United States District Court, D. Nevada
KENDRA R. MASON, et al., Plaintiffs,
BARRY H. JENKINS, Defendant.
J. YOUCHAH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiffs Kendra R. Mason and J.
Mason's Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
(ECF No. 1). Attached to Plaintiffs' In Forma
Pauperis Application is a Complaint for Review of A
Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income
Decision (ECF No. 1-1).
IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION
submitted the declaration required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a) showing an inability to prepay fees and costs or give
security for them. Accordingly, Plaintiffs' Application
to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 1) is granted.
SCREENING THE COMPLAINT
granting a request to proceed in forma pauperis, a
court must screen the complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2). In screening the complaint, a court must identify
cognizable claims and dismiss claims that are frivolous,
malicious, fail to state a claim on which relief may be
granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). A
complaint may be dismissed as frivolous if it is premised on
a nonexistent legal interest or delusional factual scenario.
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989).
Moreover, “a finding of factual frivolousness is
appropriate when the facts alleged rise to the level of the
irrational or the wholly incredible, whether or not there are
judicially noticeable facts available to contradict
them.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33
(1992). When a court dismisses a complaint, the plaintiff
should be given leave to amend with directions as to curing
its deficiencies, unless it is clear from the face of the
complaint that the deficiencies could not be cured by
amendment. Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106
(9th Cir. 1995).
case, Plaintiffs Kendra R. Mason and J. Mason's Complaint
for Review of A Social Security Disability or Supplemental
Security Income Decision (ECF No. 1-1) fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiffs contend that
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Barry H. Jenkins
“abused his discretion by refusing to address a central
component of [Plaintiffs' Social Security] claim on the
ground that [ALJ Jenkins] had no jurisdiction to address
it.” ECF No. 1-1 at 3. Specifically, Plaintiff Kendra
R. Mason maintains that “compulsory gainful activity .
. . violates the Establishments Clause and her religious
freedoms” because she is “compelled to violate a
central tenet of [her Baptist faith] . . . by engaging in
gainful activity to acquire . . . currency depict[ing] images
specifically prohibited by the 2nd
Commandment.” Id. at 5. Plaintiff Kendra R.
Mason claims her anxiety is aggravated by her understanding
that: “there exists a substantial similarity between
the official government seals on U.S. currency and satanic
verses from the Bible”; “the government has
deliberately concealed an on-going major natural disaster, to
her peril”; and, “there exists a correlation
between the dates of significant Biblical end time events and
government activities related to said disaster.”
the Court finds Plaintiffs' allegations are fantastic,
delusional, and irrational. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at
327-28; Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. at 33.
Moreover, dismissal is appropriate because ALJ Jenkins is
entitled to judicial immunity. Romano v. Bible, 169
F.3d 1182, 1186-87 (9th Cir. 1999) (state officials presiding
over hearings are entitled to absolute immunity). Based on
the allegations, the Court further finds that the nature of
the claims are not ones that can be cured by amendment.
Cato, 70 F.3d at 1106. That is, Plaintiffs'
allegations are such that the very heart of what is alleged
is based upon nonexistent legal interest and delusional
factual scenarios. For this reason, the Court will dismiss
Plaintiffs' Complaint, as currently stated, as it is
unclear what, if any, relief she seeks that may be
potentially granted by the Court. However, to the extent
Plaintiff seeks to amend her Complaint to state a claim
against the Social Security Administration for denial of
benefits, Plaintiff is given leave to do so as stated below.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Application for
Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 1) is
GRANTED. Plaintiffs will not be required to pay the filing
fee in this action. Plaintiffs are permitted to maintain this
action to conclusion without the necessity of prepayment of
any additional fees or costs or the giving of a security for
fees or costs. This Order granting leave to proceed in
forma pauperis does not extend to the issuance of
subpoenas at government expense. However, because the Court
also recommends dismissal of Plaintiffs' Complaint (ECF
No. 1-1) with prejudice, the Clerk of the Court shall hold
Plaintiffs' Application until such time as the due date
for Plaintiffs' amendment passes.
FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Complaint (ECF No. 1-1)
is DISMISSED without prejudice with leave to amend. If
Plaintiffs choose to file an amended complaint, Plaintiffs
must file the amended complaint within 30 days from the date
of this Order. Failure to comply with this Order may result
in a recommendation that this action be dismissed.
Plaintiffs choose to file an amended complaint, the document
must be titled “Amended Complaint.” Plaintiffs
must sufficiently state a claim against the Social Security
Administration for failure to grant disability benefits.
Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure adopt a
flexible pleading standard, Plaintiffs still must give