MELNICK v. THE WHITE HOUSE, USA et al
MEMORANDUM AND/OR OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE J. WILLIAM DITTER, JR ON 9/8/14. 9/9/14 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE AND UNREPRESENTED PARTIES.(kw, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
SCOTT J. MELNICK
THE WHITE HOUSE, et. al.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
September 8, 2014
Scott J. Melnick has filed a pro se complaint against the White House and
President Barack Obama. For the following reasons, the Court sua sponte dismisses
Melnick’s complaint, with prejudice.
I am mindful of my duty to liberally construe pro se pleadings and to accept all
factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. However, “[a] federal court may sua sponte dismiss a
complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1) when the allegations within the complaint ‘are so attenuated and
unsubstantial as to be absolutely devoid of merit, . . . wholly insubstantial, . . . obviously
frivolous, . . . plainly unsubstantial, . . . or no longer open to discussion.’” DeGrazia v
F.B.I., 316 F. App’x 172, 173 (3d Cir. 2009) (quoting Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U.S. 528,
Melnick paid the administrative filing fee and is not proceeding in forma pauperis.
Therefore, the standards for dismissal under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 do not apply. See DeGrazia v
F.B.I., 316 F. App’x at 173.
I find that the sua sponte dismissal of Melnick’s complaint is warranted because
the allegations contained therein are clearly devoid of merit, wholly insubstantial and
obviously frivolous. See id. Melnick claims to be a psychic and to have the ability to
“call the ball” for the powerball lottery winners. See Melnick v. Krochta, C.A. No. 14-0256,
(Doc #1) Compl. at p. 3a. He alleges that he is entitled to a portion of the lottery winnings
of various powerball winners. Id. at 3c. His claims against the White House and
President Obama are entirely unclear and President Obama’s connection to the lottery is
unknown. There is no question that Melnick’s complaint meets the standard for sua
sponte dismissal, as his claims rely on fantastic scenarios lacking any arguable factual
basis. See DeGrazia v F.B.I., 316 F. App’x at 173.
In addition, dismissal of this complaint is warranted because the complaint plainly
fails to comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It is well-settled that
[t]he Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint contain a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief and that each averment
be concise and direct. See Fed.R.Civ.P.8(a)(2) & (e)(1); Scibeli v. Lebanon County, 219
F. App’x 221, 222 (3d Cir. 2007). Thus, when a complaint is incomprehensible or largely
unintelligible, an order dismissing the complaint under Rule 8 is clearly appropriate. Id.
Furthermore, dismissal under Rule 8 is proper when a complaint leaves the defendants
“having to guess what of the many things discussed constituted [a cause of action];” or
when the complaint is so rambling and unclear as to defy response. Binsack v.
Lackawanna Cty. Prison, 438 F. App’x 158, 160 (3d Cir. 2011); see also Tillio v. Speiss,
441 Fed. App’x 109, 110 (3d Cir. Aug 4, 2011).
Here, Melnick’s complaint is largely incomprehensible. The factual averments set
forth in the complaint consist of a random assortment of events and allegations without
any context or coherence. Therefore, Rule 8 compels dismissal of this complaint because
it is not a short and plain statement of a cause of action containing averments that are
concise and direct.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals instructs that district courts should not dismiss
a pro se complaint without allowing the plaintiff leave to amend unless amendment
would be inequitable or futile. See Kim v. I.R.S., 522 Fed. App’x. 157, 159 (3d Cir.
2013). Melnick has filed multiple actions in this Court relating to his psychic ability. I
dismissed three other actions filed by Mr. Melnick and in each case both the original and
the amended complaint were unintelligible. See Melnick v. Krochta, C.A. No. 14-0256;
Melnick v. Wells Fargo, C.A. No. 14-3083; and Melnick v. Segal, C.A. No. 14-3071.
Therefore, I find that allowing plaintiff leave to amend would be futile. Because the
complaint provides no basis upon which this court can exercise subject matter
jurisdiction, and because the jurisdictional deficiencies are incapable of being cured by
way of further amendment, dismissal of the complaint is appropriate. Accordingly,
Melnick’s complaint is dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil
An appropriate order follows.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?