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Gerald A. Benson v. Commissioner of Social Security

August 22, 2011

GERALD A. BENSON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

(Doc. 1)

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Gerald E. Benson, ("Plaintiff") filed the instant action on August 11, 2011. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff also filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis on that same date. Plaintiff's application to proceed informa pauperis was granted on August 18, 2011. (Doc. 3).

Plaintiff appears to be challenging a denial of his social security benefits. As discussed below, Plaintiff's complaint will be dismissed because it fails to state a claim. However, Plaintiff is granted leave to file an amended complaint.

II. Discussion

A. Screening Standard

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court must conduct an initial review of the complaint for sufficiency to state a claim. The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the court determines that the action is legally "frivolous or malicious," fails to state a claim upon 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). If the court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment.

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusion are not. Id.

A complaint, or portion thereof, should only be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it appears beyond doubt that plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim or claims that would entitle him to relief. See Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984), citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); see also Palmer v. Roosevelt Lake Log Owners Ass'n, 651 F.2d 1289, 1294 (9th Cir. 1981). In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the Court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Trustees of Rex Hospital, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe the pro se pleadings liberally in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff, Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000), and resolve all doubts in the Plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969).

B. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff filed for Social Security benefits in 2006. He is challenging the denial of that application. In support of his claim, Plaintiff details his health problems and work history for the past thirteen years. Plaintiff alleges that he suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ("COPD"), congestive heart failure, asthma, chronic back problems, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, diabetes, obesity, sleep apnea, and blindness in his right eye. He contends he is no longer able to work as a result of these conditions. Although the complaint does not identify the relief Plaintiff is seeking, the Court presumes he is attempting to obtain Social Security benefits.

C. Analysis of ...


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