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Laurack D. Bray v. Department of Justice

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN DIVISION


September 26, 2012

LAURACK D. BRAY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cormac J. Carney United States District Judge

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND*fn1

ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S CASE FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM

On August 14, 2012, the Court denied Plaintiff Laurack D. Bray's ex parte application for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and for an order to show cause why a preliminary injunction should not be granted. (Dkt. No. 16.) In doing so, the Court also ordered Mr. Bray to show cause why his Complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a cognizable claim. (Id.) Rather than responding directly to the Court's Order, Mr. Bray filed a response asserting that this Court lacked jurisdiction to rule on his ex parte application due to his filing of a writ of mandamus with the Ninth Circuit. (Dkt. No. 17.) Such a procedural maneuver is of no consequence. For the following reasons, Mr. Bray's Complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

II. ANALYSIS

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires a complaint to contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." To comply with Rule 8, a plaintiff must plead "the elements of his or her claim, identifying the transactions or occurrence giving rise to the claim and the elements of the prima facie case." Bautista v. Los Angeles County, 216 F.3d 837, 840 (9th Cir. 2000). Rule 8 requires that the complaint "say enough to give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim[s] [are] and the grounds upon which [they] rest[]." Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 127 S.Ct. 2499, 2507 (2007) (internal quotations omitted). However, complaints containing allegations that merely "incorporate each preceding paragraph, regardless of relevancy, are not permitted." Destfino v. Kennedy, No. CV 08-1269, 2009 WL 63566, *4 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 8, 2009). This practice, known as "shotgun pleading," violates Rule 8's requirement of a short and plain statement. Id; see also Strategic Income Fund v. Spear, Leeds, & Kellogg Corp., 305 F.3d 1293, 1295 (11th Cir. 2002).

Mr. Bray's Complaint fails to meet the basic pleading requirements of Rule 8(a) to provide a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. Mr. Bray's thirty-four page Complaint, with eight claims, against twenty-one different defendants, is replete with allegations of racial discrimination, and other alleged constitutional violations. But rather than being a short and plain statement of Mr. Bray's alleged injury, the Complaint is a "shotgun pleading" that primarily contains legal conclusions. With so many allegations, leveled against so many defendants, Mr. Bray's Complaint makes it impossible to discern a cognizable claim.

When given the opportunity to correct the conclusory, confusing, and redundant allegations in his Complaint, Mr. Bray instead chose to question this Court's jurisdiction to rule on his ex parte application and filed a writ of mandamus with the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Bray, however, never addressed the deficiencies in his Complaint despite the Court's order to do so.

III. CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, Mr. Bray's Complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.


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