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Fekete v. JP Morgan Chase Bank

United States District Court, N.D. New York

January 14, 2015

CSABA V. FEKETE and GABRIELA FEKETE, Plaintiffs,
v.
J.P. MORGAN CHASE BANK, Defendant.

CSABA V. FEKETE, Pro Se, GABRIELA FEKETE, Pro Se, Bainbridge, NY, for Plaintiff.

For Defendant, [NONE]

REPORT, RECOMMENDATION, AND ORDER

DAVID E. PEEBLES, Magistrate Judge.

Pro se plaintiffs Csaba V. Fekete and Gabriela Fekete commenced an action in this court against J.P. Morgan Chase Bank ("Chase") and seek leave to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP"). Their complaint and accompanying IFP application have been forwarded to me for consideration. Based upon my review, I conclude that plaintiffs qualify for IFP status but that their complaint fails to state a cognizable claim over which this court has subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, I recommend that plaintiffs' complaint be dismissed with leave to amend.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs commenced this action on December 22, 2014. Dkt. No. 1. Rather than paying the requiring filing fee, they instead seek leave to proceed in the matter IFP. Dkt. No. 2.

The allegations set forth in plaintiffs' complaint are difficult to decipher, a circumstance which is exacerbated by the fact that it was prepared on a form complaint designed for use in employment discrimination actions brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq. Dkt. No. 1. Although it is not entirely clear, plaintiffs' claims seemingly relate to wire transactions from the Erste Bank, located in Hungary, to an account maintained by the plaintiffs at Chase. Id. at 2-3. Plaintiffs appear to challenge Chase's reduction of the amounts deposited into their account by way of a wire transfer from the Erste Bank, claiming that the wire and service fees charged are not authorized. Id. As relief, plaintiffs request an order and judgment directing Chase to cease reducing the amounts forwarded to it by wire for plaintiff's benefit and directing Chase to refund any amounts previously deducted. Id. at 4.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Application for Leave to Proceed IFP

When a civil action is commenced in a federal district court, the statutory filing fee, currently set at $400, must ordinarily be paid. 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). A court is authorized, however, to permit litigants to proceed IFP if it determines that they are unable to pay the required filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1).[1] In support of an IFP application, section 1915 requires that the plaintiffs submit an affidavit that reflects all of the assets possessed by them. Id.

Upon review of plaintiffs' application, I find that they qualify for IFP status and will therefore grant their application.

B. Sufficiency of Plaintiff's Complaint

1. Standard of Review

Because I have found that plaintiffs meet the financial criteria for commencing this case IFP, I must next consider the sufficiency of the claims set forth in their complaint in light of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). Section 1915(e) directs that, when a plaintiff seeks to proceed IFP, "the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that... the action... (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Similarly, 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) directs a court to review any "complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity, " and the court must "identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint... is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or... seeks ...


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