United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
Cohill, District Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
LISA PUPO LENIHAN, Chief United States Magistrate Judge.
It is respectfully recommended that Plaintiff’s Complaint (ECF No. 3) be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) (i)(ii) and (iii), because the action is frivolous, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and seeks monetary relief against defendants who are immune from such relief.
A. Procedural Background and Facts
Plaintiff, Earl Stelios Andreakos (“Plaintiff”) commenced this pro se civil action by filing a motion to proceed in forma pauperis on August 21, 2014. (ECF No. 1.) The motion was granted on August 29, 2014. (ECF No. 2.) Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at the Hillsborough County Jail in Tampa, Florida. On a Civil Rights Complaint Form, Plaintiff appears to allege that his intellectual property was stolen by Defendant Northrupp Grumman Aviation (“Defendant Northrupp”) and improperly sold to Defendants Department of the Interior, and the United States Senate (collectively “United States government Defendants”). Specifically, Plaintiff avers that as a juvenile in 1976, when he was in seventh grade, he produced the designs and concepts in the Scribner Middle School Library, during Study Hall, relating to the original B-2 Bomber, the Delta Stealth Fighter, and the Predator Drone upside down V Tail Plane. (ECF No. 3 at 8-9.)
Plaintiff seeks vehicle title for the first B-2 built, acknowledgement for the concept, and $100, 000, 000.00 “Euro” from the United States government Defendants. Plaintiff also seeks $500, 000, 000.00 “Euro” from Defendant Northrupp “and or unknown owner of intel[l]ectual property.” (ECF No. 3 at 10.)
Plaintiff filed an almost identical civil action in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, on December 6, 2013. Andreakos v. Dep’t of Interior, No. 13-3098 (M.D. Fla. filed Dec. 9, 2013). There, the docket sheet reflects that Plaintiff named the Department of the Interior, and the Executive Branch of the United States government. On January 21, 2014, United States District Judge Steven D. Merryday dismissed Plaintiff’s civil rights complaint with prejudice. Andreakos v. Dep’t of Interior, No. 13-3098, slip op. at 1-2 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 21, 2014). Judge Merryday noted that Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that “the United States stole his intellectual property without compensation, ” and that the complaint comprised “a series of fanciful allegations, specifically that the ‘entire B-2 bomber concept’ is the same as one that he drafted when in the seventh grade in 1974.” Andreakos v. Dep’t of Interior, No. 13-3098, slip op. at 1 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 21, 2014). In dismissing the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), Judge Merryday concluded that “[t]he alleged theft of intellectual property asserts no violation of a civil right that allegedly occurred within the Middle District of Florida within the past four years.” Andreakos v. Dep’t of Interior, No. 13- 3098, slip op. at 2 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 21, 2014). In addition, the court noted that the complaint failed to invoke the court’s subject matter jurisdiction because of the doctrine of sovereign immunity. See Id . (quoting F.D.I.C. v. Meyer, 501 U.S. 471, 475 (1994)).
B. Legal Standards
The Court must liberally construe the factual allegations of Plaintiff’s Complaint because pro se pleadings, “however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (internal quotation omitted); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). In addition, the court should “‘apply the applicable law, irrespective of whether a pro se litigant has mentioned it by name.’” Higgins v. Beyer, 293 F.3d 683, 688 (3d Cir. 2002) (quoting Holley v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, 165 F.3d 244, 247-48 (3d Cir. 1999)).
The Court must also review Plaintiff’s Complaint in accordance with the amendments promulgated in the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996). Although Plaintiff’s claims do not appear to arise from an incarceration, the amendments to the PLRA codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1915 apply to incarcerated individuals who have been granted in forma pauperis (“IFP”) status. See Powell v. Hoover, 956 F.Supp. 564, 566 (M.D. Pa. 1997) (holding that federal in forma pauperis statute is not limited to prisoner suits). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), Plaintiff is eligible for and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 2.) Thus his allegations must be reviewed in accordance with the directives provided in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Pertinent to the case at bar is the authority granted to federal courts for the sua sponte dismissal of claims in IFP proceedings. Specifically, § 1915(e)(2)(B) requires the federal courts to review complaints filed by persons who are proceeding in forma pauperis and to dismiss any action that is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). “[A] complaint . . . is frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Hawkins v. Coleman Hall, C.C.F., 453 F. App’x 208, 210 (3d Cir. 2011) (“An appeal is frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact.”)(citing Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325). Thus, under § 1915(e)(2)(B), courts are “authorized to dismiss a claim as frivolous where ‘it is based on an indisputable meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless.’” O’Neal v. Remus, No. 09-14661, 2010 WL 1463011, at *1 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 17, 2010) (quoting Price v. Heyrman, No. 06-C-632, 2007 WL 188971, at *1 (E.D. Wis. Jan. 22, 2007) (citing Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327)).
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