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Haberman v. MFS Investment Management

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

March 24, 2015

LAWRENCE ALAN HABERMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
MFS INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

PATTI B. SARIS, Chief District Judge.

I. Introduction

Now pending before the court is defendant MFS Investment Management's motion to dismiss plaintiff Lawrence Alan Haberman's complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated below, the Court revokes plaintiff's in forma pauperis status under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) and grants defendant's motion to dismiss.

II. BACKGROUND

On April 28, 2014, Lawrence Alan Haberman ("Haberman"), an inmate now confined to the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Marianna, Florida, filed his self-prepared diversity complaint against the defendant, a Massachusetts corporation. See Complaint ("Compl."), Docket No. 1. Haberman pled guilty in 2007 to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. See United States v. Haberman, C.R. No. 07-188-A, 2008 WL 647787 (N.D. Tex. Mar. 7, 2008).[1] On May 20, 2008, Haberman was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment and the court ordered the forfeiture of $20, 000, 000, as well as funds on deposit in certain financial accounts, the cash value of a life insurance policy and Haberman's interest in real property, the total of which was to be deducted from the $20, 000, 000.

In his complaint, Haberman alleges that in 2002 he contracted to open an investment account with the defendant company. Compl. at p. 3. He complains that the defendant responded in November 2007, without his approval, to seizure warrants which demanded the full monetary value of Haberman's accounts. Id . pp. 3, 4. Haberman alleges that seizure warrants were issued by a federal judge in Texas via facsimile and Federal Express. Id. at p. 4. Copies of the seizure warrants are attached to the complaint. Id. at pp. 19-24.

Haberman contends that the defendant should not have complied with the seizure warrants because they were not legally valid having been issued by a federal court in Texas and served by facsimile transmission. Id. at pp. 7, 10. Haberman contends that the defendant failed to adhere to the legal standards imposed on financial institutions and financial advisors and specifically references 15 U.S.C. §§ 80b-4a (prevention of misuse of nonpublic information); 6801 (protection of nonpublic personal information); 6802 (obligations with respect to disclosures of personal information); 6803 (disclosure of institution privacy policy); 6804 (rulemaking). Id. at pp. 11, 12.

Haberman alleges the "total monetary amount unlawfully relinquished to the U.S. government from Mr. Haberman's account was for the total of $187, 777.44." Id. at p. 3. He seeks damages in the amount of $50, 000, 000.00. Id. at p. 16.

With the complaint, plaintiff filed an Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs. See Docket No. 2. By Order dated May 19, 2014, plaintiff's Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs was granted, plaintiff was assessed an initial, partial filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), and the clerk was directed to issue a summons and the form for consent/refusal of magistrate judge jurisdiction.[2] See Docket No. 4.

Now before the Court is defendant's motion to dismiss and supporting memorandum. See Docket Nos. 8, 9. On September 16, 2014, plaintiff filed an opposition. See Docket No. 11.

III. LEGAL STANDARD OF REVIEW

The defendant has moved for dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim. See Docket No. 8. Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a complaint can be dismissed for, among other things, "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).

To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint "must give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, ' and allege a plausible entitlement to relief.'" Decotiis v. Whittemore, 635 F.3d 22, 29 (1st Cir. 2011) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). "Plausible, of course, means something more than merely possible, and gauging a pleaded situation's plausibility is a context-specific job that compels [the Court] to draw on [its] judicial experience and common sense." Schatz v. Republican State Leadership Comm., 669 F.3d 50, 55 (1st Cir. 2012) (quotation marks omitted). "[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it has not show[n]' - that the pleader is entitled to relief." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).

Because Haberman is proceeding pro se, he is entitled to a liberal reading of his allegations, no matter how inartfully pled. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Rodi, 389 F.3d at 13. In considering the adequacy of the pleadings, the Court accepts all factual allegations in the complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Schatz, 669 F.3d at 55. The Court "must consider the complaint, documents annexed to it, and other materials fairly ...


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