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Arnold D. Butler v. People of the State of California

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 23, 2011

ARNOLD D. BUTLER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate of Butte County Jail, has purported to file a civil rights complaint. Plaintiff has consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned. See Docket # 5. By Order, filed on April 29, 2011, was directed to file a properly completed and adequately supported in forma pauperis affidavit. On May 5, 2011, plaintiff returned a form which again was not properly completed, asserting that jail officials would not or could not assist him. In any case, the court will not rule on plaintiff's in forma pauperis request at this time, but the documentation plaintiff has submitted indicates that he has $945.39 in his jail account. Should plaintiff seek to proceed in this case without further documentation to support his request to proceed in forma pauperis, his request for in forma pauperis status will likely be denied in light of his apparent sufficiency of funds to pay the $350.00 filing fee.

Plaintiff's complaint is woefully deficient. He attaches a one-sheet form complaint (not from this district) and a civil case cover sheet to a single page on which he has written the following:

1. Ineffective assistance of counsel

2. Deprived the right by the courts to file my claim violation of due process

3. Violation of Constitution [sic] right

4. Officers or Paritys [sic] under color of authority clothing under color Complaint, p. 2.

This constitutes the whole of the filing; while the civil cover sheet is signed, the document representing the complaint is not, which is a requirement of Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a). In order to commence an action, plaintiff must file a complaint as required by Rule 3 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and plaintiff must either pay the required filing fee or file an application requesting leave to proceed in forma pauperis.*fn1 See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(a). In addition, Fed. R. Civ. P 8 sets forth general rules of pleading in the federal courts. Complaints are required to set a forth (1) the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction rests, (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing entitlement to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief plaintiff seeks. The complaint meets none of these requirements. Rule 8 requires "sufficient allegations to put defendants fairly on notice of the claims against them." McKeever v. Block, 932 F.2d 795, 798 (9th Cir. 1991)). Accord Richmond v. Nationwide Cassel L.P., 52 F.3d 640, 645 (7th Cir. 1995) (amended complaint with vague and scanty allegations fails to satisfy the notice requirement of Rule 8.). The defective complaint must be stricken, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a), but plaintiff will be granted leave to file an amended complaint within twenty-eight days. Plaintiff will be provided another opportunity to request leave to proceed in forma pauperis or to submit the appropriate filing fee.\\\\

In accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Plaintiff's unsigned and otherwise defective complaint is stricken, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a);

2. Plaintiff is granted twenty-eight days from the date of service of this order to file an amended complaint that complies with the requirements of the Civil Rights Act, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Local Rules of Practice; the amended complaint must bear the docket number assigned this case; plaintiff must file an original and two copies of the amended complaint. Plaintiff shall also submit, within twenty-eight days from the date of this order, the application to proceed in forma pauperis on the form provided by the Clerk of Court, or the filing fee in the amount of $350.00. Plaintiff's failure to comply with this order will result in a recommendation that this matter be dismissed; and

3. The Clerk of the Court is directed to send plaintiff the court's form for filing a civil rights action, and the application to proceed in forma pauperis by a prisoner.


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