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Scott v. California Dep't of Corrections and Rehabilitation

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 4, 2010

BYRON L. SCOTT, ET AL., CDC #K-14735, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION; EMPLOYEES OF CALIPATRIA STATE PRISON ("STAFF PERSONNEL"), DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge United States District Court

ORDER DISMISSING CIVIL ACTION FOR FAILING TO PAY FILING FEES PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) AND FAILING TO MOVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)

Plaintiffs, state prisoners currently incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison ("CAL") in Calipatria, California, and proceeding pro se, have filed a civil rights "Complaint and Affidavit for Investigation and Prosecution."

Because Plaintiffs claim the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and unidentified prison officials at CAL violated their rights under various provisions of the U.S. Constitution and California law since a racial riot occurred on CAL's Facility C on March 20, 2010 (Compl. at 1-3), the Court liberally construes the action to arise under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Bernhardt v. Los Angeles County, 339 F.3d 920, 925 (9th Cir. 2003) ("Courts have a duty to construe pro se pleadings liberally, including pro se motions as well as complaints.").

I. Failure to Pay Filing Fee or Request IFP Status

Any party instituting a civil action, suit or proceeding in a district court of the United States, other than a writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee of $350. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). An action may proceed despite a party's failure to pay only if the party is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th Cir. 1999). None of the named Plaintiffs have paid the $350 filing fee required to maintain this civil action, nor have any of them submitted a motion to proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).

II. Proper Plaintiffs

There are eighteen individuals listed as Plaintiffs in this matter but the Complaint was submitted by Plaintiff Byron Scott, CDCR #K-14735, who asks the Court to "consider" the complaint on behalf of himself and 17 other "aggrieved parties." (Compl. at 4.) However, Scott is a prisoner proceeding pro se; therefore, he has no authority to represent the legal interests of anyone other than himself. See Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1105 n.1 (9th Cir. 1995); C.E. Pope Equity Trust v. United States, 818 F.2d 696, 697 (9th Cir. 1987). Moreover, assuming Plaintiff Scott seeks to proceed IFP only on his own behalf in this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), he will nevertheless be required to "pay the full amount of a filing fee." See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1); see also Hubbard v. Haley, 262 F.3d 1194, 1197-98 (11th Cir. 2001) (holding that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b) does not permit multiple prisoner-plaintiffs to proceed IFP in one civil action).

Finally, to the extent the complaint seeks a "prosecution" and is also addressed to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office and the U.S. Attorney General, such relief is not available in a private civil action. See e.g., Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir.1980) (federal civil rights statutes provide no private right of action and cannot form basis for civil suit); Pawelek v. Paramount Studios Corp., 571 F. Supp. 1082, 1083 (N.D. Ill.1983) (no private cause of action inherent in federal criminal statutes defining civil rights violations).

III. Conclusion and Order

For the reasons set forth above, the Court hereby:

(1) DISMISSES this action sua sponte without prejudice for failing to pay the $350 filing fee or file a Motion to Proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a) and 1915(a);

(2) TERMINATES as parties all prisoners listed as Plaintiffs other than Byron Scott, CDCR #K-14735, and

(3) GRANTS only Plaintiff Byron Scott, CDCR # K-14735, forty-five (45) days leave from the date this Order is filed to: (a) prepay the entire $350 civil filing fee in full; or (b) complete and file a Motion to Proceed IFP which includes a certified copy of his trust account statements for the 6-month period preceding the filing of his Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2) and S.D. CAL. CIVLR 3.2(b).

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:

(3) the Clerk of the Court shall mail Plaintiff Scott the Court's approved form "Motion and Declaration in Support of Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis," along with a copy of this Order.*fn1 If Plaintiff Scott fails to either prepay the $350 civil filing fee or complete and submit his Motion to Proceed IFP within forty-five (45) days, this action shall remain dismissed without prejudice and without further Order of the Court.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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