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Choksi v. Trivedi

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

April 4, 2017

LEENA CHOKSI and VIKAS CHOKSI, Plaintiffs,
v.
RUPAL TRIVEDI, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          WILLIAM G. YOUNG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court (i) grants the plaintiffs' motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis; (ii) directs the plaintiffs to show cause why this action should not be dismissed; and (iii) denies the plaintiffs' motions for appointment of counsel.

         I. Background

         On November 18, 2016, Leena Choksi (“Leena”) and her adult son Vikas Choksi (“Vikas”), filed a self-prepared complaint in which they allege that three individuals--Anantvijay Trivedi (“Anantvija”), Dharmista Trivedi (“Dharmista”), and their daughter Rupal Trivedi (“Rupal”) were responsible for the sexual exploitation and abuse of Vikas in 1988. At that time, Vikas was 15 years old and all the parties lived in India. Presently, the plaintiffs live in Washington state and Rupal lives in Lowell Massachusetts. The plaintiffs acknowledge that Rupal's mother, Dharmista, is deceased. See Compl. at 7, ¶ 3. Public media reports suggest that Anantvijay passed in September 2016.[1]

         According to the allegations in the complaint, which the Court assumes to be true for purposes of present review of the sufficiency of the pleading, all three defendants manipulated Vikas to have a sexual relationship with Rupal, notwithstanding that he did not want to. Rupal was less than a year older than Vikas and he viewed her as a sister rather than as a romantic interest. Vikas was uncomfortable when Rupal started to make advances to him, and sought advice from Rupal's father, whom Vikas thought of as a “guru.” Anantvijay told Vikas that there was nothing wrong with Rupal and Vikas being sexually intimate and that sexual relationships bring enlightenment. Reluctantly, Vikas had sexual intercourse with Rupal on two occasions, believing that it was a religious exercise and that it would be a “sin” to not follow the directions of Rupal's father. Vikas's mother was unaware of the situation at the time.

         In 1989 Rupal and her parents immigrated to the United States. At some point, Vikas and his mother immigrated to the United States. As an adult, he had a car accident in the United States which resulted in him undergoing a psychological evaluation. During this process, he realized for the first time that Rupal and her family abused and harmed him and that the sexual relationship into which he had been manipulated had nothing to do with religion or karma. He also understood that he had been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from these events that happened in his childhood.

         After this discovery, Vikas shared with his family what had happened between him and Rupal. His mother then understood why he had changed from a “happy go lucky” child to one that was no longer emotionally close to his family, why his personality had changed, why his memory and concentration had declined, and why he had dropped out of medical school.

         The plaintiffs seek damages in the amount of $10 million. They invoke the Court's diversity subject matter jurisdiction. In the body of the complaint and in separate motions, the plaintiffs seek appointment of counsel.

         II. Discussion

         A. Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         Upon review of th plaintiffs' motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court concludes that they are without income or assets to pay the $400.00 filing fee. The motions are therefore granted.

         B. Screening of the Action

         When a plaintiff is allowed to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, summonses do not issue until the Court reviews the complaint and determines that it satisfies the substantive requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This statute authorizes federal courts to dismiss a complaint sua sponte if the claims therein are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). In conducting this review, the Court liberally construes the complaint because the plaintiff is proceeding pro se. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).

         For the reasons set forth below, the plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         1. ...


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