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Golden v. Schwarzenegger

August 5, 2008


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge


Plaintiff, appearing pro se, filed the instant civil rights action on June 10, 2008. He names Arnold Shwarzenegger, his wife, Maria Shriver; Highway Patrol Officer Dan Sanchez, and his wife; Highway Patrol Officer Bruce Williams, and his wife; Probation Officer Michael Higgins, and his wife; District Attorney Elizabeth Egan, and her husband, Richard Egan; Judge Gregory Fain, Fresno Superior Court, and his wife, Mrs. Fain; Horace Bruno, tow truck company owner, his wife, Irene Bruno; EdNic Towing, tow company; Ed Bruno, tow company manager, and his wife, Mrs. Bruno; Robert Pico, tow truck diver; and Nichole Bruno, tow company manager as Defendants ("Defendants").


A. Screening Standard

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court must conduct an initial review of the complaint for sufficiency to state a claim. The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the court determines that the action is legally "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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). If the court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) provides:

A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall contain (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new grounds of jurisdiction to support it, (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded.

A complaint must contain a short and plain statement as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Although the Federal Rules adopt a flexible pleading policy, a complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of the claim plainly and succinctly. Jones v. Community Redev. Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). Plaintiff must allege with at least some degree of particularity overt acts which the defendants engaged in that support Plaintiff's claim. Id. Although a complaint need not outline all elements of a claim, it must be possible to infer from the allegations that all elements exist and that there is entitlement to relief under some viable legal theory. Walker v. South Cent. Bell Telephone Co., 904 F.2d 275, 277 (5th Cir. 1990); Lewis v. ACB Business Service, Inc., 135 F.3d 389, 405-06 (6th Cir. 1998).

In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the Court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Trustees of Rex Hospital, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe the pro se pleadings liberally in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff, Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000), and resolve all doubts in the Plaintiff's favor. Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969).

B. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff's allegations arises out of a traffic stop on April 24, 2008. Complaint at ¶ 19. He alleges he was pulled over in Clovis, California. Id. He was ordered to exit the automobile and was asked to produce a registration receipt and a driver's license. Id. Plaintiff alleges his automobile was then towed away. Id. Although it is not clearly stated in the complaint, it appears that Plaintiff attended a hearing. He alleges he requested counsel but that Officer Williams, who was assigned to traffic court, denied his counsel of choice. Complaint at ¶ 27 & 29. He also alleges that Officer Williams made him pay for a license with federal reserve notes that are not backed by gold or silver. Complaint at ¶ 22.

Plaintiff's complaint alleges a Due Process violation under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, a violation of the Six Amendment's right to counsel, a violation of the Eighth Amendment based on the infliction of Cruel and Unusual Punishment, a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment based on protections against peonage and involuntary servitude, and violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Complaint at ¶ 32, 34, 35-39, and 41. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Sanchez and Higgins conspired with Defendants Williams, Fain, Egan and Schwarzenegger acting outside of their lawful duties, [sic] To bring to bear upon Plaintiff unconstitutional acts under Color [sic], custom, and Usage [sic] of State laws." Complaint at ¶ 42.

Plaintiff further alleges that Maria Shriver, Irene Bruno, Nichole Bruno, Richard Egan, Mrs. Fain, Mrs. Sanchez are Defendants' spouses and are in effect "Socialist-Queens enjoying and living on the largess and unlawful spoils brought home by their wives and husbands as compensation their violations of the oaths of office..." Complaint at pg. 9 ΒΆ 56. As a result of the alleged violations Plaintiff is seeking ...

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