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Pinzon v. Jensen

January 30, 2009


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


Plaintiff Abraham G. Pinzon ("Plaintiff"), appearing pro se and proceeding in forma pauperis, filed the instant complaint on October 14, 2008. He names Ron Jensen, Jensen Construction, the Tuolumne County Superior Court, Dan Vaughn and Pinecrest Market as Defendants. Plaintiff alleges he was not paid wages for work he performed for Ron Jensen and Dan Vaughn. He alleges violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Ralph Act, and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983, as well as violations of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.


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.

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).

Pursuant to Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Rule 8(a) expresses the principle of notice-pleading, whereby the pleader need not give an elaborate recitation of every fact he may ultimately rely upon at trial, but only a statement sufficient to "'give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 511-12, 122 S.Ct. 992 (2002) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47, 78 S.Ct. 99 (1957)).

B. Plaintiff's Allegations

According to his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he installed marble and porcelain throughout Defendant Dan Vaughn's home.*fn1 Complaint at pg. 2 lines 21-26. Ron Jensen was allegedly the general contractor for the job. Id. Plaintiff first alleges that Defendant Jensen refused to hire him for employment but later Plaintiff states that Jensen created a hostile work environment. Complaint at pg. 3. Plaintiff also later alleges that Defendants Vaughn and Jensen conspired to defraud him of labor, wages, and benefits. Id.

Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that late in August 2006, Vaughn refused to pay Plaintiff wages he owed him and threatened Plaintiff's life. Complaint at 3, line 21-28. Plaintiff alleges that on October 10, 2006, Vaughn owed Pinzon $12,000 and told Plaintiff to sue for wages.

Compliant at 4, lines 1-6. Later, Vaughn claimed to have fired Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Vaughn and Jensen did not have trouble paying white employees, nor did they harass or threaten other white employees.*fn2 Complaint at pg. 3, lines 8-10.

Plaintiff alleges that a small claims hearing was held on January 22, 2007, in the Tuolumne Superior Court (Case No. SC-15790). Complaint at pg. 4, lines 1-2. Plaintiff alleges that Jensen lied at the proceeding stating that Plaintiff was an independent contractor. Complaint at 4, lines 15-18. Plaintiff also alleges that Jensen and his crew created a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Complaint at 4, lines 25-28. Plaintiff alleges that the judge and the bailiff in the small claims proceedings showed cronyism and intimidation all in violation of Title VII and the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States constitution. Complaint at 5 at lines 1-4. Complaint at pg. 5, lines 22-26.

As a result of these events, Plaintiff alleges he suffers from severe mental anguish, is subversive, and rage filled. He requests equal wages, unpaid compensation, back and front pay, compensatory and punitive damages in an amount no less than $1,579,000.00.

C. Analysis

1. Rule 8(a)

Although Plaintiff attempts to allege many causes of action and provides a description of his alleged experiences, his narrative-style complaint is insufficient to state legally cognizable causes of action. It is Plaintiff's burden, not that of the court, to separately identify claims and state facts in support of each claim. If Plaintiff wishes to allege causes of action he must separate each claim and state facts in support of each individual claim. The court will not ...

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