United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER: (1) DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND;
AND (2) DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS [ECF NO. 3]
Nita L. Stormes United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is Plaintiff Myra Lynn Virgil's complaint
seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Administration's decision and motion for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis (“IFP”). ECF Nos. 1,
3. After due consideration and for the reasons set forth
below, the Court DISMISSES Plaintiff's
complaint with leave to amend, if amended within 30 days of
the date of this order, and DENIES WITHOUT
PREJUDICE the motion to proceed IFP.
complaint filed pursuant to the IFP provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a), is subject to a mandatory and sua
sponte review by the Court. Lopez v. Smith, 203
F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000). The Court must dismiss the
complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). Social security appeals are not exempt
from this § 1915(e) screening requirement. Hoagland
v. Astrue, No. 1:12cv00973-SMS, 2012 WL 2521753, at *1
(E.D. Cal. June 28, 2012); see also Calhoun v.
Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (per curiam)
(noting section 1915(e)(2)(B) is “not limited to
prisoners”); Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1129
(“section 1915(e) applies to all in forma pauperis
screening, all 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). Although
detailed factual allegations are not required,
“[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). A complaint in a social security appeal is “not
exempt from the general rules of civil pleading.”
Hoagland, 2012 WL 2521753, at *2.
courts within the Ninth Circuit have set forth the following
basic requirements for complaints to survive the Court's
§ 1915(e) screening:
First, the plaintiff must establish that she has exhausted
her administrative remedies pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g), and that the civil action was commenced within sixty
days after notice of a final decision. Second, the complaint
must indicate the judicial district in which the plaintiff
resides. Third, the complaint must state the nature of the
plaintiff's disability and when the plaintiff claims she
became disabled. Fourth, the complaint must contain a plain,
short, and concise statement identifying the nature of the
plaintiff's disagreement with the determination made by
the Social Security Administration and show that the
plaintiff is entitled to relief.
See, e.g., Montoya v. Colvin, No.
16cv00454-RFB-NJK, 2016 WL 890922, at *2 (D. Nev. Mar. 8,
2016) (collecting cases); Graves v. Colvin, No.
15cv106-RFB-NJK, 2015 WL 357121, *2 (D. Nev. Jan. 26, 2015)
the fourth requirement, “[e]very plaintiff appealing an
adverse decision of the Commissioner believes that the
Commissioner was wrong.” Hoagland, 2012 WL
2521753, at *3. Thus, a complaint merely stating that the
Commissioner's decision was wrong or that “merely
parrots the standards used in reversing or remanding a
case” is insufficient to satisfy a plaintiff's
pleading requirement. See, e.g., Cribbet v.
Comm'r of Social Security, No. 12cv1142-BAM 2012 WL
5308044, *3 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 29, 2012); Graves, 2015
WL 357121, at *2. Instead, “[a] complaint appealing the
Commissioner's denial of disability benefits must set
forth a brief statement of facts setting forth the reasons
why the Commissioner's decision was wrong.”
Hoagland, 2012 WL 2521753, at *2; see also
Harris v. Colvin, No. 14cv383-GW (RNB), 2014 WL 1095941,
*4 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 17, 2014) (dismissing complaint which it
did not “specify . . . the respects in which [the
plaintiff] contends that the ALJ's findings are not
supported by substantial evidence and/or that the proper
legal standards were not applied”); Gutierrez v.
Astrue, No. 11cv454-GSA, 2011 WL 1087261, *2 (E.D. Cal.
Mar. 23, 2011) (dismissing complaint which did not
“provide any substantive reasons” for appealing
the ALJ's decision and did not “identif[y] any
errors in [the] decision”). The plaintiff 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 she is entitled to
relief, “in sufficient detail such that the Court can
understand the legal and/or factual issues in dispute so that
it can meaningfully screen the complaint pursuant to §
1915(e).” Graves, 2015 WL 357121, at *2.
these standards in mind, the Court turns to Plaintiff's
complaint, which only summarily states in one sentence that
“[t]he conclusions and findings of the Defendant are
not supported by substantial evidence and are contrary to law
and regulation, ” with no further details. ECF No. 1 at
¶ 7. There is no explanation whatsoever about why
Plaintiff believes the ALJ's decision was in error.
Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff's complaint
fails to state a claim for relief and
DISMISSES the complaint with leave to amend.
Plaintiff may correct the deficiencies in her complaint to
comply with the requirements as set forth above, and file an
amended complaint on or before December 5,
found that the complaint fails to state a claim, the Court
DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE Plaintiffs motion
to proceed IFP. If Plaintiff files an amended complaint, she
may also refile her request to proceed IFP at that time.