United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
GARRY V. LONG, Plaintiff,
NEW RIVER VALLEY COMMUNITY SERVICES PACT PROGRAM, et al., Defendants.
Glen E. Conrad Senior United States District Judge
V. Long, proceeding pro se, commenced this action by filing a
form complaint against the New River Valley Community
Services PACT Program and the federal Department of Housing
and Urban Development. The plaintiff has not paid the filing
fee but will be granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis for purposes of initial review of his
complaint. For the following reasons, the case will be
dismissed without prejudice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
form complaint indicates that he seeks to invoke the
court's federal question jurisdiction. See Compl. 2, Dkt.
No. 2 (checking the box for federal question jurisdiction).
In his "statement of the claim," Long lists the
following "subject matter[s]": attempted murder;
espionage; discrimination; elder abuse; malpractice; denial
of medications; antipsychotic drugs; loss of funds from
"SSD," "SSI", and "state fuel
assistance" checks; persecution; harassment; deceptive
fraud; loss of $4, 500 car; and disrespect for an elder.
Id. 3. Long directs the court to see "attached
copies of 19-year study of subject matter[s] listed."
Id. The complaint includes approximately 100 pages
of handwritten notes and drawings, which are largely
indecipherable. Long indicates that if he receives a
"royalty check," he will send money to a variety of
charities. Id. 5.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), which governs in forma
pauperis proceedings, the court has a mandatory duty to
screen initial filings. Eriline Co. S.A. v. Johnson,
440 F.3d 648, 656-57 (4th Cir. 2006). The court must dismiss
a case "at any time" if the court determines that
the complaint "fails to state a claim on which relief
may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
standards for reviewing a complaint for dismissal under
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) are the same as those which apply
when a defendant moves for dismissal under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). De'Lonta v. Angelone,
330 F.3d 630, 633 (4th Cir. 2003). Thus, in reviewing a
complaint under this statute, the court must accept all
well-pleaded factual allegations as true and view the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Philips v. Pitt Cty. Mem. Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180
(4th Cir. 2009). To survive dismissal for failure to state a
claim, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
pro se litigants are held to less stringent standards than
attorneys, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972), they must nonetheless "state their claims in an
understandable and efficient manner," Stone v.
Warfield, 184 F.R.D. 553, 555 (D. Md. 1999). The court
is "not obliged to ferret through a [c]omplaint,
searching for viable claims." Plumhoff v. Cent.
Mortg. Co., 286 F.Supp.3d 699, 702 (D. Md. 2017)
(internal quotation marks omitted). Instead, the court may
dismiss a complaint that is "so confused, ambiguous,
vague or otherwise unintelligible that its true substance, if
any, is well disguised." Salahuddin v. Cuomo,
861 F.2d 40, 42 (2d Cir. 1988).
reviewed the plaintiff s complaint, the court concludes that
it must be dismissed for failure to state a claim on which
relief may be granted. Even under the most liberal
construction, the plaintiffs complaint fails to provide
"a short and plain statement" of any claim against
the named defendants, as required by Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(a)(2). The complaint and the attached exhibits
are largely unintelligible and do not provide the court or
the defendants with "fair notice" of what the
claims are and the grounds upon which they rest.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal quotation marks
omitted). The plaintiff s conclusory references to such terms
or phrases as discrimination, attempted murder, denial of
medications, and malpractice do not suffice to state a
plausible claim for relief under federal law. Accordingly,
dismissal is appropriate.
reasons stated, the court will grant the plaintiffs motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. However, the
complaint will be dismissed without prejudice, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
Clerk is directed to send copies of this memorandum opinion
and the ...