Skip to main content


Reset A A Font size: Print

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

BITON, a/k/a Bitton, a/k/a Redford; a/k/a Fhima Family Appellant v. UNITED STATES of America; United Continental Airlines

No. 19-1942

Decided: December 20, 2019

Before: RESTREPO, PORTER, and NYGAARD, Circuit Judges Danielle Biton, Pro Se Nicholas E. Pantelopoulos, Esq., KMA Zuckert, New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellee


Danielle Biton, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint against the United States and United Airlines. The allegations in the complaint and amended complaints are difficult to decipher, but it appears that Biton espouses a conspiracy theory that implicates the President, multiple attorneys general, and many large banks. She complained that the President had somehow enslaved her and others by invading their privacy and deporting their families, that the FBI falsely arrested her and her family, and that United Airlines stole her fingerprints in violation of the Constitution. The District Court granted United Airlines’ motion to dismiss and dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Biton appealed.

This Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We construe Biton’s pro se complaint liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007) (per curiam). We may summarily affirm if the appeal fails to present a substantial question. See Murray v. Bledsoe, 650 F.3d 246, 247 (3d Cir. 2011) (per curiam); 3d Cir. L.A.R. 27.4; I.O.P. 10.6.

To survive dismissal, a complaint must state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Connelly v. Steel Valley Sch. Dist., 706 F.3d 209, 212 (3d Cir. 2013). The District Court did not err in holding that Biton’s original and amended complaints do not state any plausible claims. They rely on “fantastic or delusional scenarios,” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 (1989), and Biton has provided only bald accusations without any supporting details. Moreover, United Airlines, a private actor, cannot be held liable under the Constitution in this instance. Skinner v. Ry. Labor Execs.’ Ass’n., 489 U.S. 602, 614, 109 S.Ct. 1402, 103 L.Ed.2d 639 (1989). As the District Court first pointed out, no facts in the complaint support any federal cause of action.1

Accordingly, because this appeal presents no substantial question, we will affirm the judgment of the District Court.2 See 3d Cir. L.A.R. 27.4; I.O.P. 10.6.


1.   Because Biton was proceeding in forma pauperis, sua sponte dismissal of the complaint with respect to the United States, which had not submitted a motion to dismiss, was appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

2.   Biton’s motion for appointment of counsel is denied. See Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 155 (3d Cir. 1993).


Copied to clipboard