United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND
RECOMMENDED DISMISSAL OF THE CASE 
H. Rich III United States Magistrate Judge.
plaintiff has filed suit alleging that Maine Secretary of
State Matthew Dunlap, in his capacity as Secretary of State,
the Maine Democratic Party violated various constitutional
and statutory rights by refusing to place him on the primary
and general election ballots for the 2016 presidential
election. He seeks damages for the alleged violations in 2016
and injunctive relief in the form of a mandate that he be
placed on Maine's primary and general election ballots in
the 2020 presidential election. He requests permission to
proceed without paying fees or costs associated with this
lawsuit. I grant the plaintiff's request for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis but recommend that the
court dismiss this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Application To Proceed in Forma Pauperis
forma pauperis status is available under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1). In his motion to proceed in forma
pauperis, the plaintiff declares under penalty of
perjury that he is unemployed and that his only monthly
income is $789 in disability payments. See
Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying
Fees or Costs (“Application”) (ECF No. 3)
¶¶ 1-2. The plaintiff states that he has $683 in a
Chase Bank checking account but is overdrawn by a total of
$1, 500 in two checking accounts held at other banks. See
Id. ¶ 4. He lists no real or tangible assets but
indicates that he is owed a total of $2, 200 by three
individuals. See Id. ¶¶ 5-6. Finally, the
plaintiff claims to have monthly expenses totaling $1,
See Id. ¶ 8. These financial circumstances
entitle him to proceed in forma pauperis.
Section 1915(e)(2)(B) Review
Applicable Legal Standard
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).
[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); see also Mallard v. U.S. Dist. Court
S.D. Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 307-08 (1989) (“Section
1915(d), for example, authorizes courts to dismiss a
‘frivolous or malicious' action, but there is
little doubt they would have power to do so even in the
absence of this statutory provision.”).
considering whether a complaint states a claim for which
relief may be granted, a court must assume the truth of all
well-plead facts and give the plaintiff the benefit of all
reasonable inferences therefrom. Ocasio-Hernández
v. Fortuño-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 in which the defendant
subjected the plaintiff to a harm for which the law affords a
remedy. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
As noted, the statute that provides for waiver of the filing
fee also requires the court to determine whether the
plaintiff's case may proceed. In other words, the
plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed if the court
finds it to be frivolous or malicious, seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). In this regard, a pro se
plaintiffs complaint must be read liberally. Donovan v.
Maine, 276 F.3d 87, 94 (1st Cir. 2002).
operative complaint in this action, the plaintiffs Second
Amended Complaint (“Complaint”) (ECF No. 7),
begins with 38 paragraphs of content under the caption
“Nature of the Case.” See Complaint
¶¶ 1-38. I cannot discern any relationship between
the first 34 paragraphs, which describe, inter alia,
FISA warrants and the plaintiff s travel to Cuba, and the
causes of action that the plaintiff later alleges in his
complaint. See Id. ¶¶ 1-34. However,
paragraphs 35 to 38 state as follows:
35.) [T]he plaintiff alleges that the two defendants . . .
have violated his [e]qual protection [r]ights inherent from
the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
36.) The plaintiff alleges that the two defendants have
violated his substantive and procedural due process rights
also inherent from the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the
37.) As a third count, the plaintiff alleges that both of the
defendants have violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964 which would allegedly protect the plaintiffs implied
fundamental right to run for president of the United States
as an American citizen under the principles of both jus soli
(citizen by birth on soil) and jus sanguinis (and citizen by
38.) Moreover, the plaintiff alleges that neither of the two
defendants should be protected by the Eleventh Amendment
doctrine of sovereign immunity and that it is
unconstitutional to require that the two defendants waive
their sovereign immunity as it is reasonable to assert that
no governmental defendant would ever waive its right to
sovereign immunity because no governmental agency (on the
federal, state, or local level) would ever agree to be sued
in its own jurisdiction.
Id. ¶¶ 35-38.
Complaint also includes a section titled “Statement of
Facts, ” spanning 26 paragraphs. See Id.
¶¶ 49-75. Again, paragraphs 49 to 68 have no
apparent bearing on the case, discussing, inter
alia, the plaintiff's law school curriculum,
international travel, and psychic abilities. See id.
However, paragraphs 69 to 75 state as follows:
69.) . . . [T]he plaintiff was a Democratic candidate for
president of the United States in the 2016 general election.
As such, he ran alongside Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton,
and President [T]rump.
70.) The plaintiff was only placed on an official ballot in
Palm Beach County, FL whereas he was not placed on a ballot
in any other jurisdiction in the country.
71.) The plaintiff was told by several secretaries of state
that in order to get placed on the ballot in the primary or
general election, he would have had to get a minimum number
of petitions signed from the constituents of each
jurisdiction in which he wanted to run for president in the
general election (as an independent candidate).
72.) In the 2016 presidential election, the plaintiff's
candidate ID number was P60005535 (registered with FEC Form 2
with the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) at 999 E ...