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Jones v. New York State Supreme Court

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


October 6, 2010

WILLIAM JONES, PRO SE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE NEW YORK STATE SUPREME COURT; ANDREW CUOMO, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dora L. Irizarry, U.S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff William Jones, currently incarcerated at Rikers Island, filed this pro se action on July 7, 2010. Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) is granted. For the reasons discussed below, plaintiff is granted thirty (30) days from the entry date of this Order, i.e., until November 5, 2010, to file an amended complaint.The issuance of a summons and service of the instant complaint are held in abeyance pending the filing of an amended complaint. Should plaintiff fail to replead in a timely manner, and/or the amended complaint fails to correct the deficiencies of the instant complaint or otherwise fails to satisfy pleading or jurisdictional requirements, the complaint will be dismissed with prejudice.

DISCUSSION

In reviewing plaintiff's complaint, the court is mindful that, "a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, a district court "shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or employee of a governmental entity." 28 U.S.C.§ 1915A. Upon review, a district court shall dismiss a prisoner complaint sua sponte 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." Id. § 1915A (b).

Pursuant to Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, plaintiff must provide a short, plain statement of claim against each defendant named so that they have adequate notice of the claims against them. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (Rule 8 "demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation."). Plaintiff must provide facts sufficient to allow each defendant to have a fair understanding of what the plaintiff is complaining about and to know whether there is a legal basis for recovery. See Twombly v. Bell, 425 F.3d 99, 106 (2d Cir. 2005) (defining "fair notice" as "'that which will enable the adverse party to answer and prepare for trial, allow the application of res judicata, and identify the nature of the case so that it may be assigned the proper form of trial.'") (quoting Simmons v. Abruzzo, 49 F.3d 83, 86 (2d Cir. 1995)); Ricciuti v. New York City Transit Auth., 941 F.2d 119, 123 (2dCir. 1991).

Plaintiff's complaint contains absolutely no facts, allegations or legal theories to support his claim that various New York Penal Law statutes are unconstitutional, nor does the complaint explain how those statutes harmed him, or how the defendants are involved in this matter. Therefore, defendants are unable to respond meaningfully to the complaint. While plaintiff's complaint could thus be dismissed, plaintiff is granted thirty (30) days from the date of this Order, i.e., until November 5, 2010, to file an amended complaint. The amended complaint must be captioned as an "Amended Complaint," name all individual defendants in the caption, and bear the same docket number as this Order. The amended complaint must also comply with Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff must name as proper defendants those individuals who have some personal involvement in the actions he alleges in the amended complaint and provide the dates and locations for each relevant event. If plaintiff does not know the names of the individuals, he may identify each of them as John Doe or Jane Doe. To the best of his ability, plaintiff must also set forth a legal basis to support his claims. Plaintiff is further directed to state if he has a pending state court criminal action, and the current status of those proceedings.

All further proceedings shall be stayed for thirty (30) days, but not later than November 5, 2010. If plaintiff fails to amend his complaint by November 5, 2010, as directed by this Order, and/or the amended complaint fails to correct the deficiencies of the instant complaint or otherwise fails to satisfy pleading or jurisdictional requirements, the complaint will be dismissed with prejudice. For the convenience of plaintiff, and in light of his pro se status, instructions on how to amend a complaint are attached to this Order. The issuance of a summons and service of the instant complaint are held in abeyance pending the filing of an amended complaint. The court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (a)(3) that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962).

SO ORDERED.

DORA L. IRIZARRY United States District Judge

20101006

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