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Latham v. Transit Authority Civil Government

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NOT FOR PUBLICATION EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


July 26, 2010

HENRY C. LATHAM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TRANSIT AUTHORITY CIVIL GOVERNMENT, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: John Gleeson, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Pro se plaintiff Henry C. Latham filed this action on May 3, 2010. I grant his request to proceed in forma pauperis solely for the purpose of this order. Because I am unable to determine what claim he is advancing, I dismiss the complaint without prejudice.

DISCUSSION

A court must liberally construe a pro se plaintiff's pleadings and interpret his complaint to raise the strongest argument it suggests. See McPherson v. Coombe, 174 F.3d 276, 280 (2d Cir. 1999); see also Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ("[A] pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers."). Nevertheless, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), a court must dismiss an in forma pauperis action -- even one brought pro se -- if it determines that the action fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.

Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Rule 8 does not require much, but it "demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). Latham's complaint fails even this test. His filed a sample complaint form and left the area under the heading "Statement of Claim" blank. He did append two pages to his complaint and submit a three-page letter to the court, but those documents are unintelligible.*fn1

CONCLUSION

The complaint is dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. In forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal because any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3).

Brooklyn, New York.

So ordered.

John Gleeson, U.S.D.J.


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