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 completely blank save for the caption area and
the signature. After writing "Saxby's" in the
caption area, Charles writes "on 9-28-2019 was put out
for no reason by police." (ECF No. 2 at
He also avers that he was charging an electronic device when
an employee told him they did not want him in the store, and
he was arrested because of the incident. (Id.) He
mentions the badge numbers of two police officers, that an
advertisement offered free coffee, but he was denied a free
coffee. Additional writing is incomprehensible.
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).
allowing a plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis
the Court must review the pleadings and dismiss the matter if
it determines, inter alia, that the action fails to
set forth a proper basis for this Court's subject matter
jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(h)(3) ("If the court determines at any time that it
lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the
action."); Group Against Smog and Pollution, Inc. v.
Shenango, Inc., 810 F.3d 116, 122 n.6 (3d Cir. 2016)
(explaining that "an objection to subject matter
jurisdiction may be raised at any time [and] a court may
raise jurisdictional issues sua sponte"). A
plaintiff commencing an action in federal court bears the
burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. See Lincoln
Ben. Life Co. v. AEI Life, LLC, 800 F.3d 99, 105 (3d
Cir. 2015) ("The burden of establishing federal
jurisdiction rests with the party asserting its
existence." (citing DaimlerChrysler Corp. v.
Cuno, 547 U.S. 332, 342 n.3 (2006))).
8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a
complaint to contain "a short a 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. Sir.
Mary's Med. Ctr., Civ. A. No. 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 Saxby's, 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). Saxby's does not
appear to be a "state actor" subject to liability
under § 1983, but rather appears to be a private
extent that Charles seeks to bring claims on state law
grounds, he has not met his burden to demonstrate 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 no address for Saxby's.
Accordingly, he has failed to meet his burden to demonstrate
complete diversity among the parties.
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 must state the basis for the