Jimi Rose v. The Morning Call Newspaper, et al
NOT PRECEDENTIAL PER CURIAM OPINION Coram: GREENAWAY JR., GREENBERG and ROTH, Circuit Judges. Total Pages: 3.
Date Filed: 11/15/2017
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
THE MORNING CALL NEWSPAPER; MARANATHA BROADCASTING
COMPANY, INC., doing business as WFMZ-TV; JULISA BONILLA, PROTESTOR
AND AGENT PROVOCATEUR; THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE;
BASILIO A. BONILLA, JR., PROTESTOR AND UNKNOWN AGENT’S
PROVOCATEUR, BETHLEHEM SCHOOL BOARD, ET AL.
On Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
(E.D. Pa. Civ. No. 5:15-cv-02002)
District Judge: Honorable Legrome D. Davis
Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a)
March 21, 2017
Before: GREENAWAY, JR., GREENBERG, and ROTH, Circuit Judges
(Opinion filed: November 15, 2017)
This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not
constitute binding precedent.
Date Filed: 11/15/2017
Jimi Rose filed this suit in April 2015, and was granted permission to proceed in
forma pauperis. Rose’s initial pleading was part memoir, part vigorous diatribe. And it
was of such great length and ambiguity that it inspired sua sponte dismissal by the
District Court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and without prejudice. The
District Court allowed Rose thirty days to file an amended complaint, one in which Rose
was to state “as clearly and briefly as possible” the nature of his claims, the facts relevant
to those claims, the harm he suffered, and the remedies he sought.
The District Court thrice granted Rose additional time to produce an amended
complaint, which he eventually filed in October 2015. The District Court dismissed the
amended complaint for failure to state a claim, under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), concluding that
the “[t]he amended complaint largely mirrors the original complaint—and suffers from
the same deficiencies.” The dismissal was with prejudice. Rose’s subsequent motion for
reconsideration was granted by the District Court, which reopened the case and allowed
Rose to file a second amended complaint.
After receiving an extension of time, Rose filed a second amended complaint. The
District Court again dismissed Rose’s case under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). The District Court
concluded that Rose’s newest pleading was “a rambling recitation of the events that
occurred in his life since the early 1990’s, and does not give rise to any clear basis for a
claim against any of the defendants.” The District Court dismissed Rose’s action with
prejudice, and this appeal followed.
We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. Our standard of review is de novo.
See Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir. 2000). We have carefully considered
Date Filed: 11/15/2017
Rose’s arguments on appeal—in particular that his second amended complaint did in fact
state a viable claim—and find them to be unpersuasive. We also note that the District
Court gave Rose multiple opportunities to clarify his allegations and claims in accordance
with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rose, an experienced pro se litigant, failed to
take advantage of those opportunities. Therefore, we will affirm the judgment of the
We observe Rose’s seemingly central allegations in his operative pleading that
numerous unknown “protestors” collaborated with Basilio and Julisa Bonilla to sign a
petition urging the closure of Rose’s business—a cabaret called Scoobie’s Gentlemen’s
Club (which ultimately closed not because of the petition, but, apparently, because of a
catastrophic fire)—and that those actors allegedly conspired with a local newspaper (The
Morning Call) and a local television station (WFMZ-TV) to falsely report to the general
public that Rose’s business “was a nuisance bar.” Rose claimed that the foregoing
petition-signing and critique-publicizing was unconstitutional. However, we discern no
viable federal claim amidst Rose’s allegations. See, e.g., Deshaney v. Winnebago Cty.
Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 489 U.S. 189, 195 (1989) (“[N]othing in the language of the Due
Process Clause itself requires the State to protect the life, liberty, and property of its
citizens against invasion by private actors.”). With the most liberal of readings Rose’s
complaint might be said to have stated a defamation claim under state law against fellow
Pennsylvania citizens, a claim over which the District Court could not have exercised
jurisdiction. Cf. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
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