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Travis Ray Thompson v. Kernan

July 16, 2012

TRAVIS RAY THOMPSON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
KERNAN, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barbara A. McAuliffe United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 31) ORDER STRIKING FOURTH AMENDED COMPLAINT (ECF No. 76)

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR TRANSCRIPTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE; MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF INVESTIGATOR; MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION; AND MOTION TO COMPEL (ECF Nos. 50, 72, 74, 78, THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

I. Background

Plaintiff Travis Ray Thompson ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On July 12, 2012, the Ninth Circuit remanded this action for the court to consider the claims in the third amended complaint which occurred after Plaintiff had filed his initial complaint. (ECF No. 101.) Subsequent to the screening order in this action being issued, the Ninth Circuit decided Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002 (9th Cir. 2010), and Plaintiff is not precluded from proceeding on supplemental claims that accrued and were exhausted after he filed his initial complaint.

II. Screening Requirement

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted," or that "seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)).

Further, Plaintiff may not bring unrelated claims against unrelated parties in a single action. Fed. R. Civ. P. 18(a), 20(a)(2); Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 952 (7th Cir. 2011); George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). Plaintiff may bring a claim against multiple defendants so long as (1) the claim arises out of the same transaction or occurrence, or series of transactions and occurrences, and (2) there are commons questions of law or fact. Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2); Coughlin v. Rogers, 130 F.3d 1348, 1351 (9th Cir. 1997); Desert Empire Bank v. Insurance Co. of North America, 623 F.3d 1371, 1375 (9th Cir. 1980). Only if the defendants are properly joined under Rule 20(a) will the Court review the other claims to determine if they may be joined under Rule 18(a), which permits the joinder of multiple claims against the same party.

III. Third Amended Complaint

Plaintiff's third amended complaint is thirty seven pages of dense handwritten text, attempting to bring suit against approximately seventy three defendants for unrelated incidents and does not comply with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8, 18, and 20. The function of the complaint is not to list every single fact relating to Plaintiff's incarceration or claim. Because Plaintiff's complaint is not in compliance with Rule 8(a), the Court declines to expend its already taxed resources with attempting to sort out his claims. Plaintiff must submit a complaint to the Court that meets the requirements of Rule 8. It is Plaintiff's job, not the Court's, to state a claim for each defendant. Therefore, Plaintiff's third amended complaint shall be dismissed, with leave to amend.

In his fourth amended complaint, Plaintiff shall choose which claims he wishes to pursue in this action. If Plaintiff does not do so and his fourth amended complaint sets forth unrelated claims which violate joinder rules, the Court will dismiss the claims it finds to be improperly joined.

The Court advises Plaintiff of the following requirements under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding the general formatting of his complaint. Plaintiff's complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that [Plaintiff] is entitled to relief." Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2). "Each allegation must be simple, concise, and direct." Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(d)(1). A party must state its claims or defenses in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances." Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 10(b). "[E]ach claim founded on a separate transaction or occurrence . . . must be stated in a separate count." Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 10(b).

Additionally, Plaintiff is required to submit filings that are "clearly legible." Local Rule 130(b). In submitting a fourth amended complaint in compliance with this order, Plaintiff is advised that he must find a way to submit a complaint that is improved with respect to legibility, and must be double spaced and use letters no smaller than used in the instant order, Times New Roman 12. Since Plaintiff must comply with Rules 18 and 20, twenty-five pages is more than sufficient for Plaintiff to identify his claims and set forth specific facts in support of those claims. Accordingly, if Plaintiff chooses to amend the complaint, the fourth amended complaint may not exceed twenty-five pages in length, and it will be stricken from the record if it violates this page limitation.

Plaintiff is advised that the failure to comply with the Local Rules, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Court's orders will result in Plaintiff's fourth amended complaint being stricken from the record. Plaintiff is further warned that failure to take meaningful steps to obey the Court's orders may result in ...


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