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Arch v. Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

March 21, 2019

KEVIN L. ARCH, Plaintiff,
v.
PREFERRED FAMILY HEALTHCARE, INC., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JEAN C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court upon plaintiff Kevin L. Arch's submission of a civil complaint and a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court has considered the motion, and has determined it should be granted. Additionally, the Court has reviewed the complaint, and has determined that it should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         Legal Standard

          The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require this Court to dismiss a complaint if it determines at any time that it lacks jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). Moreover, a complaint filed in forma pauperis must be dismissed if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. An action is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis in either law or fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328 (1989). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         This Court must liberally construe complaints filed by laypeople. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). This means that “if the essence of an allegation is discernible, ” the court should “construe the complaint in a way that permits the layperson's claim to be considered within the proper legal framework.” Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787 (8th Cir. 2015) (quoting Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004)). However, even pro se complaints must allege facts which, if true, state a claim for relief as a matter of law. Martin v. Aubuchon, 623 F.2d 1282, 1286 (8th Cir. 1980). Federal courts are not required to assume facts that are not alleged, Stone, 364 F.3d at 914-15, nor are they required to interpret procedural rules so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed without counsel. See McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff brings this civil action against Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc. (“PFH”) and Bridget Hamilton, a counselor employed by PFH. He avers that he and both defendants are Missouri citizens.

         Plaintiff asserts that this Court has federal question jurisdiction over this action. In the section of the form complaint soliciting information about the federal statutes, treaties or constitutional provisions at issue, plaintiff wrote:

1) Obligation of care for myself, (Mr. Arch)
2) The company and Bridget knew a dangerous condition existed, that caused harm to Arch 3) The facility and Bridget Hamilton actions caused injuries to Arch.

(Docket No. 1 at 4). Additionally, on the Civil Cover Sheet plaintiff filed with his complaint, he checked a box indicating he was invoking this Court's federal question jurisdiction, and he wrote that he was filing this case under 18 U.S.C. § 2255. Liberally construed, plaintiff can also be understood to claim this Court has jurisdiction on the basis of diversity of citizenship, as he states he intends to bring claims of negligence and malpractice, claims that are premised upon state law.

         In setting forth his claims for relief, plaintiff writes:

I was drunk and kicked out of my apartment by Bridget Hamilton. The incident happened on 01-29-17 at approx. 11:20 pm at 2609 Rauschenbach Ave. St. Louis, Mo. I was passed out drunk, forced from the home, got in my car and drove away. I was arrested, booked for DWI, car towed and still pending court costs. Bridget Hamilton promoted the eviction and backed it up, with two men. PFH allowed (BH) Bridget to continue to work for PFH even though she was negligent in handling clients with problems (Hampton) ODed on drugs. Her actions as a professional addiction counselor did not conform to the minimal level of professionalism. My well being was put in jeopardy, by BH, I had drunk to passing. I was not in shape mentally and physically to perform normal actions.

(Docket No. 1 at 6). As relief, plaintiff seeks $500, 000 because he was “jailed, fined, had car towed (at my expense), lost time in court dates and damage to my driving record, ” and he writes: “with the jailing, loss of property, life put in jeopardy, court cost, attorney fees, driving privilege ...


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