United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
Flowers Conti Chief United States District Judge
Asia Johnson, pro se, filed an “Application to
Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs,
” (ECF No. 1), with an attached complaint suing
“Young Money.” According to the Civil Cover sheet
filled out by plaintiff, she is suing Young Money for
assault, libel, and slander, (ECF No. 3), but also indicates
that the matter is in reference to stolen copyrighted
work. (ECF No. 1-3).
court granted plaintiff leave to proceed in forma
pauperis based on her showing of indigence. Gray v.
Martinez, 352 Fed.Appx. 656, 658 (3d Cir. 2009)
(indicating that in “this Circuit, . . . if [the court]
is convinced that [plaintiff] is unable to pay the court
costs and filing fees, the court will grant leave to proceed
in forma pauperis . . . [and] thereafter considers
the separate question whether the complaint should be
dismissed.”). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e),
prior to ordering service of the complaint without payment of
the filing fee, however, the court must dismiss the case if
it determines that the action is “frivolous or
malicious, ” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), or
“fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted,
” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). Roman v.
Jeffes, 904 F.2d 192, 195 (“the appropriate time
to make a decision to dismiss a case pursuant to § 1915
is before service of a complaint).
purpose of the in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915, is to assure equal and meaningful access to the
courts for indigent litigants. Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 324, 329 (1989). Congress also provided in the
in forma pauperis statute for dismissal of
complaints under certain circumstances in order to
“prevent abusive or captious litigation” that
could result because a plaintiff proceeding in forma
pauperis does not have the economic incentive ordinarily
created by otherwise required filing fees and costs to
refrain from filing frivolous, malicious or repetitive
lawsuits. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 324.
complaint filed pursuant to the in forma pauperis
statute is subject to preservice dismissal under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) where it is based upon indisputably
meritless legal theory or factual assertions that are clearly
baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. In determining
whether the factual assertions are clearly baseless, and the
complaint therefore is frivolous, the court may pierce the
veil of the complaint and need not accept its allegations as
true. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992).
Examples of baseless claims include “claims describing
fantastic or delusional scenarios, claims with which federal
district judges are all too familiar.” 490 U.S. at 328.
Additionally, as provided for expressly by §
1915(e)(2)(ii), the court also must dismiss the complaint if
it fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted,
which is the same standard for dismissing a claim under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Scheib v.
Butcher, Civ. Act. No. 14-cv-1247, 2014 WL 4851902, at *
1 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 25, 2014).
complaint asserts that it is brought pursuant to the
court's diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332,
and alleges that plaintiff is a citizen of Pennsylvania and
defendant “Young Money” is a citizen of Texas,
does not provide any information with respect to the amount
in controversy such that the court can determine if there is
a good faith basis for asserting that the amount in
controversy meets the jurisdictional threshold. The complaint
in sum alleges that “Baby E from young money has been
making music about me. Baby E and I used to date befor his
identity change his police uncle helped with he fake his
death and I being harassed and Nicki Minaj keeps using my
work Baby E (Victor Robinson) needs helps slaves to the label
to harass me having people jump me and follow me.” (ECF
No. 3 at 4). With respect to relief, plaintiff indicates
“I just want them to stop and let the truth be told.
Stop helping people fake deaths and stop the 2 girls they
picked to be my actors using artificial intelligence Kenneka
Jenkins and BreeAunna Poindexter the industry is
involved.” (ECF No. 3 at 4). Attached to the complaint
as an exhibit is a letter dated April 25, 2018 indicating
that it is written on behalf of President Donald J. Trump
presenting a certificate that plaintiff is including in the
“Republican Presidential Honor Roll.” (ECF No.
upon review of the complaint, the court determines that the
claims presented and relief sought by plaintiff are based on
a fantastic or delusional factual scenario. Neitzke,
490 U.S. at 327-328. Ordinarily, a court must grant plaintiff
the opportunity to amend, if amendment can cure the
deficiencies in the complaint. Where, however, amendment
cannot cure the deficiencies, such as where the complaint is
frivolous under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), the court may
dismiss the complaint with prejudice without leave to amend.
Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103,
112-113 (3d Cir. 2002) (“[D]ismissals of frivolous
claims do not require leave to amend.”). Based upon the
court's determination that the complaint is frivolous, it
will dismiss the complaint without leave to amend.
appropriate order follows.
 Plaintiff filed a separate suit
against Beyonce Knowles Carter at Civil Action No. 18-447
claiming copyright infringement.
 Section 1915(e)(2)(B) was formerly
codified at § 1915(d).
 Although plaintiff has indicated on
the form complaint that “Young Money” is an
individual, it may be that, but is by no means clear,
plaintiff intends to refer to the record ...