Azehko v. Bloom et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that: Plaintiff's Complaint (filing no. 1 ) is dismissed without prejudice. All pending motions are denied as moot. A separate judgment will be entered in accordance with this Memorandum and Order. Ordered by Chief Judge Joseph F. Bataillon. (Copy mailed to pro se party)(TCL )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
JOHN BLOOM, et al.,
Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this matter on April 18, 2011. (Filing No. 1.)
He has been given leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Filing No. 5.) The court now
conducts an initial review of the Complaint to determine whether summary dismissal
is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
Plaintiff filed his Complaint against John Bloom, Rob Owens, Lasting Hope
Recovery Center (“Lasting Hope”), and Alegent Health. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF
p. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that he was admitted to Lasting Hope for depression on
October 5, 2010. (Id. at CM/ECF p. 2.) Upon admission, he asked that Lasting Hope
release to Community Alliance (a mental health center where Plaintiff had been
receiving daily treatment) information relating only to the fact that he had been
admitted to Lasting Hope. (Id.) Plaintiff specifically asked that Lasting Hope not
release any other information to any party. (Id.) Liberally construed, Plaintiff alleges
that Defendants violated his civil rights by providing protected health information to
Community Alliance. (Id.)
APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
The court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to determine
whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must
dismiss a complaint or any portion thereof that states a frivolous or malicious claim,
that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Pro se plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to “nudge their
claims across the line from conceivable to plausible,” or “their complaint must be
dismissed” for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct.
1937, 1950 (2009) (“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.”). Regardless of whether a plaintiff is represented
or is appearing pro se, the plaintiff’s complaint must allege specific facts sufficient
to state a claim. See Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).
However, a pro se plaintiff’s allegations must be construed liberally. Burke v. North
Dakota Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab., 294 F.3d 1043, 1043-44 (8th Cir. 2002) (citations
DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS
The court liberally construes Plaintiff’s Complaint to allege that Defendants’
release of Plaintiff’s medical records, contrary to Plaintiff’s wishes, violated the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), Pub.L. No.
104-191, 110 Stat. 1936. However, there is no private right of action provided for
HIPAA violations. Acara v. Banks, 470 F.3d 569, 571-72 (5th Cir. 2006) (concluding
that Congress did not intend for private enforcement of HIPAA); Swift v. Lake Park
High School Dist. 108, No. 03 C 5003, 2003 WL 22388878, at *4 (N.D.Ill. Oct. 21,
2003) (“No federal court reviewing the matter has ever found that Congress intended
HIPAA to create a private right of action.”); O’Donnell v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Wyo., 173 F. Supp. 2d 1176, 1180 (D.Wyo. 2001) (“Review of HIPAA’s enforcement
provisions reveals no congressional intent to create a private right or remedy.”).
Because there is no private right of action under HIPAA, this court does not have
subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s HIPAA privacy claim.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that:
Plaintiff’s Complaint (filing no. 1) is dismissed without prejudice.
All pending motions are denied as moot.
A separate judgment will be entered in accordance with this
Memorandum and Order.
DATED this 11th day of August, 2011.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Joseph F. Bataillon
Chief United States District Judge
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