United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Allison D. Burroughs United States District Judge
reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS
Defendants' motions to dismiss [ECF Nos. 8, 10, 18] for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
August 31, 2016, Precious Okereke (“Okereke”),
proceeding pro se, filed a complaint against Boston
Medical Center (“BMC”), Six Unknown Boston Police
Officers (“the Removing Defendants”), and The
Bournwood Hospital (whose true name is First Psychiatric
Planners, Inc.) in the Middlesex Superior Court of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts asserting various claims
arising from an incident in which Okereke was allegedly
arrested and brought to Boston Medical Center [ECF No. 12].
On October 6, 2016, the Removing Defendants filed a Notice of
Removal on the grounds of federal question jurisdiction under
28 U.S.C. § 1331 [ECF No. 1].
can be gleaned from the pro se complaint, this
action stems from an incident in which Okereke was allegedly
arrested without probable cause and brought by the police to
Boston Medical Center and/or Bournwood Hospital. Okereke
alleges that she was confined for fifteen days. She seeks
damages in the amount of six million dollars and asserts
jurisdiction pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (civil action
for deprivation of rights), M.G.L. ch. 258E (harassment
prevention orders), M.G.L. ch. 93, § 10 (knowing intent
to injure; punishment; jurisdiction), and M.G.L. ch. 93,
§ 102 (equal rights; violations; civil actions; costs).
The complaint asserts various claims for false arrest,
negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress,
deliberate indifference, and conspiracy. Okereke does not
state the dates of any of the alleged events and states that
the statute of limitations bars no jurisdiction.
pending are Defendants' motions to dismiss the complaint
in its entirety [ECF Nos. 8, 10, 18], which Okereke has
opposed [ECF Nos. 14, 15, 19].
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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 state a claim, a
plaintiff must set forth (1) “a short and plain
statement of the grounds for the courts jurisdiction”;
(2) “a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief”; and (3)
“a demand for the relief sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a). When deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as
true the factual allegations of the Complaint, draws all
reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff that are
supported by the factual allegations, and determines whether
the complaint, so read, sets forth a claim for recovery that
is “plausible on its face.” Eldredge v. Town
of Falmouth, 662 F.3d 100, 104 (1st Cir. 2011) (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(quotation marks omitted)). “A claim is facially
plausible if supported by ‘factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.'”
Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). A
plaintiff's complaint need not provide an exhaustive
factual account, only a short and plain statement.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Although detailed factual allegations are
not required, a pleading must set forth “more than
labels and conclusions.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Legal conclusions
couched as facts and “threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action” will not suffice.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; see also
Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st
Cir. 2011). To avoid dismissal, a complaint must set forth
“factual allegations, either direct or inferential,
respecting each material element necessary to sustain
recovery under some actionable legal theory.”
Gagliardi v. Sullivan, 513 F.3d 301, 305 (1st Cir.
2008) (internal quotations and citation omitted). Further,
the facts alleged, when taken together, must be sufficient to
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” A.G. ex rel. Maddox v. Elsevier, Inc.,
732 F.3d 77, 80 (1st Cir. 2013) (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570).
Plaintiff filed her Complaint pro se, the Court will
construe her allegations liberally. See Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). A document filed by a
pro se party “must be held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Id. (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
97, 106 (1976)). Nevertheless, pro se status does
not insulate a party from complying with procedural and
substantive law. Ahmed v. Rosenblatt, 118 F.3d 886,
890 (1st Cir. 1997).
Defendants' motions to dismiss and supporting memoranda,
the Defendants each argue that Okereke failed to state a
plausible claim and also that she failed to comply with the
2012 Court Order enjoining her from filing any actions
without first obtaining written approval.
initial matter, the Complaint will not be dismissed on the
basis of the 2012 Court Order enjoining Okereke because
Defendants removed the case from state court to this Court,
and thus Okereke did not file the action in this Court as
should have been patently obvious to the removing Defendants.
As such, Okereke did not violate the 2012 Court Order.
Defendant argues that the Complaint consists of no more than
a listing of labels and conclusions and fails to provide any
facts to support the required elements of any cause of
action. Each Defendant notes that the Complaint does not even
assert a date or time frame during which the alleged actions
occurred. After reviewing Defendants' motions and the
supporting memoranda along with Plaintiff's oppositions,
the Court finds that the Complaint cannot survive the
Defendants' motions to dismiss for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.
claims in the Complaint are asserted collectively against the
Defendants and it is virtually impossible to determine which
causes of action are asserted against which specific
Defendants. The allegation on the first page of the Complaint
that the “false arrest was a ploy for money-making thus
dubious medical billings” does not plausibly suggest
that the Plaintiff is in any way entitled to relief from any
of the Defendants. As to the police, all that is alleged in
the Complaint is that that Plaintiff “was inside her
car in Jamaica Plain area of Boston waiting to pick her
children from their school bus” and that she “was
falsely arrested, kidnapped and drugged [as a result of a
conspiratorial agreement].” Compl. at 2. As to the
hospitals, there is no mention of Bournwood Hospital in the
body of the Complaint and the only mention of BMC is the
simple statement that Plaintiff was transported to the BMC.
Id. Nowhere does the Complaint allege that either
hospital or any of their individual employees acted
negligently or otherwise engaged in conduct giving rise to a
cause of action. ...