United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
above-captioned cases are identical in claims asserted and
the relief sought. The latter-filed complaint was transferred
to this Court from the United States District Court for the
Southern District of West Virginia on September 18, 2017.
See Civil Action GJH-17-2764 at ECF 6. The
complaints are identical and the cases shall be consolidated
for all purposes. Because he appears to be indigent,
Plaintiffs Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis shall be
granted. For the reasons stated below, the complaint must be
dismissed and the consolidated cases closed.
facts upon which Plaintiff bases his claims concern his
attempt to secure psychiatric care for suicidal ideations he
experienced in May of 2017. ECF 1 at p. 3. He states that
"a rude Hispanic lady . . . prematurely discharged the
plaintiff from the Seneca section of the Shady Grove
Psychiatric Ward (after just one night)." Id.
Plaintiff alleges that the woman who discharged him from the
hospital appeared to believe he was there only because he was
homeless and hungry. Id. He takes issue with the
fact that his "previous psychiatrist" did not
advocate for him to stay and states that some of the patients
in the ward were trying to leave, so he could have been
allowed to stay. Id. at p. 4. Plaintiff states that
the temperature in the ward was "entirely too cold
leading to an uncomfortable environment" which could
have led to him developing pneumonia. Id.
concludes without explanation that his premature discharge
violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. ECF No. 1
at p. 3. He further claims that his psychiatrist's
failure to advocate in favor of Plaintiffs continued stay in
the hospital is "a prima facie case for negligence or
even a material breach of contract pursuant to the
psychotherapist/patient privilege and HIPAA laws."
Id. at p. 4. Plaintiff states that he expected his
psychiatrist to "be a zealous advocate on his behalf
even though the notion of 'zealous advocacy' is
usually applied to attorneys." Id.
filed both complaints in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1), which permits an indigent litigant to
commence an action in this Court without prepaying the filing
fee. To guard against possible abuses of this privilege, the
statute requires dismissal of any claim that is frivolous or
malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii). This
Court is mindful, however, of its obligation to liberally
construe self-represented pleadings, such as the instant
complaint. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). In evaluating such a complaint, the factual
allegations are assumed to be true. Id. at 93
(citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555-56 (2007)). Nonetheless, liberal construction does
not mean that this Court can ignore a clear failure in the
pleading to allege facts which set forth a cognizable claim.
See Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387
(4th Cir. 1990); see also Beaudett v. City of
Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985) (stating a
district court may not "conjure up questions never
squarely presented.")- In making this determination,
"[t]he district court need not look beyond the
complaint's allegations [but] it must hold the pro se
complaint to less stringent standards than pleadings drafted
by attorneys and must read the complaint liberally."
White v. White, 886 F.2d 721, 722-723 (4th Cir.
a complaint need not contain detailed allegations, the facts
alleged must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level and require "more than labels and
conclusions, " as "courts are not bound to accept
as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint must contain
"enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Id. at 570. Once a
claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by
showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in
the complaint. Id. at 561.
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a), a pleading which sets forth a claim
for relief, shall contain "(1) a short and plain
statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction,
unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs
no new jurisdictional support, (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. . .
." Moreover, each "allegation must be simple,
concise, and direct." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1).
"Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere statements, do not suffice."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Ail. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
instant complaint does not comply with federal pleading
requirements. While Plaintiff references Title VII, that
reference does nothing to illuminate a cognizable claim as
there is no factual basis to support a Title VII claim. It is
well-settled law that a complaint's allegations must
"give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiffs
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests."
Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A.,534 U.S. 506, 512
(2002) (internal quotation marks omitted). Here, the only
"claim" discernible from the pleading filed is that
Plaintiff was dissatisfied with the timing of his discharge
from a private hospital. He does not claim an injury
resulting from that discharge. His dissatisfaction with the
services provided does not state a federal cause of action,
nor does it ...