Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Burns v. Social Security Administration

United States District Court, E.D. California

November 15, 2019

GINNY RENE BURNS, Plaintiff,
v.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 1)

         Ginny Rene Burns (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a complaint in this action against the Commissioner of Social Security.

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         Notwithstanding any filing fee, the court shall dismiss a case if at any time the Court determines that the complaint “(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1129 (9th Cir. 2000) (section 1915(e) applies to all in forma pauperis complaints, not just those filed by prisoners); Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (dismissal required of in forma pauperis proceedings which seek monetary relief from immune defendants); Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995) (district court has discretion to dismiss in forma pauperis complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)); Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 1998) (affirming sua sponte dismissal for failure to state a claim). The Court exercises its discretion to screen the plaintiff's complaint in this action to determine if it “(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

         In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim, the Court uses the same pleading standard used under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 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)(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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

         In reviewing the pro se complaint, the Court is to liberally construe the pleadings and accept as true all factual allegations contained in the complaint. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability . . . ‘stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Therefore, the complaint must contain sufficient factual content for the court to draw the reasonable conclusion that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Allegations in Complaint

         Plaintiff's complaint is incomprehensible. Plaintiff attaches a letter from the Social Security Administration, dated March 18, 2016, which informs her that she “cannot enter any Social Security office for any reason. This restriction means that if you enter a Social Security office, you can be arrested and charged with trespassing.” (ECF No. 1 at 7[1] (emphasis in original). The letter states:

Why You May No. Longer Enter An Office
Your actions in the WEST FRESNO CA Social Security office violated our regulations. These regulations prohibit threatening or disorderly conduct on Federal property or directed at our personnel. Specifically, on 03/18/2016, you assault a federal officer, and was disruptive and disorderly in the SSA office.

(Id. (errors in original).) Plaintiff was advised that she may only enter an SSA office if she receives “a certified letter with the specific date and time of an appointment.” (Id. (emphasis in original).) Plaintiff was also provided with information on how to appeal the letter should she disagree with the decision. (Id. at 8.)

         Plaintiff's complaint appears to state that she did nothing wrong and is entitled to more benefits that were withheld giving her nine hundred dollars. However, the basis of Plaintiff's claims in this action are not clear. The Court cannot determine if Plaintiff is challenging the letter prohibiting her from entering any Social Security office or if her claim is based on the withholding of benefits. Plaintiff shall be provided with an opportunity to file an amended complaint to clarify the basis of her claims and is provided with the following legal standards.

         B. Denial of Benefits Under the Social Security Act

         Generally, the United States and its agencies are entitled to sovereign immunity from suit unless Congress has expressly waived immunity. F.D.I.C. v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 475 (1994); Kaiser v. Blue Cross of California, 347 F.3d 1107, 1117 (9th Cir. 2003); Hodge v. Dalton, 107 F.3d 705, 707 (9th Cir. 1997). “Any waiver of immunity must be ‘unequivocally expressed,' and any limitations and conditions upon the waiver ‘must be strictly observed and exceptions ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.