United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER SCREENING COMPLAINT
PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(E)
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.
action, Plaintiff Elena Cardenas alleges that Defendants Taco
Bell KFC and Ronald H. Giles sent her home from work when she
suffered from a medical condition. Plaintiff seeks money
damages and reinstatement to her position.
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.
2), which application the Court granted. (ECF No. 5.) In
accordance with the in forma pauperis statute, a preliminary
review of Plaintiff's complaint is appropriate. 28 U.S.C.
a review of Plaintiff' complaint, I recommend the Court
dismiss the complaint unless Plaintiff amends her complaint
on or before August 2, 2017, to state an actionable claim.
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that when she suffered from
Bell's Palsy, her employer told her to go home because
she could not see the computer. (Complaint at 4 - 5, ECF No.
1.) She contends she was medically restricted at the time.
(Id.) Plaintiff seeks to recover compensatory
damages and injunction relief (i.e., a return to work).
federal in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, is
designed to ensure meaningful access to the federal courts
for those persons unable to pay the costs of bringing an
action. When a party is proceeding in forma pauperis,
however, “the court shall dismiss the case at any time
if the court determines, ” inter alia, that the action
is “frivolous or malicious” or “fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted” or
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). “Dismissals [under § 1915] are
often made sua sponte prior to the issuance of process, so as
to spare prospective defendants the inconvenience and expense
of answering such complaints.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989).
considering whether a complaint states a claim for which
relief may be granted, a court must assume the truth of all
well-plead facts and give the plaintiff the benefit of all
reasonable inferences therefrom. Ocasio-Hernandez v.
Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). A
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
a pro se plaintiff's complaint is subject to “less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,
” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972),
this is “not to say that pro se plaintiffs are not
required to plead basic facts sufficient to state a claim,
Ferranti v. Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 890 (1st Cir.
1980). To allege a civil action in federal court, it is not
enough for a plaintiff merely to allege that a defendant
acted unlawfully; a plaintiff must affirmatively allege facts
that identify the manner by which the defendant subjected the
plaintiff to a harm for which the law affords a remedy.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
evidently intends to assert a claim of disability
discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 - 12117, 2000e-5, and/or the
Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA), 5 M.R.S. § 4572.
state a claim of disability discrimination in employment,
Plaintiff must allege facts showing (1) that her impairment
qualified as a disability as defined by the ADA or MHRA; (2)
that she was qualified to perform the essential functions of
her job with or without a reasonable accommodation; and (3)
that she suffered an adverse employment action in whole or in
part because of her disability. Lang v. Wal-Mart Stores
E., L.P., 813 F.3d 447, 458 (1st Cir. 2016);
Doyle v. Dep't Of Human Servs., 2003 ME 61,
¶ 14, 824 A.2d 48, 54.
the allegations in her complaint are viewed most favorably to
her, Plaintiff has arguably asserted sufficient facts from
which a fact finder could conclude she suffers or suffered
from a condition that qualifies as a disability, and that she
experienced an adverse employment action because of her
disability. Plaintiff, however, has not alleged that she was