United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
se Plaintiff Peter Charles has filed a Complaint using
the Court's preprinted form. He has also filed a Motion
to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Because it appears
that Charles is unable to afford to pay the filing fee, the
Court will grant him leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. For the following reasons, the Complaint will
be dismissed without prejudice and Charles will be granted
leave to file an amended complaint.
Complaint is quite brief. While he names some 21 Defendants,
including what appear to be homeless shelters, charities,
retail establishments, and medical providers, Charles's
only factual allegation is that "the shelters violated
my rights by kicking me out on code blues on the date
shown." (ECF No. 2 at 4.) He also alleges he was
"terminated" from what appears to be two shelters -
Bethesda Project and Sunday Breakfast - and that he is
"supposed to be in a medical place for my surgery."
(Id at 5.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant Charles leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that he is incapable of
paying the fees to commence this civil action. Accordingly,
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) requires the Court to dismiss
the Complaint if, among other things, it fails to state a
claim. Whether a complaint fails to state a claim under
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard
applicable to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), see Tourscher v. McCullough, 184
F.3d 236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999), which requires the Court to
determine whether the complaint contains "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).
Conclusory allegations do not suffice. Id. As
Charles is proceeding pro se, the Court construes
his allegations liberally. Higgs v. Att'y Gen.,
655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a
complaint to contain "a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." A
district court may sua sponte dismiss a complaint
that does not comply with Rule 8 if "the complaint is so
confused, ambiguous, vague, or otherwise unintelligible that
its true substance, if any, is well disguised."
Simmons v. Abruzzo, 49 F.3d 83, 86 (2d Cir. 1995)
(quotations omitted). This Court has noted that Rule 8
"requires that pleadings provide enough information to
put a defendant on sufficient notice to prepare their defense
and also ensure that the Court is sufficiently informed to
determine the issue." Fabian v. St. Mary's Med.
Ctr., No. Civ. A. 16-4741, 2017 WL 3494219, at *3 (E.D.
Pa. Aug. 11,2017) (quotations omitted).
the limited facts alleged in Charles's Complaint, the
Court can discern no basis for the exercise of subject matter
jurisdiction. Charles did not indicate on the Complaint form
whether he seeks to invoke federal question jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 or diversity jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. To the extent that he
seeks to invoke federal jurisdiction to vindicate his
"rights" against the shelter Defendants, the
vehicle by which he may do so is Section 1983 of Title 42 of
the United States Code, which provides in part:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action
at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for
42 U.S.C. § 1983. "To state a claim under §
1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right
secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States,
and must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a
person acting under color of state law." West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). None of the named
Defendants appears to be a "state actor" subject to
liability under § 1983. Rather, all Defendants appear to
be private charities, retailers or medical providers.
extent that Charles seeks to bring claims against the
Defendants on state law grounds, it does not appear that
there is complete diversity among the parties. Section
1332(a) grants a district court jurisdiction over a case in
which "the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is
between ... citizens of different States." Section
1332(a) requires "'complete diversity between all
plaintiffs and all defendants,' even though only minimal
diversity is constitutionally required. This means that,
unless there is some other basis for jurisdiction, 'no
plaintiff [may] be a citizen of the same state as any
defendant."' Lincoln Ben. Life Co. v. AEI Life,
LLC, 800 F.3d 99,104 (3d Cir. 2015) (quoting Lincoln
Prop. Co. v. Roche, 546 U.S. 81, 89 (2005) and
Zambelli Fireworks Mfg. Co. v. Wood, 592 F.3d
412,419 (3d Cir. 2010) (internal footnotes omitted)). Charles
claims that he resides in Philadelphia and provides
Pennsylvania addresses for all of the Defendants.
Accordingly, complete diversity among the parties is facially
Charles has failed to meet his Rule 8 obligation to provide
enough information to establish this Court's subject
matter jurisdiction, the Court will dismiss his Complaint
without prejudice and with leave to file an amended complaint
within thirty (30) days. If Charles chooses to file an
amended complaint, he is advised that he must state the basis
for the Court's ...