United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA
PAUPERIS AND DISMISSING WITHOUT PREJUDICE
PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 2)
Janis L. Sammartino United States District Judge
before the Court is Plaintiff Melissa Torres's Motion to
Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP Mot.”).
(ECF No. 2.) Plaintiff has filed an action requesting that
this Court review and reverse the Social Security
Administration's (“SSA”) denial of benefits.
(Compl. 1, ECF No. 1.)
parties instituting any civil action, suit, or proceeding in
a district court of the United States, except an application
for writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee of $400.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). An action may proceed
despite a plaintiff's failure to prepay the entire fee
only if he is granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See
Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th Cir. 1999).
A federal court may authorize the commencement of an action
without the prepayment of fees if the party submits an
affidavit, including a statement of assets, showing that she
is unable to pay the required filing fee. 28 U.S.C. §
present case, Plaintiff has submitted an affidavit indicating
that her sole source of income is from disability payments in
the amount of $800 a month. (IFP Mot. 2.) Plaintiff is not
employed, nor has she been for the past two years, and
Plaintiff has no cash or other assets. (Id. at 2-3.)
Plaintiff estimates her monthly expenses to be $358, and
notes that her monthly income from disability payments is
“about to stop . . . .” (Id. at 5.)
Given the foregoing, the Court concludes that Plaintiff's
application demonstrates she is unable to pay the requisite
fees and costs. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's
Motion to Proceed IFP.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) &
Court must screen every civil action brought pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a) and dismiss any case it finds
“frivolous or malicious, ” “fails to state
a claim on which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B);
see also Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th
Cir. 2001) (“[T]he provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners.”);
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir.
2000) (en banc) (noting that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)
“not only permits but requires a district court to
dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a
amended by the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) mandates
that the court reviewing an action filed pursuant to the IFP
provisions of § 1915 make and rule on its own motion to
dismiss before directing the Marshal to effect service
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(c)(3).
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3); Navarette v.
Pioneer Med. Ctr., No. 12-cv-0629-WQH (DHB), 2013 WL
139925, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 2013).
complaints 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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555
(2007)). “[D]etermining whether a complaint states a
plausible claim is context-specific, requiring the reviewing
court to draw on its experience and common sense.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663-64 (citing Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556).
there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should
assume their veracity, and then determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement of relief.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. “[W]hen determining
whether a complaint states a claim, a court must accept as
true all allegations of material fact and must construe those
facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.”
Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000);
see also Andrews v. King, 393 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th
Cir. 2005); Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193,
1194 (9th Cir. 1998) (“The language of §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) parallels the language of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).”).
factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions
are not.” Hoagland v. Astrue, No.
1:12-cv-00973-SMS, 2012 WL 2521753, at *3 (E.D. Cal. June 28,
2012) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Courts cannot
accept legal conclusions set forth in a complaint if the
plaintiff has not supported her contentions with facts.
Id. (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679).
social security appeals, a complaint challenging the denial
of benefits “must provide a statement identifying the
basis of the plaintiff's disagreement with the Social
Security Administration's determination and must make a
showing that the plaintiff is entitled to relief.”
Montoya v. Colvin, No. 2:16-cv-00454-RFB-NJK, 2016
WL 890922, at *2 (D. Nev. Mar. 8, 2016) (collecting cases)
(finding that the plaintiff failed to state a claim for
relief where the complaint merely alleged that the
Commissioner's decision to deny benefits was wrong
without explaining why, and instead simply recited the
general standards governing review of that
decision). “The purpose of the complaint is to
briefly and plainly allege facts supporting the legal
conclusion that the Commissioner's decision was
wrong.” Hoagland, 2012 WL 2521753, at *3
(citing Brown v. Astrue, No. 11-cv-056-JL, 2011 WL
3664429, at *3 (D.N.H. Aug. 19, 2011)).
present case, Plaintiff appeals the Commissioner's
decision denying Plaintiff's claim for disability
benefits. (Compl. at 1.) However, Plaintiff states only the
following regarding her claim:
I request review of my claim for Social Security disability
benefits. The administrative law judge issued a decision
dated July 1, 2015 denying my claim. The Social Security
Administration Appeals Council denied my request for review
of the administrative law judge's decision by ...