Civil Action No. 07-1617.
November 30, 2007
Before the court are plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and pro se complaint. For the reasons that follow, plaintiff's motion will be granted, and his complaint dismissed.
Plaintiff's pro se complaint is somewhat unfocused; however, he appears to allege that his civil rights were violated by defendants when awards were issued against him in Pennsylvania state court for unpaid child support payments and for unpaid foster care reimbursement payments. Plaintiff, apparently, alleges that these state court claims against him are false and resulted from defendants' conspiracy to deprive him of his civil rights. Plaintiff seeks five million dollars ($5,000,000.00) in compensatory damages and three million dollars ($3,000,000) in punitive damages.
A. Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
We first address plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Congress has authorized the federal courts to allow a party to proceed with the commencement, prosecution, or defense of an action in forma pauperis, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). In doing so, Congress recognized the public policy concern that persons who are unable to pay fees or give security should be permitted to prosecute or defend actions that affect their legal rights. Because it appears that plaintiff is unable to pay the costs associated with commencing this action, we will grant him leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Next, we turn to plaintiff's complaint.
In enacting section 1915, Congress granted the courts an extra measure of authority when evaluating an in forma pauperis action. Under that section, the court shall dismiss such an action if it determines that the action is frivolous, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted. Id. at §§ 1915(e)(2)(b)(i), (ii). If it so finds, the court may dismiss a claim sua sponte, even before the summons issues. Johnstone v. United States, 980 F. Supp. 148, 150 (E.D.Pa. 1997).
A complaint is frivolous if it is "based on an indisputably meritless legal theory," or sets forth "clearly baseless" factual contentions. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989). Moreover, a complaint fails to state a claim if, with all well-pleaded allegations taken as true, and viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, it does not state any valid claim for relief. See ALA, Inc. v. CCAIR, Inc., 29 F.3d 855, 859 (3d Cir. 1994). This is clearly such a complaint.
For the foregoing reasons, the court will grant plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, but will dismiss his complaint as frivolous and as failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
An appropriate order follows.
AND NOW, this 30th day of November 2007, upon consideration of plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, said motion is hereby GRANTED. It is FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's complaint is hereby DISMISSED, with prejudice.