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Harris v. Sposato

United States District Court, E.D. New York

April 14, 2015

KALIEKE HARRIS, 14003190, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL SPOSATO, Defendant.

OPINION & ORDER

SANDRA J. FEUERSTEIN, District Judge.

On January 20, 2015, incarcerated pro se plaintiff Kalieke Harris ("plaintiff") filed a complaint in this Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") against the Nassau County Sheriff Michael Sposato ("defendant" or "Sposato") [Docket Entry No. 1 ("Complaint" or "Compl.")], accompanied by an application to proceed in forma pauperis. [Docket Entry No. 2].

Upon review of the declaration in support of the 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 fee. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a); 1915(a)(1). Therefore, plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. However, for the reasons that follow, the Complaint is sua sponte dismissed for failure to state a claim for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1).

I. Background[1]

Plaintiff's Complaint, submitted on the Court's Section 1983 form, alleges the following in its entirety:[2]

On December 9, 2014 during lunch feeding I was talking to another inmate when they shook the gates for us to lock in. I ran to catch my gate because we have about 30 seconds to catch it. I slipped on a puddle on the bottom tier. The puddle came from a leak in the ceiling. I landed on my back and hit my elbow on a stool. My back and elbow was [sic] in serious pain and I couldn't get up on my own. C.O. Merchant badge # 2505 and C.O. Santiago badge # 2357 was talking [sic] to while waiting for medical to come. C.O. Merchant filled out the injury report. After a while medical staff arrived and helped me into a wheelchair. They took me to medical and they examined my back and elbow. After they gave me medication and sent me back to my housing area.

Compl. ¶ IV. Plaintiff claims to suffer "severe back pains" when he is sleeping, standing up and sitting down, and requests an MRI exam and physical therapy. Id. ¶ IV.A. For relief, plaintiff seeks to recover unspecified monetary damages for his "pain and suffering." Id. ¶ V.

II. Discussion

A. 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.

B. Application of 28 U.S.C. § 1915

Under the in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), 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. It is axiomatic that district courts are required to read a pro se complaint liberally ( Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007) (citations omitted)), and construe it "to raise the strongest arguments" suggested. Gerstenbluth v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, 728 F.3d 139, 142-43 (2d Cir. 2013) (quotations 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. Cnty. 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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). The pleading of specific facts is not required; rather a complaint need only give the defendant "fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93 (quotations and citation omitted); see also Anderson News, LLC v. Am. Media, Inc., 680 F.3d 162, 182 (2d Cir. 2012), cert. denied by Curtis Circulation Co. v. Anderson News, LLC, ___ U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 846, 184 L.Ed.2d 655 (2013) (accord). However, "[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). "Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557); see also Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. ex rel. St. Vincent Catholic Med. Ctrs. Ret. Plan v. Morgan Stanley Inv. ...


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