Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Malouf v. Benson

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

October 19, 2017

LINDA MARIE MALOUF, Plaintiff,
v.
STEPHEN M. BENSON, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Leo T. Sorokin United States District Judge

         For the reasons set forth below, the court: (1) grants the plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis; (2) denies the plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel; and (3) orders the plaintiff to amend her complaint within 28 days of the date of this Order.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On May 22, 2017, Linda Marie Malouf (“Malouf”), a California resident, brought this action pursuant to G.L. c. 260, § 4C, based on the Court's diversity jurisdiction. See Complaint (“Compl.”). Malouf seeks monetary damages from the two defendants. Id. The named defendants are the Marshfield School District in Marshfield, Massachusetts, and Stephen M. Benson of Pennsylvania. Id.

         With her complaint, Malouf filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and for appointment of counsel. See Docket Nos. 2, 3.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         Upon review of the plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court concludes that she has shown that she is without assets to pay the filing fee. Accordingly, the motion is allowed. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).

         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(e). 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). Even under a liberal reading, however, the complaint is deficient and will need to be amended for the Court to properly screen it pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2).

         B. Plaintiff's Complaint Fails to Comply with the Basic Rules of Pleading

         Plaintiff's complaint does not comport with the basic pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and must be amended. “The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint include a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), a plaintiff must allege claims in a way that gives the defendants fair notice of what the claims are and the grounds for those claims. Ruiz-Rosa v. Rullán, 485 F.3d 150, 154-55 (1st Cir 2007) (citing Calvi v. Knox County, 470 F.3d 422, 430 (1st Cir.2006)). The complaint “must ‘at least set forth minimal facts as to who did what to whom, when, where, and why.'” Ruiz-Rosa, 485 F.3d at 154 (quoting Educadores Puertorriquñeos en Acción v. Hernández, 367 F.3d 61, 66 (1st Cir. 2004)).

         Other provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that are applicable to the drafting of a complaint include Rules 10 and 20. Rule 10 requires plaintiff to state her claims “in numbered paragraphs, each limited as practicable to a single set of circumstances”, and that if “doing so would promote clarity, each claim founded on a separate transaction or occurrence…must be stated in a separate count…” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b). Further, where a plaintiff brings claims against more than one defendant in a single lawsuit, the claims must be limited to those “arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2)(A).

         Here, Malouf used the pre-printed form, Pro Se 1 (Complaint for a Civil Case), that is provided by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. See Compl., Docket No. 1. Malouf clearly identifies the parties and the relief sought on the five-page form. Id. She indicates diversity jurisdiction based on “loss of career, emotional distress, physical injury, severe PTSD [and] clinical depression.” Id. at ΒΆ II(B)(3). However, the five-page complaint, standing alone, does not include any factual allegations upon which plaintiff's claims ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.