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Smith v. Rite

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 9, 2018

SARA SMITH, Plaintiff
v.
SHOP RITE, et al., Defendants

          CAPUTO, D.J.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION RE: SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT (DOC. 10)

          William I. Arbuckle U.S. Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff Sara Smith initiated this action by filing a complaint, (Doc. 1), and an application to proceed in forma pauperis, (Doc. 2). Presently before the Court is Ms. Smith's Second Amended Complaint filed in response to an Order from United States District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo, (Doc. 9), granting her leave to file an amended complaint to cure the defects in her First Amended Complaint, (Doc. 7).

         For the reasons discussed herein, I RECOMMEND that Ms. Smith's Second Amended Complaint, (Doc. 10), be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY The factual allegations stated in Ms. Smith's original Complaint, (Doc. 1), underlying Ms. Smith's claim are as follows:

Shop Rite and its owner fail[sic] to maintain and or provide a safe invironment[sic] for me to shop, caused me to fall and injure myself to the point that I needed an operation to recover from pain.

(Doc. 1 p. 4) (emphasis in original). Ms. Smith also alleges that the Shop Rite at issue is located in Stroudsburg Pennsylvania, but does not identify when she allegedly fell or what specific injuries she sustained.

         On August 4, 2017, I granted Ms. Smith's application to proceed in forma pauperis, and issued a Screening Order regarding her original Complaint. (Doc. 5). In my order, I explained that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Ms. Smith's claim as pleaded and directed Ms. Smith to file an amended complaint. Id. Despite being granted leave to file an amended complaint, Ms. Smith failed to do so by the deadline. Accordingly, on September 6, 2017, I submitted a Report to Judge Caputo recommending Ms. Smith's original Complaint be dismissed. (Doc. 6).

         On September 11, 2017, Ms. Smith submitted an Amended Complaint. (Doc. 7). On October 4, 2017, Judge Caputo adopted my Recommendation of September 6, 2017, thus dismissing Ms. Smith's Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Doc. 9). However, Judge Caputo granted Ms. Smith twenty-eight (28) days to submit a second amended complaint. Id. Therein, Judge Caputo specifically explained the minimum requirements to establish subject matter jurisdiction based upon diversity. (Doc. 9, pp. 2-3).

         On October 23, 2017, Ms. Smith filed her Second Amended Complaint, (Doc. 10), along with her original Complaint as an exhibit. (Doc. 10-1). She added the following factual allegations:

On Jun[e] 24, 2016 at about: pm [sic] I was shop[p]ing and was about to pay when I slip[p]ed on something and fell at the regester [sic] area hurting my back and required a[n] operation for releaf [sic] of pain. I was with my daughter Yolanda Y. Smith who lives as - 164 Cambridge Rd[., ] Pine Ridge[, ] PA[.]

(Doc. 10, p. 3). She lists “PA” as the Plaintiff's state of citizenship and “New Jersey” as the Defendant's state of citizenship. Id. She further lists “51 Third Ave[., ] Stroughburg [sic] [, ] ¶ 18360” as the location where the events giving rise to claim occurred. Id. However, she lists only a single defendant: Shop Rite, Village Supermarket in Springfield, New Jersey. (Doc. 10, p. 4). Further, under the “Basis for Jurisdiction” section of her Second Amended Complaint, she has circled “Diversity of Citizenship” but appears to have cited a series of federal rules and cases as support for Federal Question jurisdiction. (Doc. 10, p. 4, § II).

         Upon consideration of this Second Amended Complaint, along with her previous submissions to this Court, I recommend that the Second Amended Complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW FOR SCREENING IN FORMA PAUPERIS COMPLAINTS

         This Court has a statutory obligation to conduct a preliminary review of prose complaints brought by litigants given leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Specifically, I am obliged to review the complaint in accordance ...


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