United States District Court, S.D. New York
ORDER OF DISMISSAL AND TO SHOW CAUSE UNDER 28 U.S.C.
Colleen McMahon, Chief United States District Judge.
filed this action pro se. By order dated December
13, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiff's request to
proceed without prepayment of fees, that is, in forma
pauperis (IFP). For the reasons set forth below, the
Court dismisses the complaint as frivolous and for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted and grants
Plaintiff 30 days' leave to show cause why an order
should not be entered barring him from filing any future
action IFP in this Court without prior permission.
Court must dismiss an IFP complaint, or any portion of the
complaint, that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see Livingston v. Adirondack
Beverage Co., 141 F.3d 434, 437 (2d
Cir. 1998). The Court must also dismiss a complaint when the
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
the law mandates dismissal on any of these grounds, the court
is obliged to construe pro se pleadings liberally,
Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009), and
interpret them to raise the “strongest [claims] that
they suggest, ” Triestman v. Fed. Bureau
of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted) (emphasis in
original). But the “special solicitude” in
pro se cases, id. at 475 (citation
omitted), has its limits - to state a claim, pro se
pleadings still must comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, which requires a complaint to make a
short and plain statement showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.
Supreme Court has held that under Rule 8, a complaint must
include enough facts to state a claim for relief “that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is facially
plausible if the plaintiff pleads enough factual detail to
allow the court to draw the inference that the defendant is
liable for the alleged misconduct. In reviewing the
complaint, the court must accept all well-pleaded factual
allegations as true. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678-79 (2009). But it does not have to accept as true
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, ” which are essentially just legal conclusions.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. After separating legal
conclusions from well-pleaded factual allegations, the court
must determine whether those facts make it plausible - not
merely possible - that the pleader is entitled to relief.
Keith Melville brings this complaint using the Court's
general complaint form. He does not specify the basis for the
Court's jurisdiction or what federal constitutional or
statutory rights have been violated. Although Plaintiff does
not explicitly invoke the Court's diversity of
citizenship jurisdiction, he does state that he is a citizen
of New Jersey and that Defendant is a citizen of New York.
Plaintiff asserts that the events giving rise to his claims
occurred at the Department of Motor Vehicle on Fordham Road
in the Bronx in 2005, and the “Empire Precint
[sic]” in Brooklyn in 2010.
allegations are largely incomprehensible. A review of the
Court's records reveals that Plaintiff has filed four
other cases in this Court against the same Defendant. See
Melville v. Fiala, ECF 1:18-CV-5174, 4 (S.D.N.Y. July
11, 2018) (listing cases). Three of the prior cases were
dismissed as frivolous. Id.
the in forma pauperis statute, a court must dismiss
a case if it determines that the action is frivolous or
malicious. 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B)(i). A claim is
“frivolous when either: (1) the factual contentions are
clearly baseless, such as when allegations are the product of
delusion or fantasy; or (2) the claim is based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory.”
Livingston, 141 F.3d at 437 (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). Moreover, a court has “no
obligation to entertain pure speculation and
conjecture.” Gallop v. Cheney, 642 F.3d 364,
368 (2d Cir. 2011) (finding as frivolous and baseless
allegations that set forth a fantastical alternative history
of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks).
reviewing Plaintiff's complaint, the Court finds that the
complaint lacks any arguable basis in law or in fact. See
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
Plaintiff's factual allegations rise to the level of the
irrational, and there is no legal theory on which he may rel
y. See Livingston, 141 F.3d at 437. Plaintiff's
complaint must therefore be dismissed as frivolous.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
deference to Plaintiff's pro se status, the
Court would normally direct Plaintiff to amend his complaint,
but the Court finds that the complaint cannot be cured with
an amendment. Where an amendment would be futile, leave to
amend is not required. Hill v. Curcione, 657 F.3d
116, 123-24 (2d Cir. 2011); Salahuddin v. Cuomo, 861
F.2d 40, 42 (2d Cir. 1988) (court may dismiss complaint
sua sponte and without providing leave to amend
“where the substance of the claim pleaded is frivolous
on its face”).