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Rafi v. Brigham and Women's Hospital

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

April 30, 2015

SYED K. RAFI, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL, ET AL., Defendants. SYED K. RAFI, Plaintiff,
v.
CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, BOSTON, ET AL., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

GEORGE A. O'TOOLE, Jr., District Judge.

BACKGROUND

I. Case No. 1: Rafi v. Brigham and Women's Hospital, et al., Civil Action No. 14-14017-GAO

On October 27, 2014, Plaintiff Syed K. Rafi, PhD ("Rafi"), a resident of Kansas City, MO, filed a self-prepared Complaint against: (1) Brigham and Women's Hospital ("BWH"); (2) Children's Hospital Boston ("CHB"); Massachusetts General Hospital ("MGH"); and (4) Harvard Medical School ("HMS"). He alleges this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to Section 1332 of Title 28 of the United States Code (diversity of citizenship) because the parties are diverse and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.00. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Notwithstanding this assertion, however, his stated causes of action involve retaliation in violation of Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In view of this, jurisdiction may also properly arise under the federal question jurisdiction of this Court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

The Complaint is not entirely understandable, but it appears that Rafi first alleges that, starting in 2004, he was retaliated against by the Defendants because of a lawsuit he filed in the District of Columbia against the National Institute of Health ("NIH") and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In that action, Rafi, who was an NIH volunteer researcher, sought to have his position qualify as "employment" covered by Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, in order to assert a claim of discrimination in the failure to offer him a position. In this case, Rafi claims that the Defendants initially considered his professional job applications, but the NIH suit was discovered either through a background check, or otherwise. He further alleges that because the Defendants are recipients of NIH research grants (amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually), they would not consider him for an interview for more than 60 professional clinical and research jobs for which he applied. Compl. (Docket No. 1 at 5).

Rafi also alleges that he was retaliated against because of a letter he wrote to the Chair of the Genetics Department at Yale School of Medicine about a professor at the school.

Rafi filed administrative complaints against BWH, CHB and HMS with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). He received "right to sue" letters; however, he did not submit any "right to sue" letter with respect to MGH, and it is unknown whether he exhausted his administrative remedies as to MGH.

Along with his Complaint, Rafi filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No. 2), and a Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Docket No. 3). On January 22, 2015, Rafi filed a Notice of Separation from Employment (Docket No. 8). Thereafter, on April 17, 2015, Rafi filed a Supplement to his in forma pauperis motion, with several exhibits in support (Docket No. 9).

II. Case No. 2: Rafi v. Children's Hospital, et al., Civil Action No. 14-14025-GAO

Shortly after filing the first civil action, on November 18, 2014, Rafi filed a second civil action against CHB and HMS.[1] The allegations in the Complaint are substantially identical to the first lawsuit except that in the second action, he does not allege retaliation based on his NIH lawsuit.

Along with his Complaint, Rafi filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No. 3), and a Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Docket No. 2). On April 17, 2015, Rafi filed a Supplement to his in forma pauperis motion, with several exhibits in support (Docket No. 9).

DISCUSSION

I. The Motions for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

Upon review of Rafi's detailed financial affidavit and exhibits in support, this Court finds that he lacks funds to pay the $400.00 filing and administrative fees for each of his two civil actions. Accordingly, his Motions for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No. 2 in Civil Action ...


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