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Beverly Jean Gibson v. Commissioner of Social Security

June 15, 2012

BEVERLY JEAN GIBSON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer L. Thurston United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF‟S MOTIONS TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS (Docs. 2-3) ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

Beverly Jean Gibson ("Plaintiff") seeks to proceed pro se with an action seeking judicial review of a determination of the Social Security Administration. Plaintiff initiated this action by filing a complaint and motions to proceed in forma pauperis on June 11, 2012 (Docs. 1-3).

I. Proceeding in forma paueris

The Court may authorize the commencement of an action without prepayment of fees "but a person who submits an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets such person . . . possesses [and] that the person is unable to pay such fees or give security therefor." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). The Court has reviewed the applications and has determined Plaintiff satisfies the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Therefore, Plaintiff‟s motions to proceed in forma pauperis are GRANTED.

II. Screening Requirement

When an individual is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court is required to review the complaint, and shall dismiss the case at any time if the Court determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or the action or appeal is "frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim on which relief may 2 be granted; or . . . seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 3 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2). In addition, the Court may dismiss an action sua sponte if it lacks jurisdiction over 4 the matter. Fielder v. Clark, 714 F.2d 77, 78-79 (9th Cir. 1983).

III. Pleading Standards

General rules for pleading complaints are governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A pleading stating a claim for relief must include a statement affirming the court‟s jurisdiction, "a short 8 and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief; and . . . a demand for the 9 relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). The Federal Rules adopt a flexible pleading policy, and pro se pleadings are held to "less stringent standards" than pleadings drafted by attorneys. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521-21 (1972).

A complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of the plaintiff‟s claim in a plain and succinct manner. Jones v. Cmty Redevelopment Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). The purpose of the complaint is to give the defendant fair notice of the claims against him, and the grounds upon which the complaint stands. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). The Supreme Court noted,

Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me unlawfully accusation. A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Conclusory and vague allegations do not support a cause of action. Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). The Court clarified further,

[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." [Citation]. 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. [Citation]. The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement," but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. [Citation]. Where a complaint pleads facts that are "merely consistent with" a defendant‟s liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of "entitlement to relief.

Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. Where the factual allegations are well-pled, a court should assume their truth 4 and determine whether the facts would make the plaintiff entitled to relief; conclusions in the pleading 5 are not entitled to the same assumption of truth. Id. If the Court determines that the complaint fails to 6 state a cognizable claim, the Court may grant leave to amend to the extent that deficiencies ...


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