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Johnson v. Macleods Pharma USA, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

November 7, 2019

CHERYL B. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MACLEODS PHARMA USA, INC. and SOUTH JERSEY BEHAVIOR HEALTH, Defendants.

          CHERYL B. JOHNSON Appearing pro se.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff Cheryl Johnson (“Plaintiff”), appearing pro se, has filed a complaint against two defendants; and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff alleges that that she suffered adverse side effects after taking a prescribed medication called Olanzapine; and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff further alleges that the physicians at South Jersey Behavior Health prescribed her Olanzapine; and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff further alleges that “4 years after taking [this] medicine, [she is suffering from] bad loud noises” (ECF No. 1 at 5); and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff further alleges that the “medicine caused [her] to hum” and that “when [she] talk[s], eat[s] and walk[s] . . . [she] hum[s] all the time off and on[, ] 24 hours a day.” (Id. at 6); and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff seeks reimbursement for unspecified medical bills and an award of $400, 000. (Id.); 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 for several reasons; and

         WHEREAS, first, and as a threshold matter, the Court is unable to determine the asserted basis for the Court's exercise of subject matter jurisdiction. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) provides that “[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a ...


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