The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas J. Mcavoy, Senior U.S. District Judge
The Clerk has sent to the Court a civil rights complaint, together with an in forma pauperis application, from plaintiff Franklyn Anthony Clarke, who is incarcerated at Watertown Correctional Facility.*fn1 Dkt. Nos. 1, 2. Plaintiff has not paid the filing fee required for this action.
In his pro se complaint, plaintiff alleges that "the Institutional Hearing Program (New York District) at Ulster and Downstate Correctional Facilities are routinely issuing removal deportation orders without first investigating the subject background on residency and derivative citizenship."
Dkt. No. 1 at 4. Plaintiff further alleges that the "IRP/Investigations Division automatically filed detainer holds" against foreign born prisoners.*fn2 Id. Plaintiff claims that the detainer takes away his right to participate in "all early release ... work-release - outside clearance programs." Id. Finally, plaintiff alleges that he is eligible for derivative citizenship and wishes to file a naturalization application. Id. at 5. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and also asks that his immigration proceeding be re-opened so that he can seek "termination of proceedings to allow his consideration of the application for naturalization citizenship." Id. at 5-6. For a more complete statement of plaintiff's claims, reference is made to the entire complaint.
A. In Forma Pauperis Application
As to plaintiff's in forma pauperis application, after reviewing the entire file, the Court finds that plaintiff is financially able to commence this matter in forma pauperis.
Section 1915(e) directs that, when a plaintiff seeks to proceed in forma pauperis, "(2) . . . the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that -- . . . (B) the action . . . (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Thus, even if a plaintiff meets the financial criteria to commence an action in forma pauperis, it is the court's responsibility to determine whether the complaint that the plaintiff has filed may properly be maintained in this District before the court may permit the plaintiff to proceed with his action in forma pauperis. See id.
Moreover, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, a court must review any complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from officers or employees of a governmental agency and must "identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint . . . is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or . . . seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also Carr v. Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115, 116 (2d Cir. 1999) (per curiam) (citation omitted).
Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983.*fn3 Section 1983 establishes a cause of action for "the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws" of the United States. German v. Fed. Home Loan Mortg. Corp., 885 F.Supp. 537, 573 (S.D.N.Y. 1995) (citing Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983)) (footnote omitted); see also Myers v. Wollowitz, No. 95-CV-0272, 1995 WL 236245, *2 (N.D.N.Y. Apr. 10, 1995) (McAvoy, C.J.) (§ 1983 "is the vehicle by which individuals may seek redress for alleged violations of their constitutional rights.") (citation omitted).
1. The People of the State of New York
"It is well settled in this Circuit that 'personal involvement of defendants in alleged constitutional deprivations is a prerequisite to an award of damages under § 1983.'" Wright v. Smith, 21 F.3d 496, 501 (2d Cir. 1994) (quoting Moffitt v. Town of Brookfield, 950 F.2d 880, 885 (2d Cir. 1991)) (other citations omitted). In this case, there are absolutely no allegations in the complaint against The People of the State of New York.*fn4 Moreover, to the extent that plaintiff seeks monetary damages against the People of the State of New York, it is clear that plaintiff's claims for monetary damages against New York State are barred by the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. See U.S. Const., Amend. ...