Henning v. Organized Crime
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge William M Nickerson on 5/27/2016. (c/m 5/27/2016 nd2s, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
HELEN E. HENNING
ORGANIZED CRIME BALTIMORE
(Stemming from my work location Pimlico
Race Course or Streets)
CIVIL ACTION NO. WMN-16-1627
On May 25, 2016, Helen Henning, a self-represented
plaintiff who lists a Chicago,
Illinois post office box address, filed this action invoking this Court's 278 U.S.C.
Ms. Henning claims that she is stalked by "organized crime" everywhere
she travels and on May 19,2016, she noticed that she was "being stalked outside of 30 miles of
Baltimore ...until current traveling from Chicago, Ill(inois] by car."
ECF No. I at p. 1. In
addition, she claims that unidentified persons are "circulating a video tape of me unwanted sex
act from the work place in Chicago just about everywhere I travel to work for racetracks."
Ms. Henning's Complaint was not accompanied by the civil filing fee or motion for leave
to proceed in forma pauperis, summons; or civil cover sheet. She shall not be required to cure
Because Ms. Henning is proceeding as a self-represented litigant, the Court must liberally
construe her Complaint allegations.
See e.g., Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). This
Court, however, is not required to conjure up questions never squarely presented to it.'
Beaudett v. City
775 F. 2d 1274, 1277 (4th Cir. 1985). Further, a pleading which
sets forth a claim for relief shall contain a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which
the court's jurisdiction depends; a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader
is entitled to relief; and a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. See Fed. R. Civ.
Although self-represented pleadings must be "liberally construed" and "held to less
stringent standards than those by lawyers," Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007), a
complaint need not contain detailed allegations.
The facts alleged must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level and require "more than labels and conclusions,"
"courts are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation."
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007), citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S.
265, 286 (1986).
A Court may consider subject matter jurisdiction
as part of its initial review of the
190 F.3d 648, 654 (4th Cir. 1999) (holding
"[ d]etermining the question of subject matter jurisdiction at the outset of the litigation is often
the most efficient procedure").
In general, if subject matter jurisdiction is lacking in an action
before a court, the action must be dismissed. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) ("If the court
determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction,
the court must dismiss the
Consequently a federal court must determine with certainty whether it has subject
matter jurisdiction over a case pending before it and, if necessary, has an obligation to consider
A federal court does not act as an advocate for a self-represented claimant. See Brock v.
Carroll, 107 F.3d 241, 242-43 (4th CiT. 1996); Weller v. Department a/Social Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391
(4th CiT.1990); Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978).
its subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte. See Joseph v. Leavitt, 465 F.3d 87, 89 (2d Cir. 2006).
"[Q]uestions of subject-matter jurisdiction may be raised at any point during the proceedings'
and may (or, more precisely, must) be raised sua sponte by the court." Brickwood Contractors,
Inc. v. Datanet Engineering, Inc., 369 F.3d 385, 390 (4th Cir. 2004).
Upon generous review of the Complaint allegations, the Court finds that Ms. Henning
has, at best, set out fanciful and fantastic claims, which fail to state a federal cause of action
under this Court's
A district court has inherent authority to dismiss a
frivolous complaint sua sponte. See Mallard v. United States Dist. Ct. for S.D. of Iowa, 490 U.S.
296, 307-08, (1989) (courts have authority to dismiss a frivolous or malicious lawsuit even in
absence of a specific statutory provision); Ross v. Baron, 493 Fed. App'x 405, 406 (4th Cir.
2012) (unpublished) (noting that "frivolous complaints are subject to dismissal pursuant to the
inherent authority of the court, even when the filing fee has been paid"); Fitzgerald v. First East
Seventh St. Tenants Corp., 221 F.3d 362, 364 (2d Cir. 2000) (holding that district courts may
dismiss frivolous complaints sua sponte, even when plaintiff has paid the filing fee, noting that
"district courts are in particular likely to be exposed to frivolous actions, and thus have an even
greater need for inherent authority to dismiss such actions quickly in order to preserve scarce
The Court finds that the instant matter is subject to dismissal due to Ms.
Henning's failure to argue a meritorious federal claim. A separate order follows.
William M. Nickerson
Senior United States District Judge
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