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Dinkins v. Region Ten CSB

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division

July 29, 2019

Melvin Dinkins, Plaintiff,
v.
Region Ten CSB, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NORMAN K. MOON, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (Dkt. 1). Plaintiff has moved to amend his complaint, (dkt. 5), and has also moved for summary judgment, (dkt. 3). The Court will grant Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (dkt. 1), grant Plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint (dkt. 5), deny Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (dkt. 3), and dismiss this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted.

         I. MOTION TO AMEND

         As a preliminary matter, the Court will grant Plaintiff's “Motion to Amend Pro Se Service and Complaint.” (Dkt. 5). The Defendant has not yet been served. According, the Court grants Plaintiff's motion and reviews his filings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). Therefore, the operative complaint is the amended complaint. (dkt. 7). Defendant's amended complaint references exhibits filed with the original complaint but not with the amended complaint. For purposes of the Court's § 1915 review, however, the Court will consider the amended complaint and the exhibits to the original complaint. See Goines v. Valley Cmty. Servs. Bd., 822 F.3d 159, 166 (4th Cir. 2016) (noting that the court may consider exhibits attached to a complaint in assessing its sufficiency).

         II. BACKGROUND

         The following summary of facts is based on the amended complaint allegations. The instant action is the latest in a series of suits brought by Plaintiff against Defendant arising from the alleged actions of Defendant. The amended complaint is difficult to understand, mixing references to previously dismissed cases and State court proceedings.

         The amended complaint alleges Plaintiff lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Defendant is a Virginia corporation with its headquarters in Charlottesville. (Dkt. 7 at 2-3). Plaintiff and Defendant entered into a service contract for seventeen years beginning in 2002. The amended complaint alleges that there was misrepresentation and fraudulent misappropriation documented in exhibits to the complaint “and submitted to emphasize action wielding the ‘findings and declarations of purpose' in Federal law USC 1692 Title 15.” (Id. at 3 (emphasis omitted)). The amended complaint also states that “the Court might consider ‘Material Evidence' of False Claims and Fraudulent Misappropriation that involves Medicare.” (Id. at 6 (emphasis omitted)). In so doing, the amended complaint cites a transcript from a State court proceeding regarding events from 2012 and 2013 about billing statements from Defendant to Plaintiff. (See dkt. 2-2 at 16). Plaintiff seeks $786, 000, 000.00 in damages. (Id. at 13).

         This is the latest in a string of complaints brought by Plaintiff against Defendant seeking redress for some perceive fraud. In United States of America, ex rel. Dinkins v. Region Ten CSB, No. 3:17-cv-00034 (W.D. Va.), Plaintiff filed a suit on behalf of the United States under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, relating to his allegations of “Medicare Up-coding.” The Court dismissed the suit because a pro se litigant may not bring a qui tam action on behalf of the United States. Similarly, in Dinkins v. Region Ten CSB, No. 3:17-cv-00055 (W.D. Va.), the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claim under 31 U.S.C. § 3802 (false claims) because the statute did not create a private right of action. In Dinkins v. Region Ten CSB, No. 3:18-cv-00001 (W.D. Va.), the court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction because none of the rules or statutes referenced in the complaint were sufficient to support federal question jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction did not exist. Most recently, in Dinkins v. Region Ten CSB, No. 3:18-cv-00001 (W.D. Va.), the Court dismissed the case as frivolous.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), which governs in forma pauperis proceedings, the court has a 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 action “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). The standards for dismissal pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) are the same as those for dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See De'Lonta v. Angelone, 330 F.3d 630, 633 (4th Cir. 2003). Thus, to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual allegations “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level” and “to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007). Further, “a judge must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint” and accord a liberal construction to a pro se litigant's pleadings. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         In the instant case, the Court considers Plaintiff's amended complaint, (dkt. 7). The amended complaint is difficult to understand, mixing references to previously dismissed cases and State court proceedings involving Plaintiff and Defendant. Plaintiff references numerous rules and statutes in the amended complaint, many irrelevant to his claim or merely mentioned without elaboration. Plaintiff appears to assert a claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In his amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges:

Argument accumulating the charges which led to said contradiction [in a State court proceeding], involve an “Abuse of Assets” - including Misrepresentation and Fraudulent Misappropriation - documented in electronic and hardcopy Exhibits A, B, and C [setting out a contract and invoices and adjusted invoices from 2012 to early 2013] and submitted to emphasize action wielding the “finding and declaration of purpose” in Federal law USC 1692 Title 15.

(Dkt. 7 at 2 (emphases omitted)). The action cover sheet states that the cause of action asserted is Medicare fraud, although citing ...


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