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Brown v. Rotenberg

United States District Court, W.D. New York

August 3, 2017

ABDULLAH-RAFA BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM ROTENBERG, Advanced Manufacturing Career Navigator, Finger Lakes WIC Board, LEE KOSLOW, Technical Assistance and Training Manager, and BRADLEY STALKER, Educational Recruiter, in their personal and professional capacity duty equally and independently as agents of Rochester Works, Rochester, New York, County of Monroe, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          ELIZABETH A. WOLFORD United States District Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Abdulla-rafa Brown ("Plaintiff), proceeding pro se, brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting constitutional violations arising out of the Defendants' purported failure to pay all of his tuition for classes at Monroe Community College, which caused the transcript of his grades to be withheld. (Dkt. 10).

         This Court previously directed Plaintiff to file an amended complaint, (Dkt. 7), and Plaintiff has done so. (Dkt. 10). Plaintiffs amended complaint must be screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Also before the Court are Plaintiffs motions to amend his complaint to: increase the amount of damages claimed (Dkt. 11); add factual allegations (Dkt. 12); add a punitive damages claim (Dkt. 13); and file an exhibit (Dkt. 15).

         For the reasons stated below, the amended complaint is dismissed pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(b), and the motions to amend are denied.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND[1]

         On July 12, 2012, Plaintiff attended a seminar during which he learned about the opportunity to enroll at Monroe Community College ("MCC"), with financial support in the form of a grant. (Dkt. 10 at 3). Plaintiff began to discuss the opportunity with Defendant William Rotenberg ("Rotenberg"), a Career Navigator with Rochester Works. (Id.). Rotenberg told Plaintiff he had to only follow Defendant Bradley Stalker's ("Stalker") instructions to enroll. (Id.).

         On August 17, 2012, Plaintiff enrolled at MCC "in the presence of. . . Stalker." (Id.). Stalker instructed Plaintiff to apply for financial aid. (Id. at 4). Stalker also informed Plaintiff that he "was entitled to a grant of $2, 100.00 to cover [P]laintiff s college expenses." (Id.). Plaintiff asserts that Defendants received money to pay Plaintiffs grant on November 10, 2012, and made a partial payment to MCC of $333.33. (Id.). This left Plaintiff with a deficiency in the tuition owed to MCC of approximately $1, 722.00. (Id.). Plaintiff asked Stalker on December 12, 2012, to pay the balance of the tuition owed, but his request was refused. (Id.). The tuition balance was never paid, and MCC froze Plaintiffs grades for the Fall 2012 semester due to the tuition deficiency. (Id.).

         Plaintiff claims that Defendants violated the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, 29 U.S.C. §§2801 (since repealed and replaced, see 29 U.S.C. § 3343) (hereinafter "WIA"). (Id. at 4, 5 (referencing WIA)). Plaintiff further claims violations of his constitutional due process rights. (Id. at 2).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Plaintiffs Amended Complaint Must Be Dismissed

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, 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). In evaluating the complaint, the Court must accept as true all of the factual allegations and must draw all inferences in the plaintiffs favor. Larkin v. Savage, 318 F.3d 138, 139 (2d Cir. 2003). Moreover, "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).

         Nevertheless, even pleadings submitted pro se must meet the notice requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Wynder v. McMahon, 360 F.3d 73, 77-78 (2d Cir. 2004). "Specific facts are not necessary, " and the plaintiff "need only 'give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Erichson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Bell Ail. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); see also Boykin v. Keycorp, 521 F.3d 202, 213 (2d Cir. 2008) (explaining that, "even after Twombly, dismissal of a pro se claim as insufficiently pleaded is appropriate only in the most unsustainable of cases").

         A. Sectio ...


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