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CHODOS v. FBI

January 4, 1982

EVA CHODOS, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION and POLICE DEPARTMENT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MOTLEY

MEMORANDUM OPINION

 CONSTANCE BAKER MOTLEY, D.J.

 Plaintiff pro se, Eva Chodos, brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 to recover monetary damages for alleged violations of her constitutional rights by defendants, the United States of America (the F.B.I.) *fn1" and the New York City Police Department.

 Plaintiff filed an initial complaint on February 3, 1981. In lieu of an answer, defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that it failed to comply with F.R.Civ.P. 8(a), which requires that the complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the claim" and that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff responded to the motions by filing an amended complaint. *fn2" In it, plaintiff alleges that she has been deprived of her constitutional rights as a result of a conspiracy by defendants. Both defendants have moved to dismiss the amended complaint for failure to state a claim and lack of subject matter jurisdiction as well as being barred by the statute of limitations. For the reasons discussed below, defendants' motions are granted and plaintiff's complaint is dismissed without leave to amend.

 FACTS

 It is well settled that a pro se complaint must be construed liberally and dismissed only if "beyond doubt . . . the plaintiff can prove no set of facts which would entitle him to relief." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21, 30 L. Ed. 2d 652, 92 S. Ct. 594 (per curiam), rehearing denied, 405 U.S. 948, 30 L. Ed. 2d 819, 92 S. Ct. 963 (1972); Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957). Moreover, on a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the factual allegations of the plaintiff's complaint must be taken as true. Blassingame v. United States Attorney General, 387 F. Supp. 418 (S.D.N.Y. 1975).

 Plaintiff has filed papers requesting the court append the amended complaint to the original complaint and thus consider both when ruling on defendant motions. In an effort to grant plaintiff, who appears pro se, every possible leniency, we have granted her request. As far as can be determined from an examination of both the original and amended complaints, plaintiff claims her constitutional rights were violated by a series of incidents which allegedly occurred between 1968 and 1974 at the instigation of a retired member of the police force, one Charly Glasser. The complaint alleges that Glasser constructed the conspiracy in retaliation for testimony plaintiff had given in 1968. *fn3" Plaintiff claims that it was Glasser who informed the F.B.I. about plaintiff and got them to "join in" the conspiracy.

 The conspiracy is alleged to have consisted of a pattern of harassment conducted to prevent the conviction of one Irving Clayton for assault on plaintiff. The only incident alleged to have occurred in the last five years is set forth in the amended complaint on page 10 where plaintiff states:

 
27. On June 1980 had the defendants harassed, smeared and defamed the plaintiff (secretly, over the telephone) before the school Principals at P.S. 105 where the plaintiff is serving as honored school-volunteer "tutor" in the classroom for years. (sic)

 Plaintiff alleges that the conspiracy resulted in her stay in the psychiatric ward of Jacobi Hospital. The complaint details plaintiff's treatment while in the hospital and makes allegations against the staff of the institution. The complaint also contains allegations against plaintiff's landlady and former New York Mayor John Lindsay's secretary.

 I. Violation of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)

 Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) sets out a minimum standard for the sufficiency of complaints, providing that a complaint "shall contain . . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. . . ." The purpose of the rule is to give fair notice of the claim in order to permit the adverse party to file a responsive answer, prepare an adequate defense and determine whether res judicata is applicable. The rule also serves to sharpen the issues to be litigated and to confine discovery and the presentation of evidence at trial within reasonable bounds. Brown v. Califano, 75 F.R.D. 497, 498 (D.D.C. 1977); Prezzi v. Berzak, 57 F.R.D. 149, 151 (S.D.N.Y. 1972).

 Complaints have been dismissed for failure to comply with Rule 8(a). In Brown v. Califano, supra, the court described the complaint in the following manner:

 
In eight rambling counts, plaintiff claims "fraud, psychiatric, educational repressions, harassments, and intimidations, nuisances, tortures, aggravations, malpractices, entrapments, counterproductivity; invasions and violations of personal privacy; commitments and imprisonments, brutality, detentions, false personation. . . ...

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