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Campbell v. HRH Hill International

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 16, 2018

KEITH B. CAMPBELL
v.
HRH HILL INTERNATIONAL, et al.

          RECOMMENDED RULING

          HON. SARAH A. L. MERRIAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on an initial review of a Complaint and Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis filed by self-represented plaintiff Keith B. Campbell (“plaintiff”). For the reasons set forth below, plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis [Doc. #2] is GRANTED. However, on review, the Court recommends that the Complaint [Doc. #1] be DISMISSED, with prejudice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and §1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         I. Background

         Plaintiff filed this lawsuit on a form “Complaint for Employment Discrimination” and asserts that he is bringing his claims pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. See Doc. #1 at 1-2. Plaintiff names as defendants “HRH Hill International” and “TDX Construction Corp.” Id. He asserts that the acts complained of include failure to hire, unlawful termination, and “other acts.” Id. at 2.

         The allegations of plaintiff's complaint are incoherent and incomprehensible. For example, where the form requests that plaintiff state the date of termination of his employment, he states: “Feb. 8th, 2001. Where the situation escalated, into an engineering technician had to be killed, for overstepping the state color, of an engineer, DEP, Kingston, NY 12401.” Id. at 2 (sic).[1] Plaintiff includes a separate page in his Complaint, stating: “TDX/Becom Joint Venture - that the adverse / of leaving a large company as HRH, dismissed on the terms given: on: (a) Page (3)-(D), cause of action(s) of an: Engineering Ambassador, N.S.P.E., Chapter 15, in Foot Notes, Para. (a) & (b); and the facts surrounding the claim - in Ques. 6 & Ques. 7, subparts: (a) & (b).” Doc. #1 at 4 (sic). Another separate page states: “-But the new owner clause, was discretely pulled out, by: A particular special group - fraternity - - who fraudulently seized.” Id. at 5 (sic).

         Where the form inquires whether charges were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), plaintiff checks this box, and writes in: “Even to Rent/Purchase a living space: Adaptable to: Home & Office/Practice - as an engineer & doctor: in biomedical engineering continuing from New York Univ. Faculty dept.” Id. at 6 (sic). Attached to the Complaint is a print-out from the EEOC website containing information regarding the EEOC's powers. See Doc. #1-1.

         II. Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis

         Plaintiff has filed a motion seeking to proceed without payment of fees and costs, along with a financial affidavit. [Doc. #2]. Plaintiff's motion contains numerous extraneous and confusing statements. However, it does appear to state that plaintiff has not been employed since 2001, that he has been receiving Social Security disability benefits since 2003, and that he owns neither real property nor an automobile. See generally Doc. #2. Plaintiff also asserts that he is homeless, and that he has $979.43 in monthly obligations. See Doc. #2 at 3, 7. This is sufficient information to establish that plaintiff is “unable to pay” the ordinary filing fees required by the Court. 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(1). Accordingly, the Court GRANTS plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis [Doc. #2].

         III. Initial Review of Complaint

         A. Standard of Review

         The determination of whether an in forma pauperis plaintiff should be permitted to proceed under 28 U.S.C. §1915 involves two separate considerations. The Court must first determine whether the plaintiff may proceed with the action without prepaying the filing fee in full. See 28 U.S.C. §1915(a). The Court has already addressed that issue. Second, section 1915 provides that “the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that” the case “is frivolous or malicious” or “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted[.]” 28 U.S.C. §§1915(e)(2)(B)(i), (ii). In the interest of efficiency, the Court reviews complaints under this provision shortly after filing to determine whether the plaintiff has stated a cognizable, non-frivolous claim.

         The Court construes complaints filed by self-represented plaintiffs liberally. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). The Court exercises caution in dismissing a case under section 1915(e) because a claim that the Court perceives as likely to be unsuccessful is not necessarily frivolous. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 329 (1989). In addition, “unless the court can rule out any possibility, however unlikely it might be, that an amended complaint would succeed in stating a claim[, ]” the Court will permit “a pro se plaintiff who is proceeding in forma pauperis” to file an amended complaint that attempts to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Gomez v. USAA Fed. Sav. Bank, 171 F.3d 794, 796 (2d Cir. 1999).

         B. Analysis

         Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim for which relief may be granted. To survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, a complaint must plead enough facts to state a claim that is “plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. 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 ...


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