United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
MARK S. FRAZIER, Plaintiff
THE CITY OF PHILA, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PA, Defendants
QUINONES ALEJANDRO, J.
Mark S. Frazier ("Mr. Frazier") filed a motion to
proceed in forma pauperis and a complaint against
the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
based on an alleged unlawful arrest that occurred in April of
2016. [ECF 1]. For the reasons stated herein, this Court will
grant Mr. Frazier's motion to proceed in forma
pauperis, dismiss his complaint, and provide leave to
amend the complaint.
complaint, Mr. Frazier alleges that in 2012 he was
"wrongfully evicted from premises which he returned to 3
years ago after giving notice and with others present
(2014)." (Compl. at 3.) He contends that in April of
2016, he was arrested "on the premises while he was
returning w/o probable cause." (Id.) Mr.
Frazier states that he was kept there for 11 hours until he
was taken to the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, where
he was incarcerated for four (4) days.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court grants Mr. Frazier leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that he is not capable of
paying the fees to commence this civil action. Accordingly,
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) applies, which requires
the Court to dismiss the complaint if it fails to state a
claim. Whether a complaint fails to state a claim under
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard
applicable to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), see Tourscher v. McCullough, 184
F.3d 236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999), which requires the Court to
determine whether the complaint contains "sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted).
"[M]ere conclusory statements do not suffice."
Id. As Mr. Frazier is proceeding pro se,
this Court will construe his allegations liberally. Higgs
v. Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Mr.
Frazier must allege that "the wrongdoers . . .
violate[d] [his] federal rights . . ., and that they did so
while acting under color of state law." Groman v.
Twp. of Manalapan, 47 F.3d 628, 638 (3d Cir. 1995).
However, Mr. Frazier's claims against the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania are legally without merit because the
Commonwealth is not subject to suit under § 1983.
See Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491
U.S. 58, 66 (1989) (explaining that § 1983 "does
not provide a federal forum for litigants who seek a remedy
against a State for alleged deprivations of civil
liberties"). Moreover, Mr. Frazier also has not stated a
claim against the City of Philadelphia because he has not
alleged a municipal custom or policy that led to the
violation of his rights. See Monell v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978) (municipal liability
under § 1983 must be predicated upon a municipal policy
or custom). Thus, the complaint does not state a claim as
pled, and the Court will dismiss Mr. Frazier's complaint
for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
noted above, Mr. Frazier alleges that he was wrongfully
arrested without probable cause for being present on premises
from which he had previously been evicted. Accordingly, Mr.
Frazier will be given leave to file an amended complaint
within thirty (30) days of the date of this Memorandum and
Order in the event he can state a plausible claim against the
individual officers involved. Any amended complaint shall be
a complete document that identifies all of the defendants in
the caption of the amended complaint in addition to the body
of the amended complaint, and clearly describe the basis for
his claims against each defendant. Mr. Frazier should also
clearly identify when he was allegedly wrongfully arrested.
Mr. Frazier is advised that if he fails to file an amended
complaint, his case may be dismissed for failure to prosecute
without further notice.
foregoing reasons, this Court will dismiss Mr. Frazier's
complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). This dismissal is without prejudice
to Mr. Frazier's right to file an amended complaint
within thirty (30) days in the event that he can cure the
defects noted above. See Grayson v. Mayview State
Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 114 (3d Cir. 2002). An appropriate
order follows, which shall be docketed separately.
 Three days before Mr. Frazier filed
the instant complaint, he filed a motion to proceed in
forma pauperis and a complaint in Civil Action No.
17-4597. In that complaint, Mr. Frazier vaguely alleges
violations of copyright, and also alleges that "[t]he
city used police to cite and arrest ...