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Sekiya v. Zuckerberg

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

March 10, 2017

MIKKO T. SEKIYA, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK ZUCKERBERG and SHERYL SANDBERG, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT WITHOUT PREJUDICE

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on pro se Plaintiff's Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs, Doc. 2, filed March 2, 2017 (“Application”) and on Plaintiff's Civil Rights Complaint Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Doc. 1, filed March 2, 2017 (“Complaint”). For the reasons stated below, the Court will GRANT Plaintiff's Application and DISMISS Plaintiff's Complaint without prejudice. Plaintiff shall have 21 days from entry of this Order to file an amended complaint. Failure to timely file an amended complaint may result in dismissal of this case without prejudice.

         Application to Proceed in forma pauperis

         The statute for proceedings in forma pauperis, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), provides that the Court may authorize the commencement of any suit without prepayment of fees by a person who submits an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets the person possesses and that the person is unable to pay such fees.

When a district court receives an application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, it should examine the papers and determine if the requirements of [28 U.S.C.] § 1915(a) are satisfied. If they are, leave should be granted. Thereafter, if the court finds that the allegations of poverty are untrue or that the action is frivolous or malicious, it may dismiss the case[.]

Menefee v. Werholtz, 368 Fed.Appx. 879, 884 (10th Cir. 2010) (citing Ragan v. Cox, 305 F.2d 58, 60 (10th Cir. 1962). “The statute [allowing a litigant to proceed in forma pauperis ] was intended for the benefit of those too poor to pay or give security for costs....” Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 344 (1948). While a litigant need not be “absolutely destitute, ” “an affidavit is sufficient which states that one cannot because of his poverty pay or give security for the costs and still be able to provide himself and dependents with the necessities of life.” Id. at 339.

         The Court will grant Plaintiff's Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs. Plaintiff signed an affidavit stating he is unable to pay the costs of these proceedings and provided the following information: (i) Plaintiff is unemployed and has no income; (ii) Plaintiff has no cash and no funds in bank accounts; and (iii) Plaintiff has no assets. The Court finds that Plaintiff is unable to pay the costs of this proceeding because he is unemployed, and has no income, cash or assets.

         Dismissal of Proceedings In Forma Pauperis

         The statute governing proceedings in forma pauperis requires federal courts to dismiss an in forma pauperis proceeding that “is frivolous or malicious; ... fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; ... or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). “[P]ro se litigants are to be given reasonable opportunity to remedy the defects in their pleadings.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 n.3 (10th Cir. 1991).

         Plaintiff asserts invasion of privacy and defamation claims against Defendant Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and founder of Facebook, and Defendant Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Zuckerberg allowed Plaintiff's Facebook accounts continue to be active without Plaintiff's approval, that Facebook “has let certain videos be shown that should have not been and goes aginst [their] whole polic[y] of showing anything that goes against moralistic values and or sexual content, ” and that Plaintiff does not have access to his Facebook accounts. None of the factual allegations mention Defendant Sandberg.

Plaintiff previously filed a complaint against Facebook based on the same facts:
Defendant owner of Facebook/unknown . . . is the one who has not shut my Facebook down. . . . .
The case consist[s] of numerous videos being showed on Facebook of my day to day life in the rest room, shower, even having sex etc. Violating my privacy act. . . . .
Three Facebook accounts under my name Mikko Sekiya, that I can not log into and have not been able to for the ...

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