United States District Court, S.D. New York
September 14, 2004.
KEVIN E. SLEIGH, Plaintiff,
CHARLEX, INC., et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MICHAEL MUKASEY, Chief Judge, District
OPINION & ORDER
Plaintiff Kevin Sleigh sues Charlex, Inc. and several of its
current and former employees*fn1 alleging discrimination on
the basis of race, color, sex, and religion, in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e §
2000e-17 (2000). Defendant moves to dismiss plaintiff's complaint
on the ground that plaintiff's claims are time-barred. Defendant
also urges dismissal due to improper service under Rule 4 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Finally, defendant moves for
dismissal and on the grounds that plaintiff's complaint is
factually frivolous, in violation of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), and not
a short and plain statement of his claim, in violation of Rule
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendant's
motion is granted and the complaint is dismissed with prejudice,
as the court finds that plaintiff's claim is factually frivolous,
and not a short and plain statement of his claim, in violation of
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2),
The facts in plaintiff's pro se complaint are as follows:
Kevin Sleigh, a self-described Caribbean-American male, began
working for Charlex, Inc. in May, 1989, and remained at the
company until June 1995. Compl. ¶ 5.*fn2 During his time
at Charlex, plaintiff claims that other Charlex employees and
supervisors discriminated against and spread false information
about him on a frequent basis, both during his time at the
company and after he departed, up until April 2000. Compl. ¶ 6.
Plaintiff alleges that Charlex and its employees discriminated
against him on the basis of race, sexuality, and religion.
Plaintiff's allegations of discriminatory and objectionable
treatment at Charlex, spanning more than 50 typewritten
pages,*fn3 are too numerous to recount here in significant
detail. In general, plaintiff claims that his Charlex co-workers and supervisors insulted and distrusted him,
monitored and followed him, framed him for misdeeds he did not
commit, and spread malicious and false rumors about him
throughout New York City, New York State, New Jersey, Maryland,
and Virginia.*fn4 He also alleges that Charlex paid him a
lower salary than it paid other employees at his skill level, and
denied him promotions that he deserved and earned. In his
complaint, plaintiff provides specific examples of dozens of
discriminatory and defamatory acts that Charlex employees
committed against him both during his time at Charlex and after
Plaintiff also describes numerous instances of discrimination
and mistreatment at the hands of various individuals and entities
unrelated to defendant. The court will not consider these
allegations, as they are unconnected to the present lawsuit,
except to the extent that they are evidence of the frivolous and
prolix nature of plaintiff's complaint.
This court must decide the motion to dismiss based on the facts
alleged in the complaint, and these facts must be viewed in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party, here the plaintiff. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974),
overturned on other grounds by Harlow v. Fitzgerald,
457 U.S. 800 (1982); LaBounty v. Adler, 933 F.2d 121, 123 (2d
Cir. 1991). Dismissal is not warranted "unless it appears beyond
doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of
his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); see also Sheppard v.
Berman, 18 F.3d 147, 150 (2d Cir. 1994). "This rule applies
with particular force where the plaintiff alleges civil rights
violations or where the complaint is submitted pro se."
Chance v. Armstrong, 143 F.3d 698, 701 (2d Cir. 1998).
Plaintiff's pro se complaint is entitled to a close and
sympathetic reading by this court, and the court need not hold
plaintiff to the same technical standard that might be
appropriate for a lawyer. See Haines v. Kerner,
404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Riddle v. Claiborne, No. 00-1374, 2001 WL
1352456, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 2, 2001). In ruling whether or not
to dismiss plaintiff's complaint, the pro se pleadings "must be
read liberally and should be interpreted to `raise the strongest
arguments that they suggest.'" Graham v. Henderson,
89 F.3d 75, 79 (2d Cir. 1996) (quoting Burgos v. Hopkins,
14 F.3d 787, 790 (2d Cir. 1994). Though the standard for acceptable pro
se pleading is lenient, "bald assertions and conclusions of law
will not suffice" to defeat a motion for dismissal. Leeds v.
Meltz, 85 F.3d 51, 53 (2d. Cir. 1996). As explained below, even the most
charitable reading of plaintiff's complaint cannot justify
sustaining this action.
Defendant first claims that plaintiff's action is time-barred
under any applicable statute of limitations. Defendant is correct
in arguing that the statutes of limitation for Title VII actions
and any common law intentional tort actions have expired.
However, plaintiff also has the option of proceeding under
42 U.S.C. § 1981 and New York Human Rights Law, and his claims are
within the applicable statute of limitations for those statutes.
A. Title VII and Intentional Tort Claims
Plaintiff brings his action in federal court under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e § 2000e-17.
Title VII mandates that a plaintiff must file his claim with the
EEOC within 180 days "after the alleged unlawful employment
practice occurred," or within 300 days after the alleged actions
occurred if the plaintiff has already brought a claim with a
state or local employment agency. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(1). These
timing requirements function as a statute of limitations, and
"discriminatory incidents not timely charged before the EEOC will
be time-barred upon the plaintiff's suit in district court." Quinn v. Green Tree Credit Corp.,
159 F.3d 759, 765 (2d Cir. 1998); see also Van Zant v. KLM Royal
Dutch Airlines, 80 F.3d 708, 712 (2d Cir. 1996).
In this case, plaintiff filed his claim with the EEOC on
October 22, 2002, seven years after his resignation from Charlex,
Inc. Even were the court to consider plaintiff's unsubstantiated
claim that Charlex employees continued to slander him for five
years after his departure from the company, plaintiff states in
his complaint that these actions ceased in April of 2000, a year
and a half before plaintiff filed with the EEOC. In either
situation, plaintiff's claim was filed far more than 180 days
after the alleged violations. Additionally, plaintiff must file
his action in federal or state court within 90 days of receiving
his "right-to-sue" letter from the EEOC.
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1); see Nielsen v. Flower Hosp.,
639 F.Supp. 738, 740 (S.D.N.Y. 1986). Plaintiff's Title VII suit is
time-barred on these grounds as well, as his complaint was filed
on February 27, 2003, 116 days after the mailing of the EEOC
Right to Sue letter on November 4, 2002. Therefore, the statute
of limitations for Title VII actions has expired, and plaintiff
may not pursue his claim under that law.
Plaintiff also has the right to file supplemental state law
claims against defendant. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). However, any claims plaintiff might allege for defamation or civil
battery*fn5 are also time-barred, since the New York statute
of limitations for intentional torts is one year from the accrual
of the cause of action. N.Y.C.P.L.R. § 215(3) (McKinney 2003).
B. Section 1981 and New York Human Rights Law Claims
Although plaintiff does not specifically mention
42 U.S.C. § 1981 in his complaint, he also has a right to pursue his
discrimination claim under that statute. Section 1981 guarantees
all persons within the United States the right "to make and
enforce contracts," 42 U.S.C. § 1981(a), which includes "the
making, performance, modification, and termination of contracts,
and the enjoyment of all benefits, privileges, terms, and
conditions of the contractual relationship." Id. § 1981(b);
see also Lauture v. IBM, 216 F.3d 258, 261 (2d Cir. 2000).
The courts have construed § 1981 primarily to apply to claims of
race-based employment discrimination and hostile work
environment. See Whidbee v. Garzarelli Food Specialties,
Inc., 223 F.3d 62, 69 (2d Cir. 2000); Lopez v. S.B. Thomas,
Inc., 831 F.2d 1184, 1189 (2d Cir. 1987). Section 1981 contains no statute of limitations of its own, and
federal courts have traditionally applied the forum state's
statute of limitations for personal injury actions when deciding
§ 1981 claims. King v. American Airlines, Inc., 284 F.3d 352,
356 (2d Cir. 2002); see also Goodman v. Lukens Steel Co.,
482 U.S. 656, 660-61 (1987). In New York, the statute of
limitations for filing personal injury actions is three years
from the date the cause of action arose, and courts in this
circuit have consistently applied the three-year limit to § 1981
actions. See N.Y.C.P.L.R. § 214(2), (5); Patterson v. County
of Oneida, N.Y., 375 F.3d 206, 225 (2d Cir. 2004); Madera v.
Metro. Life Ins. Co., No. 99-4005, 2002 WL 1453827, at *3
(S.D.N.Y. July 3, 2002).
In May 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that the four-year
"catch-all" federal statute of limitations established in
28 U.S.C. § 1658(a) applied to § 1981 suits based on amendments to
the statute made by the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Pub.L. No.
102-166 (codified in scattered sections of 42 U.S.C.). Jones v.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 124 S.Ct. 1836, 1845 (2004). It is
unclear whether Donnelley governs pending cases or not; at
least one court in this circuit has already applied the four-year
period to a pending § 1981 case. See Nicholls v. Brookdale
Univ. Hosp. Med. Ctr., No. 03-6233, 2004 WL 1533831, at *3
(E.D.N.Y. July 9, 2004). However, plaintiff's action is timely
under both the old regime's three-year statute of limitations and the new
four-year period, so the court need not rule on whether
Donnelley applies here.
It should also be noted that plaintiff has the right to allege
a supplemental claim under New York State Human Rights Law, which
prohibits, in relevant part, any employer from barring an
individual from employment on the basis of race, sexual
orientation, color, or creed. N.Y. Exec. L. 296(a) (McKinney
2003). The New York Human Rights Law has a three-year statute of
limitations. N.Y.C.P.L.R. § 214(2); see Lightfoot v. Union
Carbide Corp., 110 F.3d 898, 907 (2d Cir. 1997); Murphy v.
American Home Products Corp., 58 N.Y.2d 293, 297,
461 N.Y.S.2d 232, 233 (1983).
In this case, plaintiff alleges that Charlex employees were
acting out of racial hatred by "intentionally giving the wrong
information as to [his] character and as to events which took
place within Charlex" up until April 2000. Compl. ¶ 6.*fn6
Plaintiff claims that this spreading of malicious rumors
throughout various communities prevented him from obtaining other
employment in the video editing business. Journal. Thus,
plaintiff's claim could have been timely filed under both § 1981 and New York Human Rights Law, if he had been able to plead
sufficient facts describing the alleged discriminatory conduct
through April 2000. Applying the three-year statute of
limitations, plaintiff could have filed his complaint anytime
through April 2003. Because he filed on February 27, 2003, his
action would have been within the statute of limitations for §
1981 suits in this district. However, as discussed below, since
plaintiff's complaint has no rational factual basis, it must be
dismissed, even though it is potentially timely.
Defendant claims also that plaintiff failed to properly serve
his complaint on the parties in this case. Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 4(m) requires that the plaintiff serve the summons and
complaint on all defendants within 120 days of filing the
complaint. The court may extend the time for service upon a
showing of good cause, but even absent such a showing, the court
has discretion to allow service after the 120-day period has
passed. Fed.R. Civ. P. 4(m); see also Henderson v. United
States, 517 U.S. 654, 662-63 (1996).
Good cause to excuse deficient service is "generally found only
in exceptional circumstances where the plaintiff's failure to
serve process in a timely manner was the result of circumstances beyond its control." Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. v.
Sun, No. 93-7170, 1994 WL 463009, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 25,
1994). In making this determination, courts consider the
plaintiff's diligence in attempting to effect service, and any
prejudice defendants may have experienced by the delay. See,
e.g., Hutchinson v. New York State Corr. Officers, No.
02-2407, 2003 WL 22056997, at *10 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 4, 2003).
Additionally, "[i]gnorance of the law, even in the context of
pro se litigants, does not constitute good cause." Charles
v. New York City Police Dep't, No. 96-9757, 1999 WL 717300, at
*6, (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 15, 1999).
In this case, plaintiff delivered the complaint to the U.S.
Marshal for service on July 2, 2003,*fn7 125 days after he
filed his complaint on February 27, 2003. The papers were not
actually served on defendant Charlex until September 8, 2003, and
on defendant Langley on August 11, 2003, 193 and 165 days after
the complaint was filed, respectively. Papers were never served
on the other nine remaining defendants, one of whom is
deceased.*fn8 In his response to defendants' motion, plaintiff does not offer
any excuse for his tardy delivery of the papers to the marshal;
he simply asserts that according to his calendar, he delivered
the papers to the marshal 119 days after he filed his complaint.
There appears no good cause for the plaintiff's late delivery of
the papers for service on David Langley and Charlex, or for his
complete failure to request service on the nine other defendants
in this action. Plaintiff's pro se status is not sufficient to
constitute good cause, and neither is his misreading of his
However, as mentioned above, this court has the discretion to
extend the plaintiff's time for service even absent good cause.
In deciding whether to grant an extension, the court should
consider "(1) whether the applicable statute of limitations would
bar the refiled action; (2) whether the defendant had actual
notice of the claims asserted in the complaint; (3) whether the
defendant had attempted to conceal the defect in service; and (4)
whether the defendant would be prejudiced by the granting of
plaintiff's request for relief from the provision." Eastern Refractories Co. v. Forty Eight
Insulations, Inc., 187 F.R.D. 503, 506 (1999) (quoting Advisory
Committee Notes to Fed.R. Civ. P. 4(m)). Additionally, this
court must take into account plaintiff's pro se status. A pro
se plaintiff is not excused from the requirements of proper
service, see Morrison v. New York State Div. for Youth
Children and Family Servs., No. 98-643, 2000 WL 532762, at *3
(N.D.N.Y. Apr. 25, 2000), but "when dismissing a pro se
plaintiff's complaint for improper service will result in a
statute of limitations bar to the renewal of his claim . . .,
courts have excused improper service and considered the
allegations of the complaint." Ladner v. Proportional Count
Associates, Inc., No. 96-2190, 2001 WL 1328443, at *2 (E.D.N.Y.
Sept. 17, 2001); cf. Buckley v. Doha Bank Ltd., No.
01-8865, 2002 WL 1751372, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. July 29, 2002)
(excusing delay when pro se plaintiff effected service one week
after the 120-day deadline). The court is not obligated to excuse
plaintiff's delay in such cases, but it may if it so chooses.
See Sun, 1994 WL 463009, at *4. Courts have not generally
excused a pro se plaintiff's failure to serve when there has
been no attempt whatsoever to serve defendants. See
Hutchinson, 2003 WL 22056997, at *11; Point-Dujour v. United
States Postal Serv., No. 02-6840, 2003 WL 1745290, at *3
(S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2003) ("[W]here a party fails to take any
affirmative step to serve its adversary, courts should refrain from granting that party more time to effect service.").
In this case, the statute of limitations for any conceivable
action plaintiff could have filed expired in April 2004.*fn9
Accordingly, and taking into account plaintiff's pro se status,
I am willing to excuse the tardy service for defendants Charlex
and David Langley, because plaintiff did make reasonable efforts
to serve these defendants properly. No such excuse can be made to
permit service on the nine other individual defendants, since
plaintiff never made any attempt to serve them. However, as
discussed below,*fn10 because this complaint must be
dismissed with prejudice in any event due to its fatal defects in
form and substance, it is immaterial that service was acceptable
as to Langley and Charlex.
A. Defendants' Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) (2) (B) (1)
Defendants also move to dismiss plaintiff's complaint under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) (2) (B) (1), which mandates that a district court must dismiss an in forma pauperis action if it
is "frivolous or malicious." See Cruz v. Gomez,
202 F.3d 593, 596 (2d Cir. 2000) (explaining that since the amendment of
the statute in 1996, such dismissal is no longer discretionary,
but mandatory). The statute was adopted in order to protect
against litigants abusing the privilege of filing proceedings in
federal court without paying to do so. Denton v. Hernandez,
504 U.S. 25, 27 (1992).
The Supreme Court and our Court of Appeals have held that an
action is frivolous when the claim is "based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory," or if "the `factual contentions are
clearly baseless,' such as when allegations are the product of
delusion or fantasy." Nance v. Kelly, 912 F.2d 605, 606 (2d
Cir. 1990) (quoting Nietzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327
(1989)); see also Livingston v. Adirondack Beverage Co.,
141 F.3d 434, 437 (2d Cir. 1998). Courts in this district have
dismissed actions on these grounds. For example, the court
dismissed one case sua sponte where the pro se plaintiff
claimed she was a cyborg, bound to root out a conspiracy among
the defendants who included Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Ross
Perot, IBM, and NASA to reinstitutionalize slavery. Tyler v.
Carter, 151 F.R.D. 537, 537-38 (1993). In another case, on
defendants' motion, the court dismissed the pro se plaintiff's
case accusing the United States and New York State governments of
conspiring to lynch and murder him, and of drugging him in order to keep him
from pursuing the practice of dentistry. Bloom v. United
States Government, No. 02-2352, 2003 WL 22327163, at *1
(S.D.N.Y. Oct. 10, 2003).
This case must be dismissed for similar reasons. As discussed
above, plaintiff's only timely claim is his allegation that
defendants spread malicious and false rumors about him through
April 2000, preventing him from obtaining employment in the video
editing industry.*fn11 A close and sympathetic reading of
the complaint and accompanying Journal fails to produce any
rational basis in fact for plaintiff's assertions that defendants
continued to poison his reputation during the five years after he
resigned from Charlex.
A few examples will make evident the delusional and fantastic
nature of plaintiff's timely claims. Plaintiff alleges that "due
to demonizing slander which radiated from several places of
employment, including Charlex . . ., many of my neighbors in
Flushing, Queens were noticeably uncomfortable when I was near to
them. Another painful result of criminalization is being
constantly accused, followed, and having police officers monitor
you." Journal. This statement exemplifies large portions of
plaintiff's Journal he alleges that defendants' "slander" turned neighbors, stores, potential employers, law
enforcement personnel, his dentist, and even his own family
members against him, and these rumors spread throughout New York,
New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.
Among other incidents apparently motivated by defendants'
rumor-mongering, plaintiff alleges that his neighbors tampered
with his car, causing it to "mysteriously shut down" on the
George Washington bridge, and that his cousins conspired to
murder him. Journal. Plaintiff also describes being followed
and monitored at various establishments in New York, New Jersey,
Maryland, and Virginia, including Emigrant Savings Bank,
Pathmark, ServiStar Hardware, Today's Man, Western Beef
Supermarket, CVS. His descriptions of the incidents occurring at
these locations uniformly involve the conduct of store employees,
and plaintiff often expresses a desire to sue the stores
themselves, but he never indicates any connection between
defendants and the stores themselves beyond occasional vague
statements that the damaging information originated from Charlex
and its employees.
Plaintiff is convinced that for many years his telephones have
been monitored (it is unclear by whom), and he describes multiple
encounters with people on the street in which passers-by made
reference to plaintiff's personal telephone conversations. In one
such case, in Baltimore, plaintiff recounts a red sports car full of African-American males driving
by his house, its occupants yelling out a portion of plaintiff's
own words from a telephone conversation he had had with his
cousin two days earlier. It is unclear how defendants are related
to the monitoring incidents; indeed, there is virtually no
articulated link between defendants and all of the other
incidents in the Journal that occurred after plaintiff's
resignation from Charlex.
Plaintiff cites "the nose picking incident," in which his
Charlex co-workers allegedly gossiped about plaintiff picking his
nose in the editing room, as evidence of the type of
"controversy" that worked to destroy his reputation. Plaintiff
claims that he publicly rubbed (but did not pick) his nose once
in March 1995, and the story "followed" him for "at least four or
five years after . . . because society is so used to ensnaring
young black men that my co-workers had to any controversy to
create a humiliating incident." Journal.
Plaintiff claims that Charlex management spread rumors among
Charlex clients and plaintiff's own neighbors that plaintiff was
charged with soliciting a prostitute in northern New Jersey.
Plaintiff's evidence of Charlex's conduct in this instance is
that for four years, he heard his clients and neighbors telling
others, "Kevin made one mistake, one mistake!" and that one
night, while dining at a Chinese restaurant in Queens, he learned that Charlex was the source of these rumors.
He gives no further details as to how this revelation occurred.
As the above examples indicate, plaintiff's timely claims are
lacking in rational factual basis. "A plaintiff asserting
fantastic or delusional claims should not, by payment of a filing
fee, obtain a license to consume limited judicial resources and
put defendants to effort and expense." Tyler,
151 F.R.D. at 540. Thus plaintiff's action is dismissed as frivolous and
malicious under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(1).
B. Defendants' Motion Under Fed.R. Civ. P. 8(a)
Finally, defendants move to dismiss plaintiff's complaint under
Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8(a)
requires that a complaint "shall contain a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief." Fed.R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). As the Second Circuit has
The statement should be plain because the principal
function of pleadings under the Federal Rules is to
give the adverse party fair notice of the claim
asserted so as to enable him to answer and prepare
for trial. The statement should be short because
`unnecessary prolixity in a pleading places an
unjustified burden on the court and the party who
must respond to it because they are forced to select
the relevant material from a mass of verbiage.'
Salahuddin v. Cuomo, 861 F.2d 40
, 42 (2d Cir. 1988) (quoting
5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure § 1281, at 365
(1969)) (citations omitted). When a complaint violates Rule 8(a),
the court may, sua sponte or on defendant's motion, strike
repetitive or irrelevant portions or dismiss the complaint.
Dismissal is usually warranted only in cases where "the complaint
is so confused, ambiguous, vague, or otherwise unintelligible
that its true substance, if any, is well disguised." Id.; see
also Martin Luther King Jr. H.S. Parents v. New York City
Dep't of Educ., No. 02-1689, 2004 WL 1656598, at *2 (S.D.N.Y.
July 23, 2004) (dismissing complaint containing "a litany of
vague and conclusory allegations whose relevance to the asserted
claims is uncertain").
The complaint in this case blatantly violates Rule 8(a). The
complaint, supplemented by plaintiff's "Exhibit I," the "Journal
of Civil Rights Abuses," spans more than 175 single-spaced pages.
It reads more like a novel than a legal document, discussing at
length plaintiff's love life, childhood, tense relationships with
various family members and neighbors, and his views on sexuality,
morals and religion. The Journal's pages and paragraphs are not
numbered, making it extremely difficult to navigate, especially
given its length. The overarching theme of the complaint is its
accusation that at every stage of plaintiff's life, he has been
discriminated against and stereotyped. Regardless of the truth of
any of plaintiff's farfetched allegations, the form of his complaint is unacceptable. It
certainly has not put defendants on fair notice of the claims
asserted against them, as the complaint's 175 pages fail to make
clear exactly what role defendants played in plaintiff's life
after his resignation from Charlex in 1995. By forcing both
defendants and the court to parse hundreds of pages of baseless,
irrelevant, and paranoid allegations, plaintiff has unjustifiably
burdened the system. Therefore this case is also dismissed under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 8(a).
C. Leave To Amend
Given the Second Circuit's "jurisprudential preference for
adjudication of cases on their merits rather than on the basis of
formalities," Salahuddin, 861 F.2d at 42, plaintiffs are
usually given leave to amend and replead their complaints before
they are dismissed with prejudice under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 or Rule
8(a). See, e.g., Cruz, 202 F.3d at 597-98 (holding that pro
se plaintiffs should be allowed to amend their complaint prior
to dimissmal under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 "unless the court can rule
out any possibility, however unlikely it might be, that an
amended complaint would succeed in stating a claim."); Gomez v.
USAA Federal Savings Bank, 171 F.3d 794, 796 (2d Cir. 1999)
(same); Simmons v. Abruzzo, 49 F.3d 83, 86 (2d Cir. 1995)
(allowing leave to replead when complaint violated Rule 8(a)). However, courts have the power to dismiss without leave to
amend or replead in "extraordinary circumstances, such as where
. . . the substance of the claim pleaded is frivolous on its
face. . . ." Salahuddin, 861 F.2d at 42 (citing Moorish
Science Temple of Am., Inc. v. Smith, 693 F. 2d 987, 990 (2d
Cir. 1982)); see also Landesberg v. Legislative and Judicial
Branches of Gov't, No. 96-3033, 1997 WL 473585, at *4 (S.D.N.Y.
Aug. 19, 1997) (dismissal without leave to replead of plaintiff's
frivolous claim against the government for various violations of
his constitutional rights); Inducol, LDA. v. Ford Motor Co.,
No. 92-0798, 1992 WL 189458, at *1-2 (E.D.N.Y. 1992) (dismissing
with prejudice as frivolous a 135-page class action alleging
money laundering conspiracy in leather goods industry). Courts
also have dismissed with prejudice cases in which the plaintiff's
complaint describes "`fantastic or delusional scenarios,'"
Bloom, 2003 WL 22327163 at *8 (quoting Tyler,
151 F.R.D. at 540).
In this case, plaintiff's timely claims are not only frivolous
on their face, but also appear to be largely based upon
delusions. Defendants' motion, in part, suggests that plaintiff's
claims arise from delusions. In response, plaintiff compares the
substance of his complaint to the Holy Bible, and suggests that
if defendants' suggestion is accepted, then the New York City
Police Department should arrest practicing Catholics in church,
because, he queries, "[i]sn't worshipping entities whom are invisible strange and `delusional'"? Response.*fn12
Plaintiff also has no conception of how to conform his complaint
to the requirements of the law. In response to defendants'
understated characterization of plaintiff's complaint as
"prolix," plaintiff responds, "I disagree. A better way to
characterize my legal documents would be `well thought out.'"
Id. Therefore, it appears that any attempt plaintiff might make
at coherent repleading would be unsuccessful.
As stated above, this court is aware of its obligation to
consider pro se plaintiffs' complaints with lenity, Haines,
404 U.S. at 520-21. However, in this case, plaintiff's complaint
is frivolous on its face, and must be dismissed without leave to
amend or replead. * * *
For the reasons set forth above, the motion to dismiss the
complaint is granted, and the action is dismissed with prejudice.