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Kent-Matta v. Citigroup Inc.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

February 28, 2019

Leslie A Kent-Matta, Plaintiff,
v.
Citigroup Incorporated, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Honorable Diane J. Humetewa United States District Judge

         Before this Court is Plaintiff's Fourth Application to Proceed in District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs, otherwise known as a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) (Doc. 12). The Court denied Plaintiff's First, Second, and Third IFP Applications because they were incomplete. (Docs. 7, 9, 11). In Plaintiff's Fourth IFP Application she provides that her average monthly expenses are $1, 640.00 and that she has no source of monthly, instead she is “living off the generosity of her parents.” (Doc. 12). Thus, Plaintiff's monthly expenses exceed her monthly income; therefore, the Court will grant Plaintiff's Fourth IFP Application and will proceed to screen Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

         I. Legal Standards

         The determination that Plaintiff may proceed IFP does not end the inquiry under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. When a party has been granted IFP status, the Court must review the complaint to determine whether the action:

(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).[1] In conducting such a review, “[i]t is . . . clear that section 1915(e) not only permits but requires a district court to dismiss an [IFP] complaint that fails to state a claim.” Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) (citation omitted).

         Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that:

A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counter-claim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall contain (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new grounds of jurisdiction to support it, (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded.

         While Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations, “it demands more than an unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).[2] “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. A complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S., at 556). A complaint that provides “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S., at 555. Nor will a complaint suffice if it presents nothing more than “naked assertions” without “further factual enhancement.” Id. at 557.

         II. Statutory Screening

         In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that her employer, Defendant Citygroup “acted in bad faith, grossly negligent, and with malice when it failed to warn [Plaintiff] of the fictitious nature of a romantic relationship with a Richard T. Matta, assumed deceased, who was introduced to [Plaintiff] at Citi for the purpose of initiating a fraudulent martial relationship.” (Doc. 1 at 1). Plaintiff further alleges that Citygroup breached her employment contract's duty of care “when it failed to warn [Plaintiff] of the fraudulent nature of her martial relationship.” (Id.) The Court finds that Plaintiff's allegations fail to state a claim for relief against Defendant. Plaintiff must state factual allegations and explain how those allegations establish a violation of a relevant legal authority. In short, Plaintiff must show she is entitled to relief against Defendant. She has not done so here. Moreover, Plaintiff does not adequately state how this Court has jurisdiction over this matter, and whether venue is proper. For these reasons, the Court finds that Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The Court will therefore dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint with leave to amend.

         III. ...


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