United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston
CARL C. FOSTER, Plaintiff,
U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OF WEST VIRGINIA DISABILITY DETERMINATION SECTION, Defendant.
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Tinsley, United States Magistrate Judge.
December 2, 2014, the plaintiff, Carl C. Foster, filed a
Complaint (ECF No. 2) and an Application to Proceed in
forma pauperis (ECF No. 1). This matter is assigned to
the Honorable John T. Copenhaver, Jr., United States District
Judge, and it is referred to the undersigned United States
Magistrate Judge for submission of proposed findings and a
recommendation for disposition, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
one of eight Complaints filed by the plaintiff in this
federal court since August of 2014. The instant Complaint
asserts that, in 2007, the plaintiff was diagnosed with
affective and somatoform disorders and was found to be
permanently disabled and awarded Social Security benefits.
(ECF No. 2 at 1). The plaintiff further alleges that he is
“continually harassed, demeaned, and threatened”
by employees of the Social Security Administration's
Disability Determination Section. (ECF No. 2 at 1). The
Complaint further alleges that “this behavior is due to
disability & religious discrimination also attainder and
reprisal.” (Id. at 2). The plaintiff's
Complaint further states that he is alleging “collusion
and RICO violations.” (Id. at 3). However, the
Complaint makes no specific request for relief.
the plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the court is
obliged to construe his pleadings liberally. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521 (1972). Nevertheless, as the
party asserting jurisdiction, the burden of proving subject
matter jurisdiction lies with the plaintiff. McNutt v.
General Motors Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 178, 189
8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the
requirements for stating a proper claim for relief:
A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief . . . shall
contain 1) a short and plain statement of the grounds
upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, unless
the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new
grounds for jurisdiction to support it, 2) a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, and 3) a demand for judgment for the relief the
pleader seeks. Relief in the alternative or of several
different types may be demanded.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) (Emphasis added). A district court must
dismiss a claim if, at any time, it appears that the court
lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3); Duffield v. Memorial Hosp.
Ass'n, 361 F.Supp. 398 (S.D. W.Va. 1973),
aff'd sub. nom. Duffield v. Charleston Area Medical
Ctr., 503 F.2d 512 (4th Cir. 1974); see also Bolin
v. Chavez, 210 F.3d 389 (10th Cir. 2000) (permitting
sua sponte dismissal for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction under Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), because the
plaintiff is proceeding without prepayment of fees and costs,
the court is obliged to screen the case to determine if the
complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
“frivolous” case has been defined as one which is
based on an indisputably meritless legal theory. Denton
v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992). A
“frivolous” claim lacks "an arguable basis
either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
complaints are held to less stringent standards than those
drafted by attorneys, and the court is obliged to construe
liberally such complaints. However, in Bell Atlantic Corp
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), the Supreme Court
observed that a case should be dismissed for failure to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted if, viewing the
well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint as true and
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the complaint
does not contain “enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” While the
complaint need not assert “detailed factual
allegations, ” it must contain “more than labels
and conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action.” Id. at
Supreme Court elaborated on its holding in Twombly
in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009), a civil
rights case. The Court wrote:
Two working principles underlie our decision in
Twombly. First, the tenet that a court must accept
as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is
inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice. [Twombly, 550 U.S.] at
555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (Although for the purposes of a motion to
dismiss we must take all of the factual allegations in the
complaint as true, we “are not bound to accept as true
a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation”
(internal quotation marks omitted). Rule 8 . . . does not
unlock the doors of discovery for a ...