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McKenney v. Demarco

United States District Court, E.D. New York

April 9, 2014

KEITH McKENNEY, Plaintiff,
v.
VINCENT F. DEMARCO, Defendant.

ORDER

SANDRA J. FEUERSTEIN, District Judge.

I. Introduction

On December 20, 2013, incarcerated pro se plaintiff Keith McKenney ("plaintiff") filed a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") against Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent F. DeMarco ("Sheriff DeMarco"), accompanied by an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Upon review of plaintiff's declaration in support of his application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court finds that plaintiffs financial status qualifies him to commence this action without prepayment of the filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Accordingly, the application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. However, for the reasons that follow, the complaint is sua sponte dismissed with prejudice unless plaintiff files an amended complaint within thirty (30) days from the date of this Order.

II. The Complaint

Plaintiff's brief, handwritten complaint, submitted on the Court's Section 1983 complaint form, alleges in its entirety that:

I'm presently being held at Suffolk County Jail, where my 8th admendant [sic] rights are being violated: (I) I'm being housed in a condemed [sic] part of the jail S-2; (2) I am being extorted for money; (3) threatend [sic] and victimized for my crimes; (4) I am a sentenced prisoner being held with non/sentenced inates who want to hurt me; (5) prison guards told them of my crimes; now inmates take advantage of me.

(Compl. ¶ IV). As a result, plaintiff claims he is "scared for [his] life, " does not sleep well, and suffers from "mental anguish." ( Id. ¶ IV.A). Accordingly, plaintiff seeks to recover two million dollars ($2, 000, 000.00). ( Id. ¶ V).

II. Discussion

A. Standard of Review

Under both the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and the in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), a district court must dismiss a complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, 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), 1915(e)(2)(B); see Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007) (finding both Section 1915 and Section 1915A to be applicable to a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis ).

It is axiomatic that district courts are required to read pro se complaints liberally, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976)); Hogan v. Fischer, 738 F.3d 509, 515 (2d Cir. 2013), and to construe them "to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest." Gerstenbluth v. Credit Suisse Sec. (USA) LLC, 728 F.3d 139, 142-43 (2d Cir. 2013) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Moreover, at the pleadings stage of the proceeding, the Court must assume the truth of "all well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations in the complaint." Harrington v. County of Suffolk, 607 F.3d 31, 33 (2d Cir. 2010); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009).

Nevertheless, a complaint must plead sufficient facts "to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). While the plausibility standard "does not require detailed factual allegations, " it "demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678. "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). "Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557); accord Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. ex rel. Saint Vincent Catholic Med. Ctr. Ret. Plan v. Morgan Stanley Inv. Mgmt. Inc., 712 F.3d 705, 717 (2d Cir. 2013). The plausibility standard requires "more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868; see also In re Amaranth Natural Gas Commodities Litig., 730 F.3d 170, 180 (2d Cir. 2013).

B. Section 1983

Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code provides, ...


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