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Shawn Webb-Payne v. Field Parole Officer A. Smith

January 21, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge:


Presently pending before the Court is the Complaint of incarcerated pro se plaintiff Shawn Webb-Payne ("Plaintiff") filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") together with an application to proceed in forma pauperis. For the reasons that follow, the application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted but the Complaint is sua sponte dismissed with prejudice with regard to Plaintiff's federal claims and without prejudice as to his state law claim. Plaintiff may pursue his state law claims in state court.


Plaintiff's sparse Complaint appears to allege that he has been incarcerated improperly since September 5, 2008. According to the Complaint, on November 7, 2007, Plaintiff entered a guilty plea with regard to a charge of intoxication in violation of his parole and was sentenced to a 12-month "parole hold." (Compl. at ¶ II(D)). Plaintiff alleges that, on June 27, 2008, his papers were reviewed by the Parole Board, and his request for parole was granted with a scheduled release date of September 5, 2008. (Id.). However, because Plaintiff did not have an approved address as of the scheduled release date, Plaintiff was not released. (Id.). Plaintiff claims that he has sought guidance from the Defendants as to how to proceed so that he could be released, but has not received any assistance. (Id.).

Accordingly, Plaintiff claims that the Defendants' inaction is in violation of his "4th, 8th and 14th constitutional rights for due process and Negaligence [sic]." (Compl. at ¶ III). As a result, Plaintiff seeks $10 million for his claimed emotional and psychological stresses and mental anguish as well as to compensate him for "the amount of time spent confined pass [sic] plaintiff's release date. . . ." (Compl. at ¶ V).


In Forma Pauperis Application Upon review of Plaintiff's declaration in support of his application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court finds that Plaintiff's financial status qualifies him to commence this action without prepayment of the filing fees. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Therefore, Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED.

II. Application Of The Prison Litigation Reform Act The 1996

Prison Litigation Reform Act, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1915, requires a district court to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint if the action is frivolous or malicious; fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i-iii); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (a) & (b); Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007). The Court is required to dismiss the action as soon as it makes such a determination. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).

It is axiomatic that pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than pleadings drafted by attorneys and the Court is required to read the Plaintiff's pro se Complaint liberally and interpret it raising the strongest arguments it suggests. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 167 L. Ed. 2d 1081 (2007); Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9, 101 S. Ct. 173, 66 L. Ed. 2d 163 (1980); Pabon v. Wright, 459 F.3d 241, 248 (2d Cir. 2006); McEachin v. McGuinnis, 357 F.3d 197, 200 (2d. Cir. 2004) ("[W]hen the plaintiff proceeds pro se, . . . a court is obliged to construe his pleadings liberally, particularly when they allege civil rights violations."). Moreover, at this stage of the proceeding, the Court assumes the truth of "all well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations" in the Complaint. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 621 F.3d 111, 124 (2d Cir. 2010).

Here, Plaintiff's Complaint must be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii-iii) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1)-(2) because it seeks monetary relief against defendants who are immune from such relief and fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

A. Immunity

1. Eleventh Amendment Immunity

Plaintiff names as defendants the New York State Division of Parole's Regional Director of Hudson Valley Region #3, the Director of Upstate Long Island Field Operations and the Commissioner as well as two individual New York State parole officers. Plaintiff has not designated whether he seeks to sue these individuals in their official or personal capacities. Given the nature of the allegations, it appears that Plaintiff intended to sue them in their official capacities and, as such, they are immune from suit under the Eleventh Amendment. Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, ...

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