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Brown v. Beagley

November 17, 2010

BENNIE RAY BROWN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICER JESS BEAGLEY ET. AL, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer L. Thurston United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IFP; ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (Docs. 1, 2, 4)

Plaintiff is proceeding with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On November 16, 2010, Plaintiff filed an amended application to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (Doc. 3)

I. Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis

In his application to proceed IFP, Plaintiff alleges that his sole financial support is SSI/SSP. (Doc. 4) Though his motion to proceed IFP fails to report the amount of his income, he has alleged in his complaint for damages that he receives $845 per month. (Doc. 1 at 4) Plaintiff asserts that he has no cash, property or other assets. (Doc. 4)

Based upon the declaration submitted, the Court finds that Plaintiff has satisfied the indigency requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and that he is unable to pay the costs of commencing this action. Accordingly, Plaintiff's IFP motion is GRANTED.

II. The Court is Required to Screen a Case Filed IFP.

The Court is required to screen a case filed IFP (28 U.S.C. §1915(a); 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)) and is required to dismiss the action if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e)(2)(B); see Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446');">809 F. 2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987 (citing Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F. 2d 1221, 1228 (9th Cir. 1984)). If the Court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-1128 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).

III. Legal Authority

A. 42 USC § 1983

Plaintiff seeks damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. To warrant relief under this section, plaintiffs must show that the defendants' acts or omissions caused the deprivation of the their constitutionally protected rights. Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 633 (9th Cir. 1993). "A person deprives another of a constitutional right, within the meaning of section 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which [the plaintiff complains]." Id. There must be an actual causal connection or link between the actions of each defendant and the deprivation alleged to have been suffered by plaintiffs. See Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 691-692 (1978)(citing Rizzo v. Goode, 432 U.S. 362, 370-371(1976)).

B. Rule 8(a)

Section 1983 complaints are governed by the notice pleading standard in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure adopt a flexible pleading policy, a complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of plaintiffs' claim plainly and succinctly. Jones v. Community Redevelopment Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). In other words, the complaint must give the defendants fair notice of what constitutes the plaintiff's claims and the grounds upon which they rest. Although a complaint need not outline all of the elements of a claim, it must be possible to infer from the allegations that all of the elements exist and that plaintiffs are entitled to relief under a viable legal theory. Walker v. South Cent. Bell Telephone Co., 904 F.2d 275, 277 (5th Cir. 1990).

In Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949, the Court observed,

[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. [Citations]. A pleading that offers "labels and conclusions" or "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." [Citation]. Nor does a complaint ...


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