United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is the December 11, 2017 Report and
Recommendation (“Report”) of U.S. Magistrate
Judge Martin C. Carlson. (Doc. 5). In his Report, Judge
Carlson recommends that the plaintiff's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis, (Doc. 7), be conditionally
granted and that his complaint, (Doc. 1), be dismissed. On
January 5, 2017, the plaintiff filed objections to Judge
Carlson's Report ten days after the deadline for filing
such objections had elapsed. (Doc. 11). For the following
reasons, the Report will be ADOPTED IN ITS
ENTIRETY, and the plaintiff's complaint will be
Love Lundy, an inmate confined at the Monroe County
Correctional Facility, and Estefania Duran, Lundy's wife,
filed the above-captioned civil rights complaint under 42
U.S.C. §1983. (Doc. 1). The named defendants are the
Monroe County District Attorney's Office and First
Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso. (Id.).
The complaint alleges in a cursory fashion that the Monroe
County District Attorney's Office made certain
unfulfilled promises to the plaintiffs in return for their
cooperation and that those broken promises amount to “a
breach [of contract] . . . and common law fraud.”
(Id.). As relief, the plaintiffs request that
“the court impose compensation from [the] Monroe County
District Attorney's Office, ” including
“punitive damages, ” and that the court appoint
the U.S. Attorney's Office to litigate this case on the
plaintiffs' behalf. (Id.). After filing his
complaint, the plaintiffs submitted an application for leave
to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C.
§1915. (Doc. 7).
Carlson's Report aptly notes that (1) under 28 U.S.C.
§1654, Lundy, a pro se plaintiff, may not bring
these claims on behalf of his spouse, another pro se
party; (2) under 28 U.S.C. §1332(a), this court does not
have jurisdiction to decide state law claims asserted by
Pennsylvania plaintiffs against Pennsylvania defendants; (3)
these pro se pleadings run afoul of the
Youngerabstention doctrine; and (4) this court is
without the authority to appoint the U.S. Attorney's
Office to represent private parties in civil litigation
unrelated to federal government activities. (Doc. 5).
objections are timely filed to the Report and Recommendation
of a magistrate judge, the district court reviews de
novo those portions of the Report to which objections
are made. 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1); Brown v.
Astrue, 649 F.3d 193, 195 (3d Cir. 2011). Although the
standard of review is de novo, the extent of review
is committed to the sound discretion of the district judge,
and the court may rely on the magistrate judge's
recommendations to the extent it deems proper. Rieder v.
Apfel, 115 F.Supp.2d 496, 499 (M.D. Pa. 2000) (citing
United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 676 (1980)).
those sections of the Report to which no objection is made,
the court should, as a matter of good practice,
“satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the
face of the record in order to accept the
recommendation.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b), advisory committee
notes. See also Henderson v. Carlson, 812
F.2d 874, 878 (3d Cir. 1987) (explaining that judges should
give some review to every Report and Recommendation).
Nonetheless, regardless of whether or not timely objections
are made to the Report, the district court may accept, not
accept, or modify in whole or in part the magistrate
judge's findings or recommendations. 28 U.S.C.
§636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).
must dismiss, at the earliest practicable time, certain
in forma pauperis and prisoner actions that are
frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim on which
relief can be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See28
U.S.C. §1915(e)(2). The court must accept all factual
allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the
light most favorable to the pro se plaintiff.
Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 228 (3d
Cir. 2008). Since Lundy here proceeds pro se, his
pleading is liberally construed and his complaint,
“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) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
plaintiffs object to Judge Carlson's Report primarily by
restating in different terms many of the very same claims and
arguments raised initially in their complaint. (Doc. 11).
Specifically, the document labelled as the plaintiffs'
“objections” requests that the court exercise
jurisdiction over their claims, lists the facts underlying
their claim, accuses the defendants quite generally of
“corruption, ” and asks this court to
“impose upon [the] Monroe County District
Attorney's Office a cease and desist order for
harassment, coercion, malicious prosecution, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, alienation of affection,
physical or mental persuasion by affirmative conduct, corrupt
acts, willful misconduct, intentional wrongdoing, legal
wrong, conspiracy against rights, [and] deprivation of rights
under color of law.” (Id.).
the fact that the plaintiffs' objections appear to add
several new legal claims (many of which are not recognized by
positive law) that were never mentioned in their original
complaint, nothing contained in the plaintiffs'
objections is sufficient to overcome the legal deficiencies
noted in Judge Carlson's Report. (Id.). Perhaps
most significantly, this court lacks jurisdiction over state
law claims between citizens of the same state. See
28 U.S.C. §1332(a)(1) (stating that “[t]he
district courts shall have original jurisdiction over all
civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum
or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest or costs, and is
between . . . citizens of different States”). Disputes
predicated on state law between citizens of the same state
are more appropriately resolved in the courts of that state.
Nothing offered by the plaintiffs is sufficient to satisfy
the basic prerequisites of federal jurisdiction. Nor do the
plaintiffs' objections in any way undercut Judge
Carlson's wholly appropriate recommendations.
when liberally construed, the plaintiffs' pleadings and
subsequent court filings present no sufficient basis for
permitting their claims to move forward, and the court agrees
with the sound reasoning that led Judge Carlson to the
conclusions in his Report. Finding no clear error on the face
of the record, the court will adopt the Report in its
entirety, conditionally grant the plaintiffs' ...