COOLEY v. WILLIAMS et al
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS that this action be dismissed in accordance with 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(d) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Objections to R&R due by 2/23/2007. Signed by Judge Susan Paradise Baxter on 2/6/07. (lrw)
COOLEY v. WILLIAMS et al
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
ROMEO COOLEY, Petitioner vs. DENEEN M. WILLIAMS, et al., Defendants.
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C.A. No. 07-14 Erie District Judge McLaughlin Magistrate Judge Baxter
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION I. RECOMMENDATION It is respectfully recommended that this action be dismissed in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §1915(d) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
REPORT Petitioner Romeo Cooley, presently incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at
Albion, Pennsylvania, brings this action pro se, styled as a "Petition for Modification and/or termination of Child Support." Petitioner seeks an order from this Court suspending the enforcement of a child support order that was entered by Erie County Common Pleas Court. On April 23, 1996, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (hereinafter, "Act"), Pub.L.No. 104-134, was enacted to amend 28 U.S.C. §1915, which establishes the criteria for allowing an action to proceed without payment of costs. Section 1915(e) as amended, states in relevant part: "The court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that -- ...(B) the action or appeal -- (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted..." A claim is frivolous if it: 1) is based upon an indisputably meritless legal theory and/or, 2) contains factual contentions that are clearly baseless. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989). A plaintiff has failed to allege a section 1983 claim if the court is satisfied "that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the 1
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allegation." Hishon v. King & Spaulding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984); Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957). This Court has discretion to dismiss frivolous or malicious in forma pauperis complaints under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d). Wilson v. Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989) the U.S. Supreme Court has instructed that section 1915(d) provides the Court with the authority "... to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably meritless theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989). In fact, the statue not only empowers the Court to screen out frivolous cases before the complaint is served, it actually encourages it. Roman v. Jeffes, 904 F.2d 192, 195-96 (3d Cir. 1990). A pro se complaint, "however inartfully pleaded," must be held to "less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers" and can only be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it appears "
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