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Carter v. Department of Health and Human Services

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

May 18, 2018

DANIELLE A. CARTER, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, et al., [1] Defendants.

          ORDER AND MEMORANDUM AND RECOMMENDATION

          James E. Gates United States Magistrate Judge

         This pro se case is before the court on the motion (D.E. 1) by plaintiff Danielle A. Carter ("plaintiff) to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) and for the associated frivolity review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Plaintiff separately moves (D.E. 4) to correct her proposed civil cover sheet. The motions and frivolity review were referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). See, e.g., unnumbered 2 Apr. 2018 Public D.E. For the reasons stated below, the court will allow plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma pauperis and motion to correct her proposed civil cover sheet, but recommend that this action be dismissed as frivolous pursuant to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.

         ORDER ON IN FORMA PA UPERIS MOTION

         Based on the information in the motion to proceed in forma pauperis, the court finds that plaintiff has adequately demonstrated her inability to prepay the required court costs. Her motion (D.E. 1) to proceed in forma pauperis is therefore ALLOWED.

         ORDER ON MOTION TO CORRECT CIVIL COVER SHEET

         Plaintiff moves to correct an error in her proposed civil cover sheet (D.E. 1-2). She states that she checked the box on the sheet indicating the case is a class action pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 when it is not. See Civ. Cover Sheet § VII. Plaintiff s motion to correct is ALLOWED. The box in the civil cover sheet for identification of this case as a class action shall be deemed to be unchecked.

         MEMORANDUM AND RECOMMENDATION ON FRIVOLITY REVIEW

         I. PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS AND CLAIMS

         In her proposed complaint, filed 26 March 2018, plaintiff purports to assert claims against defendants arising from the termination of her parental rights on or about 4 October 2013.[2] Prop. Compl. (D.E. 1-1) ¶¶ 2, 8.[3] Specifically, according to plaintiffs proposed complaint, on that date, a caseworker entered her home without identification to remove her child from the home. Id. at 4 ¶ 9. Plaintiff was told that the child would be removed within 30 minutes and that plaintiffs only option was for the child to enter kinship care. Id. at 6 ¶ 9. The caseworker attempted to contact the child's biological father to enforce and establish paternity, but plaintiff rejected these attempts. Id. at 7 ¶ 9. The child was ultimately removed from plaintiffs home and plaintiff was only allowed one hour of visitation per week. Id. The caseworkers treated plaintiff with intimidation and discrimination, and slandered and defamed her character. Id. at 7-8 ¶ 9. Plaintiff was coerced under fraud and duress to sign and relinquish her parental rights. Id. at 8 ¶ 9. In her proposed complaint, she appears to assert claims for fraud, involuntary adoption, discrimination, defamation, malpractice, and tort. Id. ¶ 4. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of $36 million to$l billion. Id. at 8¶9.

         In an initial attachment to her proposed complaint, filed 19 April 2018, plaintiff contends that the removal of her child was a conspiracy against plaintiffs civil rights as well as her child's civil rights. 1 st Attach. (D.E. 5) 1. She seeks termination of the conspiracies, no interference with her reproductive rights, restoration of her parental rights and termination of any parental or custodial rights of the child's adoptive parents. Id. at 1-2.

         In her second attachment, filed 26 April 2018, plaintiff seeks to add tort claims arising from physical injuries she suffered from the termination of her parental rights, as well as claims for exploitation, child abduction, abuse, espionage, identity theft, endangerment, and violent extremism. 2nd Attach. (D.E. 6) ¶ 9.

         Finally, in a third attachment, filed 30 April 2018, plaintiff appears to seek to add the minor child as a plaintiff and assert additional claims for sexual harassment, discrimination based on sexual orientation and disability, conspiracies against civil rights, and personal injury. 3rd Attach. (D.E. 7) 3-5. She seeks permanent reunification of plaintiff and her child, an award of sole custody to plaintiff, expungement of records, and allowing the child to be on television with an alias. Id. at 6.

         II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS

         The court must dismiss a case brought in forma pauperis if it determines that the action is frivolous or malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § l9l5(e)(2)(B)(i), (ii); see Denton v. Hernandez,504 U.S. 25, 27 (1992). A complaint is frivolous "where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The court is not permitted to dismiss a ...


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