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Mumin Abdullah v. Oaks Integrated Care

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

August 22, 2018

ASMAR SIDDIQ MUMIN ABDULLAH, Plaintiff,
v.
OAKS INTEGRATED CARE, JANICE STEINBECK, and JUDITH BRENNER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Appearing pro se HILLMAN, District Judge WHEREAS, Plaintiff, Asmar Siddiq Mumin Abdullah, appearing pro se, has filed a complaint against Defendants Oaks Integrated Care, Janice Steinbeck, and Judith Brenner; and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff claims that Defendants improperly evicted him from his apartment, and as a result he suffered a nervous breakdown and is homeless; and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff seeks $200 million in damages; and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff has filed an application to proceed without prepayment of fees (“in forma pauperis” or “IFP” application), and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), a court may allow a litigant to proceed without prepayment of fees if she submits a proper IFP application; and

         WHEREAS, although § 1915 refers to “prisoners, ” federal courts apply § 1915 to non-prisoner IFP applications, Hickson v. Mauro, 2011 WL 6001088, *1 (D.N.J.2011) (citing Lister v. Dept. of Treasury, 408 F.3d 1309, 1312 (10th Cir. 2005) (“Section 1915(a) applies to all persons applying for IFP status, and not just to prisoners.”) (other citations omitted); and

         WHEREAS, the screening provisions of the IFP statute require a federal court to dismiss an action sua sponte if, among other things, the action is frivolous or malicious, or if it fails to comply with the proper pleading standards, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii); Ball v. Famiglio, 726 F.3d 448, 452 (3d Cir. 2013); Martin v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2017 WL 3783702, at *1 (D.N.J. August 30, 2017) (“Federal law requires this Court to screen Plaintiff's Complaint for sua sponte dismissal prior to service, and to dismiss any claim if that claim fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and/or to dismiss any defendant who is immune from suit.”); and

         WHEREAS, pro se complaints must be construed liberally, and all reasonable latitude must be afforded the pro se litigant, Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 107 (1976), but pro se litigants “must still plead the essential elements of [their] claim and [are] not excused from conforming to the standard rules of civil procedure, ” McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993) (“[W]e have never suggested that procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation should be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed without counsel.”); Sykes v. Blockbuster Video, 205 Fed.Appx. 961, 963 (3d Cir. 2006) (finding that pro se plaintiffs are expected to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure); and

         WHEREAS, the Court finds that Plaintiff's complaint is deficient in three significant ways:

         1. On the form complaint provided by the Court for pro se plaintiffs, Plaintiff has checked the box for federal question jurisdiction, but in order to invoke federal question jurisdiction, Plaintiff must plead a violation of the U.S. Constitution or the laws of the United States. See U.S. Const, Art III, Section 2 (providing that federal courts can hear “all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, [and] the laws of the United States . . . .”); 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (“The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”). Plaintiff has not pleaded what Constitutional provision or federal law Defendants allegedly violated; and

         2. If Plaintiff's case is premised on diversity of citizenship instead, Plaintiff has failed to plead the citizenship of the parties. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (providing that a district court has jurisdiction over a matter based on the diversity of citizenship of the parties and an amount in controversy in excess of $75, 000, exclusive of interests and costs); and

         3. Plaintiff has failed to state a specific legal basis for his claims, which is necessary to establish subject matter jurisdiction, see Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) (“A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction.”); and

         THEREFORE, IT IS on this 22nd day of August, 2018

         ORDERED that Plaintiff's IFP application (Docket No. 1-3) be, and the same hereby is, GRANTED, and the Clerk is directed to ...


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