United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER REVIEW OF PLAINTIFF'S
COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge
action, Plaintiff alleges that he was injured as the result
of the City of Bangor's negligence, which injury occurred
while Plaintiff was a passenger on a city bus. Plaintiff
seeks to recover money damages for his injury from the City
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 Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice.
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).
to the complaint, Plaintiff was injured when the city bus
driver failed to secure Plaintiff properly in his wheelchair
on a city bus on September 23, 2019. (Complaint ¶¶
2, 4, 5, ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff alleges he was injured when
the city bus driver stopped the bus suddenly to avoid a
vehicle that had “pull[ed] out [in] front of the city
bus.” (Id. ¶ 7.) Plaintiff asserts the
city bus driver was negligent and that the bus driver was
“prejudice[ed]” against him because of their
different political views. (Id. ¶¶ 4, 5,
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.
Federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
to section 1331, federal district courts “have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of ...