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Jose De Jesus Montes Lopez v. Bank of America; A Business Form Unknown; Prlap Inc.; Does I Through

March 25, 2011

JOSE DE JESUS MONTES LOPEZ
PLAINTIFF,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA; A BUSINESS FORM UNKNOWN; PRLAP INC.; DOES I THROUGH X, INCLUSIVE; AND ROE CORPORATIONS, I THROUGH V, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

(Doc. 1)

Plaintiff Jose De Jesus Montes Lopez files his complaint against Defendants pro se. This matter has been referred to a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rules 72-302 and 72-304.

I. Screening

A court has inherent power to control its docket and the disposition of its cases with economy of time and effort for both the court and the parties. Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 915 (1992). Accordingly, this Court screens all complaints filed by plaintiffs in propria persona to ensure that the action is not frivolous or malicious, that the action states a claim upon which relief may be granted, and that the complaint does not seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

II. Pleading Standards

"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. § 915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

"Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies here. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). Pursuant to 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). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of the cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, ___ U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009), citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "Plaintiff must set forth sufficient factual matter accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949, quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

Although accepted as true, "[f]actual allegations must be [sufficient] to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id. at 555 (citations omitted). A plaintiff must set forth "the grounds of his entitlement to relief," which "requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Id. at 555-56 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). To adequately state a claim against a defendant, a plaintiff must set forth the legal and factual basis for his claim.

III. Unclear Allegations

Because of the disjointed and incomplete nature of the factual allegations, the Court is unable to determine with certainty the facts underlying this case. Although Plaintiff identifies himself and Defendants Bank of America and PRLAP INC. (collectively, "Defendants"), he includes no allegations identifying David Alan Tikal*fn1 or the KATN Revocable Living Trust, nor explains the nature of the transaction(s) leading to Tikal and the trust's substitution as trustee for Defendants.

Similarly, Plaintiff provides no factual allegations that explain why Defendants were required to "cease and desist" following the assignment to Tikal and the trust. Based on Plaintiff's limited allegations, it appears that Plaintiff may be alleging that Defendants were not entitled to collect funds due under a mortgage note following Plaintiff's unilateral reassignment of the property to another party. The factual allegations are insufficient to permit the Court to understand clearly what Plaintiff intends to allege, however, and the Court will not speculate on what Plaintiff may have intended to allege or claim. Should Plaintiff elect to amend his complaint, as this order permits him to do, he must set forth detailed factual allegations in a logical sequence sufficient to permit the Court to understand the nature of his claims and the facts that support them.

IV. Exhibits to Complaint

The Court is not a repository for the parties' evidence. Originals or copies of evidence are properly submitted when the course of the litigation brings the evidence into question (as upon a summary judgment motion, at trial, or upon the Court's request). During the screening process, which Plaintiff's complaint is now undergoing, Plaintiff is required only to state a prima facie claim for relief. Submission of evidence is premature. Accordingly, a plaintiff is ...


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