MELVIN v. BRITTANY et al
MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE MITCHELL S. GOLDBERG ON 5/31/17. 5/31/17 ENTERED AND COPY MAILED TO MELVIN.(fdc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
SHAWN MICHAEL MELVIN, JR.
BRITTANY, et al.
MAY 31, 2017
Plaintiff Shawn Michael Melvin, Jr. filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis and a
complaint against managers and an assistant manager at Walmart. His claims appear to stem
from the fact that he did not receive a job he applied for at Walmart. Plaintiff alleges that
Brittany, the manager, “humiliated [him] by not participating correctly for [his] hire,” and “made
[him] sign papers, making it seem like she was going to call [him] in for orientation.” (Compl. at
3.) Based on those allegations, plaintiff claims that his civil rights were violated. He seeks
$10,000 because Brittany “[lied] to [him] about working, rendering [him] vulnerable,” and never
called him to start work after his background check. (Id. at 4.)
Plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis is granted because it appears that he is
incapable of paying the fees to commence this civil action. Accordingly, 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii) require the Court to dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or fails to
state a claim. A complaint is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact,”
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989), and is legally baseless if it is “based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory.” Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1085 (3d Cir.
1995). To survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, the complaint must 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) (quotations omitted). “[M]ere conclusory statements do not
suffice.” Id. As plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court construes his allegations liberally.
Higgs v. Att’y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
To the extent plaintiff is raising claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of his rights,
his claims fail. “To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right
secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged
deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.
42, 48 (1988). Section 1983 is not applicable here because the defendants are not state actors.
There is no other basis for a federal claim apparent from the complaint. Although federal
law prohibits discrimination in employment based on an individual’s membership in a protected
class, nothing in the complaint suggests that plaintiff’s claims arise under those laws. See
E.E.O.C. v. Allstate Ins. Co., 778 F.3d 444, 448-49 (3d Cir. 2015) (explaining that federal law
prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and
disability (citing 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a), 29 U.S.C. § 623; 42 U.S.C. § 12112)). To the contrary,
it appears that plaintiff is disappointed because his expectation in employment with Walmart did
not materialize. That disappointment and frustration does not, however, equate to a federal
For the foregoing reasons, the Court will dismiss plaintiff’s complaint. As it appears that
plaintiff lacks a basis for a claim within the Court’s jurisdiction, amendment would be futile. An
appropriate order follows, which shall be docketed separately.
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