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Georges v. Hatser

United States District Court, N.D. New York

January 2, 2018

AGNES GEORGES, Plaintiff,
v.
JOEL HATSER, Advisor Lawyer; JOSEPH CIAVANITTI, U.S. Attorney Lawyer; KURT BRATTEN BRIAN, Bar Association 518-445-7691, Defendants.

          REPORT-RECOMMENDATION AND ORDER[1]

          Christian F. Hummel U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff pro se Agnes Georges commenced this action on November 13, 2017 with the filing of a complaint. Dkt. No. 1 (“Compl.). In lieu of paying this Court's filing fee, plaintiff filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”). Dkt. No. 2. Plaintiff also filed a Motion for Appointment of Counsel. Dkt. No. 3. After reviewing plaintiff's IFP application, Dkt. No. 2, the undersigned determines that plaintiff qualifies to proceed IFP for purposes of filing.[2]

         I. Initial Review

         Section 1915(e) of Title 28 of the United States Code directs that, when a plaintiff seeks to proceed IFP, “the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal (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). Thus, it is a court's responsibility to determine that a plaintiff may properly maintain his complaint before permitting him to proceed with his action. As plaintiff is representing herself, the Court is to consider her claims “liberally” and “interpret them ‘to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest.'” Cold Stone Creamery, Inc. v. Gorman, 361 F. App'x 282, 286 (summary order) (quoting Brownell v. Krom, 446 F.3d 305, 310 (2d Cir. 2006)).

         II. Plaintiff's Complaint

         Plaintiff's complaint in this action consists of a form civil rights complaint. Plaintiff states that each named defendant, who she identifies as lawyers, “refuse to help me.” Compl. at 1-2. It appears that plaintiff contacted all of these defendants for some form of assistance, and was denied such assistance. See id. She suggests that these defendants are aware of a conspiracy involving Levy Rathner, “a U.S. Gov Commander Chief” and the police, but defendants “prefer to protect him not me.” Id. at 2. It appears that plaintiff sought to file a report with police about certain crimes committed against her, but was not allowed to file a report or provide an order of protection. Id. at 4. Plaintiff has not named any police officer or police department as a defendant in this action.

         As indicated above, plaintiff's complaint makes unexplained references to “Levy Rathner, ” who is not a named defendant, and also refers to a “crime” or a “network, ” “corruption, stealing cards, use fake ID, fake credit card, steal my identity, use them for somebody else, a damage for life.” Compl. at 3. Plaintiff provides that she “feel[s] unsafe wherever I go, federal police keep follow [sic] me, I am an [sic] spy.” Id. at 4. However, plaintiff does not explain any of these allegations. Her complaint does not detail to any degree how the named defendants were personally involved in these alleged wrongs. Moreover, the complaint does not explain how any of the named defendants violated any federal law or any of her constitutional rights. To the extent that plaintiff suggests that she sought legal assistance from the named defendants, and that defendants either declined to represent her or declined to prosecute certain alleg ed crimes, a prosecutor's decision not to prosecute[3] a case[4] or a lawyer's decision not to represent an individual[5] does not amount to a violation of the law. Id. at 3. Plaintiff's complaint also does not provide a clear demand for relief. Id. at 6.

         Pleading guidelines are set forth in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Specifically, Rule 8 provides that a pleading which sets forth a claim for relief shall contain, inter alia, "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." See Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “The purpose . . . is to give fair notice of the claim being asserted so as to permit the adverse party the opportunity to file a responsive answer, prepare an adequate defense and determine whether the doctrine of res judicata is applicable.” Flores v. Graphtex, 189 F.R.D. 54, 54 (N.D.N.Y. 1999) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Rule 8 requires:

(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . .;
(2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and
(3) a demand for the relief sought . . . .

Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Although “[n]o technical form is required, ” the Federal Rules make clear that each allegation contained in the pleading “must be simple, concise, and direct.” Id. at 8(d).

[a] party must state its claims or defenses in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances. A later pleading may refer by number to a paragraph in an earlier pleading. If doing so would promote clarity, each claim founded on a separate transaction or occurrence - and each defense other than a denial - must be stated in a separate count or defense.

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b). This serves the purpose of "provid[ing] an easy mode of identification for referring to a particular paragraph in a prior pleading[.]" Flores, 189 F.R.D. at 54 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A complaint that fails to comply with the pleading requirements "presents far too a heavy burden in terms of defendants' duty to shape a comprehensive defense and provides no meaningful basis for the ...


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