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Jason E. Pellum, Sr. v. the White House

April 25, 2013


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Allison Claire United States Magistrate Judge


Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se. He seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has requested authority pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 to proceed in forma pauperis. This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Plaintiff has consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned. ECF No. 4.

Plaintiff has not submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). However, because this case calls for summary dismissal, the court will not require plaintiff to submit the in forma pauperis application required for this district.

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 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).

Screening Standards

A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis. See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.

A complaint must contain more than a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action;" it must contain factual allegations sufficient to "raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "The pleading must contain something more . . . than . . . a statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a legally cognizable right of action." Id., quoting 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure 1216, pp. 235-235 (3d ed. 2004). "[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id.

In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hospital Trustees, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and resolve all doubts in the plaintiff's favor. Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969). However, the court need not accept as true allegations that are fanciful, fantastic or delusional; such allegations are by definition frivolous. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327.

The Complaint

This case plaintiff purports to sue "the White House," President Barrack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and unnamed White House staffers. See Complaint. Count One purports to state a claim for Intentional Infliction of Injury Upon A Pregnant Victim. Plaintiff relies on Cal. Pen. Code § 12022.9, a recently repealed sentencing enhancement applicable for the intentional infliction of an injury upon a pregnant victim during the commission of a felony or attempted felony resulting in termination of the pregnancy. Id. at 2-3. Plaintiff describes a May 2002 car accident, apparently involving himself and his then-pregnant wife in a collision with two "white males . . . profiled as skinheads" in a "white Aries K-car." Id. at 3-7. He admits having indicated to law enforcement officials at the accident scene that he was the driver, because his wife (who had actually been driving) had her driver's license suspended due to a DUI conviction. Id. at 4-5. Plaintiff makes reference to his wife having had emergency care and tests in a hospital as a precaution for her own health and that of the child she was carrying; the infant was apparently born in September of 2002. Id. at 5-7. Plaintiff makes a brief reference to his car insurance. Id., at 6.

Count Two, alleging treason, states in full: "Against this consists onlying [sic] in levying war against it, adhering to it's enemies and or giving them aid and comfort. Ex (Comfort Inn) can be committed only by persons owing, Ex. (Towing Company) allegiance too." Id. at 7.

Count Three purports to state a claim of Crimes Against Insured Property and Insurers under the California Penal Code. The allegations involve interference with an attempt to rent property, id. at 8-9, and the failure of plaintiff's car insurance company to cover repairs following an act of vandalism, id. at 9. Plaintiff contends he was told his coverage was limited to basic liability due to "the Obama Dream Act and Education Reform to be humerous in it's attempts [sic]." Id.

Plaintiff goes on to state that the instant case is a "class action criminal and civil case against the first White House adminstration" which has funded appointees secretly from "the East [C]oast music home of Def Jam Records. . . ." Id. at 10. He seeks the following remedies: "Diplomatic Diplomacy"; damages in the amount of $93.1 million, "secured with Financial Institution Lords of London"; Brazilian citizenship and nationalization; FCC and FAA licensing agreements; international shipping lane agreements, and ...

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