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Edwards v. Dunn

United States District Court, N.D. New York

September 24, 2019

ANDREA DUNN, Defendant.

          JASMINE GRACE-LOUISE EDWARDS, Plaintiff pro se



         The Clerk has sent to the court for review a complaint, together with an application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”), filed by pro se plaintiff Jasmine Grace-Louise Edwards. (Dkt. Nos. 1, 2).

         I. IFP Application

         Plaintiff declares in her IFP application that she is unable to pay the filing fee. (Dkt. No. 2). This court agrees, and finds that plaintiff is financially eligible for IFP status.

         However, in addition to determining whether plaintiff meets the financial criteria to proceed IFP, the court must also consider the sufficiency of the allegations set forth in the complaint in light of 28 U.S.C. § 1915, which provides that the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that the action is (i) 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)(i)-(iii).

         In determining whether an action is frivolous, the court must consider whether the complaint lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Dismissal of frivolous actions is appropriate to prevent abuses of court process as well as to discourage the waste of judicial resources. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327; Harkins v. Eldridge, 505 F.2d 802, 804 (8th Cir. 1974). Although the court has a duty to show liberality toward pro se litigants, and must use extreme caution in ordering sua sponte dismissal of a pro se complaint before the adverse party has been served and has had an opportunity to respond, the court still has a responsibility to determine that a claim is not frivolous before permitting a plaintiff to proceed. Fitzgerald v. First East Seventh St. Tenants Corp., 221 F.3d 362, 363 (2d Cir. 2000) (finding that a district court may dismiss a frivolous complaint sua sponte even when plaintiff has paid the filing fee).

         To survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, the complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim that is “plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. (citing Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 555). The court will now turn to a consideration of the plaintiff's complaint under the above standards, keeping in mind that pro se pleadings are interpreted to raise the strongest arguments they suggest. See Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007).

         II. Facts

         In this complaint, plaintiff alleges that she is “pursuing a contract dispute” with defendant Dunn. (Complaint (“Compl.”) at 1). Plaintiff states that defendant Dunn works for a company called Staffing Solutions. Plaintiff states that defendant Dunn arranged for plaintiff to interview with WIPRO, a customer of Staffing Solutions. (Compl. at 2). The interview was scheduled for August 22, 2019 and was to take place in the AXA Building in Syracuse, New York. (Id.) Plaintiff states that upon her arrival for the interview, she was taken to defendant Dunn's office for “intake, ” while the WIPRO interviewer was finishing with another candidate. (Id.)

         Plaintiff states that defendant Dunn told plaintiff that she “could” be hired “on the spot, ” and that, if so, there would be paperwork to complete. (Compl. at 3). Plaintiff was then escorted to the interview room, where she was interviewed by Mahogonee Gainey from WIPRO. Plaintiff claims that after a 15 minute interview, Ms. Gainey “hired” plaintiff and escorted her to the area where she would be completing the appropriate paperwork. (Id.) Plaintiff states that she saw defendant Dunn, who asked plaintiff how the interview went and whether she had been “hired.” (Id.) Plaintiff told defendant Dunn that the interview went well, and that she had gotten the job. (Id.)

         However, when plaintiff arrived at the AXA Building to start working on September 3, 2019, she was accused of trespassing by defendant Dunn and the “WIPRO assistant.” (Compl. at 5). Plaintiff states that the WIPRO assistant called “security, ” and “he” called “the cops.” (Id.) Plaintiff states that defendant Dunn told plaintiff that she had not been hired because defendant Dunn did not hire her, “after having plaintiff Jasmine Edwards describe what she wore to the interview.” (Id.) Plaintiff states that the “unexpected events” occurred after she had received the “details of the job, ” together with the specific employment obligations, “signed by Andrea Dunn.” (Compl. at 6). Plaintiff attaches what she claims is the “agreement” signed by defendant Dunn as Exhibit 1.[1]

         The rest of the complaint is plaintiff's recitation of the law that she believes supports her claims. This takes the form of random references to statutes and common law. She states that she is in a “breached contract” with defendant Dunn. (Compl. at 7). In various parts of the complaint, plaintiff uses the term “discrimination” based on “creed, ” and alleges that “[n]o person or organization can force or pressure another to accept or comply with creed beliefs [sic] or take part in creed practices against their choosing.” (Compl. at 4). Plaintiff also states that she should have been given “equality opportunity for her civil rights in the commercial space.” (Compl. at 5). Plaintiff states that she “should have been treated in a state of fairness, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices of preferences [sic].” Plaintiff states that defendant Dunn “breached” her “contract duty, ” and the plaintiff was in a class protected by the duty, “statutorily imposed on the defendant.” (Compl. at 6). She also randomly mentions an unidentified “code” which governs individuals who “telecommunicate from home.” (Id.) Notwithstanding random citations to other laws, this case is generally about plaintiff's alleged employment “contract.”

         III. Subject ...

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