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Farias v. Geico

September 9, 2009


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


Plaintiff Manuel Alcala Farias, appearing pro se and proceeding in forma pauperis, filed his amended complaint on August 28, 2009. Plaintiff again names Government Employees Insurance Company or GEICO as Defendant.


A. Screening Standard

Pursuant to Title 28 of the United States Code Section 1915(e)(2), the court has reviewed 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). 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)).

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)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While legal conclusions can provide a framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusion are not. Iqbal, at 1949.

B. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff's complaint remains largely incomprehensible. He again asserts that he cannot reach an agreement with GEICO regarding personal injuries he suffered as the result of a June 29, 2007, accident between he and GEICO's insured, Jose Tamayo. (Doc. 7 at 1.) Plaintiff also now indicates that his civil rights have been "victimated [sic] violated denied" by Kern County Superior Court Judge Sidney P. Chapin, and references case number "1500-cv-267172." Plaintiff does not allege a cause of action however he does reference the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to redress his grievances.

His complaint is twenty-one (21) pages in length, however, nineteen of the twenty-one pages include, inter alia, the following documents: a copy of correspondence directed to Plaintiff from Defendant GEICO (Doc. 7 at 3-4), a copy of this Court's "Pro Se Package: A Simple Guide To Filing A Civil Action" (Doc. 7 at 5-12), a blank summons form that Plaintiff has attempted to complete (Doc. 7 at 15-16), and a copy of Plaintiff's previously-filed Application to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees and Affidavit (Doc. 7 at 17-18). Only the first page of the amended complaint appears to demonstrate any attempt by Plaintiff to amend his complaint to cure the previously-identified deficiencies.

As a remedy, Plaintiff asks for "lifetime medecine [sic] and fair compensation" for the back injury he suffered. (Doc. 7 at 1.)

C. Discussion

1. Jurisdiction

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and lack inherent or general subject matter jurisdiction. Federal courts can adjudicate only those cases authorized by the United States Constitution and Congress. Generally, those cases involve diversity of citizenship or a federal question, or cases in which the United States is a party. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 1677 (1994); Finley v. United States, 490 U.S. 545, 109 S.Ct. 2003, 2008 (1989). Federal courts are presumptively without jurisdiction over civil actions, and the burden to establish the contrary rests on the party asserting jurisdiction. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377. Lack of subject matter jurisdiction is never waived and may be raised by the Court sua sponte. Attorneys Trust v. Videotape Computer Products, Inc., 93 F.3d 593, 594-95 (9th Cir. 1996). "Nothing is to be more jealously guarded by a court than its jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is what its power rests upon. Without jurisdiction it is nothing." In re Mooney, 841 F.2d 1003, 1006 (9th Cir. 1988).

Plaintiff is relying upon the First Amendment to the United States Constitution for this Court's jurisdiction. He fails however to articulate a basis for any purported violation of his First ...

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