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Crawford v. We Hall Business

December 8, 2009

DONALD CRAWFORD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WE HALL BUSINESS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Defendants We Hall Company, Inc., dba Pacific Corrugated Pipe Company (sued as "We Hall Business Pacific Corrugated Pipe"),*fn1 and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (sued as "Wells Fargo IRA") move to dismiss plaintiff's complaint filed December 22, 2008.*fn2 Dckt. Nos. 9, 10. The motions were submitted for decision on the papers on May 26, 2009, after plaintiff adequately responded to this court's order to show cause why he had not timely opposed the motions.*fn3

Dckt. Nos. 14, 18, 19. Plaintiff subsequently filed numerous additional documents, which are addressed below. As of this writing, plaintiff's address is unknown. Plaintiff notified the court on October 13, 2009, that he was imprisoned at Waco State Prison, Dckt. No. 29; however, thereafter, an order of this court has twice been returned from the prison as undeliverable.

BACKGROUND

Following a heading entitled, in pertinent part, "52.1 Civil Gov Code," the one-page complaint provides in full:

Jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. [§] 1331 Disability

Allegations[:] I became disable[d] while attempting to work out a civil law suit that the partys['] buis [sic] came to employment hearing board court under Judge Mandors court in 6-2001 through 12-2001.

And 01-2002 through 3-15-2002 in Superior Court civil suit Judge Gray. All argued by Pac[i]fic WeHall Buis [sic] and ruled in my favor[.] Donald Crawford filed conti[n]uances within time of legal rights before ever closed in Supier [sic] Court. Filed in United Eastern District Court first 1-28-2002 07-2002 03-2003 etc more fileings[sic]. All defaulted.

The relief[:] $5,000,000 and make them confront the courts of there [sic] civil dutys [sic] to pay me Donald Crawford for work and pain and suffering and court fees through out the citys [sic] in courts filed complaints and Eastern and lower Court Superior, Thank you. Donald Crawford.

Defendants We Hall Company, Inc. d/b/a Pacific Corrugated Pipe Company ("We Hall"), and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("Wells Fargo") seek to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), and failure to conform to the pleading requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8, or, alternatively, move for more definite statement, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e). For the reasons that follow, the court recommends that defendants' motions to dismiss be granted, and that plaintiff's complaint be dismissed without leave to amend.

LEGAL STANDARDS

On a motion to dismiss, the court construes the pleading in the light most favorable to plaintiff and resolves all doubts in plaintiff's favor. Parks School of Business, Inc. v. Symington, 51 F.3d 1480, 1484 (9th Cir. 1995). The complaint's factual allegations are accepted as true. Church of Scientology of California v. Flynn, 744 F.2d 694 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, without converting a motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment, consider facts established by exhibits attached to the complaint. Durning v. First Boston Corp., 815 F.2d 1265, 1267 (9th Cir. 1987); United States v. Ritchie, 342 F. 3d 903, 907-908 (9th Cir. 2003). The court may also consider facts which may be judicially noticed, Mullis v. United States Bankruptcy Ct., 828 F.2d 1385, 1388 (9th Cir. 1987); and matters of public record, including pleadings, orders, and other papers filed with the court, Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir. 1986).

To survive dismissal for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain more than a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action;" it must contain factual allegations sufficient to "raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007). "'The pleading must contain something more than a statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion of a legally cognizable right of action.'" Id. (quoting 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216, pp. 235-236 (3d ed. 2004) (internal punctuation omitted)). Rather, a complaint must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Weber v. Department of Veterans Affairs, 521 F.3d 1061, 1065 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Bell, at 127 S.Ct. at 1974). Factually unsupported claims framed as legal conclusions, and mere recitations of the legal elements of a claim, do not give rise to a cognizable claim for relief. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, ___ U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1951 (May 18, 2009)(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

The court is mindful of plaintiff's pro se status. Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972). Unless it is clear that no amendment can cure its defects, a pro se litigant is entitled to notice and an opportunity to amend the complaint before dismissal. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-28 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc); Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987). However, although the court must construe the pleadings of a pro se litigant liberally, Bretz v. Kelman, 773 F.2d 1026, 1027 n.1 (9th Cir. 1985) (en banc), that liberal interpretation may not supply essential elements of a claim that are not plead. Pena v. Gardner, 976 F.2d 469, 471 (9th Cir. 1992); Ivey v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). Furthermore, "[t]he court is not required to accept legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations if those conclusions cannot reasonably be drawn ...


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