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Maximillian Jones-Guma v. Assau County

July 12, 2011


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



On June 22, 2011, incarcerated pro se plaintiff Maximillian Jones-Guma ("Plaintiff") filed his Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") against Nassau County, Sheriff Michael Sposato, and the Nassau County Correctional Center ("NCCC") (collectively, "the Defendants"), accompanied by an application to proceed in forma pauperis. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) and sua sponte dismisses the Complaint. Plaintiff is granted thirty (30) days to file an Amended Complaint as set forth below.

I. The Complaint

Plaintiff's brief, handwritten Complaint submitted on the Court's civil rights complaint form, alleges that Plaintiff "caught cellulitis 7 months" after arriving at the NCCC. (Compl. at ¶IV.). Plaintiff claims that he began feeling pain in his left foot and leg on May 12, 2011 and filled out a "sick call sheet" so he would "be called to medical." (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that he began to complain after three days because he had not been seen by a doctor. (Id.). Plaintiff claims that an unidentified officer advised him that there "were no doctors around." (Id.). According to the Complaint, Plaintiff's "pain kept getting worse" and a few days later he was called to medical where he was seen by a nurse who took his blood pressure and body temperature. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that the nurse advised him that he would see a doctor the next morning. A day later, Plaintiff alleges that he was seen by a doctor who "did nothing." (Id.). Plaintiff claims that his leg and ankle became "really swollen" and as a result Plaintiff was unable to walk. (Id.). According to the Complaint, Plaintiff was taken from his "dorm to medical" in a wheelchair and from there he was taken to the hospital. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that he spent the next five days in the hospital where he was examined and had a sonogram, catscan, two MRIs, and two x-rays. Plaintiff claims he was diagnosed with cellulitis for which he received "very strong antibiotics" and pain medication. (Id. at ¶ IV.A.). Plaintiff claims that although his condition was improving, he has been taken off of the antibiotics and pain medication. (Id.). As a result, Plaintiff alleges that his condition "is back completely." (Id.).

Plaintiff seeks an unspecified sum of "money compensation" for the "pain and medical neglect" and mental suffering he experienced while incarcerated at NCCC. (Id. at ¶V.).

II. Discussion

A. In Forma Pauperis Application

Upon review of the Plaintiff's application, this 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). Accordingly, Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.

B. Application of 28 U.S.C. § 1915

Section 1915 of Title 28 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). The Court is required to dismiss the action as soon as it makes such a determination. See id.

Courts are obliged to construe the pleadings of a pro se plaintiff liberally. Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed Defendant, 537 F.3d 185, 191 (2d Cir. 2008); McEachin v. McGuinnis, 357 F.3d 197, 200 (2d Cir. 2004). Moreover, at the pleadings stage of the proceeding, the Court must assume the truth of "all well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations" in the complaint. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 621 F.3d 111, 123 (2d Cir. Sept. 17, 2010) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, __U.S.__, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949-50, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009). However, a complaint must plead sufficient facts to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1974, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, __U.S.__, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009) (citations omitted). While "detailed factual allegations" are not required, "[a] pleading that offers 'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S. Ct. at 1955). If a liberal reading of the complaint "gives any indication that a valid claim might be stated," courts must grant leave to amend the complaint. See Cuoco v. Moritsugu, 222 F.3d 99, 112 (2d Cir. 2000).

C. Section 1983

Section 1983 provides that: [e]very person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured. . . . .42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2000). To state a Section 1983 claim, a plaintiff must allege (1) that the challenged conduct was "committed by a person acting under color of state law," and (2) that such conduct "deprived [the plaintiff] of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States." Cornejo v. Bell, 592 F.3d 121, 127 (2d Cir. 2010), cert. denied sub nom Cornejo v. Monn, 131 S. Ct. 158 (2010), (quoting Pitchell v. Callan, 13 F.3d 545, 547 (2d Cir. 1994)). Section 1983 does not create any independent ...

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