United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
R. SANCHEZ, JUDGE
Melvin Spearman brings this civil action primarily against
police officers, prosecutors, judges, and City employees,
based on arrests and criminal proceedings in Philadelphia, as
well as proceedings in family court. He seeks to proceed
in forma pauperis. For the following reasons, the
Court will grant Spearman leave to proceed in forma
pauperis and dismiss the Complaint without prejudice to
Spearman filing an amended complaint.
Complaint, Spearman identified the following Defendants: (1)
Angelique Sotello; (2) Detective Alonzo Dawson; (3) P/O
Melanie Brown; (4) P/O Michael Brown; (5) P/O Kimberly
Fawley; (6) Sgt. Mohan; (7) P/O Regan; (8) Denise M. Turpin
(Deputy Commissioner); (9) Christopher Flacco (Chief
Inspector); (10) Lieutenant John Evans; (11) Daphine
Jackson-May; (12) Detective Swann; (13) P/O Robinson; (14)
Catarina Valodores (Dept. Human Services); (15) Philadelphia
Sheriffs Dept.; (16) Allison Fleming (Assistant District
Attorney); (17) Seth Williams; (18) Judge Donna Woelopper;
(19) Judge Karen Simmons; (20) P/O Kimberly Butler; (21) P/O
Peterson; (22) P/O Knott; (23) P/O Corson; (24) P/O John
Killen; (25) P/O Curtis Matthews; (26) Monique Severio (Dept.
Human Services); (27) Charlene Hightower; (28) Janice
Macolon; and (29) Mary Ellen Fields (Assistant District
Spearman's Complaint is vague, it indicates that he is
engaged in contentious custody proceedings in family court
and that he has been arrested for various criminal offenses,
including violating a protection from abuse order. The
Complaint indicates that Spearman was arrested five times
between December 4, 2016 and December 21, 2016. He also lists
five dates in 2017 where it appears he attended proceedings
in family court and/or was arrested. A search of
Pennsylvania's Unified Judicial System for Spearman
reveals numerous criminal proceedings filed against him.
sets forth the factual basis for his claims as follows:
Multiple arrest and harassments from police officers in the
35th police district for fabricate crimes for
[violation] of a PFA order, (never serve to myself), causing
charges to be file[d] against myself. Det. Dawson a friend of
the individual Anglique Sotelo who placed the PFA deleted
info from my cell phone while I was in custody at the police
district (my cell [phone] was [confiscated] by the police
officers) When I reported to police internal affairs this
tampering of evidence they promise[d] to investigate however
later refused to do so. Multiple arrest and harassment by
friend Detective of Ms Sotelo always right before going to
family court for child/custody visitation issues.
(Compl. ECF No. 2 at 13.)
further alleges that the "35th District"
filed false police reports against him and failed to
"properly investigate a call about an accusation"
that he had a gun. (Id.) He also contends that the
Philadelphia District Attorney's Office filed false
charges against him and that the Department of Human Services
"failed to properly investigate abuse charges of [a]
minor child," presumably his child. (Id.) He
adds that the Sheriffs Department harassed him at family
court during visitation hours with his son. In support of his
claims, he notes that during court proceedings, Assistant
District Attorneys were seen texting "Women Against
Abuse lawyers," and that "[u]nexpected last minute
court room changes and last minute judge changes during a few
of the court proceedings seem to bring in very bias[ed]
alleges that Sotello- -who appears to be the mother of his
child-assaulted him and fractured his tooth. He also alleges
that he has suffered "depression, stress and anxiety
caused by this ongoing harassment and false
accusations." (Id. at 15.) Spearman would like
the Court to "speak with [him] concerning this
lawsuit," conclude that his civil rights have been
violated, and award him $300 million in damages.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis
because it appears that he is unable to pay the costs of
filing suit. As Spearman is proceeding in forma
pauperis, 28 U.S.C. § l9l5(e)(2)(B)(i) & (ii)
apply, which require the Court to dismiss the Complaint if it
is frivolous or fails to state a claim. A complaint is
frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis either in law
or in fact," Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
325 (1989), and is legally baseless if it is "based on
an indisputably meritless legal theory." Deutsch v.
United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1085 (3d Cir. 1995). To
survive dismissal, a complaint "must contain 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 Spearman is proceeding pro se, the
Court construes his allegations liberally. Higgs v.
Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).