United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER REVIEW OF COMPLAINT
PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(E)
C. NIVISON U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action, Plaintiff attempts to assert a claim based on his
effort to apply to law school. (Complaint, ECF No. 1.) 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). Following a review of Plaintiff's
complaint, I recommend the Court dismiss the complaint.
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 law affords a remedy.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
alleges that he refused to take the LSAT test as a
prerequisite to admission to law school, and that the
University of Maine School of Law refused to accept him as a
student based on his failure to submit a test result.
(Complaint ¶ 9.) Plaintiff also maintains that the State
of Maine, in violation of the antitrust laws, granted a
monopoly to the Maine State Bar Association regarding the
ability to provide professional legal services. (Id.
¶ 36.) Plaintiff identifies a number of theories of
recovery, and asks for damages and injunctive relief.
extent Plaintiff asserts claims against the State of Maine,
the claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment. The State of
Maine has immunity under the Eleventh Amendment against suits
brought by citizens in federal court, regardless of the form
of relief requested. Poirier v. Mass. Dep't of
Corr., 558 F.3d 92, 97 n. 6 (1st Cir. 2009). In
addition, the claims asserted against all defendants are
legally baseless and frivolous. See, e.g.,
Kennedy v. University of Notre Dame Du Lac, et
al., No. 5:18-cv-03747 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 12, 2018) (order
dismissing identical claims against Notre Dame Law School,
ABA, Pennsylvania Bar Association and others as legally
baseless). Dismissal of Plaintiff's complaint,
therefore, is warranted.
on the foregoing analysis, after a review pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), 1 recommend the Court dismiss
may file objections to those specified portions of a
magistrate judge's report or proposed findings or
recommended decisions entered pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B) for which de novo review by the
district court is sought, together with a ...