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Manuel v. Bowman

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

March 29, 2018

GARY E. MANUEL, Plaintiff,
v.
GRACE MANUEL BOWMAN, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

         On March 16, 2018, Gary E. Manuel, proceeding pro se, filed a Complaint against Grace Manuel Bowman as well as a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. By Memorandum and Order entered on March 20, 2018, the Court granted Mr. Manuel leave to proceed in forma pauperis, dismissed his Complaint, and provided leave to file an amended complaint within thirty (30) days. Manuel v. Bowman, No. 18-1136, 2018 WL 1403888, at *4 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 20, 2018). Specifically, the Court dismissed Mr. Manuel's Complaint for the following reasons: (1) failure to comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and (2) failure to state claims under 18 U.S.C. § 241, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, 1985, and 1986, the RICO statute, the Federal Tort Clkims Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Id. at *2-4. On March 27, 2018, the Court received Mr. Manuel's Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 5.) For the following reasons, the Court will dismiss the Amended Complaint.

         I. FACTS

         In his Amended Complaint, Mr. Manuel contends that Ms. Bowman "treated [him differently] because of [his] disability, discriminated upon [him] by cutting [him] out of [his] fair part of [his deceased] uncle's estate stopping [him] from getting a fair part of [his] inheritance." (Am. Cpmpl. at 1.) He alleges that Ms. Bowman and other unknown individuals "conspired to conduct! or participate, directly or indirectly to deprive [him] of life, liberty an[d] property." (Id. at 2.) Mr. Manuel also vaguely asserts that Ms. Bowman is a landlord who "run[s] a business or property rentals, " therefore making her a "privat[e] [entity]." (Id.) He argues that Ms. Bowman's actions have violated the ADA as well as 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. (Id. at 2-5.) As relief, he seeks, inter alia, damages and an injunction to stop Ms. Bowman from "harassing], assault[ing], beating, molesting, wounding, or stalking" him. (Id. at 5-6.)

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         As noted above, the Court previously granted Mr. Manuel leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Accordingly, under 28 U.S.C. § l9l5(e)(2)(B)(ii), the Court is required to dismiss the Amended 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, J556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted). Conclusory statements and naked assertions will not suffice. Id. As Mr. Manuel is proceeding pro se, the Court construes his allegations liberally. Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Claims Under 42 U.S.C. § 1981

         Mr. Manuel again alleges that Ms. Bowman's actions have violated his rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, which provides:

All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the Security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be Subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other.

42 U.S.C. § 1981(a). As the Court previously informed Mr. Manuel, to state a claim under § 1981, a plaintiff "must allege facts in support of the following elements: (1) [that plaintiff] is a member of a racial minority; (2) intent to discriminate on the basis of race by the defendant; and (3) discrimination concerning one or more of the activities enumerated in the statute[, ] which includes the right to make and enforce contracts." Brown v. Philip Morris Inc., 250 F.3d 789, 797 (3d Cir. 2001) (quoting Yelverton v. Lehman, No. Civ. A. 94-6114, 1996 WL 296551, at *7 (E.D. Pa. June 3, 1996), aff'd mem., 175 F.3d 1012 (3d Cir. 1999)) (alterations in original). Once again, however, nothing in the Amended Complaint indicates that Ms. Bowman discriminated against him on the basis of race concerning one of the activities set forth above. Accordingly, the Amended Complaint, as pled, still fails to state a claim pursuant to § 1981.

         B. Claims Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983

         Mr. Manuel appears to again vaguely raise claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that Ms. Bowman's actions violated his rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. As the Court previously informed Mr. Manuel, he cannot maintain a § 1983 claim against Ms. Bowman because she is not a state actor. Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535 (1981); see also West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Harvey v. Plains Twp. Police Dep't, 635 F.3d 606, 609 (3d Cir; 2011). Accordingly, Mr. Manuel's § 1983 claims will be dismissed.

         C. Claims Under the ADA

         Finally, Mr. Manuel again suggests that Ms. Bowman violated Titles II and III of the ADA, as well as the ADA's anti-retaliation provisions. Title II provides that "no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity." 42 U.S.C. § 12132. Mr. Manuel argues that Ms. Bowman is a public entity because she is a landlord who manages property rentals. (Am. Compl. at 2.) However, nothing in the Complaint suggests that Ms. Bowman has discriminated against Mr. Manuel based upon his disabilities in connection with her services as a ...


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