Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Melville v. Fialo

United States District Court, S.D. New York

December 23, 2019



          Colleen McMahon, Chief United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff 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.


         The 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).

         While 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.

         The 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. Id.


         Plaintiff 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.

         Plaintiff's 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.


         Under 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).

         After 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).

         In 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”).

         LITIGATION ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.