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Nick Spagnolo v. United States Social Security Administration

November 5, 2012

NICK SPAGNOLO,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Michael Seabright United States District Judge

ORDER (1) GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF FEES; AND ) (2) DISMISSING COMPLAINT ) WITHOUT PREJUDICE ORDER (1) GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF FEES; AND (2) DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITHOUT PREJUDICE

I. INTRODUCTION

On October 26, 2012, Plaintiff Nick Spagnolo ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro se, filed a Complaint seeking damages and injunctive relief naming as Defendants the "United States Social Security Administration" (the "SSA") and its Commissioner, Michael J. Astrue (collectively, "Defendants").

Plaintiff also filed an Application to Proceed Without Prepaying Fees or Costs ("Application"). Based on the following, the court: (1) GRANTS Plaintiff's Application; and (2) DISMISSES the Complaint without prejudice.*fn1

II. ANALYSIS

A. Plaintiff's Application Is Granted

Plaintiff attests under penalty of perjury in his Application that he is unemployed with no gross pay or wages. He has no income from business, self-employment, rent, pensions, or disability payments. He states he had a take-home salary of $1,000 to $1,300 for a period between December 2009 and January 2010. He also receives Social Security benefits of $698.00 per month, and has $750 in cash or bank accounts. Because Plaintiff has made the required showing under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 to proceed in forma pauperis (i.e., without prepayment of fees), the court GRANTS Plaintiff's Application.

B. Plaintiff's Complaint Is Dismissed Without Prejudice

1. Standards of Review

The court must subject each civil action commenced pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) to mandatory screening, and order the dismissal of any claims it finds "frivolous, malicious, failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeking monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (stating that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) "not only permits but requires" the court to sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a claim); Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (per curiam) (holding that "the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners").

"District courts retain broad discretion to control their dockets and '[i]n the exercise of that power they may impose sanctions including, where appropriate, default or dismissal.'" Adams v. Cal. Dep't of Health Servs., 487 F.3d 684, 688 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Thompson v. Hous. Auth. of City of L.A., 782 F.2d 829, 831 (9th Cir. 1986) (per curiam)).

Plaintiff is appearing pro se; consequently, the court liberally construes his pleadings. Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1137 (9th Cir. 1987) ("The Supreme Court has instructed the federal courts to liberally construe the 'inartful pleading' of pro se litigants." (citing Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam))).

2. Application to the Complaint's Allegations

Applying the preceding principles, the court dismisses Plaintiff's Complaint without prejudice because it is nearly identical to -- and largely seeks the same relief as -- Plaintiff's Complaint in a pending case, Spagnolo v. Astrue, Civ. No. 12-00563 LEK-BMK. See, e.g., Adams, 487 F.3d at 688 ("Plaintiffs generally have 'no right to maintain two separate actions involving the same subject matter at the same time in the same ...


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