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John Frederick Wheeler v. United States

August 2, 2011

JOHN FREDERICK WHEELER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES,
DEFENDANT.



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

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS (Doc. 2) ORDER TO THE CLERK TO ASSIGN A DISTRICT JUDGE TO THIS MATTER FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS DISMISSING THE ACTION WITHPREJUDICE FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION (Doc. 1)

Plaintiff John Frederick Wheeler ("Plaintiff") seeks to proceed pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his Complaint on June 23, 2011, asserting claims against the United States Postal Service ("Defendant"). (Doc. 1). Plaintiff filed his motion to proceed in forma pauperis on June 23, 2001 as well. (Doc. 2). For the following reasons, the Court recommends Plaintiff's Complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

I. Proceeding in forma paueris

The Court may authorize the commencement of an action without prepayment of fees "but a person who submits an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets such person . . . possesses [and] that the person is unable to pay such fees or give security therefor." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). The Court has reviewed the application and has determined that it satisfies the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Therefore, Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis is GRANTED.

II. Screening Requirement

In accord with 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2), the Court screened Plaintiff's Complaint because he was proceeding in forma pauperis. The Court is required to review the complaint, and shall dismiss the case at any time if the Court determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or the action or appeal is "frivolous, malicious or 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).

III. Pleading Requirements

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure outline the general requirements of pleading a complaint. A complaint is required to have a "short and plain statement" that outlines the grounds for jurisdiction in that court as well as "showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and a demand for the relief sought." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Pro se complaints are generally held to "less stringent standards" than complaints drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).

A complaint must afford fair notice to the defendant as well as state the elements of the claim in a plain and succinct manner. Jones v. Cmty Redevelopment Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). The complaint is supposed to give the defendant fair notice of the claims that are being brought against him/her as well as the grounds for bringing them. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). The Supreme Court noted,

Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Allegations that are conclusory and vague do not support a cause of action. Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). The Court further clarified that, [A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." [Citation] A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. [Citation] The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement," but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. [Citation] Where a complaint pleads facts that are "merely consistent with" a defendant's liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of 'entitlement to relief.

Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. A Court is required to assume as true in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, any well-pled factual allegations, when determining if the plaintiff is entitled to relief. Id. However, this tenet is "inapplicable to legal conclusions." Id. If a complaint fails to state a recognizable claim, the Court has the discretion to grant leave to amend the complaint in order to amend the deficiencies in the factual allegations. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-28 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).

IV. § 1983 Claims

Section 1983 of title 42 of the United States Code does not confer substantive rights; but instead provides "a method for vindicating federal rights elsewhere conferred." Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. ...


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