United States District Court, E.D. New York
M. Azrack, United States District Judge
August 4, 2017, incarcerated pro se plaintiff David
Hughes filed an in forma pauperis complaint against
the Nassau County Sheriff's Department
(“NCSD”), Armor Correctional Health Inc.
(“Armor”), and Armor's Medical Director,
Marcelle Morcos (“Morcos”), pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 (“Section 1983”) alleging a
deprivation of his Constitutional rights. Plaintiff also
filed an application for the appointment of pro bono
counsel to represent him in this case.
the in forma pauperis application submitted by
plaintiff was incomplete, the Court instructed plaintiff, by
Notice of Deficiency dated August 11, 2017
(“Notice”), to complete and return the enclosed
in forma pauperis application within fourteen (14)
days from the date of the Notice. On August 24, 2017,
plaintiff timely filed a proper in forma pauperis
application. Plaintiff has also filed a number of letters
with the Court since August 2017, none of which are relevant
to the Court's analysis. For the reasons stated below,
the Court grants plaintiff's request to proceed in
forma pauperis and sua sponte dismisses his
claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii),
1915A(b). Plaintiff's application for the appointment of
pro bono counsel is denied without prejudice.
alleges a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that
he received inadequate medical care while incarcerated at the
Nassau County Correctional Center (“NCC”).
Plaintiff alleges that, upon his arrival at NCC on May 28,
2016, his personal, orthopedic footwear was exchanged for
“sneakers, ” which plaintiff claims “posed
an unreasonable serious risk of harm involving detainee's
health.” (Compl. at 4.) Plaintiff claims to suffer
“from knee issues, degenerative back,
neuromuscular” problems. (Id.) Plaintiff also
claims to have had an “undiagnosed bacterial
infection” on his feet that required prescription
medication. (Compl. at 5.) According to the complaint,
plaintiff did not receive medical treatment despite his
“intense disabling foot symptoms and pain involving
discharge aside from evident abscess.” (Id.)
Although plaintiff acknowledges that he was given cortisone
injections in both knees “from outside orthopedic
doctor (Montero) who came here, ” plaintiff seeks to
recover a compensatory and punitive damages award in the
amount of $2 million for his lack of treatment. (Id.
In Forma Pauperis Application
review of plaintiff's declarations in support of his
application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court
finds that plaintiff is qualified to commence this action
without prepayment of the filing fees. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1). Therefore, plaintiff's application to proceed
in forma pauperis is granted.
Standard of Review
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 to dismiss the
complaint, either in part or in its entirety, if it 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, the 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).
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.
Supreme Court has held that pro se complaints need
not even 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 factual allegations'”
are not required, “[a] pleading that offers
‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.'” Id. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).