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Palacios v. Fresno County Superior Court

April 22, 2009

GLORIA PALACIOS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FRESNO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND ORDER LIMITING AMENDED COMPLAINT TO 25 PAGES

Plaintiff Gloria Palacios ("Plaintiff"), appearing pro se, filed the instant civil rights action on March 25, 2009. She names over thirty Defendants, including judges, court officers, attorneys, and judicial, administrative and law enforcement entities.

DISCUSSION

A. Screening Standard

A trial court may dismiss a claim sua sponte under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) where the claimant cannot possibly win relief. Omar v.Sea-Land Service, Inc., 813 F.2d 986, 991 (9th Cir. 1987); Wong v. Bell, 642 F.2d 359, 361-62 (9th Cir. 1981). A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact. Neitzke v. Wiliams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). A federal court may dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Nietzke, 490 U.S. at 327.

Further, a plaintiff's complaint must satisfy the requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), which 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.

B. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff's complaint appears to arise from perceived wrongs incurred in the state judicial system over the past twelve years and an arrest in 2008. As Defendants, Plaintiff names the Fresno Superior Court and Fifth District Court of Appeal, judges and court staff, the Fresno County Sheriff, officers, and personnel, district attorneys, Governor Schwarzenegger, and administrative entities such as the Judicial Council of California, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the California State Bar Association and the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

Plaintiff's complaint, however, consists of an 80 page narrative and does not state her claims plainly and succinctly. The Court will not sift through Plaintiff's complaint in an attempt to ascertain what causes of action are pled against which Defendants. Plaintiff will be given an opportunity to amend, as discussed below, to comply with the requirements Rule 8.

C. Legal Standards

In amending her complaint, Plaintiff should keep in mind the following general legal standards and only amend those claims which she ...


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