IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
July 9, 2010
SANDRA WILLIAMS; MARION WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFFS,
INDYMAC BANK, FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK (F.S.B.); INDYMAC BANCORP, INCORPORATION, FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK (F.S.B.); ONE WEST BANK, FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK (F.S.B.); TREASURY BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION/COUNTRYWIDE BANK F.S.B./CENTENNIAL BRANCH/ BANK OF AMERICA, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (ASSIGNED BENEFICIARY); MTC FINANCIAL INC., DBA, TRUSTEE CORPS. (APPOINTED SUBSTITUTED TRUSTEE); MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. (MERS) (A SEPARATE CORPORATION) (ORIGINAL BENEFICIARY); CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY, (ORIGINAL TRUSTEE); LOANWORKS, (ORIGINAL LOAN SERVICER); MAJESTIC HOMES/GLADYS ALVARADO, AGENT FOR TREASURY BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION; FIDELITY NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY/(SINUON SENG AN EMPLOYEE FOR FIDELITY NATIONAL TITLE), (AGENT FOR TRUSTEE CORPS); AND DOES 1-100, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiffs, who are proceeding without counsel and in forma pauperis, filed an Amended Complaint on December 1, 2009.*fn1 (Dkt. Nos. 2, 10.)
The court is required to screen complaints brought by parties proceeding in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see also Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (per curiam) ("[T]he provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners."); accord Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1129 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court is directed to dismiss a case filed pursuant to the in forma pauperis statute if, at any time, it determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against an immune defendant. See also Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1126-27 ("It is also clear that section 1915(e) not only permits but requires a district court to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a claim.").
Under the "notice pleading" standard of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff's complaint must provide, in part, a "short and plain statement" of plaintiff's claims showing entitlement to relief. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2); see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554 (2007) ("Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only 'a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to 'give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'") (modification in original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint is anything but a "short and plain" statement. It is a rambling, 159-page pleading, not including exhibits, that attempts to plead over 20 claims for relief against all of the defendants named. The undersigned has difficulty believing that plaintiffs could not plead their claims for relief in fewer than 159 pages, and similarly has concerns about whether plaintiffs' factual allegations in support of every claim actually pertain to "all defendants."
Nevertheless, the undersigned cannot conclude on the present record that plaintiffs' Amended Complaint fails to state claims on which relief can be granted. The undersigned reserves decision as to plaintiffs' claims until the record is sufficiently developed, and this order in no way precludes defendants from challenging plaintiffs' Amended Complaint through a timely motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12 or other appropriate method of challenging plaintiffs' pleading. Accordingly, the undersigned will order service of the Amended Complaint.
For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Service of plaintiffs' Amended Complaint is appropriate for the following defendants: (1) Indymac Bank, FSB; (2) Indymac Bancorp, Incorporation, FSB; (3) One West Bank, FSB; (4) Treasury Bank, N.A., and/or its successors named in the Amended Complaint; (5) MTC Financial Inc.; (6) Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.; (7) Chicago Title Company; (8) Loanworks; (9) Majestic Homes/Gladys Alvarado; and (10) Fidelity National Title Insurance Company and/or Sinuon Seng.
2. The Clerk of the Court is directed to issue forthwith all process pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4.
3. The Clerk of Court shall send plaintiff one USM-285 form, one summons, an endorsed copy of the Amended Complaint filed December 1, 2009 (Dkt. No. 10), this court's scheduling order, and the forms providing notice of the magistrate judge's availability to exercise jurisdiction for all purposes.
4. Plaintiffs are advised that to effectuate service, the U.S. Marshal will require:
a. One completed summons;
b. One completed USM-285 form for each defendant to be served;
c. A copy of the Amended Complaint for each defendant to be served, with an extra copy for the U.S. Marshal; and
d. A copy of this court's scheduling order and related documents for each defendant to be served; and
5. Plaintiffs shall supply the United States Marshal, within 30 days from the date this order is filed, all information needed by the Marshal to effectuate service of process, and shall, within 10 days thereafter, file a statement with the court that such documents have been submitted to the United States Marshal.
6. The U.S. Marshal shall serve process, with copies of this court's scheduling order and related documents, within 90 days of receipt of the required information from plaintiffs, without prepayment of costs. The United States Marshal shall, within 10 days thereafter, file a statement with the court that such documents have been served. If the U.S. Marshal is unable, for any reason, to effect service of process on any defendant, the Marshal shall promptly report that fact, and the reasons for it, to the undersigned.
7. The Clerk of Court shall serve a copy of this order on the United States Marshal, 501 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 (tel. 916-930-2030).
8. Plaintiffs' failure to comply with this order may result in a recommendation that this action be dismissed.
IT IS SO ORDERED.