United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Submitted this 9th day of December, 2014.
Harris Snecklor Mazzeo-Unum, Plaintiff, Pro se, Scranton, PA.
Bruno Giovanni-Michel Mazzeo-Unum, Plaintiff, Pro se.
Ariel Samantha Giovan Mazzeo-Unum, Plaintiff, Pro se.
Christian Antonio Toro Mazzeo-Unum, Plaintiff, Pro se.
Martin C. Carlson, United States Magistrate Judge. Judge Mannion.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Martin C. Carlson, United States Magistrate Judge.
I. Statement of Facts and of the Case
The plaintiff, Bruno Mazzeo Unum, is a prolific, if unintelligible and unsuccessful litigant in federal court. See, e.g., Mazzeo-Unum v Soc. Sec. Admin., 1:11-CV-983 GLS/RFT, 2011 WL 5554364 (N.D.N.Y. Oct. 4, 2011) report and recommendation adopted sub nom. Unum v. Soc. Sec. Admin., 1: 11-CV-983 GLS/RFT, 2011 WL 5554310 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 15, 2011); Mazzeo-Unum v. Dep't of Transp., 1: 12-CV-1856, 2013 WL 2636159 (N.D.N.Y. June 12, 2013); Unum ex rel. Neuro-Med. Diagnostic Care Servs. P.C. v. Dep't of Transitional Assistance, 1: 13-CV-1593 MAD/ATB, 2014 WL 1572799 (N.D.N.Y. Apr. 18, 2014). In the past, Unum's pleadings have been aptly characterized as " ambiguous hand-written diatribes, photocopied excerpts from various publications, newspaper articles and obituaries, medical degree certificates . .., photocopied photographs, advertisements, New York State Library search results, and the U.S. Railroad distance table, just to name a few, " Mazzeo-Unum v. Dep't of Transp.,
1: 12- CV-1856, 2013 WL 2636159 (N.D.N.Y. June 12, 2013), or described as " largely unintelligible and incoherent." Unum ex rel. Neuro-Med. Diagnostic Care Servs.
P.C. v. Dep't of Transitional Assistance, 1:13-CV-1593 MAD/ATB, 2014 WL 1572799 (N.D.N.Y. Apr. 18, 2014) .
This Unum's fourth recent filing in this Court, Unum's two prior cases having been dismissed within the past month as frivolous. See e.g., Unum v. Expert Witness, Civ. A. No. 3: 14-CV-1944, 2014 WL 5593340 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 28, 2014); Unum v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 3: 14-1754, 2014 WL 4955263 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 2, 2014); Unum v. Lake Mead Recreational Area, CIV.A. 3: 14-1632, 2014 WL 4437672 (M.D. Pa. Sept. 9, 2014). Unum's latest foray into federal court began on December 9, 2014, when the plaintiff filed a 9-page pro se, in forma pauperis complaint with this Court, together with a compendium of exhibits that were so voluminous that they could not be scanned into Court's electronic filing system (Doc. 1 and Docket Annotation.) The complaint appears to name as many as 10 persons with the surname of Unum as plaintiffs, Michel, Giovanni, Bruno, Toro, Antonio, Christian, Giovavia, Ariel, and Samantha, and Harris Snecklor. It is entirely unclear whether these are alternate terms of address for a single person, or whether the complaint is actually filed on behalf of multiple individuals all of whom happen to be named Unum. The complaint then names more than 40 defendants. These defendants include an odd and eclectic array of universities, hospitals, state and federal government agencies, as well as inanimate objects like " Architecture and Transportation Barriers" and " ALL in Merry Young Englands Parlamentas [sic]." (Doc. 1.)
A preliminary examination of Unum's complaint then reveals that it lacks two things that we have repeatedly informed Unum that are required in civil complaints: facts and venue. At the outset, the complaint itself is completely lacking in any coherent, comprehensible factual narrative. Thus, the complaint lists a host of defendants in its caption, but never mentions these defendants again in the body of the pleading in any intelligible way. Instead, Unum's complaint simply sets forth inscrutable, and seemingly assertions regarding federal statutes, charges that the plaintiffs may have been assessed for reasons that are nowhere clearly alleged, along with eccentric array of other documents and nonsensical, fragmentary sentences, whose meaning is only known by the plaintiff. (Id.) The complaint also reveals on its face that the Court lacks venue over many of the defendants and matters set forth by the plaintiff since, according to Unum, it appears that all but one of the named defendants reside and are found outside of the Middle District of Pennsylvania. (Id.)
Along with his complaint, Unum seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and he requests that counsel be appointed to represent the plaintiffs on a pro bono basis. (Docs. 2 and 3.) For the reasons set forth below, we will GRANT Unum leave to proceed in forma pauperis but as part of our legally-mandated duty to screen pro se in forma pauperis pleadings, we recommend that this complaint be dismissed, and that the accompanying motion for appointment of counsel be denied as moot.
A. Screening of Pro Se In Forma Pauperis Complaints--Standard of Review
This Court has a statutory obligation to conduct a preliminary review of complaints filed by plaintiffs who seek leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and seek redress against government officials. See 28 U.S.C. § § 1915 and 1915A. Specifically, we must assess whether a pro se, in forma pauperis complaint " fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." This statutory text, in turn, mirrors the language of Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which ...