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Burns v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, E.D. California

December 20, 2019

GINNY RENE BURNS, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSING ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, FAILURE TO PROSECUTE, AND FAILURE TO OBEY A COURT ORDER, ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF THE COURT TO RANDOMLY ASSIGN THIS MATTER TO A DISTRICT JUDGE

         I.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Ginny Rene Burns (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a complaint on October 29, 2019. (ECF No. 1.) On November 15, 2019, Plaintiff's complaint was screened and it was found not to state a cognizable claim. (ECF No. 8.) Plaintiff was granted leave to file an amended complaint within thirty days. (Id.) More than thirty days have passed and Plaintiff has not filed an amended complaint or otherwise responded to the November 15, 2019 order.

         II.

         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 October 29, 2019 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 ...

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