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Melody Ann Gillespie, et al. v. Robert J. Fletcher

January 25, 2013

MELODY ANN GILLESPIE, ET AL.
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ROBERT J. FLETCHER, ET. AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lawrence J. O'Neill United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (ECF No. 5) AMENDED COMPLAINT DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

Plaintiffs Melody Ann Gillespie, Courtney Ray Gillespie, and Roxann Davidson (collectively, "Plaintiffs") initiated this action by filing a pro se Complaint on February 7, 2012. (ECF No. 1.)

On May 31, 2012, the Court issued an order dismissing Plaintiffs' Complaint with leave to amend for failure to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). (ECF No. 4.) On June 12, 2012, Plaintiffs filed objections to the Court's order, which the Court will construe as a motion for reconsideration. (Mot. for Recons., ECF No. 5.)*fn1

I. LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Motions for Reconsideration of Non-Dispositive Pretrial Orders Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(a) provides:

Nondispositive Matters. When a pretrial matter not dispositive of a party's claim or defense is referred to a magistrate judge to hear and decide, the magistrate judge must promptly conduct the required proceedings and, when appropriate, issue a written order stating the decision. A party may serve and file objections to the order within 14 days after being served with a copy. A party may not assign as error a defect in the order not timely objected to. The district judge in the case must consider timely objections and modify or set aside any part of the order that is clearly erroneous or is contrary to law.

"A judge of the court may reconsider [pretrial matters determined by a magistrate judge] where it has been shown that the magistrate judge's order is clearly erroneous or contrary to law."

28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(A). B. Screening Standards

A court has inherent power to control its docket and the disposition of its cases with economy of time and effort for both the court and the parties. Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260 (9th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 915 (1992). Accordingly, this Court has the ability to screen all complaints filed by pro se plaintiffs to ensure that the action is not frivolous or malicious, that the action states a claim upon which relief may be granted, and that the complaint does not seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

C. Pleading Standards "Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies here. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), 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). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of the cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009), citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "Plaintiff must set forth sufficient factual matter accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Factual Background and Procedural History The Magistrate Judge previously dismissed Plaintiffs' Complaint with leave to amend for failure to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). (ECF No. 4.)

The Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiffs' Complaint was almost sixty pages long, consisted of meandering factual allegations and indecipherable claims. Plaintiffs raised claims related to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Seventh Amendment, enforcement of a church elder's judgment under the First Amendment, quantum meruit, peonage, a partnership accounting, a fiduciary accounting, a "declaratory judgment to construe commercial relationship of parties and nature of contract", damages for fraud and conspiracy, harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, animal cruelty, quiet title, partition, breach of fiduciary duty, assault, battery, breach of contract, conversion, attempted murder, infringement of civil rights, bullying, trespass, breach of a partnership, eavesdropping, forgery, falsification of "identity access information", embezzlement, foreclosure on a mechanic's lien, the unconstitutionality of a state statute, due process, equal protection, copyright infringement, and violation of federal water rights. Plaintiffs' Complaint included additional allegations and claims.

Ultimately, the Magistrate Judge's review of the Complaint found that it did not comply with the pleading requirements in any way which would allow the Court to determine if it contained hidden within it a cognizable cause of action. Moreover, given the demands imposed on the Court by the tremendous volume of such cases and its other civil, criminal and habeas corpus case load, it was neither practical nor fair to other litigants for the Court to spend the time necessary to review the inordinately lengthy document to try to extract an identifiable, ...


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