CLARK v. COMMONWEALTH, No. 2:2019cv02053 - Document 6 (E.D. Pa. 2019)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. SIGNED BY CHIEF JUDGE JUAN R. SANCHEZ ON 6/5/19. 6/5/19 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO CLARK AND WARDEN OF CURRAN FROMHOLD CORRECTIONAL FACILITY. (fdc)
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CLARK v. COMMONWEALTH Doc. 6 IN THE UNITED ST ATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA DORIAN CLARK a/k/a STEVEN JACOBS, Plaintiff, CIVIL ACTION NO. 19-CV-2053 v. FILED COMMONWEALTH, Def¢ndant. JUN O5 2019 MEMORANDUM l<ATE BARK.':IJAN, Cieri< By Dep. QR.11NE5, 2019 SANCHEZ, C.J. Plalliitiff Dorian Clark, also known as Steven Jacobs, a prisoner incarcerated at the Curran-Frot1nhold Correctional Facility, brings this prose civil action against the Commonwealth of PennsylVania. He seeks to proceed informa pauperis. For the following reasons, the Court will grant Clark leave to proceed in forma pauperis, dismiss his Complaint, and give Clark an opportunity1 to file an amended complaint. FACTS I. The:basis for Clark's Complaint is not clear. He used a form complaint titled ''Complaint for the Conyersion of Property" and suggests that the jurisdictional basis for his claims is 28 U.S.C. § 1332. As the factual basis for his claims, Clark alleged ''property receipt #3349369" and ''deoxyribonucleic acid" in the amount of$10 million. (Compl. at 6.) 1 Clark also states ''innocent owner defense" and ''heredity genetic blueprint" as the basis for his claims. (Id.) He claims to 1 owned the "property" in question by "life, birth and naturalization." (Id.) He The Court adopts the pagination assigned to the Complaint by the CM-ECF docketing system. 1 ENT'D JUN oBf0l9 Dockets.Justia.com .. appears to be claiming that DNA was illegally seized and seeks monetary relief in the amount of $10 million. II. STANDARD OF REVIEW The Court grants Clark leave to proceed in forma pauperis because it appears that he is incapable of paying the fees to commence this civil action. 2 Accordingly, Clark's Complaint is subject to 28 U.S.C. § l 915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii), which requires the Court to dismiss the Complaint if it frivolous or fails to state a claim. A complaint is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis either ln 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, the 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 l).S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted). "[M]ere conclusory statements[] do not suffice." Id As Clark is proceeding prose, the Court construes his allegations liberally. Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011). Moreover, Rule 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 coUI1t 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 2 However, as Clark is a prisoner, he will be obligated to pay the filing fee in installments in accordance with the Prison Litigation Reform Act. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). 2 .• ' sufficiently informed to determine the issue." Fabian v. St. Mary's Med. Ctr., No. Civ. A. 164741, 2017 WL 3494219, at *3 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 11, 2017) (quotations omitted). III. DISCUSSION Clark's Complaint is so unclear and confused that it fails to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and therefore fails to state a claim. The Court cannot discern any plausible basis for a dlaim against the Commonwealth. If the "property" to which Clark refers is himself and he is bringing a claim against the Commonwealth for "conversion" on that basis, his claim is frivolous. Furthermore, the Eleventh Amendment bars suits against a state in federal court when the state ha$ not waived that immunity. See Will v. Mich. Dep 't ofState Police, 491 U.S. 58, 6566 (1989). The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has not waived that immunity. See 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. IV. 8521 (b ). CONCLUSION For the !foregoing reasons, the Court will dismiss Clark's Complaint as frivolous and for failure to state a claim, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii). However, in light of Clark's prose status, the Court will give Clark an opportunity to file an amended complaint in accordance:with the Court's Order accompanying this Memorandum in the event he can state a legitimate basis for a claim against an appropriate defendant. BY THE COURT: 3