Emrit v. Shady Grove Hospital
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge George Jarrod Hazel on 10/11/2017. (jf3s, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COUR"
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
1G11 OCT I I P 23
RONALD SATISH EMRIT
Civil Action No. GM-17-2714
SHADY GROVE HOSPITAL
RONALD SATISH EMRIT
Civil Action No. GJH-17-2764
SHADY GROVE HOSPITAL
The 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
The 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
Plaintiff 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 Plaintiff's 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
Plaintiff 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
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
Although 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.
Further, 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 At!. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
The 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 raise even a suspicion that a viable cause of action has arisen
on Plaintiff's behalf. Accordingly, by separate Order which follows, the complaint shall be
dismissed and the consolidated cases closed.
GEORGE J. HAZEL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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