Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ivanitch v. Toys R' U.S.

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

April 16, 2019

HOLLY IVANITCH, Plaintiff
v.
TOYS R' US., Defendant

          MANNION, D.J.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          William I. Arbuckle, U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On December 21, 2018, Plaintiff Holly Ivanitch initiated this pro se civil rights action against the following Defendant: Toys R' Us (Doc. 1). On December 28, 2018, this Court granted Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 5). This Court screened Plaintiff's original Complaint pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and found deficiencies. Id. This Court granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint to correct the deficiencies. Id. On January 31, 3019, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint against Toys R' Us. (Doc. 6).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW FOR SCREENING IN FORMA PAUPERIS COMPLAINTS

         Once granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, Plaintiff is subject to the screening provisions in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). See Atamian v. Burns, 236 Fed.Appx. 753, 755 (3d Cir. 2007) (“the screening procedures set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) apply to in forma pauperis complaints filed by prisoners and non-prisoners alike”). Under this statute, the Court is required to dismiss any action that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). See Collins v. Cundy, 603 F.2d 825, 828 (10th Cir. 1979) (“[T]here is no constitutional right to the expenditure of public funds and the valuable time of federal courts to prosecute an action which is totally without merit.”).

         In performing this mandatory screening function, the Court applies the same standard that is used to evaluate motions to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides that a complaint should be dismissed for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has observed the evolving standards governing pleading practice in the federal courts, stating that “pleading standards have seemingly shifted from simple notice pleading to a more heightened form of pleading, requiring a plaintiff to plead more than the possibility of relief to survive a motion to dismiss.” Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 209-10 (3d Cir. 2009). “[A] complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief.” Id. at 211. It also “has to ‘show' such an entitlement with its facts.” Id.

         To test the sufficiency of the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must conduct the following three-step inquiry:

First, the court must “tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim.” Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1947. Second, the court should identify allegations that, “because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Id. at 1950. Finally, “where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief.” Id.

Santiago v. Warminster Tp., 629 F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010).

         A complaint filed by a pro se litigant is to be liberally construed and ‘“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) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). Nevertheless, “pro se litigants still must allege sufficient facts in their complaints to support a claim.” Mala v. Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013).

         In addition to these pleading standards, a civil complaint must comply with the requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides that:

(a) A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain: (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support; (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief.

         Thus, a well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere legal labels and conclusions. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Rather, a pro se complaint must recite factual allegations that are sufficient to raise the Plaintiff's claimed ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.