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Danny James Cohea v. Nancy Grannis

December 26, 2012

DANNY JAMES COHEA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
NANCY GRANNIS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND (ECF No. 1)

AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS

SCREENING ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On October 25, 2012, Plaintiff Danny James Cohea, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff's complaint is now before the Court for screening.

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, malicious," or that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

Section 1983 "provides a cause of action for the 'deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States." Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

III. PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

As an initial matter, the Court finds that Plaintiff's Complaint is not "a short and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief," as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2).

The Complaint consists of seventy-four handwritten pages of factual allegations. Plaintiff identifies at least sixty-two Defendants. He sets out eight causes of action that allege numerous due process violations, instances of retaliation, violations of his right to equal protection, and his right to access the courts. Plaintiff also asserts a conspiracy claim and alleges violations of state law.

A cursory review of the Complaint satisfies the Court that it does not comply with the pleading requirements in any way which would allow the Court to determine if it contains hidden within it a cognizable cause of action. Moreover, given the demands imposed on this Court by the tremendous volume of these and voluminous other cases, it would not be feasible, nor fair to other litigants, for the Court to spend the time necessary to go through this inordinately lengthy document to try to extract an identifiable, potentially cognizable claim, identify the facts, if any, related thereto and determine which, if any, Defendant(s) could possibly be held to answer.

In the following sections of this order, the Court will provide some general pleading requirements and also some specific requirements for the types of causes of action Plaintiff may be intending to file. Plaintiff will then be given the opportunity to re-plead in "a short and plain statement" a claim which, at the very least, meets those standards. Plaintiff will be required in that amended complaint to assert only related claims against only those Defendants who may credibly be alleged to be responsible for the facts giving rise to those claims. Facts unrelated to those claims will not be permitted. Claims not related to the single set or series of facts giving rise to those claims will not be permitted. Further, this Court can envision few claims which would need more than twenty pages to set them out. Thus, any amended filing which is longer than twenty pages will be viewed with great skepticism and may be rejected on that basis alone. Finally, any filing which does not comply with these instructions directing a short and plain statement or any filing which combines unrelated matters or defendants likely will result in dismissal with prejudice of the entire action.

IV. GENERAL LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Section 1983

To state a claim under Section 1983, a plaintiff must allege two ...


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