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Erik Taylor v. Deputy Lumus

December 20, 2011

ERIK TAYLOR,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEPUTY LUMUS, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Suzanne H. Segal United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

I.

INTRODUCTION

On November 23, 2011, plaintiff Erik Taylor ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro se, filed what appears to be a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (the "Complaint") against various defendants after the Court granted Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis. For the reasons stated below, the Complaint is dismissed with leave to amend.*fn1

In civil actions where the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis ("IFP"), Congress requires district courts to dismiss the complaint if the court determines that the complaint, or any portion thereof, (1) is frivolous or malicious, (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or (3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

However, when a plaintiff appears pro se in a civil rights case, the court must construe the pleadings liberally and afford the plaintiff the benefit of any doubt. Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles Police Dep't., 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988). In giving liberal interpretation to a pro se complaint, the court may not, however, supply essential elements of a claim that were not initially pled. Ivey v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). A court must give a pro se litigant leave to amend the complaint unless it is "absolutely clear that the deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by amendment." Karim-Panahi, 839 F.2d at 623 (citation and internal quotation omitted).

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a trial court may dismiss a claim sua sponte "where the claimant cannot possibly win relief." Omar v. Sea-Land Serv., Inc., 813 F.2d 986, 991 (9th Cir. 1987); see also Baker v. Director, U.S. Parole Comm'n, 916 F.2d 725, 726 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (per curiam) (adopting Ninth Circuit's position in Omar and noting that such a sua sponte dismissal "is practical and fully consistent with plaintiff's rights and the efficient use of judicial resources"). The Court finds that the instant Complaint fails to state a cognizable claim for relief against the Defendants. However, leave to amend is granted.

II.

ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff alleges that the following three named defendants violated his civil rights: (1) Deputy Lumus, badge no. 495512 ("Deputy Lumus"); (2) Deputy Rinconn, badge no. 465722 ("Deputy Rinconn"); and (3) the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (the "Sheriff's Department") (collectively, "Defendants"). (Complaint at 2-3). The*fn2 Complaint does not state whether Plaintiff is suing Defendants in their individual or official capacities. (See id.).

The Complaint alleges that on an unspecified date, Plaintiff was "pulled over by Deputy Lumus [and] Deputy Rinconn." (Complaint at 4). According to Plaintiff, Deputy Lumus "started hitting [Plaintiff] in the head and slammed [him] on [his] face." (Id.). Deputy Rinconn "told Deputy Lumus to get off [Plaintiff's] back so he can shoot. Deputy Lumus disobayed [sic] the comand [sic] in kept punt [Plaintiff] in the head in ear [sic]." (Id.) As a consequence, Plaintiff states that he is losing his hearing and has difficulty balancing. (Id. at 5). Plaintiff further alleges that the beating injured his ear, resulting in discharges of pus from his ear that have not responded to medication. (Id.).

Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages for his past and future medical bills, and to compensate him for his wrongful incarceration,*fn3 the loss of hearing, and "emotional [and] mental distress." (Id. at 10).

III.

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