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Dustin v. Galaza

April 8, 2009

DALE OWEN DUSTIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
G. GALAZA, ET. AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Wunderlich United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

(Doc. 26)

I. SCREENING ORDER

Dale Owen Dustin ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. Plaintiff filed his Complaint on June 14, 2005. (Doc. 1.) Subsequent to numerous motions, including motions for extensions of time to amend, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint. (Doc. 26.)

A. Screening Requirement

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

"Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies to section 1983 actions. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). 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). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. However, "the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations." Neitze v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). "[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).

B. Summary of Plaintiff's Complaint

At the time of the issues complained of in his complaint, Plaintiff was apparently a state prisoner at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison ("SATF") in Corcoran, California to CCI. Plaintiff names nineteen defendants.

Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint is written in minuscules of less than one sixteenth of an inch high. Further, the entire First Amended Complaint is written in a fashion that is more condensed than even single spacing between lines, contains very little punctuation, and is all but devoid of indentation. The combination of minuscule handwriting, lack of line spacing and spacing between words, lack of punctuation and indentation, and length of allegations renders the First Amended Complaint virtually illegible and unintelligible.*fn1

Plaintiff is incarcerated and is representing himself in this action. Under these circumstances, the Court is generally lenient in overlooking technical and other errors. However, Plaintiff's use of small print; and failure to use spacing between words, punctuation, indentation, and double space his sentences renders the First Amended Complaint virtually illegible. Plaintiff is required to submit filings that are "clearly legible." Local Rule 7-130(b). In submitting a second amended complaint in compliance with this order, Plaintiff is required to write his letters in larger print, use punctuation and indentation, leave a space between each word, and to double space his sentences. Local Rule 7-130(c). The failure to do so will result in an order striking the second amended complaint from the record.

Due to the presentation of the First Amended Complaint, the Court is unable to discern whether Plaintiff has stated a cognizable claim, and/or may be able to amend to correct deficiencies in his pleading so as to state any cognizable claims. The Court is not willing to expend it's limited resources to undertake the herculean task of attempting to analyze the factual allegations that Plaintiff has chosen to present in such an illegible fashion. Thus, Plaintiff is being given the applicable standards based on his claims for relief as stated in his brief caption and leave to file a second amended complaint.

C. Pleading Requirements

1. Federal Rule of Civil ...


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