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Evariste v. United States

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

December 13, 2019

EMMANUEL EVARISTE, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          DENISE J. CASPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court permits Plaintiff Emmanuel Evariste (“Evariste”) to proceed in forma pauperis and finds that the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. If Evariste wishes to proceed with this action, he must file an amended complaint that sets forth a plausible claim upon which relief may be granted.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Emmanuel Evariste (“Evariste”) has filed a pro se complaint seeking monetary damages of “$100 million” under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b).[1] D. 1. Evariste subsequently filed five affidavits and a declaration in support of his request to proceed in forma pauperis. D. 4 - 8, 11.

         Evariste is a citizen of Haiti who is detained in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) custody at the Bristol County House of Correction. The complaint names as defendants the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Thomas Hodgson, Bristol County Sheriff. D. 1 at 1. Evariste contends that because of his prolonged detention in ICE custody, he became a victim of sexual abuse by another inmate on March 27, 2019. Id. at 3. He alleges that correctional officers knew the danger presented by the other inmate and that several correctional officers were arrested after lying about incidents of sexual abuse. Id.[2] Evariste contends that Sheriff Hodgson and the Commonwealth can be held liable under the FTCA by virtue of agreements they entered with the federal government. Id. at 1.

         Evariste complains that the defendants allowed him to remain at the facility where sexual assaults were known to occur and are liable for the alleged violation of his right to due process both in state criminal proceedings and federal immigration proceedings. Id. at 2.[3]

         II. Discussion

         A. Plaintiff's Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         Upon review of Evariste's request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court concludes that he is without income or assets to pay the filing fee. The Court, therefore, permits Evariste to proceed in forma pauperis.

         B. Screening of the Complaint

         When a plaintiff seeks to file a complaint 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. The in forma pauperis statute authorizes federal courts to dismiss a complaint sua sponte if the claims therein lack an arguable basis in law or in fact, 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).

         When examining the sufficiency of the pleadings, the court considers whether the plaintiff has pled “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).

         In conducting this review of the complaint, a pro se plaintiff is entitled to a liberal reading of his allegations, even when such allegations are inartfully pled. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Rodi v. New Eng. Sch. of Law, 389 F.3d 5, 13 (1st Cir. 2004).

         C. Plaintiff's Complaint is ...


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