Cotiere v. Seabrock
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DISMISSING CASE for the reasons stated herein. The Clerk of Court is further directed to transmit a copy of this Order and the accompanying Judgment to plaintiff pro se via U.S. Mail, and to note the mailing on the docket.The Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal. Ordered by Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf on 7/3/2014. (Mauskopf, Roslynn)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
- against -
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
14-CV-0487 (RRM) (LB)
ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States District Judge.
Plaintiff McHarland Cotiere brought this pro se action on January 16, 2014. (See Doc.
No. 1.) In short, Cotiere alleged that the New York City Department of Correction bus
scheduled to take him to court on November 18, 2013, never left Rikers Island because
defendant Norman Seabrook, the head of the Correction Officer’s union, ordered a general
“slowdown” to prevent another inmate from testifying against a corrections officer in an
unrelated case. (Id.) On May 29, 2014, this Court issued a Memorandum and Order granting
Cotiere’s request to proceed in forma pauperis, denying his request to appoint pro bono counsel,
and dismissing his complaint with leave to amend. (See Doc. No. 12.)
On June 24, 2014, Cotiere filed what the Court construes to be an amended complaint.
(Doc. No. 13.) Presumably relying on the same facts alleged in Cotiere’s original complaint, the
brief amended complaint “seek[s] some sort of reimbursement” because Cotiere allegedly “had
to pay $2500.00 for absolutely nothing” when his Correction bus did not leave Rikers Island,
since “[a]lthough [Cotiere] wasn’t present for court on that date, [his] lawyer and co-counsel still
showed up[,] which means they earned their pay.” (Id. at 1–2.) For the reasons explained below,
the amended complaint is dismissed.
Although a pro se plaintiff must satisfy pleading requirements, the Court is “obligated to
construe a pro se complaint liberally.” See Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 71–72 (2d Cir. 2009)
(citations omitted). In other words, the Court holds pro se complaints to a less exacting standard
than those drafted by attorneys. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520–21 (1972); Boykin v.
KeyCorp, 521 F.3d 202, 213–14 (2d Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). Instead, the Court reads pro
se pleadings to “raise the strongest arguments that they suggest.” Green v. United States, 260
F.3d 78, 83 (2d Cir. 2001) (internal citations omitted). Even affording Cotiere’s complaint the
most liberal reading and drawing all reasonable inferences his favor, however, the amended
complaint fails to state a claim for which relief can be granted. At best, Cotiere’s new
allegations gesture vaguely toward some state tort injury. Nothing in the amended complaint
remedies the defects previously identified by the Court, or articulates a basis for a federal cause
As such, the amended complaint must be dismissed. Generally, if a liberal reading of the
complaint “gives any indication that a valid claim might be stated,” the Court should grant leave
to amend. Cuoco v. Moritsugu, 222 F.3d 99, 112 (2d Cir. 2000) (quoting Gomez v. USAA Fed.
Sav. Bank, 171 F.3d 794, 795 (2d Cir. 1999)). Here, however, leave to amend was already
granted. And because the deficits in the amended complaint are substantive rather than
structural, another attempt would be futile. The Court therefore declines to grant leave to amend
the already amended complaint. See Perez v. New York City Dep’t of Corr., No. 10-CV-2697
(RRM) (RML), 2013 WL 500448, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 17, 2013) (citing Burch v. Pioneer Credit
Recovery, Inc., 551 F.3d 122, 126 (2d Cir. 2008)).
For the foregoing reasons, the amended complaint (Doc. No. 13) is dismissed and the
Clerk of Court is directed to close this case. The Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(3) that any appeal 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
The Clerk of Court is further directed to transmit a copy of this Order to plaintiff pro se
via U.S. Mail, and to note the mailing on the docket.
Roslynn R. Mauskopf
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
July 3, 2014
ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF
United States District Judge
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