UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
August 19, 2011
DANIEL P. KLAHN,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Janis L. Sammartino United States District Judge
ORDER: (1) GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS; (2) SUA SPONTE
DISMISSING COMPLAINT UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (ECF No. 2)
Plaintiff Daniel P. Klahn, proceeding pro se, has filed a complaint (Compl., ECF No. 1) and a motion to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP) (IFP Mot., ECF No. 2). A federal court may authorize the commencement of an action without the prepayment of fees if the party submits an affidavit, including a statement of assets, showing that she is unable to pay the required filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Here, Plaintiff is unemployed and receives $618 in biweekly unemployment benefits. (IFP Mot. 2.) Additionally, his wife earns $5200 per month. (Id. at 3.) Although Plaintiff and his wife's total income is substantial, however, so are their current obligations. Plaintiff and his wife carry over $100,000 in consumer debt, including approximately $50,000 in unsecured credit card debt. (Id. at 2--3.) They have less than $200 in two bank accounts, and most of their bills are thirty to sixty days behind. (Id. at 2--3.) Based on the information provided, the Court finds that Plaintiff is unable to pay the required filing fee. Accordingly, his motion to proceed IFP is GRANTED.*fn1
Notwithstanding the payment of any filing fee or portion thereof, a complaint filed by any person proceeding IFP is subject to a mandatory sua sponte review and dismissal to the extent that it
(1) "is frivolous or malicious"; (2) "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted"; or (3) "seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)--(iii); Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) ("[T]he provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners . . . ."); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) ("[S]section 1915(e) not only permits but requires a district court to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a claim.").
"[W]hen determining whether a complaint states a claim, a court must accept as true all allegations of material fact and must construe those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000); Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998) (noting that § 1915(e)(2) "parallels the language of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)). The Court must liberally construe "the 'inartful pleadings' of pro se litigants." Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1261 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing, inter alia, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982)).
Here, even taking Plaintiff's allegations as true, the Court finds that his complaint fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted and, accordingly, must be dismissed. The gravamen of Plaintiff's complaint appears to be that Defendant, a medicare contractor, unlawfully denied Plaintiff's claim for medicare benefits. (See Compl. ¶¶ 3--6.) However, the jurisdictional and statutory bases of Plaintiff's complaint are entirely unclear. Plaintiff attempts to cite various federal statutes, including "U.S.C. § 13-2:32," "U.S.C. § 13-1:23" and "U.S.C. § 13-2:24." (Id. ¶¶ 2, 4, 9.) Try as it might, however, the Court cannot determine the provisions of the United States Code to which these citations refer. Given this lack of clarity, the Court concludes that Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.
Because Plaintiff's allegations are insufficiently clear to state a claim for relief, Plaintiff's complaint is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint clearly setting forth the jurisdictional and statutory bases for this action, including the satisfaction of any administrative exhaustion requirements, within 28 days of the date that this Order is electronically docketed.
IT IS SO ORDERED.