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Bienvenido Thompson v. Antonio Martinez

July 19, 2012

BIENVENIDO THOMPSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ANTONIO MARTINEZ, RALPH DEL CAPUA, EMPLOYEE OF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF BELLEVILLE,
MARY ANDREWS, BELLEVILLE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, AND
JOHN CERZA PROSECUTOR OF THE BELLEVILLE COURT,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William J. Martini, U.S.D.J.:

OPINION

HON. WILLIAM J. MARTINI

This matter comes before the Court upon an application for pro bono counsel by pro se Plaintiff Bienvenido Thompson pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). For the reasons set forth, Plaintiff's Complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice and Plaintiff's application for pro bono counsel is DENIED as moot.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

This matter stems from Plaintiff's problems with his landlord, Defendant Antonio Martinez, who appears to have filed a state court action to evict Plaintiff for nonpayment of rent on November 20, 2009. Plaintiff's Complaint is at times unintelligible. However, when loosely construing his pleading, it appears that Plaintiff alleges the following: On November 30, 2009, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Martinez in Belleville Municipal Court, in which he accused Martinez of robbery, harassment and withholding information. And on July 16, 2010, he filed a similar complaint against Martinez in New Jersey Superior Court.*fn1

Then, on November 16, 2010, Plaintiff filed the present action, and again named Martinez as a Defendant.*fn2 Plaintiff additionally lists Belleville employees Ralph del Capua, Mary Andrews, and John Cerza as Defendants in the caption of the district court pleading. However, Plaintiff has not provided any factual information in the Complaint or attached documents about del Capua, Andrews, or Cerza.

Plaintiff is presently seeking redress for: "violation of human rights, Civil rights, abuse authority, discrimination, corruption and conspiracy, attempt of robbery, identity robbery, attempt of illegal eviction, perjury, disrespect and traffic of influences, violation of Municipal ordinances, and more things during the 38 years that Mr. Antonio Martinez is living in the Essex County." (Pl.'s Compl. 1, ECF No. 1.)

The sum of Plaintiff's factual allegations against Martinez is as follows: In December 2008, Plaintiff rented an apartment from Martinez. Plaintiff claims that Martinez rented Plaintiff the apartment knowing that there was a bug infestation. In addition, Plaintiff claims that beginning in October 2009, Martinez began entering Plaintiff's apartment without permission. He also stole tools from Plaintiff. Finally, Plaintiff alleges that certain apartments Martinez rents are not in compliance with the housing code.

Plaintiff claims that he raised these issues in municipal court, but they were not corrected because Martinez lied under oath at that proceeding and bribed someone at the Belleville Department of Health to get a report showing that an inspection of Plaintiff's apartment did not reveal any bugs.

On November 16, 2010, Plaintiff filed the present Complaint in this Court.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

In all federal actions, the Court has a continuing and independent obligation to satisfy itself that it has subject matter jurisdiction. Ramirez v. ABC News Network, No. 11-6565, 2011 WL 6002911, at *1 (D.N.J. Nov. 29, 2011) (citing Meritcare Inc. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 166 F.3d 214, 217 (3d Cir. 1999), overruled on other grounds by Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Servs., Inc., 545 U.S. 546 (2005)). If the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, it must dismiss the case. Woodall v. Geist, No. 09-4975, 2010 WL 1838433, at *1 (D.N.J. May 5, 2010) (citing In re Orthopedic "Bone Screw" Products Liab. Litig., 132 F.3d 152, 155--56 (3d Cir. 1997)).

The same standard of review applies when the Court raises subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte as when a party moves for dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1): All factual allegations in the Complaint must be accepted as true, and disposition of this matter becomes a purely legal question. Orthopedic Specialists of N.J. PA v. Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of N.J., 518 F. Supp. 2d 128, 131-32 (D.N.J. 2007).Furthermore, in determining the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, the Court must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of ...


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