Robinson v. United States Postal Service
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER, For the reasons set forth above, the complaint is dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. FRCP 12(h)(3); see 28 USC sec. 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court certifies pursuant to 28 USC sec. 1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal. (Ordered by Judge Sandra L. Townes on 12/07/2012) c/m Fwd. for Judgment. (Galeano, Sonia)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
. ROOKl'lN Of'FICE
DAVID ROBINSON, Jr.,
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
12-CV-5874 (SLT) (LB)
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE,
TOWNES, United States District Judge:
On November 22, 2012, prose plaintiff David Robinson, Jr., commenced this action
against the United States Postal Service ("USPS"), alleging non-delivery of his mail in violation
of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Robinson's request to proceed in fonna pauperis is granted pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915 solely for the purpose of this order. For the reasons set forth below the complaint
Robinson alleges that on January 5, 2012, he submitted legal documents in a sealed and
addressed envelope to USPS to be delivered to the United States Second Circuit Court of
Appeals. (Com pl.
custody of USPS.
5). He states that the mail was never delivered and disappeared from the
5). According to the complaint, Robinson made a telephone
inquiry and filed complaints to USPS. He claims that on November 13,2012, he was informed
that a change of address had been submitted in his name, which he denies doing. He issued
another telephone inquiry and filed a complaint.
Robinson asserts that a "pattern of non-service is clearly evident," and the action of
USPS has "deprived Plaintiff access to the court, due process of law, and equal protection."
6). lie alleges pursuant to§ 1983 that his rights under the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth
Amendments have been violated and demands declaratory judgment against USPS as well as
damages in the amount of$2 million.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
In reviewing Plaintiffs filings, the Court is mindful that "a prose complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). A complaint must plead "enough facts to
state a claim to rcliefthat is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). Although a complaint need not include ''detailed factual allegations," it must
do more than put forth "labels and conclusions." 1iL_ at 555. A claim will be considered
"plausible on its face ... when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).
Under 28 U .S.C. § 1915( e)(2)(B), a district court shall dismiss an in forma pauperis
action where it is satisfied that the action is ''(i) 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 also 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Moreover, ''[i]f the court determines at any time
that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action." Fed. R. Civ. P.
An action against the USPS is actually an action against the United States. See
Djordjevic v. Postmaster General, 911 F. Supp. 72,74 (E.D.N.Y. 1995). Moreover, absent a
waiver the doctrine of"sovereign immunity shields the Federal Government and its agencies
from suit." FDIC v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471,475 (1994). Under the Federal Tort Claims Act
("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b), however, the United States has waived its sovereign immunity
from suit as to certain categories of claims- except with regard to "any claim arising out of the
loss, miscarriage, or negligent transmission of letters or postal matter." 28 U.S.C. § 2680(b ).
See, e.g., Gildor v. U.S. Postal Service, 179 Fed. Appx. 756, 758 (2d Cir. 2006) (affirming
dismissal of suit against USPS for mis-delivering package on sovereign immunity grounds);
Wilber v. U.S. Postal Service, No. 10-CV-3346, 2010 WL 3036754, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 02,
2010) (dismissing complaint alleging USPS negligently left package outside plainti!J's home
though she paid for "confirmation delivery"); Azeez v. U.S. Postal Services (USPS), No. 10-CV2001,2010 WL 2653350, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. June 22, 2010) (dismissing complaint alleging
"disappearance of Plaintiffs package" from custody of USPS). Accordingly, although
sympathetic to Robinson's frustrations, the Court lacks jurisdiction to review the merits of his
For the reasons set forth above, the complaint is dismissed for lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3); see 28 U.S.C. § \9\5(e)(2)(B). The Court certifies
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good
faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal. Coppedge v.
United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962).
(SANDRA L. TOWNES
United States District Judge
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