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Brodsky v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

September 24, 2019

JAY BRODSKY, Plaintiff,
v.
J.P. MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., et al., Defendants.

          Jay Brodsky, Great Neck, New York. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Jay Brodsky (“Plaintiff), filed this action on March 15, 2019. (D.I. 2). He appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 7). Plaintiff asserts jurisdiction by reason of diversity, 28 U.S.C. § 1332.[1] The Court proceeds to review and screen the matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         II. BACKGROUND

         On September 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed an action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (“EDNY Court”) against J.P. Morgan Chase & Company (“JP Morgan”), [2] Broadspire Services Inc. (“Broadspire”), and National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh (“National Union”) raising a negligence claim and Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, claims, Brodsky v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Company, C.A. No. 17-5529-JS-AYS (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 20, 2017) (“Brodsky I ”). The Complaint alleged that on June 9, 2017, at approximately 3:30 p.m., while at the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank located at 177 Montague Street in Brooklyn, New York, Plaintiff fell down a flight of stairs and was injured. See Brodsky I, D.I. 1 at 8. Brodsky I alleges that JP Morgan was negligent and it failed to fulfill its obligations under the ADA. Id. at 13.

         On March 15, 2019, Plaintiff commenced an action in this Court against JP Morgan, [3]Broadspire, National Union, and Stahl Real Estate Company (“Stahl”) raising a negligence claim and ADA claims (“Brodsky II”). (D.I. 2). The Complaint in Brodsky II goes into greater detail, but it contains the same basic allegations as those in Brodsky I – that on June 9, 2017, at approximately 3:30 p.m., while at the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank located at 177 Montague Street in Brooklyn, New York, Plaintiff fell down a flight of stairs and was injured. (Compare Brodsky II at D.I. 2 with Brodsky I at D.I. 1). Both Brodsky I and Brodsky II allege that JP Morgan was negligent and failed to fulfill its obligations under the ADA. Brodsky II adds Stahl as a defendant alleging that it is the owner of the building at issue and that JP Morgan leases the first floor of the building. (D.I. 2-1 at 9).

         On November 28, 2017, Plaintiff was granted in forma pauperis status in Brodsky I. Brodsky I at D.I. 11. On January 10, 2019, the EDNY Court revoked its grant of in forma pauperis status and ordered Plaintiff, within thirty days from the date of the order, to file a new in forma pauperis application and certain required documents or, in the alternative, pay the $400 filing fee in full. Brodsky I at D.I. 38. Plaintiff belatedly filed an in forma pauperis application, but did not provide the additional required documents as ordered by the EDNY Court.[4] Brodsky I at D.I 40, 41.

         On May 31, 2019, the EDNY Court entered a Memorandum and Order that denied Plaintiff’s second motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Brodsky I at D.I. 41 at 11. In light of Plaintiff’s numerous contradictions regarding poverty and Plaintiff’s numerous filings throughout the United States, the EDNY directed that its memorandum and order be mailed to several district courts, including this one. Brodsky I at D.I. 41 at 1-12. The EDNY Court specifically noted in its Memorandum and Order that Brodsky II alleged the same facts and claims against largely the same Defendants as in Brodsky I. Id. at n.6.

         The May 31, 2019 Memorandum and Order advised Plaintiff that if he wished to pursue the action, he was to remit the $400 filing fee within thirty days from the date of the order, and it warned Plaintiff that his failure to timely remit the filing fee would lead to dismissal of the complaint with prejudice and judgment would enter. Brodsky I at D.I. 41 at 11. Plaintiff was further advised that if he opted to pay the filing fee, the EDNY Court “may hold a hearing to address whether [Plaintiff’s] submissions violate Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b).” Id.

         On July 18, 2019, the EDNY Court entered an order stating that Plaintiff did not remit the filing fee and had not otherwise communicated with the Court. Brodsky I at D.I. 42. The Order dismissed the case with prejudice pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). Id. Judgment, entered on July 19, 2019, dismissed the case with prejudice pursuant to Rule 41(b) and closed the case. Id. at D.I. 43.

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A federal court may properly dismiss an action sua sponte under the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) if “the action 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.” Ball v. Famiglio, 726 F.3d 448, 452 (3d Cir. 2013); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (in forma pauperis actions). The Court must accept all factual allegations in a complaint as true and take them in the light most favorable to a pro se plaintiff. See Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 229 (3d Cir. 2008); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). Because Plaintiff proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally construed and his Complaint, “however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (citations omitted).

         An action is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), a court may dismiss a complaint as frivolous if it is “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory” or a “clearly baseless” or “fantastic or delusional” factual scenario. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28; see also Wilson v. Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989); Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d ...


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