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Prasad v. Foxmore Process Servers

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

May 9, 2018




         Sundari K. Prasad, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action.[1] The matter is before the Court for evaluation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

         I. Preliminary Review

         Pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") this Court must dismiss any action filed by a prisoner if the Court determines the action (1) "is frivolous" or (2) "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The first standard includes claims based upon "'an indisputably meritless legal theory, "' or claims where the "'factual contentions are clearly baseless.'" Clay v. Yates, 809 F.Supp. 417, 427 (E.D. Va. 1992) (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989)), aff'd, 36 F.3d 1091 (4th Cir. 1994).

         The second standard is the familiar standard for a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).

         "A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of a complaint; importantly, it does not resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses." Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing 5 A Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990)). In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations are taken as true and the complaint is viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993); see also Martin, 980 F.2d at 952. This principle applies only to factual allegations, however, and "a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "require[ ] only 'a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to 'give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" BellAtl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (second alteration in original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Plaintiffs cannot satisfy this standard with complaints containing only "labels and conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Id. (citations omitted). Instead, a plaintiff must allege facts sufficient "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, " id. (citation omitted), stating a claim that is "plausible on its face, " id. at 570, rather than merely "conceivable." Id. "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing BellAtl Corp., 550 U.S. at 556). In order for a claim or complaint to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, the plaintiff must "allege facts sufficient to state all the elements of [his or] her claim." Bass v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir. 2003) (citing Dickson v. Microsoft Corp., 309 F.3d 193, 213 (4th Cir. 2002); Iodice v. United States, 289 F.3d 270, 281 (4th Cir. 2002)). Lastly, while the Court liberally construes pro se complaints, Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), it will not act as the inmate's advocate and develop, sua sponte, statutory and constitutional claims that the inmate failed to clearly raise on the face of his or her complaint. See Brock v. Carroll, 107 F.3d 241, 243 (4th Cir. 1997) (Luttig, J., concurring); Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).

         II. Prasad's Complaint

         The action proceeds on Prasad's Particularized Complaint ("Complaint, " ECF No. 11.) In her Complaint, Prasad essentially alleges that Foxmore Process Servers and its owners, Michael Foxmore and Jessica Mazza, failed to serve "warrants" that she faxed to them, resulting in her being jailed. (Compl. 1.) Specifically, Prasad states:

I worked as a paralegal for a law firm that utilized Foxmore Process Servers and they were well known and very dependable-so when I filed all of my paperwork for my custody case I used them as well. I had no problem with my earlier paperwork-dealing directly with [Jessica[3] and Michael Foxmore- The Court corrects the capitalization and punctuation in quotations from Prasad's Complaint. The Court also omits the emphasis from Prasad's submissions, as well as any internal numbering in the recitation of Prasad's claims. the owners-who billed me directly and I paid the bill. I filed another case . . . [and] had warrants. [The warrants] were faxed and confirmed (faxed several times) that never got served and Jessica gave me the run-around for [two] years on the issue. I was subsequently jailed because the warrants were not served, and suffered damages and Michael and [Jessica] still did nothing and claimed they couldn't retrieve or find the warrants but the Court says they have them.

(Compl. 1.) From what the Court can discern, Prasad's claims for relief are:

Claim One: "Jessica and Michael did not follow appropriate legal procedures [and] laws of process servers. They did not confirm my order that was placed in a timely manner [and] I had to wait weeks in order to check up on order[s]-hindering my due process-as a paralegal, I often ha[d] other things to do." (Id.)
Claim Two: "[The] 5th Amendment[4] [was] violated by Jessica and Foxmore (Michael)-I was jailed [because] of the non-delivery of these warrants [and] the actions of these people against me (criminally) causing undue stress-and I have a disability (disabilities), PTSD, etc...." (Id. at 2.)
Claim Three: "[The] 13th Amendment[5] was violated and] bias of working with Prasad before, Foxmore did not do their duty. . . . They did not do their duty to [the] best of [their] ability and felt they could slack on [the] job. When Prasad was incarcerated they used this position against her as being jailed to deny her further rights and justices." (Id.)
Claim Four: "Jessica [and] Michael Foxmore, due to their actions, denied Prasad due process legally. Because none of [the] documents were delivered at all due process was not performed." (Id.)
Claim Five: "Jessica [and] Michael Foxmore, due to their actions, denied Prasad due diligence. Because none of [the] documents/warrants were delivered at all due diligence was hindered." (Id. at 3)
Claim Six: "Jessica [and] Michael Foxmore, due to their actions, denied Prasad 14th Amendment equal protection of law and fairness. [6] Because none of [the] documents/warrants were delivered at all Prasad could not ...

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