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Jones v. Manpower, Inc.

United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania

June 24, 2014

MANPOWER, INC., Defendant

Chief Judge Connor


THOMAS M. BLEWITT United States Magistrate Judge

I. Background.

On June 5, 2014, Plaintiff, Anthony Dwann Jones, a resident of 1823 North Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17103, filed, pro se, a form 2-page Complaint with Exhibits attached. (Docs.1 & 1-2, pp.1-6).

In his original Complaint, Plaintiff stated that his employment with Defendant Manpower, Inc. (“Manpower”), in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, ended sometime in 2007, after he sustained an injury. Plaintiff claimed he then moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and never subsequently worked for Manpower. (Doc. 1, p. 2). However, Plaintiff alleged that after his injury, his application for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) was denied twice on the erroneous basis that he was still employed with Manpower, even though he claimed he was not employed by Manpower when he filed his SSI applications. In addition, Plaintiff claimed the IRS sent him a letter in 2012, stating that somebody had filed, presumably a tax return, under his name and Social Security number. On April 15, 2014, Plaintiff alleged that his food stamps were “cut” because Defendant Manpower sent a work statement indicating he was still employed by it. Plaintiff also averred that the Dauphin County Assistance Office called Defendant Manpower on his behalf, and that Manpower claimed there was a clerical error. Plaintiff further stated that he has documentation regarding the wages earned by the client of Defendant Manpower who Manpower allowed to use his identity from May 26, 2013, to March 9, 2014. (Id.).

Plaintiff’s Exhibits attached to his original Complaint (Doc. 1-2) included a May 22, 2014, response from the PA Attorney General’s Office (“AG”), Bureau of Consumer Protection, to Plaintiff‘s complaint filed with the AG against Defendant Manpower. The AG basically stated that the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) was the agency with primary jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s matter and stated that Plaintiff’s complaint was forwarded to the FTC. Plaintiff’s Exhibits also included a May 1, 2014, Identity Theft Information Report from the Harrisburg Bureau of Police stating that it was an official letter providing notice that Plaintiff had been the victim of identity theft. Finally, Plaintiff’s Exhibits included a March 11, 2014, Verification of Social Services indicating that Plaintiff was employed by Manpower, as a temporary worker, from April 30, 2004, through March 9, 2014. The Verification form also listed a history of pay periods Plaintiff appeared to have worked for Manpower from May 20, 2007, through October 28, 2007, and from May 26, 2013, through March 9, 2014. However, Plaintiff indicated on the Verification form that he actually worked for Manpower only from May 20, 2007, through October 28, 2007. Plaintiff indicated that whom ever was working for Manpower under his name and Social Security number from May 26, 2013, through March 9, 2014, was not him. Plaintiff further indicated on the Verification form that the wages earned in 2007 was for the time he actually worked for Manpower, but that he did not work for Manpower with respect to the wages earned for 2013.

In is original Complaint, Plaintiff indicated he was seeking restitution damages in the amount of ten million dollars ($10, 000, 000) from Defendant Manpower for identity theft and identity fraud, and breach of contract. As stated, Plaintiff essentially averred that Defendant Manpower knowingly allowed one of its clients to work under his identity. In is original Complaint, Plaintiff did not state any specific federal statutes or state laws which Defendant Manpower allegedly violated. It appeared that Plaintiff was invoking this Court’s diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §1332 since he stated that he was a Pennsylvania citizen and that Defendant Manpower was located in Milwaukee, WI. (See Doc. 1-1).

As stated, Plaintiff is proceeding pro se. In addition, Plaintiff has filed an Application for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 2). Plaintiff indicated that he is homeless and has no assets.

Since Plaintiff filed an Application for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis, we screened his original Complaint under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2). See Henry v. Harrisburg Police Dept., Civil No. 1:13-CV-2740, M.D. Pa. (“[T]he screening requirements articulated in 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2) apply with equal force to prisoner and civilian litigants alike.”). We found that Plaintiff’s original Complaint was deficient and we issued a Memorandum and Order on June 10, 2014, in which we directed Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint and explained how to do so. (Docs. 3 & 4).

Plaintiff timely filed his Amended Complaint against Defendant Manpower on June 18, 2014, with an attached Exhibit. (Doc. 5). Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is a 2-page from civil Complaint provided by the Clerk of Court. Plaintiff indicates that his Amended Complaint if filed under “Civil Right violation 440/442.” (Id., p. 1). It appears that Plaintiff is referring to Section IV. Nature of Suit on a Civil Cover Sheet which this Court utilizes. (See Doc. 1-1). Plaintiff seems to be relying on the categories found under the Civil Rights heading of Section IV. of the Civil Cover Sheet and the box corresponding to “440 Other Civil Rights” as well as the box corresponding to “442 Employment.”

Despite our June 10, 2014, Memorandum detailing the deficiencies of Plaintiff’s original Complaint and explaining how to file an amended pleading, Plaintiff‘s Statement of Claim in his Amended Complaint consists only of the following three (3) sentences: “Manpower misused my personal information by reactiving (sic) [reactivating] my work status with them. When it wasn’t me who was working. And profiting from it.” (Doc. 5, pp. 1-2). As relief in his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff requests that “Manpower pay restitution in the about of 10, 000, 000.00 dollar[s].”

As an Exhibit to his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff attaches a copy of an IRS Wage and Income Transcript for the tax period through December 2013, indicating that someone with the name of “Anthony D Jones” and with Plaintiff’s Social Security number, residing at an address in Chambersburg, PA, earned $3, 152.00 from Manpower in 2013. (Doc. 5-1). Plaintiff handwrote on the top of his Exhibit, “This wasn’t me who worked for Manpower.”

We now screen Plaintiff‘s Amended Complaint. We have been assigned Plaintiff’s case for pre-trial matters.

II. Screening of Pro Se Complaints–Standard of Review.

As stated, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Proceed in forma pauperis in this case. (Doc. 2). For present screening purposes, we shall recommend that the Court, in its discretion, grant Plaintiff‘s in forma pauperis Motion.

Because we will recommend that Plaintiff’s Motion to Proceed in forma pauperis be granted, we are obliged to screen Plaintiff‘s pleading under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e) even though he is not an inmate and he does not complain about prison conditions. Section 1915(e) requires the federal courts to review complaints filed by persons that are proceeding in forma pauperis and to dismiss, at any time, any action that is frivolous or malicious, 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).

In Palencar v. Cobler Realty Advisors, Civil No. 09-0325, M.D. Pa., 7-24-09 slip op. pp. 5-6, the Court stated:

Once it has been decided that a plaintiff should be accorded in forma pauperis status, the court then considers whether the complaint may be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Douris v. Huff, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 467, 469 (3d Cir. 2007); see also Douris v. Newtown Borough, Inc. 207 Fed.Appx. 242 (3d Cir. 2006). Section 1915(e)(2) provides: (2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion ...

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