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John L. Harris Iii v. Kamala Harris
August 23, 2011
JOHN L. HARRIS III, PLAINTIFF,
KAMALA HARRIS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, AS IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Presently before the court is plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Electronically. (Dkt. No. 2.) Plaintiff is proceeding without counsel in this action. Plaintiff represents himself to be a "law graduate and former law clerk," and that he has had a PACER account "for approximately 13 years." (Id.) Plaintiff asks that he be permitted to use the court's electronic filing system because of a July 25, 2011 knee surgery from which he is still recovering. (Id.) Plaintiff represents that his full recovery from this surgery should be complete "by March 2012." (Id.) Plaintiff notes, however, that he also wishes to use the court's electronic filing system even after March 2012, because "transportation and accessibility still present significant challenges." (Id.)
The undersigned denies plaintiff leave to file documents in this action via the court's electronic filing system at this time. Plaintiff has not shown that having to file and serve documents conventionally is so uniquely burdensome that the court should permit an exception to its prohibition on pro se plaintiffs' use of the electronic filing system.*fn1 The undersigned accepts plaintiff's representation that he is recovering from knee surgery; however, plaintiff was able to file both his original complaint (Dkt. No. 1) and amended complaint (Dkt. No. 5) on consecutive days, and plaintiff has not described how his recovery presents such a unique burden that he cannot use the normal filing system.
The undersigned also accepts plaintiff's representation that he is a law school graduate and former law clerk. (Dkt. No. 2.) However, in light of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), which mandates a "short and plain" statement of jurisdiction and of a plaintiff's claims, the undersigned is given pause by plaintiff's 75-page complaint. (Dkt. No. 5.) That pleading is neither short nor plain. This lengthy pleading suggests that the court and the parties may be forced to "sift through" irrelevant allegations to identify the basis of plaintiff's claims. See e.g., In re Clearly Canadian Securities Litigation, 875 F. Supp. 1410, 1420 (N.D. Cal. 1995). The undersigned by no means prejudges plaintiff's case, but plaintiff's nearly 300-paragraph pleading does not lend support to plaintiff's request to be made an exception to the standard prohibition on pro se plaintiffs' use of the electronic filing system.
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