to identify who she allege[d] [was]
liable to her for the harms claimed.” Buzzell v.
Skowhegan Saving Bank, No. 16-cv-00280-PJB, 2017 WL
149958, at *2 (D. Me. Jan. 13, 2017). Plaintiff's filings
are similarly deficient. Plaintiff, therefore, has failed to
assert an actionable claim.
on the foregoing analysis, after a review in accordance with
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), I recommend the ...