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Joyce Ann Bargas v. Michael J. Astrue

October 9, 2012

JOYCE ANN BARGAS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barbara A. McAuliffe United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION (Document 2)

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Document 1)

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Joyce Ann Bargas ("Plaintiff") filed the instant action on September 20, 2012. Plaintiff also filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis on that same date. Having reviewed the request to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, this Court GRANTS Plaintiff's in forma pauperis application.

Plaintiff appears to be challenging a denial of her application for disability benefits under Titles II and/or XVI of the Social Security Act. As discussed below, Plaintiff's complaint will be dismissed because it fails to state a claim. However, Plaintiff will be granted leave to file an amended complaint.

DISCUSSION

A. Screening Standard

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 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). A claim is frivolous "when the facts alleged arise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts available to contradict them." Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992).

B. Pleading Standards

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)).

C. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff seeks review of a decision by the Commissioner of Social Security denying her benefits. (Doc. 1 at 2). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges she is permanently disabled. (Doc. 1 at 2). According to Plaintiff, she asked the Appeals Council to review the decision of the Administrative Law Judge, but her request was denied on June 28, 2012. (Doc. 1 at 2.) Plaintiff's ...


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