Casino et al v. Stonybrook University Medical Center et al
ORDER granting 2 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. SO ORDERED that plaintiffs application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted; plaintiff's claims against Stony Brook University Medical Center are sua sponte dismissed in their entirety pursuant to Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for Jack of subject matter jurisdiction; plaintiffs Section 1983 claims against Woodhaven and Cassidy are sua sponte dismissed in their entirety with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915( e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim for relief; and any state law claims are dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367( c)(3). The Clerk of the Court shall close this case and, pursuant to Rule 77(d)(l) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, serve notice of entry of this Order upon all parties. 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 the purpose of any appeal. Donato J. Casino terminated. CM to pro se plaintiff. Ordered by Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein on 1/27/2014. (Florio, Lisa)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
-againstSTONYBROOK [sic] UNIVERSITY MEDICAL
CENTER, WOODHAVEN NURSING HOME, and
BRIAN CASSIDY, Law Guardian,
IN CLERK'S OFFICE
US DISTRICT COURTED NY
JAN 2 7 Z014
LONG ISLAND OFFICE
FEUERSTEIN, District Judge:
On October 28, 2013, prose plaintiff Eileen Casino ("plaintiff')' filed, inter alia, a civil
rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") against defendants Stony Brook
University Medical Center; Woodhaven Nursing Home ("Woodhaven"); and Brian Cassidy
("Cassidy"), law guardian, accompanied by an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Since
plaintiffs financial status, as set forth in her declaration in support of her application to proceed in
forma pauperis, qualifies her to commence this action without prepayment of the filing fees,~ 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), her application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. However, for the
reasons set forth below, the Complaint is sua sponte dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
The handwritten complaint is unsigned but indicates that it is "From: Eileen Casino" "Re:
Donato J. Casino." (Complaint ["Compl."] at 1). Although the application to proceed in forma
pauperis designates both Eileen Casino and Donato Casino ("Mr. Casino") as prose plaintiffs in this
case, it is only signed by Eileen Casino. Since "[a] person who has not been admitted to the practice
of law may not represent anybody other than himself," Guest v. Hansen, 603 F.3d 15,20 (2d Cir.
2010); ~ 28 U.S.C. § 1654, any claims asserted by Eileen Casino on behalf of Mr. Casino are
dismissed without prejudice.
The First Casino Action
On September 11, 2013, plaintiff filed in this Court, inter alia, a complaint pursuant to
Section 1983 against Cassidy and "Mr. Rohl, as owner/admin,"2 among others, alleging violations
of Mr. Casino's civil rights relating to his treatment and care in an unidentified nursing home and
to court proceedings in which Cassidy acted as his law guardian, which was assigned docket number
13-cv-5095 ("the first action"). By Order dated November 8, 2013, inter alia: (1) plaintiffs claims
in the first action were sua sponte dismissed with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for lack of standing and failure to state a claim for relief; and (2) Mr. Casino's
claims in the first action were sua sponte dismissed without prejudice on the basis that plaintiff, who
is not an attorney, could not assert pro se claims on his behalf.
The Instant Complaint'
On or about October 28, 2013, plaintiff filed the instant complaint ("the second action")
"(1) Unfair competition for family time with my husband (by this I mean they arrange
to 'give care' by encroaching on visitation time rather than at other more reasonable
scheduled time)[;] (2) Information about [Mr. Casino] which [he] [and] his family
are reasonably entitled to receive from either 'proxy' or/and 'custodial agency' are
not passed along to any of us family[;] (3) 'Law' 'guardian', 'nursing' 'home'
owner/administrator, hospital, NY State Court are not always acting in best interest
In her application to proceed in forma pauperis in this action, plaintiff identifies Mr. Rohl
as the "owner/administrator" of Woodhaven. (Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ["IFP
Applic. "] at 1).
All material allegations in the Complaint are assumed to be true for the purposes of this
order, see,~ Rogers v. City of Troy. New York, 148 F.3d 52, 58 (2d Cir. 1998) (in reviewing a
prose complaint for sua sponte dismissal, a court is required to accept the material allegations in the
complaint as true), and do not constitute findings of fact by the Court.
of [Mr.] Casino or his family or according to all our wishes as stated by us[;] (4)
'Nursing' 'home' owner/administrator and 'law' 'guardian' Brian Cassidy have
withheld [Mr. Casino's] goods [and] money from [him] durring [sic] his latest stay
at Stony Brook Hospital (which he has medical need of for comfort [and] relief [and]
abatement of some of his 'symptoms') -> (most importantly his radio [and]
cellphone)[;] (5) (Most of the time) respect of [patient's] rights, human rights [and]
civil rights is put aside in best interest of 'custodial' person [or] entity most obvious
to patient by custodial person creating 'scene' in front of patient in patient[' s] room."
(Compl. at 1-3). Plaintiff does not allege any injury or specifY any relief sought in the complaint.
However, in a letter filed on January 22,2014, which the Court construes to be a supplement to the
complaint, plaintiff seeks the following relief:
"an order to restrain all in control or in charge of'giving care' of any kind from: (I)
prematurely [and] deliberately causing an end of [Mr. Casino's] earthly life by
comission [sic] or omission[;] (2) deliberately causing undue anguish by 'shabby
etiquette' in delivery of alleged care which would so panic or depress [Mr. Casino]
that he could be made sick by it. There is at least one specific [doctor] to speak ofl;]
(3) keep respect for [patient] right to practice religion [and] have visitors [and]
unmolested [and] unharassed [sic] time with clergy daily[;] (4) staff [and] caregivers
to show proper business etiquette toward respected clergy in [patient] rooms[;] [and]
(5) restrain all from any criminal actions which would prevent appearance of myself
on Feb[.] 7 at court[.]"
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Standard of Review
Federal courts are courts oflimitedjurisdiction, see Gunn v. Minton,- U.S.-, 133 S. Ct.
1059, 1064, 185 L. Ed. 2d 72 (2013); Mimsv. Arrow Financial Services. LLC,-U.S. - , 132 S.Ct.
740, 747, 181 L. Ed. 2d 881 (2012), and may not preside over cases absent subject matter
jurisdiction. See Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Services. Inc., 545 U.S. 546, 552, 125 S.Ct. 2611,
162 L. Ed. 2d 502 (2005) (holding that federal courts may not exercise jurisdiction absent a statutory
basis); Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America, 511 U.S. 375,377, 114 S. Ct. 1673, 128 L.
Ed. 2d 391 (1994) (holding that federal courts "possess only that power authorized by Constitution
and statute • • *.") Lack of subject matter jurisdiction cannot be waived or forfeited and may be
raised at any time by a party or by the court sua sponte. See Gonzalez v. Thaler,- U.S.-, 132
S.Ct. 641, 648, 181 L. Ed. 2d 619 (2012); see also Sebelius v. Auburn Regional Medical Center,U.S.-, 133 S. Ct. 817, 824, 184 L. Ed. 2d 627 (2013) ("Objections to a tribunal'sjurisdiction can
be raised at any time, even by a party that once conceded the tribunal's subject-matter jurisdiction
overthecontroversy."); Henderson ex rei. Henderson v. Shinseki, -U.S.-, 131 S. Ct. 1197, 1202,
179 L.Ed.2d 159 (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. • • * Objections to subject-matter
jurisdiction* • • may be raised at any time.") If a court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, it must
dismiss the action. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3); Arbaugh v. Y & H Corn., 546 U.S. 500,514, 126
S.Ct. 1235, 163 L.Ed.2d 1097 (2006); Durant. Nichols. Houston. Hodgson & Cortese-Costa. P.C.
v. Dupont, 565 F.3d 56, 62-3 (2d Cir. 2009).
Eleventh Amendment Immunity
"A foundational premise of the federal system is that States, as sovereigns, are immune from
suits for damages, save as they elect to waive that defense." Coleman v. Court of Appeals of
Marvland,- U.S.-, 132 S. Ct. 1327, 1333, 182 L. Ed. 2d 296 (2012). Absent consent, the
Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution bars suits in federal court by private parties
against a State or one of its agencies. See Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority v. Metcalf &
Eddy. Inc., 506 U.S. 139, 144, 113 S. Ct. 684, 121 L.Ed.2d 605 (1993) ("Absent waiver, neither a
State nor agencies acting under its control may be subject to suit in federal court." (quotations and
citation omitted)); Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100, 104 S. Ct.
900, 79 L. Ed. 2d 67 (I 984) ("[I]n the absence of consent a suit in which the State or one of its
agencies or departments is named as the defendant is proscribed by the Eleventh Amendment.")
"Sovereign immunity principles enforce an important constitutional limitation on the power of the
federal courts." Sossamonv. Texas,-U.S.-, 131 S. Ct. 1651,1657, 179L. Ed. 2d 700(2011);
see also Pennhurst State, 465 U.S. at 98, 104 S. Ct. 900 ("[T]he principle of sovereign immunity is
a constitutional limitation on the federal judicial power established in Art. III[.]")
A State's consent to suit must be "unequivocally expressed," Pennhurst State, 465 U.S. at
99, 104 S. Ct. 900, and "may not be implied." Sossamon, -U.S.-, 131 S. Ct. at 1658. "Generally,
[courts] will find a waiver either if the State voluntarily invokes [federal court] jurisdiction* * *,
or else if the State makes a clear declaration that it intends to submit itself to [federal court]
jurisdiction • • • ." College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense
Board, 527 U.S. 666,675-76, 119 S. Ct. 2219, 144 L. Ed. 2d 605 (1999) (quotations and citations
omitted); see also In reCharter Oak Associates, 361 F.3d 760,767 (2d Cir. 2004) (accord).
Although the Eleventh Amendment generally does not bar suits against state officials acting
in their official capacity seeking prospective relief, i.e., to enjoin conduct that violates the federal
Constitution, see Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123,28 S. Ct. 441, 52 L. Ed. 2d 714 (1908); Conyers
v. Rossides, 558 F.3d 137, 150 (2d Cir. 2009), cert. deniedQy Conyers v. Pistole, 133 S. Ct. 329, 184
L. Ed. 2d 241 (2012), that exception to Eleventh Amendment immunity is inapplicable to suits
against the States and their agencies, which are barred regardless of the relief sought. Puerto Rico
Aqueduct, 506 U.S. at 146, I 13 S.Ct. 684; see also Pennhurst State, 465 U.S. at 100-01, 104 S. Ct.
900 (holding that the Eleventh Amendment's ')urisdictional bar applies [to claims against the State
or one of its agencies or departments] regardless of the nature of the relief sought."); Palmer v. New
York State Office of Court Administration, 526 Fed. Appx. 97,99 (2d Cir. May 7, 2013) (summary
order) (holding that the plaintiff was required to name a state official acting in his or her official
capacity as a defendant "in order to attempt to avail herself of the exception to Eleventh Amendment
immunity under Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123,28 S. Ct. 441
* * *.")
Moreover,"[a]s an exception to this principle [ofEleventh Amendment sovereign immunity],
Congress may abrogate the States' immunity from suit pursuant to its powers under Section 5 of the
Fourteenth Amendment." Coleman, -
U.S. -, 132 S. Ct. at 1333; see also United States v.
Georgia, 546 U.S. 151, 154, 158-59, 126 S.Ct. 877, 163 L.Ed.2d 650 (2006). "Congress must make
its intention to abrogate unmistakably clear in the language of the statute." Coleman,- U.S.-,
132 S. Ct. at 1333 (quotations, brackets and citation omitted);
also Nevada Department of
Human Resources v. Hibbs, 538 U.S. 721, 726, 123 S. Ct. 1972, !55 L. Ed. 2d 953 (2003); Doe v.
Pataki, 481 F.3d 69, 78 (2d Cir. 2007). "[I]t is well settled that 42 U.S.C. § 1983 does not constitute
an exercise of [Congress's] authority [to abrogate States' sovereign immunity]." Dube v. State
UniversitvofNew York, 900 F.2d 587,594 (2d Cir. 1990); see also Ouern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332,
342, 99 S. Ct. 1139, 59 L. Ed. 2d 358 (1979)(holding that Section 1983 did not abrogate the States'
Eleventh Amendment immunity).
Stony Brook University Medical Center is part of the State University of New York
("SUNY"). "For Eleventh Amendment purposes, SUNY is an integral part of the government of
the State of New York and when it is sued the State is the real party." Dube, 900 F.2d at 594
(quotation marks, brackets and citation omitted); see also Garcia v. S.U.N. Y. Health Sciences Center
ofBrookly!!, 280 F.3d 98, I 07 (2d Cir. 2001) (accord). Thus, absent any indication that Stony Brook
University Medical Center has waived its sovereign immunity, plaintiff's claims against it, whether
legal or equitable, are proscribed by the Eleventh Amendment. See, ~ Gasparik v. Stony Brook
University. 296 Fed. Appx. 151, 152 (2d Cir. Oct. 16, 2008) (summary order) (finding that the
district court properly concluded that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff's Section
1983 claims against Stony Brook University "because SUNY has not consented to be sued in a
federal forum and so is immune from suit pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment."); Fariello v.
Rodriguez, 148 F.R.D. 670,681 (E.D.N.Y. 1993), aff'd, 22 F.3d 1090 (2d Cir. 1994) ("[T]he Stony
Brook University Hospital is an entity ofthe State of New York and * * * under the provisions of
the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution, this action is barred in federal court."); Walters v.
Suffolk County. No. 09-cv-0556, 2009 WL 1605415, at* 3 (E.D.N.Y. June 4, 2009) (dismissing
Section 1983 claims against the State University of New York's Stony Brook Medical Center as
barred by the Eleventh Amendment). Accordingly, plaintiff's claims against Stony Brook University
Medical Center are dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(h) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction.
28 U.S.C. § 1915
Underthe in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), a district court must dismiss
a complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or
seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
It is axiomatic that district courts are required to read prose complaints liberally, Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 167 L. Ed. 2d 1081 (2007)(quoting Estelle v. Gamble,
429 U.S. 97, 106,97 S. Ct. 285,50 L. Ed. 2d 251 (1976)); Hogan v. Fischer, 738 F.3d 509, 515 (2d
Cir. 2013), and to construe them "'to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest." Gerstenbluth
v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, 728 F.3d 139, 142-43 (2d Cir. 2013) (quotations and
citations omitted). Moreover, at the pleadings stage ofthe proceeding, the Court must assume the
truth of"all well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations in the complaint." Harrington v. Countv
of Suffolk, 607 F.3d 31, 33 (2d Cir. 2010); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal556 U.S. 662, 678-79, 129 S.
Ct. 1937, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009).
Nevertheless, a complaint must plead sufficient facts "to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corn. v. Twombly. 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1974,
167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007). The pleading of specific facts is not required; rather a complaint need
only give the defendant "fair notice of what the • • • claim is and the grounds upon which it rests."
Erickson, 551 U.S. 89, 127 S. Ct. 2197 (quotations and citation omitted); see also Anderson News.
LLC v. American Media. Inc., 680 F.3d 162, 182 (2d Cir. 2012), cert. denied .l1v Curtis Circulation
Co. v. Anderson News. LLC, ---U.S.----, 133 S. Ct. 846, 184 L. Ed. 2d 655 (2013) (accord). "A
pleading that offers 'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do."' Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555,
127 S. Ct. 1955). "Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders 'naked assertion[s]' devoid of'further
factual enhancement."' Id. (quoting Twombly. 550 U.S. at 557, 127 S. Ct. 1955); see also Pension
Benefit Guaranty Corn. ex rei. St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers Retirement Plan v. Morgan
Stanley Investment Management Inc., 712 F.3d 705,717 (2d Cir. 2013)(accord). The plausibility
standard requires "more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Ashcroft,
556 U.S. at 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937; see also Inre Amaranth Natural Gas Commodities Litigation, 730
FJd 170, 180(2dCir.2013).
Section 1983 of Tile 42 of the United States Code provides, in relevant part:
"Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation,
custom, or usage, of any State ... subjects, or causes to be subjected,
any citizen of the United States ... to the deprivation of any rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall
be liable to the party injured .... "
42 U.S.C. § 1983. "Section 1983 provides a cause of action against any person who deprives an
individual of federally guaranteed rights 'under color' of state law." Filarsky v. Delia,- U.S.-,
132 S. Ct. 1657, 1661, !82 L. Ed. 2d 662 (2012). Thus, to state a Section 1983 claim, a plaintiff
must allege: (I) that the challenged conduct was "committed by a person acting under color of state
law," and (2) that such conduct "deprived [the plaintiff] of rights, privileges, or immunities secured
by the Constitution or laws of the United States." Cornejo v. Bell, 592 F.3d 121, 127 (2d Cir. 2010)
(quoting Pitchell v. Callan, 13 F .3d 545,547 (2d Cir. 1994)); see also Rehberg v. Paulk,--- U.S.----,
132 S. Ct. 1497, 1501-02, 182 L. Ed. 2d 593 (2012).
Although Section 1983 liability may only be imposed upon wrongdoers "who carry a badge
of authority of a State and represent it in some capacity, whether they act in accordance with their
authority or misuse it," National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Tarkanian, 488 U.S. 179, 191,
109 S. Ct. 454, 102 L. Ed. 2d 469 (1988)(quotations and citation omitted); see also Haferv. Melo,
502 U.S. 21, 28, 112 S. Ct. 358, 116 L. Ed. 2d 301 (1991) ("Congress enacted §1983 to enforce
provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment against those who carry a badge of authority of a State and
represent it in some capacity, whether they act in accordance with their authority or misuse it."
(quotations and citations omitted)), "[a] private actor may be liable under§ 1983 ***if there is a
sufficiently close nexus between the State and the challenged action that seemingly private behavior
may be fairly treated as that of the State itself." Sykes v. Bank of America, 723 F.3d 399, 406 (2d
Cir. 2013)(quotations, internal quotations and citations omitted); see also Fabrikant v. French, 691
F.3d 193, 206-07 (2d Cir. 2012) ("Conduct that is formally 'private' may become so entwined with
governmental policies or so impregnated with a governmental character that it can be regarded as
governmental action. * * • [T]here must be such a close nexus between the state and the challenged
action that the state is responsible for the specific conduct of which the plaintiff complains."
(quotations, alterations, emphasis and citations omitted)).
"Anyone whose conduct is fairly
attributable to the state can be sued as a state actor under§ 1983." Filarsky,- U.S.-, 132 S. Ct.
at 1661 (quotations and citation omitted); see also Fabrikant, 691 F.3d at 207 ("The fundamental
question* • • is whether the private entity's challenged actions are 'fairly attributable' to the state."
(quoting Rendell-Baker y. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830, 838, 102 S. Ct. 2764, 73 L. Ed. 2d 418 (1982))).
"Three main tests have emerged:
For the purposes of section 1983, the actions of a nominally private entity are
attributable to the state ... (1) [when] the entity acts pursuant to the coercive power
of the state or is controlled by the state ('the compulsion test'); (2) when the state
provides significant encouragement to the entity, the entity is a willful participant in
joint activity with the state, or the entity's functions are entwined with state policies
('the joint action test' or 'close nexus test'); or (3) when the entity has been delegated
a public function by the state ('the public function test')."
Fabrikant, 691 F.3d at 207 (quoting Sybalski v. Indep. Oro. Home Living Program. Inc, 546 F.3d
255, 257 (2d Cir. 2008) (alteration in original)).
Woodhaven, as a private nursing home, and Cassidy, as a court-appointed law guardian for
Mr. Casino•, were not acting "under color of state Jaw" for purposes of Section 1983 with respect
to the conduct attributed to them in the complaint. See Parent v. New York, 786 F. Supp. 2d 516,
538 (N.D.N.Y. 2011), affd, 485 Fed. Appx. 500 (2d Cir. June 18, 2012), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct.
652, 184 L. Ed. 2d 460 (20 12) ("[A]!though appointed by the state,
* * * [a) Jaw guardian is not a
state actor because he or she must exercise independent professional judgment on behalf of the
clients they represent."); White v. St. Joseph's Hospital, 369 Fed. Appx. 225,226 (2d Cir. Mar. 10,
20 I 0) (summary order) ("[P]rivate actors and institutions, such as the
* * * nursing home * * * are
generally not proper Section 1983 defendants because they do not act under color of state Jaw.
* [T]he presence of state funding or regulation, in the absence of some concerted action with state
officials, does nottransform a private party's actions into state action."); Baum v. Northern Dutchess
Hospital, 764 F. Supp. 2d 410, 430-33 (N.D.N.Y. 2011) (dismissing Section 1983 claims against
private nursing home because it is not a state actor); Mitchell v. Home, 377 F. Supp. 2d 361, 370
(S.D.N.Y. 2005) (accord); Arena v. Department of Social Services ofNassau County, 216 F. Supp.
2d 146, 155 (E.D.N.Y. 2002) (dismissing Section 1983 claims against Jaw guardian because he was
not a state actor); Elmasri v. England, Ill F. Supp. 2d 212,221 (E.D.N.Y. 2000) ("[G]uardians ad
litem, although appointed by the court, exercise independent professional judgment in the interests
of the clients they represent and are therefore not state actors for purposes of Section 1983.")
Accordingly, plaintiff's Section 1983 claims against Woodhaven and Cassidy are dismissed pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim for relief.
Cassidy is Mr. Casino's court-appointed Temporary Personal Needs Guardian pursuant to
Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law. (Casino v. Fielding. eta!., No. 13-CV-5095, Compl. at 14,
Sept. II, 2013, ECF No.1).
Leave to Amend
Rule 15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a party shall be given
leave to amend "when justice so requires." Although, "when addressing a pro se complaint, a
district court should not dismiss without granting leave to amend at least once when a liberal reading
of the complaint gives any indication that a valid claim might be stated," Thompson v. Carter, 284
F.3d 411, 416 (2d Cir. 2002) (quotations and citation omitted); see also Grullon v. Citv of New
Haven, 720 F.3d 133, 139-40 (2d Cir. 2013) (accord), leave to amend is not required where a
proposed amendment would be futile. See Grullon, 720 F.3d at 140; Anderson News, 680 F.3d at
185. "[A] complaint amendment would be futile only if the amended complaint would not contain
enough allegations of fact to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." MetLife Investors
USA Ins. Co. v. Zeidman, 734 F. Supp. 2d 304,311 (E.D.N.Y. 2010), affd, 442 Fed. Appx. 589 (2d
Cir. Sept. 19, 2011) (quotations and citation omitted); see also Perfect Pearl Co .. Inc. v. Majestic
Pearl & Stone. Inc., 889 F. Supp. 2d 453,459 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). Leave to amend may also properly
be denied for: '"undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure
to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, [and] undue prejudice to the opposing party
by virtue of allowance of the amendment* * *. "' Ruotolo v. City ofNew York, 514 F.3d 184, 191
(2d Cir. 2008) (citing Farnan v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182, 83 S.Ct. 227, 9 L.Ed.2d 222 (1962)).
Since even a liberal reading of the complaint does not give any indication that plaintiff can
state a plausible federal claim against Cassidy or Woodhaven, any amendment to the complaint to
replead the Section 1983 claims against those defendants would be futile. Accordingly, plaintiff's
Section 1983 claims against Cassidy and Woodhaven are dismissed with prejudice.
Although the dismissal of state law claims is not required when the federal claims in an
action are dismissed, see Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections v. Schacht, 524 U.S. 381, 391-92, 118
S.Ct. 2047, 141 L.Ed.2d 364 (1998), a federal court may decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over the state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). See Carlsbad Technology.
Inc. v. HIF Bio. Inc., 556 U.S. 635, 129 S.Ct. 1862, 1866-1867, 173 L.Ed.2d 843 (2009) (holding
that a district court's decision whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction after dismissing every
claim over which it had original jurisdiction is purely discretionary); Lundy v. Catholic Health
System of Long Island Inc., 71 I F.3d 106, 117 (2d Cir. 2013) ("The exercise of supplemental
jurisdiction is within the sound discretion of the district court.") The court must "consider and weigh
in each case, and at every stage of the litigation, the values of judicial economy, convenience,
fairness, and comity in order to decide whether to exercise jurisdiction" over the pendent state law
claims. Carnegie-Mellon University v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350, n. 7, 108 S.Ct. 614, 98 L.Ed.2d
720 (1988); see also Lundy, 711 F.3d at 117-18 (accord). Generally, where all ofthefederal claims
in an action are dismissed before trial, the balance of factors will favor declining to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims. See Cohill, 484 U.S. at 350 n. 7, 108
S.Ct. 614; Lundy, 711 F.3d at 118 ("Once all federal claims have been dismissed, the balance of
factors will usually pointtoward a declination."); Brzak v. United Nations, 597 F .3d I 07, 113-14 (2d
Cir. 2010) ("[I]f a plaintiff's federal claims are dismissed before trial, the state claims should be
dismissed as well.")
In light of the dismissal of all federal claims in this action prior to service of summonses and
the complaint upon defendants, and upon consideration of all relevant factors, i.e.,judicial economy,
convenience, fairness and comity, I decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over any remaining
state law claims in this action. Accordingly, to the extent the complaint asserts any state Jaw claims,
those claims are dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). Plaintiff is advised
that pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(d), the statute of limitations for any state Jaw claims, to the extent
those claims were timely filed in this Court, is tolled for a period of thirty (30) days after the date
of this order, unless a longer tolling period is otherwise provided under state Jaw.
For the reasons set forth above, plaintiffs application to proceed in forma pauperis is
granted; plaintiff's claims against Stony Brook University Medical Center are sua sponte dismissed
in their entirety pursuant to Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for Jack of subject
matter jurisdiction; plaintiffs Section 1983 claims against Woodhaven and Cassidy are sua sponte
dismissed in their entirety with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state
a claim for relief; and any state Jaw claims are dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1367(c)(3). The Clerk of the Court shall close this case and, pursuant to Rule 77(d)(l) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, serve notice of entry of this Order upon all parties.
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 the purpose of any
appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 44~5, 82 S.Ct. 917, 8 L. Ed. 2d 21 (1962).
s/ Sandra J. Feuerstein
Scfudra J. Feuef£itein
United States District Judge
Dated: January 27, 2014
Central Islip, New York
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