United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
pro se brings this action against the Social
Security Office on Staten Island and two individuals who work
there. The Court grants plaintiff's request to proceed
in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
As further explained below, the complaint is hereby
dismissed, but plaintiff is granted 20 days' leave to
complaint was filed on a form complaint for Civil Rights
actions. Plaintiff alleges that her rights were violated at
the Social Security office on December 4, 2017. She states:
“They call the police. I want them to stop using force.
Every time I ask for a bed mattress, furniture, kitchen set
and the back payment of $12, 000.” Plaintiff states
that she suffered injuries to her leg and arm “from
medical injections from Richmond University Hospital.”
She also asserts: “I still have injuries from the last
time they call[ed] the police.”
seeks injunctive relief: “I want them to stop calling
the police every time I'm in the office with
people.” She also seeks an increase in her Social
Security Income Benefit payments.
Court is mindful that “[a] document filed pro
se is to be liberally construed, and a pro se
complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). If a
liberal reading of the complaint “gives any indication
that a valid claim might be stated, ” then the court
must grant leave to amend the complaint. See Cuoco v.
Moritsugu, 222 F.3d 99, 112 (2d Cir. 2000). And as with
all pleadings, the court must assume the truth of “all
well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations” in the
complaint. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 621
F.3d 111, 123 (2d Cir. 2010). A complaint must plead
sufficient facts - not labels and conclusions or a formulaic
recitation of the elements - to raise a facially plausible
claim. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555, 570 (2007).
to the in forma pauperis statute, a district court
must dismiss a case if the court determines that the
complaint “(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). The complaint
here fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted
because it does not allege that any particular defendant
deprived plaintiff of a specific constitutional right: the
complaint does not list who exactly did what to plaintiff
when, and why those actions violated the Constitution.
the federal Government and its agencies, including officials
acting in their official capacities, are immune from suit
because of the doctrine of sovereign immunity. See FDIC
v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 475 (1994); Kentucky v.
Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 167 (1985). There is a limited
exception to this rule under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named
Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971),
pursuant to which a plaintiff may recover for some
constitutional violations by individual federal agents.
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court and the Second Circuit have
recently emphasized that the instances in which a plaintiff
may maintain a Bivens claim are extremely limited.
See Ziglar v. Abbasi, 137 S.Ct. 1843, 1855-58
(2017); Doe v. Gagenbeck, 870 F.3d 36, 42-43 (2d
Cir. 2017). Even in the few instances where a Bivens
claim is permitted, such a claim must be brought against the
individuals personally responsible for the alleged
deprivation of the plaintiff's rights, not against the
federal government or the agencies where the individuals are
employed. See Meyer, 510 U.S. at 486.
case, plaintiff appears to allege that individuals employed
at the Social Security office violated her civil rights when
they called the police. The complaint does not contain enough
factual allegations for this Court to conclude that an action
under Bivens should be allowed. Subsumed in that
deficiency is the failure to specify which individual
defendant acted and why calling the police violated a right
guaranteed by the Constitution. Plaintiff's only
allegation, which she does not ascribe to either of the named
individual defendants, is that an unidentified
“they” called the police when she came to the
Social Security office and demanded furniture and back
payments. This claim, even if true, and even if ascribed to
the individual defendants, does not implicate any right
guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Accordingly, the
complaint must be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) because it fails to state a claim.
light of plaintiff's pro se status, the court
grants her leave to submit an amended complaint within 20
days. Should plaintiff wish to assert a claim for any alleged
constitutional deprivation, she must describe the specific
incident or incidents, including dates, and name the
individuals whom she believes to have been personally
responsible for the alleged deprivation of her constitutional
rights. She must describe what each defendant did or failed
to do in violation of her civil rights. Plaintiff is reminded
that an amended complaint completely replaces the original
reasons discussed above, the Court finds that plaintiff has
failed to state a claim against the named defendants.
Accordingly, the complaint is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), with leave to file an amended
complaint within 20 days of the date of this order. The
amended complaint must be captioned, “Amended
Complaint, ” and shall bear the same docket number as
this order. If plaintiff does not file an amended complaint
within 20 days, the complaint shall be dismissed and judgment
will be entered. No summons shall issue at this time; all
further proceedings are stayed for 20 days. The Court
certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any
appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith and
therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for
purpose of an appeal. See Coppedge v. United States,
369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962).