United States District Court, W.D. New York
DECISION AND ORDER
ELIZABETH A. WOLFORD United States District Judge
Melvin Lee ("Plaintiff) brings this action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his
constitutional rights. (Dkt. 1). Plaintiff was previously
granted in forma pauperis status (Dkt. 4 at 2), and
has now timely submitted an amended complaint (Dkt. 5), as
permitted by the Court. (Dkt. 4). The Court is required to
screen Plaintiffs amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
alleges that Defendant Joel Kitchen ("Kitchen"), a
student at Canisius College during the time period at issue,
lied to Defendant Canisius College ("Canisius")
public safety officers regarding a robbery allegedly
perpetrated by Plaintiff on February 13, 2006. (Dkt. 5 at
4-5). Plaintiff asserts that a Canisius public safety
officer, Defendant Dominic J. Barone ("Barone"),
failed to sufficiently investigate Kitchen's allegation
because Barone failed to interview any witnesses to the
incident beyond Kitchen. (Id. at 7). Plaintiff
claims that Barone forwarded his incident investigation
report to Defendant Gary Everett ("Everett"), the
public safety captain at Canisius, and the Erie County
District Attorney's office. (Id. at 8-9).
Plaintiff was thereafter prosecuted for and convicted by a
jury in Erie County Court of "one count of Robbery in
the First Degree in violation of [New York] Penal Law section
160.15(3) and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in
the Third Degree in violation [New York Penal Law] §
265.02(1)." (Id. at 34). Plaintiff was
sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 5 years of
post-release supervision. (Id.). Plaintiffs
conviction was upheld on direct appeal. (Id. at
16-17; see, e.g., Id. at 40-41).
asserts that Defendants violated his constitutional rights by
withholding favorable evidence and by disallowing him from
obtaining witnesses to testify on his behalf. (Id.
at 5, 13). Plaintiff also raises a Sixth Amendment claim for
violations of his right to confront his accuser,
(id. at 16-18), and claims for false arrest and
malicious prosecution. (Id. at 18-19). He requests
damages of $25, 000, 000.00. (Id. at 5).
Standard of Review
§ 1915(e)(2), the Court must conduct an initial
screening of Plaintiffs amended complaint. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The Court must dismiss the
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." Id. "An action is
'frivolous' for § 1915(e) purposes if it has no
arguable basis in law or fact." Montero v.
Travis, 171 F.3d 757, 759 (2d Cir. 1999).
evaluating the complaint, a court must accept as true all of
the plaintiffs factual allegations, and must draw all
inferences in the plaintiffs favor. See, e.g., Larkin v.
Savage, 318 F.3d 138, 139 (2d Cir. 2003). Although
"a court is obliged to construe [pro se]
pleadings liberally, particularly when they allege civil
rights violations, " McEachin v. McGuinnis, 357
F.3d 197, 200 (2d Cir. 2004), even pro se pleadings
must meet the notice requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, Wynder v. McMahon, 360
F.3d 73, 79 n.11 (2d Cir. 2004) ("[T]he basic
requirements of Rule 8 apply to self-represented and
counseled plaintiffs alike.").
district court should look with a far more forgiving eye in
examining whether a complaint rests on a meritless legal
theory for purposes of section [§ 1915(e)] than it does
in testing the complaint against a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion." Nance v. Kelly, 912 F.2d 605, 606 (2d
Cir. 1990). In determining whether a complaint survives a
Rule 8 notice inquiry, the plaintiff 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) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). "So
long as the [in forma pauperis] plaintiff raises a
cognizable claim, dismissal on the basis of factual
deficiencies in the complaint must wait until the defendant
attacks the lack of such details on a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion." Nance, 912 F.2d at 607.
Screening Plaintiffs Complaint A.
Defendant Buffalo State College Must Be
names Buffalo State College ("BSC") as a Defendant
in this action. (Dkt. 5 at 1). A prerequisite for liability
under § 1983 is personal involvement by the defendant
accused of the constitutional deprivation. See Sealey v.
Giltner, 116 F.3d 47, 51 (2d Cir. 1997). The amended
complaint is completely devoid of any facts establishing
BSC's involvement in Plaintiffs claims. (See
Dkt. 5). Therefore, Plaintiff fails to state a claim as to
BSC, and BSC must be dismissed.