United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
CYNTHIA M. RUFE, J.
Leslie Hall brings this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Horizon House, Dr. P. Pandya, Curtis
Frazier, and Debra Oladinni, asserting that the failure to
administer medication to her resulted in a
“psychotropic meltdown.” (ECF No. 2 at
She has also filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis. (ECF No. 1.) For the following reasons, the
Court will grant Hall leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, dismiss her Complaint and grant her leave to
Complaint suggests that Hall is pursuing claims based on both
federal question and diversity of citizenship jurisdiction.
(ECF No. 2 at 2, 4.) Hall alleges that between June 20 and
June 26, 2019, Defendant Horizon House, located in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “failed to administer
psychotropic medication to [her] . . . leading to a
psychotropic meltdown.” (Id. at 2-3.)
Specifically, Hall avers that Horizon House's Dr. Pandya,
who was “unavailable until July 23, 2019”,
violated her civil rights by failing to refill her
medication. (Id. at 3.) Hall further asserts that
Dr. Pandya's staff members, Curtis Frazier (case manager
supervisor) and Debra Oladini (case manager), were negligent
in honoring her frantic requests for medication refills.
avers that on her third day without medication, she
“began to hear voices and became paranoid and [was]
experiencing psychotic flashbacks.” (Id.)
After several attempts to obtain refills of her medication
from different providers, she was able to obtain refills from
her primary care physician's office “[i]n a last
ditch effort.” (Id.) As relief, Hall asserts
that “[d]ue to the harrowing experience of gross
negligence exhibited by Horizon House [she] is requesting
compensation of five million dollars to remedy [her]
suffering and deceitful actions and denying [her] civil
rights and enjoyment of life.” (Id.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant Hall leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that she is not able to pay
the fees to commence this civil action. Accordingly, 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) applies, which requires the
Court to dismiss the Complaint if 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. Moreover, “if
the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). As Hall is proceeding pro se,
the Court construes her allegations liberally. Higgs v.
Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
has not stated a basis for a federal claim. “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).
Whether a defendant is acting under color of state law-i.e.,
whether the defendant is a state actor-depends on whether
there is “such a close nexus between the State and the
challenged action' that seemingly private behavior may be
fairly treated as that of the State itself.” Leshko
v. Servis, 423 F.3d 337, 339 (3d Cir. 2005) (internal
quotations omitted). “To answer that question, [the
Third Circuit has] outlined three broad tests generated by
Supreme Court jurisprudence to determine whether state action
exists: (1) whether the private entity has exercised powers
that are traditionally the exclusive prerogative of the
state; (2) whether the private party has acted with the help
of or in concert with state officials; and (3) whether the
state has so far insinuated itself into a position of
interdependence with the acting party that it must be
recognized as a joint participant in the challenged
activity.” Kach v. Hose, 589 F.3d 626, 646 (3d
Cir. 2009) (internal quotations and alteration omitted).
has not alleged facts to support a plausible conclusion that
the named Defendants are state actors. See Schutt v.
Melmark, Inc., 186 F.Supp.3d 366, 376 (E.D. Pa. 2016)
(concluding that a residential treatment center was not a
state actor despite receipt of state funding); see also
Blum v. Yaretsky, 457 U.S. 991, 1011 (1982) (rejecting
argument that nursing homes were state actors in light of
“state subsidization of the operating and capital costs
of the facilities, payment of the medical expenses of more
than 90% of the patients in the facilities, and the licensing
of the facilities by the State”); Klavan v.
Crozer-Chester Med. Ctr., 60 F.Supp.2d 436, 443 (E.D.
Pa. 1999) (“[D]efendants' receipt of government
funding, even if combined with [extensive regulation], does
not render defendants state actors, regardless of which test
we employ.”). Therefore, the named Defendants are not
subject to suit under § 1983. As there is no other
plausible basis for a federal claim against the Defendants,
these claims will be dismissed without prejudice and with
leave to amend.
may also be raising state law tort claims, such as medical
malpractice or possibly negligence, against the named
Defendants. Because the Court has dismissed her federal
claims, the Court will not exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over any state law claims. Accordingly, the only independent
basis for jurisdiction over any such claims is 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(a), which 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)).
individual is a citizen of the state where she is domiciled,
meaning the state where she is physically present and intends
to remain. See Washington v. Hovensa LLC, 652 F.3d
340, 344 (3d Cir. 2011) A corporation is a citizen of the
state in which it was incorporated as well as where it has
its principal place of business. See U.S.C. §
1332(c)(1). “[T]he citizenship of partnerships and
other unincorporated associations is determined by the
citizenship of its partners or members.” Zambelli
Fireworks Mfg. Co., 592 F.3d at 420. “The burden
of establishing federal jurisdiction rests with the party
asserting its existence.” Lincoln Ben. Life
Co., 800 F.3d at 105 (citing DaimlerChrysler Corp.
v. Cuno, 547 U.S. 332, 342 n.3 (2006)). In some cases,
“a plaintiff may allege that the defendant is
not a citizen of the plaintiff's state of
citizenship” after conducting a reasonable
investigation into the defendant's citizenship.
Id. at 107-08.
Hall has alleged her state of citizenship as “American,
” it appears that she is likely a citizen of
Pennsylvania as she has listed her mailing address as
Philadelphia. (ECF No. 2 at 1-2, 7.) Moreover, even though
Hall has listed the state of citizenship of the named
Defendants as “Indian and American, ” the Court
notes that she lists the address of Horizon House as being
located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Id. at 1-2.)
Although it appears to the Court that complete diversity of
citizenship is lacking, these allegations do not explicitly
reveal the Defendants' citizenship for purposes of
plausibly establishing diversity. Hall has failed to meet her
burden of demonstrating that this Court has subject matter
jurisdiction over any state law tort claims she may be
raising, and the Court will dismiss her Complaint on that
basis. See Lincoln Ben. Life Co., 800 F.3d at 105
(citing DaimlerChrysler Corp., 547 U.S. at 342 n.3).