United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina
RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
PATRICK AULD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
case comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge in regard to Plaintiff Donna Hamblen's eight pro se
Complaints against various defendants. Plaintiff did not
submit a filing fee or an application to proceed in forma
pauperis with any of the Complaints. For the reasons
that follow, the undersigned will recommend filing and
dismissal of the Complaints, and additionally will warn
Plaintiff that further frivolous filings shall result in the
imposition of a prefiling injunction.
explained by the [United States] Supreme Court, the
substantiality doctrine forbids the federal district courts
from exercising subject matter jurisdiction over claims that
are attenuated and insubstantial, absolutely devoid of merit,
obviously frivolous, or no longer open to
discussion.” Stratton v. Mecklenburg Cty. Dep't
of Soc. Servs., 521 Fed.Appx. 278, 289 (4th Cir. 2013)
(citing Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U.S. 528, 536-37
(1974)) (emphasis added). “[A] complaint, containing as
it does both factual allegations and legal conclusions, is
frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or
fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325
(1989). “The word ‘frivolous' is inherently
elastic and not susceptible to categorical definition. . . .
The term's capaciousness directs lower courts to conduct
a flexible analysis, in light of the totality of the
circumstances, of all factors bearing upon the frivolity of a
claim.” Nagy, 376 F.3d at 256-57 (some
internal quotation marks omitted).
Supreme Court further has identified factually frivolous
complaints as ones involving “allegations that are
fanciful, fantastic, and delusional. As those words suggest,
a finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate when the
facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the
wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially
noticeable facts available to contradict them.”
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992)
(internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Notably,
complaints presenting claims that “are essentially
fictitious, ” including those alleging
“‘bizarre conspiracy theories, '” also
merit dismissal under the substantiality doctrine. Newby
v. Obama, 681 F.Supp.2d 53, 56 (D.D.C. 2010) (quoting
Best v. Kelly, 39 F.3d 328, 330 (D.C. Cir. 1994));
see also O'Brien v. United States Dep't
of Justice, 927 F.Supp. 382, 385 (D. Ariz. 1995)
(“On their face, Plaintiff's allegations are so
bizarre and delusional that they are wholly insubstantial and
cannot invoke this Court's jurisdiction.”). In
considering such matters, the Court may “apply common
sense.” Nasim, 64 F.3d at 954.
pro se filings are “to be liberally construed, ”
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976),
“[t]he liberal construction which [courts] are obliged
to afford a pro se complaint is not without bounds, ”
Stratton, 521 Fed.Appx. at 290. “Admittedly,
pro se complaints represent the work of an untutored hand
requiring special judicial solicitude. Nevertheless, they may
present obscure or extravagant claims defying the most
concerted efforts to unravel them. . . . [J]udges are not
mind readers, and the principle of liberal construction does
not require them to conjure up questions never presented to
them . . . [or to] construct full-blown claims from sentence
fragments.” Id. at 290-91 (internal citations
and quotation marks omitted).
filed a complaint with this Court on a prior occasion, and
the undersigned recommended dismissal for frivolousness on
the grounds that the allegations within it qualified as
“bizarre and incomprehensible” and
“fanciful and delusional.” See Hamblen v.
Berryhill, No. 1:17-cv-903, Docket Entry 5 at 3, 4 (M.D.
N.C. Oct. 20, 2017), recommendation adopted, Docket
Entry 11 (M.D. N.C. Nov. 30, 2017). The Complaints in this
case similarly lack substance. For example, one Complaint
asks for restoration of Social Security benefits, but
provides only indecipherable writings in support. See
Hamblen v. Social Sec. Admin., No. 1:18-cv-175, Docket
Entry 1 at 5 (M.D. N.C. Mar. 6, 2018) (“A Motion also
to Restore SSA Benefits, as The Federal Material Witness,
Plaintiff in Requests for the Witness Protection Program . .
. .”). Another Complaint “Petition[s] the
Court, to Reinstate or create new Health Insurance from the
Estates of the Family of one or more Insurances as Owner of
the same, as sole survivor of the Estates, and as of Request
to the USA Dept of Justice in 2012, 2013 . . . .”
Hamblen v. Dept. of Justice, No. 1:18-cv-172, Docket
Entry 1 at 2 (M.D. N.C. Mar. 6, 2018). Even construing the
Complaints liberally, the Court could not “construct
full-blown claims” from their contents.
Stratton, 521 Fed.Appx. at 291.
to the extent the Court could discern Plaintiff's factual
allegations, they remain fanciful and delusional, making
inscrutable references to presidents and law enforcement
agencies. For instance, in one Complaint, under the heading
“Jr High 1970-1972, ” Plaintiff mentions
“Langley I.Q. tests included & JFK visit
classified[, ] Fed. ‘Witness' to Hal's murder
& ‘Nana-Irene' murder[.]” Hamblen v.
Frye, No. 1:18-cv-177, Docket Entry 1 at 2 (M.D. N.C.
Mar. 6, 2018). The Complaint goes on to allege that
“Monarch & Empowering Lives are Rogue Subsidy
Corporations of -. They are supposed to be CIA front org. for
Psy & L. Enf. in Business.” (Id. at 14.)
In a separate action, Plaintiff names “Unknown White
House Staff of 41[, ] . . . 42[, ] . . . 43[, ] . . . 44[, ]
. . . [and] 45” as parties, implying that staffers in
the past five presidential administrations bear some relation
to the claims in the Complaint. See Hamblen v. Dept. of
Justice, Docket Entry 1 at 3-4. These statements
constitute “clearly fictitious factual claims, ”
Stratton, 521 Fed.Appx. at 289, best described as
“bizarre and delusional, ” O'Brien,
927 F.Supp. at 385.
Plaintiff's Complaints qualify as frivolous and
insubstantial. Plaintiff's filing of any further
frivolous submissions shall result in the imposition of a
prefiling injunction, which would require her to obtain the
Court's permission before filing materials in the future.
IS THEREFORE RECOMMENDED that these actions be
dismissed as frivolous.
 Citations to Docket Entry pages
utilize the CM/ECF footer's pagination. Nonstandard
grammar, spelling, and word usage appear here as in ...