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 15, 2017.
See Civil Action GJH-17-2761 at ECF 5. Because the
complaints are identical Civil Action GJH-17-2761 shall be
consolidated for all purposes with Civil Action GJH-17-2703,
with Civil Action GJH-17-2703 being the lead case. 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
asserts the facts upon which his claims are based are that in
May of 2017, he was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital because
he was experiencing suicidal ideations, a result of an
argument with family members. ECF 1 at p. 3. He further
states that his maternal grandmother died in the same
hospital and that he "believes that her premature death
was not only untimely but unnecessary." Id. He
adds that at the time of his grandmother's death, in
December, 2005, he considered filing a wrongful death
lawsuit, but the statute of limitation had run before he
could do so. Id.
on the "statement of facts" provided, Plaintiff
raises claims of (1) intentional infliction of emotional
distress (ECF 1 at pp. 3 - 5); and (2) "negligence (res
ipsa loquitur) and negligence per se" id. at
pp. 5-6. With regard to the first claim, Plaintiff asserts
that the "intake staff at Holy Cross Hospital. . . was
extremely rude to [him] when he first was 'checked
in' to the triage part of the Emergency Room."
Id. at p. 4. Plaintiff asserts that in light of the
fact that he suffers from bipolar disorder, schizoaffective
disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder,
obsessive-compulsive disorder, and suicidal ideations,
"intake staff should have been more pleasant" and
should have refrained from interrogating him. Id.
Plaintiff then makes observations about the status of the law
regarding what is required to be committed to a psychiatric
ward of a hospital; how the law differs among states; how the
practice of lobotomies has been abandoned; and that
institutionalized mental health patients have "always
had the option of filing a writ of habeas corpus."
Id. at p. 5.
regard to the negligence claim, Plaintiff asserts that Holy
Cross Hospital was "negligent" because it "did
not even have its own psychiatric ward/insane asylum part of
the hospital" and Plaintiff had to be "transported
to the University of Maryland Midtown Campus in Baltimore,
Md." ECF 1 at p. 5. Plaintiff states that if Holy Cross
Hospital is required by state or federal statutes to have its
own psychiatric ward, the failure to have one is negligence.
Id. at p. 6. He states that the ambulance ride to
University of Maryland "was unreasonably hot, humid,
long, and ... he almost choked during the ambulance ride due
to the fact that he was not allowed to drink water or any
fluids until he actually reached the psych ward."
relief, Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $250
thousand dollars and adds he "would also like to seek
the equitable remedy of an injunction and/or specific
performance mandating that the defendant allow [him] to be
re-entered into a longer term program for health care for
disabled people." Id. at pp. 6-7.
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 BellAtl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Court has thoroughly examined the complaint and finds that it
is insufficient and does not comply with federal pleading
requirements. Plaintiff references legal doctrine, statutes,
and legal terms that do nothing to illuminate a cognizable
claim. For example, he states that "a discussion of
quantum meruit and unjust enrichment may also be
applicable" because '[t]his contract does not have
caveat emptor . . . provision." ECF 1 at p. 7. There is
no discernible contract claim arising from the facts
asserted. It is well-settled law that complaint 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). The only
"claim" discernible from the pleading filed is that
Plaintiff was dissatisfied with the lack of courtesy afforded
him by the intake staff and did not want to be taken by
ambulance to another facility. Such dissatisfaction does not