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Jost v. Brown

June 21, 2010

FREDERICK KARL JOST, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JERRY BROWN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

(Doc. 1)

Plaintiff Frederick Karl Jost ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") and is currently incarcerated at Avenal State Prison. Plaintiff is suing under Section 1983 for the violation of his rights under the Second, Fifth, Eighth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. Plaintiff names Attorney General Jerry Brown, Warden James Hartley, N. Grannis, E. McCant, and Paula Ranson as defendants. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed with leave to amend within thirty (30) days.

I. 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).

In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim, the Court uses the same pleading standard used under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Under 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)(2). "[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). "[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "[A] complaint [that] pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability... 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, although a court must accept as true all factual allegations contained in a complaint, a court need not accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true. Id. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

II. Background

B. Factual Background

Plaintiff alleges that due to an orthopedic necessity resulting from pins and pain in his ankle, Plaintiff was authorized to have and wear soft-sole shoes. As a result of normal wearing from consistent use of the shoes, Plaintiff required a new pair of shoes. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants were indifferent to Plaintiff's needs and prevented Plaintiff from obtaining another pair.

III. Discussion

A. Use of Exhibits to Establish Claim

Plaintiff has attached a number of exhibits to his complaint. Exhibits are permissible if incorporated by reference pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(c) but they are not necessary in the federal system of notice pleading, Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Plaintiff is advised that under Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff is only obligated to provide "a short and plain statement of [his] claim," Plaintiff is not obligated to prove the allegations in his complaint at this stage. Attaching a large number of exhibits to a complaint will result in the complaint being dismissed for failure to comply with the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, as it will render the complaint to be neither a "short," nor a "plain," statement of Plaintiff's claims.

In addition, Plaintiff may not attach exhibits to his complaint for the purpose of using them as evidence at later stages in litigation. This court will not serve as a storehouse for Plaintiff's evidence. Evidence should not be submitted to the court until this action reaches an appropriate stage in litigation for the submission of evidence, such as in response to a motion for summary judgment, at trial, or when specifically requested by the court. Further, if and when this action reaches an appropriate stage in litigation for the submission of evidence, Plaintiff will not be able to refer to exhibits attached to his complaint as evidence. Evidence must be submitted at the appropriate time and ...


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