United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER REVIEW OF PLAINTIFF'S
C. NIVISON, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
who evidently is a patient at the Riverview Psychiatric
Center (Riverview), alleges that a nurse at the facility
improperly administered medication to him and did not
appropriately monitor his condition. (Complaint, ECF No. 1.)
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.
3), which application the Court granted. (ECF No. 4.) In
accordance with the in forma pauperis statute, a preliminary
review of Plaintiff's complaint is appropriate. 28 U.S.C.
a review of Plaintiff's complaint, I recommend the Court
dismiss the complaint.
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-pled facts and give the plaintiff the benefit of all
reasonable inferences therefrom. Ocasio-Hernandez v.
Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12-13 (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). Although 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 that merely parrot the relevant legal standard,
” 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 claim”).
alleges that an unnamed nurse at Riverview administered
medication in a way that was not authorized by a doctor. He
also contends that he was placed in seclusion and his
condition was not monitored properly.
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 (citations 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 claim based on the United States Constitution, a
federal statute, or a federal treaty. Rather, Plaintiff has
arguably alleged a medical negligence claim, which is
governed by state law. Plaintiff, therefore, has failed to
state a claim within the Court's federal question
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). For
Plaintiff's claim to be within this Court's diversity
jurisdiction, Plaintiff and Defendant must have been citizens
of different states on the date the complaint was filed.
Given that the dispute involves Plaintiff's treatment by
an individual working at a facility in Augusta, Maine, and
given that Plaintiff has otherwise alleged no facts to