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Christopher D. Bell v. Commissioner of Social Security

April 13, 2013

CHRISTOPHER D. BELL,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
DEFENDANT.



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 Christopher D. Bell, ("Plaintiff") filed the instant action on March 11, 2013. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff appears to be challenging a denial of his applications for disability insurance benefits pursuant to Title II of the Social Security Act and/or Supplemental Income disability benefits pursuant to Title XIV of the Social Security Act. 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's entire compliant consists of the following two sentences : I am appealing the denial of disability. I am requesting any and all back payment and monthly payment [sic] due to the fact that I am a disabled American and have been found [sic] disabled by my treating physician and have previously received SSI as a minor. (Doc. 1 at pg. 1).

C. Analysis of Plaintiff's Claims

1. Rule 8(a)

As Rule 8(a) states, a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim." The rule expresses the principle of notice-pleading, whereby the pleader need only give the opposing party fair notice of a claim. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). Rule 8(a) does not require an elaborate recitation of every fact a plaintiff may ultimately rely upon at trial, but only a statement sufficient to "give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Id. at 47. As noted above, 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. at 1949 (2009).

As previously noted, it appears that Plaintiff is attempting to challenge a denial of his application for disability/social security benefits. However, other than stating that he appealing a denial of his disability and he is a disabled American who had previously received SSI as a minor, he has failed to identify with specificity how the Commissioner of Social Security erred when denying his application. Moreover, this Court only has jurisdiction to review a denial of disability/social security benefits under certain circumstances which is outlined in more detail below. Specifically, Plaintiff is advised that an individual must exhaust administrative remedies in order to challenge the denial of these benefits. Additionally, ...


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