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Cherry v. Spasato

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York

May 5, 2015

ERNEST CHERRY, #14005116, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL SPOATO [sic, Sheriff, Nassau County; ARMOUR [sic HEALTH INC., Defendants.

ORDER

JOAN M. AZRACK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

On April 7, 2015, incarcerated pro se plaintiff Ernest Cherry (“plaintiff”) commenced this action against Nassau County Sheriff Michael Sposato (“Sheriff Sposato”), and Armor Correctional Health Services of New York, Inc. s/h/a as Armour Health Inc. (“Armor”) (together, “defendants”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983”), alleging a deprivation of his constitutional rights. Accompanying the complaint is an application to proceed in forma pauperis. The court grants plaintiff’s request to proceed in forma pauperis and sua sponte dismisses the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), 1915A(b)(1) for the reasons that follow.

I. BACKGROUND[1]

Plaintiff’s brief, handwritten complaint is submitted on the Court’s Section 1983 complaint form. In its entirety, plaintiff’s statement of claim alleges:[2]

On Jan. 26, 2015, I Ernest Cherry was going to the outside Recreational area when I suddenly slipped and fell. They let us out right when the world record blizzard was hitting the tri-state area. There was no salt on the grounds, nor was there any mats of the sort to knock the snow off my sneakers. Since the slip and fall I’ve been having cronical Back, tailbone, head, neck, shoulder pains Restless nights and weight loss. There was like 20 OR more inmates at the Recreation area when this took place. I’m suing nassau county jail for negligence do to the fact that there was no salt on the grounds and ice was present and armour Health Clinic for cruel and unusual punishment as they failed to provide proper medical attention.

(Compl. ¶ IV.) For relief, plaintiff seeks to recover a compensatory damages award in the amount of $700, 000 against each defendant. (Id. ¶ V.)

II. DISCUSSION

A. In Forma Pauperis Application

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 fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Therefore, plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.

B. Standard of Review

The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires a district court to screen a civil complaint brought by a prisoner against a governmental entity or its agents and 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.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). Similarly, pursuant to the in forma pauperis statute, a court must dismiss an action if it determines that it “(I) is frivolous or malicious, (ii) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or (iii) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court must dismiss the action as soon as it makes such a determination. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

Pro se submissions are afforded wide interpretational latitude and should be held “to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per curiam); see also Boddie v. Schnieder, 105 F.3d 857, 860 (2d Cir. 1997). In addition, the Court is required to read the plaintiff’s pro se complaint liberally and interpret it as raising the strongest arguments it suggests. United States v. Akinrosotu, 637 F.3d 165, 167 (2d Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (citation omitted); Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009).

The Supreme Court has held that pro se complaints need not plead specific facts; rather the complainant “need only give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); cf. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(e) (“Pleadings must be construed so as to do justice.”). However, a pro se plaintiff must still plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citations omitted). The plausibility standard requires “more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. at 678. While “‘detailed ...


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