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R.R., By and Through His Guardian Ad Litem, Jasmine Roesing v. Commissioner of Social Security

August 10, 2012

R.R., BY AND THROUGH HIS GUARDIAN AD LITEM, JASMINE ROESING, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
DEFENDANT.



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

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

Jasmine Roesing, Plaintiff‟s guardian ad litem, seeks judicial review of a determination of the Social Security Administration, denying benefits to the minor plaintiff. The action was initiated on May 24, 2012, and on July 3, 2012, Ms. Roesing filed an amended complaint. (Doc. 7). For the following reasons, the First Amended Complaint DISMISSED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND.

I. 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 be granted; or . . . seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2). In addition, the Court may dismiss an action sua sponte if it lacks jurisdiction over the matter. Fielder v. Clark, 714 F.2d 77, 78-79 (9th Cir. 1983).

The Court must screen the First Amended Complaint because the amended complaint 2 supersedes the previously filed complaint. See Forsyth v. Humana, Inc., 114 F.3d 1467, 1474 (9th Cir. 3 1997); King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987). 4

II. Pleading Standards 5

General rules for pleading complaints are governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A 6 pleading stating a claim for relief must include a statement affirming the court‟s jurisdiction, "a short 7 and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief; and . . . a demand for the 8 relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 9 8(a).

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 explained,

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. When the factual allegations are well-pled, a court should assume their truth and determine whether the facts would make the plaintiff entitled to relief; conclusions in the pleading are not entitled to the same assumption of truth. Id. If the Court determines that the complaint fails to 2 state a cognizable claim, the Court may grant leave to amend to the extent that deficiencies of the 3 complaint can be cured by an amendment. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-28 (9th Cir. 2000). 4

III. Timeliness of the Complaint

Plaintiff seeks review of a decision by the Commissioner of Social Security denying disability 6 benefits. (Doc. 10). The Court would have jurisdiction pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ...


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