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Lena Garcia v. Carolyn W. Colvin

April 10, 2013

LENA GARCIA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM WITH LEAVE TO AMEND WITHIN THIRTY DAYS (Doc. 1)

Screening Order

On April 2, 2013, Plaintiff Lena Garcia filed her complaint in this matter regarding SSI benefits for her daughter, Serenidy Unique Serna. Because Ms. Garcia's complaint fails to state a claim for which this Court may grant relief, the Court dismisses the complaint with leave to file an amended complaint within thirty days.

I. Screening Requirement

The Court must screen any case in which a plaintiff proceeds in forma pauperis. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Screening is required even if a plaintiff pursues an appeal of right, such as an appeal of the Commissioner's denial of social security disability benefits. See, e.g., 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (establishing conditions under which a claimant of social security benefits may seek judicial review of the Commissioner's determination). A court must dismiss any case, regardless of the fee paid, if the action or appeal is (1) frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e)(2)(B).

II. Pleading Standards

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) provides: A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain:

(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support;

(2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief; and

(3) a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief.

"Each allegation must be simple, concise, and direct." F.R.Civ.P. 8(d). "Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies here. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), 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). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of the cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009), citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "Plaintiff must set forth sufficient factual matter accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678

Although accepted as true, "[f]actual allegations must be [sufficient] to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations omitted). A plaintiff must set forth "the grounds of his entitlement to relief," which "requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Id. at 555-56 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). To adequately state a claim against a defendant, a plaintiff must set forth the legal and factual basis for his or her claim.

III. Procedural and Factual Allegations

Plaintiff's daughter (born July 30, 2007) has hearing problems and poor vision. Plaintiff seeks supplemental security income ("SSI") pursuant to Title XVI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. ...


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