United States District Court, E.D. New York
Mr Mitchell Patrick, Plaintiff, Pro se, East Meadow, NY.
Loseph F. Bianco, United States District Judge.
On December 16, 2014, incarcerated pro se plaintiff Mitchell Patrick (" plaintiff") filed a civil rights complaint brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (" Section 1983") together with an application to proceed in forma pauperis . Upon review of the declaration accompanying plaintiffs application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court finds that plaintiffs financial status qualifies him to commence this action without prepayment of the filing fees. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Accordingly, plaintiffs application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. However, for the reasons that follow, the complaint is sua sponte dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), 1915A(b)(1) for failure to allege a plausible claim for relief.
I. The Complaint
Plaintiffs brief complaint, submitted on the Court's Section 1983 complaint form, seeks to challenge the disclosure of his allegedly " confidential information" by Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center (the " Hospital"). (Compl. ¶ IV.) Plaintiff claims that he did not authorize such disclosure and, as a result, plaintiff " was very hurt by Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center  giv[ing] out my CONFIDENTIAL [records] without talking to me first." (Id.) Accordingly, plaintiff seeks to recover " money for the pain that this business did to me." (Id.)
Annexed to the complaint is a copy of a judicial subpoena duces tecum (" the subpoena") that was so ordered by the Honorable Angelo Delligatti on October 8, 2014 in the underlying state criminal prosecution of plaintiff. ( See Compl. at 7-8). The subpoena is addressed to " Bronx Lebanon Hospital, art: Legal Dept." and calls for the production of " any and all medical records, papers, writings, notes, reports, documents, records, recordings, photographs, x-rays, summaries, conclusions, discharge summaries and memoranda with regard to treatment, care and/or examination from July 2012 to present of Patrick Mitchell...." ( See Compl. at 7). Plaintiff has also annexed the Hospital's response to the subpoena. The Hospital produced two pages - - an x-ray and continuation sheet - - both within the time period called for in the subpoena. ( See Compl. at 9-10).
II. Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
Upon review of plaintiff s declaration in support of the application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court finds that plaintiff is qualified to commence this action without prepayment of the filing fees. See 28U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Therefore, plaintiffs request to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.
III. Sufficiency of the Pleadings
A. Legal Standard
A district court is required 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 28U.S.C. § § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).
It is axiomatic that district courts are required to read pro se complaints liberally, see 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)); Chavis v. Chappius, 618 F.3d 162, 170 (2d Cir. 2010), and to construe them " 'to raise the strongest arguments that [they] suggest [ ]." ' Chavis, 618 F.3d at 170 (quoting Harris v. City of New York, 607 F.3d 18, 24 (2d Cir. 2010)). 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. 2010), aff'd, 133 S.Ct. 1659, 185 L.Ed.2d 671 (2013) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)). However, " [t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements ... are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation omitted).
Notwithstanding a plaintiff's pro se status, a complaint must plead sufficient facts to " state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 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." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The plausibility standard requires " more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id; accord Wilson v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 671 F.3d 120, 128 (2d Cir. 2011). 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." ' Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). ...