United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
ORDER & MEMORANDUM & RECOMMENDATION
T. NUMBERS, II, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
William Lee Grant, II, has filed a complaint in the Eastern
District of North Carolina against Joint Special Operations
Command (JSOC). Grant has also submitted a Motion for Leave
to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (to Proceed with Prepayment
Costs or Fees). The court will grant the IFP motion, but the
undersigned recommends that the court dismiss the complaint
as frivolous and failing to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted.
Motion to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees.
asks the court to allow him to proceed with his action
without paying the required filing fee and other costs
associated with litigation (colloquially called proceeding
in forma pauperis or IFP). The court may grant the
plaintiff's request if he or she submits an affidavit
describing their assets and the court finds that he or she is
unable to pay the filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. In
assessing a request to proceed IFP, the court should consider
whether the plaintiff can pay the costs associated with
litigation and still “be able to provide himself and
his dependents with the necessities of life.”
Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S.
331, 339 (1948) (internal quotations emitted). As part of its
evaluation of Grant's request, the court must also
consider the viability of his claims. If the court determines
that the Complaint is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted, it must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
court has reviewed Grant's IFP application and finds that
Grant lacks the resources to pay the costs associated with
this litigation. Thus the motion to proceed IFP is granted.
Screening Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 (“PLRA”)
requires courts to review, prior to docketing, actions filed
by prisoners against governmental entities or officials. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The purpose of this review is to
eliminate claims that unnecessarily impede judicial
efficiency and the administration of justice. The court must
examine the pleadings, identify cognizable claims, and
dismiss any portion of the complaint that is frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. § 1915A(b).
court may dismiss a complaint as frivolous due to either
legal or factual shortcomings. Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A cause of action is legally
frivolous if it is “based upon an indisputably
meritless legal theory and include claims of infringement of
a legal interest which clearly does not exist.”
Adams v. Rice, 40 F.3d 72, 75 (4th Cir. 1994)
(quotations omitted). A complaint is factually frivolous when
its factual allegations are “fanciful, fantastic, and
delusional.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25,
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted if it does not “contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The Supreme Court has
explained that “[a] claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Grant's
pro se status relaxes, but does not eliminate, the
requirement that his complaint contain facially plausible
claims. The court must liberally construe a pro se
plaintiff's allegations, but it “cannot ignore a
clear failure to allege facts” that set forth a
cognizable claim. Johnson v. BAC Home Loans Servicing,
LP, 867 F.Supp.2d 766, 776 (E.D. N.C. 2011).
initial pleadings total 35 pages. Out of the 35 pages, 30
contain fanciful accusations ranging from “the CIA
killed Kennedy” to “the DoD disavows
Beyoncé” to “Condi was having an affair
with George W. Bush.” Under a section of the complaint
entitled Questions Presented, Grant writes “Where shall
Marion Hugh ‘Suge' Knight stand trial for the
murder to Christopher ‘Biggie Smalls'
Wallace?” and “Where shall Courtney Love stand
trial for the murder of Kurt Cobain?” Grant also claims
that he was created by the Department of Defense and dropped
off at his adopted father and mother's house to be beaten
and psychologically tortured, which lead him to stab his
father at age 17.
makes seemingly unrelated claims including salary being owed
to him by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
and the illegitimacy of a previous drunk driving arrest.
Grant claims that IDOT, Richard Abel Kabaker (his former IDOT
boss), the State of Illinois, and the U.S. Department of
Justice, and the Joint Special Operations Command all
defaulted by failing to respond to his previous pleadings and
therefore he should be granted a default judgement.
complaint is frivolous. There is no interpretation of these
assertions, even with the most liberal construction possibly
afforded a pro se plaintiff, by which this court can decipher
a cognizable claim. Grant's complaint suffers from a
clear lack of facts and is rooted in baseless assertions of
has offered no reasoning why JSOC was named defendant in his
complaint aside from a disjointed accusation that the Joint
Chiefs of Staff used JSOC and the Department of Defense to
enact a clandestine military operation - which Grant calls
“Operation: Hometown Glory” - to “steal
thirty years of Mr. Grant's life”. Moreover,
Grant's claims compensatory and punitive damages in the
amount of “$99 Trillion” but gives no indication
how he calculated these damages or from whom he expects these
damages. Thus, he has not stated a claim against JSOC.
these reasons, the court should dismiss Grant's complaint
as frivolous and for failing to state a ...