El-Bey v. Brooklyn Hospital
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 is granted. The Complaint is dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12( h)(3). 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 the purpose of any appeal. Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962). ORDER ATTACHED. Ordered by Judge Eric R. Komitee on 12/1/2020. (Guy, Alicia)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
PRINYAH GODIAH EL-BEY,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ERIC KOMITEE, United States District Judge:
Plaintiff Prinyah Godiah El-Bey, proceeding pro se,
filed this action seeking damages against Defendant regarding
her medical treatment in February 2020.
Plaintiff’s request to
proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 is
For the reasons set forth below, however, the
Complaint is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
The following facts are drawn from Plaintiff’s
Complaint, the allegations of which are assumed to be true at
See Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 621 F.3d
111, 124 (2d Cir. 2010) (at the pleading stage, a court must
assume the truth of “all well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual
allegations” in the complaint).
Plaintiff alleges that she was
given the medication Depakote when she was a patient at Brooklyn
Hospital in February 2020 without being informed about the
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medication and its side effects, and that she had a serious
negative reaction as a result of taking the medication.
Complaint at 4, ECF No. 1 (“Compl.”).
There is a pending
investigation of her allegations against staff at Brooklyn
Hospital in the New York State Department of Health’s Office of
Professional Medical Conduct.
for her alleged injuries.
Id. at 8-9.
She seeks damages
Id. at 4.
II. Standard of Review
The Court must dismiss an in forma pauperis action sua
sponte if it “(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.”
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Although pro se pleadings are held “to
less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers,” Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980), a complaint must
nevertheless “comply with the relevant rules of procedural and
substantive law, including establishing that the court has
subject matter jurisdiction over the action.”
Ally v. Sukkar,
128 F. App’x 194, 195 (2d Cir. 2005).
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and
may not hear cases over which they lack subject matter
Singh v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Servs.,
878 F.3d 441, 445 (2d Cir. 2017); Doe v. United States, 833 F.3d
192, 196 (2d Cir. 2016).
The lack of subject matter
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jurisdiction cannot be waived, and the issue may be raised at
any time by a party or by the court sua sponte.
ex rel. Henderson v. Shinseki, 562 U.S. 428, 434 (2011)
(“[F]ederal courts have an independent obligation to ensure that
they do not exceed the scope of their jurisdiction, and
therefore they must raise and decide jurisdictional questions
that the parties either overlook or elect not to press.”).
party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of
establishing that jurisdiction exists.”
Conyers v. Rossides,
558 F.3d 137, 143 (2d Cir. 2009) (cleaned up).
matter jurisdiction is absent, the district court must dismiss
the complaint regardless of the merits of the underlying action.
Nowak v. Ironworkers Local 6 Pension Fund, 81 F. 3d 1182, 1188
(2d Cir. 1996); see also Arbaugh v. Y & H Corp., 546 U.S. 500,
Federal jurisdiction is available only when a “federal
question” is presented, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, or when the plaintiff
and defendant are of diverse citizenship and the amount in
controversy exceeds $75,000.00.
28 U.S.C. § 1332.
The Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction
over this action.
Plaintiff invokes this Court’s federal
Compl. at 3.
However, her claims for
negligence and medical malpractice arise under state, not
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See, e.g., Obunugafor v. Borchert, 01-CV-3125,
2001 WL 1255929, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 19, 2001) (holding that
plaintiff’s claims for medical neglect and failure to diagnose
amounted to a claim of negligence or malpractice under state law
and did not raise a federal question).
Plaintiff has not
alleged that her medical care was covered under any federal
program or provision that would confer federal question
jurisdiction over this action.
Even affording the pro se
complaint a liberal reading, there are no factual allegations
suggesting the existence of a “colorable federal claim.”
Chestnut v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 1l-CV-5369, 2012 WL
601785, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 22, 2012).
states no federal question.
Nor may the Court exercise diversity jurisdiction over
the state-law claims alleged.
For a federal court to exercise
diversity jurisdiction, there must be complete diversity of
citizenship between the plaintiff and defendants.
Pa. Pub. Sch.
Emps.’ Ret. Sys. v. Morgan Stanley & Co., 772 F.3d 111, 117–18
(2d Cir. 2014) (diversity jurisdiction is “requires ‘complete
diversity,’ i.e. all plaintiffs must be citizens of states
diverse from those of all defendants.”).
Here, the Complaint
states that both Plaintiff and Defendant are citizens of New
York, Compl. at 1-2, so there is no basis for diversity
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Therefore, the Complaint must be dismissed because
Plaintiff fails to establish jurisdiction.
Manway Constr. Co.
Inc. v. Hous. Auth. of Citv of Hartford, 711 F.2d 501, 503 (2d
Cir.1983); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
Accordingly, the Complaint is dismissed for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
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 the purpose
of any appeal. Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45
_/s/ Eric Komitee_________________
United States District Judge
December 1, 2020
Brooklyn, New York
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