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Frobese v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

March 20, 2015

ERNEST J. FROBESE
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, et al.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

RICHARD G. STEARNS, District Judge.

For the reasons set forth below, (1) plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis is allowed, (2) plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction is denied; and (3) plaintiff shall show good cause why this action should not be dismissed.

FACTS

On March 19, 2015, Plaintiff Ernest J. Frobese ("Frobese"), of Billerica, Massachusetts, filed a complaint, motion for preliminary injunction and motion to proceed in forma pauperis.[1]

Frobese's four-page complaint consists primarily of a recounting of events surrounding the plaintiff's contact with government officials dating back to 1981 and continuing until November 2014 when he received a motor vehicle citation in Athol, Massachusetts. As best can be gleaned from the complaint, rather than pay $25 to file an appeal, plaintiff instead sent a letter seeking to resolve the matter. Frobese alleges that this "resulted in the suspension of [his] driver's license and insurance on [his] vehicles which is another unconstitutional blow to [his] liberty and the need for the preliminary injunction until [he] can resolve this issue in front of a jury of [his] peers and seek damages of $100 million for the unconstitutional protocol established by [his] government." See Complaint, p. 3. Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction asks the court to order "the registry of motor vehicles in Massachusetts to reinstate [plaintiff's] license and insurance until this matter can be constitutionally resolved." See Docket No. 2.

DISCUSSION

I. The Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

Based on the information contained in Frobese' application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court grants the motion.

II. Screening of the Complaint

When a plaintiff is permitted to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, summonses do not issue until the Court reviews the complaint and determines that it satisfies the substantive requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Section 1915 authorizes federal courts to dismiss complaints if the claims therein lack an arguable basis in law or in fact, fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992).

In conducting a review of a complaint filed by a litigant proceeding in forma pauperis, the court reads plaintiff's complaint with "an extra degree of solicitude, " Rodi v. Ventetuolo, 941 F.2d 22, 23 (1st Cir.1991), due to his pro se status, see id.; see also Strahan v. Coxe, 127 F.3d 155, 158 n. 1 (1st Cir. 1997) (noting obligation to construe pro se pleadings liberally) (citing Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 92 S.Ct. 594, 595-96, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972)). As discussed below, upon such review, Plaintiff's complaint is subject to dismissal for the reasons set forth below.

III. Plaintiff's Complaint Fails to State a Claim Upon Which Relief Can Be Granted

Plaintiff purports to sue the Commonwealth and United States Justice Department, however, the complaint offers only vague and conclusory allegations concerning the lawfulness of the suspension of his drivers license and fails to allege any facts in support of his claim.

Section 1983 creates a cause of action against those who, acting under color of state law, violate federal constitutional or statutory law. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] To the extent Frobese brings this action against the Justice Department, it is well settled that the federal government, federal agencies and the people who work for them in their official capacities are immune from suit for monetary damages absent a waiver of sovereign immunity. See e.g., Fed. Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 475, 114 S.Ct. 996, 127 L.Ed.2d 308 (1994) ("It is axiomatic that the United States may not be sued without its ...


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