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Gleason v. Los Angeles County Metro Transp. Auth.

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 30, 2014


Stanley Gleason, Plaintiff, Pro se, Glendale, CA.

DEAN D. PREGERSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE. Jean P. Rosenbluth, Untied States Magistrate Judge.



Plaintiff has indicated, by both words and conduct, that he does not wish to amend his complaint in compliance with the Magistrate Judge's orders and instead seeks to take an immediate appeal. Because the pending First Amended Complaint is inadequate to alert the named Defendants to their allegedly unlawful conduct and for that reason and others fails to state a claim, the Court gives Plaintiff his wish and dismisses his lawsuit with prejudice and without leave to amend.


On July 7, 2014, Plaintiff filed a civil rights complaint after being granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. On July 10, 2014, after screening the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Magistrate Judge dismissed it with leave to amend because it suffered from numerous deficiencies. She advised him of the availability of help from the Pro Se Clinic. Instead of filing an amended complaint, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit. After that court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, the Magistrate Judge sua sponte gave Plaintiff additional time to file an amended complaint. On September 8, 2014, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint, but he hardly changed anything from the original Complaint. As the Magistrate Judge noted in her September 25, 2014 Order dismissing the First Amended Complaint with leave to amend, " Most of the deficiencies in the FAC are the same as those pointed out in the Court's order dismissing the Complaint with leave to amend." She again gave Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint and again advised him of help available at the Pro Se Clinic. Once again, however, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal instead of an amended complaint, even though the Ninth Circuit had explained to him in its earlier order that he could not appeal a dismissal with leave to amend. Again the Ninth Circuit dismissed the appeal. On November 19, 2014, Plaintiff filed notice that he " chooses not to amend THIRD complaint!"

In his notice, he objects to the Magistrate Judge's jurisdiction, argues that his complaints should have been construed liberally because he is acting pro se, and asserts that the Magistrate Judge's failure to order the complaints served is " civil harassment." He cites Edwards v. Marin Park, Inc., 356 F.3d 1058, 1063-64 (9th Cir. 2004), for the proposition that he must be allowed not to file an amended complaint and instead appeal the dismissal orders.[1]

Each time the Magistrate Judge dismissed Plaintiff's complaints with leave to amend, she warned him, in bold-faced letters, that if he failed to timely file an amended complaint complying with her orders, his lawsuit would be subject to dismissal for failure to prosecute and for the reasons stated in the dismissal orders.


As an initial matter, the law is well established that magistrate judges may dismiss civil rights complaints with leave to amend. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (authorizing magistrate judges to decide nondispositive matters); see also Henderson v. Smith, 1: 13-cv-00287-LJO-GSA-PC, 2014 WL 2118151, at *2 (E.D. Cal. May 21, 2014) (noting that magistrate judges are authorized to screen civil rights complaints and dismiss them with leave to amend). Further, " Plaintiff's decision to consent to or decline Magistrate Judge jurisdiction does not affect the referral of this case to the Magistrate Judge for pretrial, non-dispositive matters." Henderson, 2014 WL 2118151, at *2. Thus, the Magistrate Judge did not act beyond her authority.

Further, the Magistrate Judge specifically recognized her duty to construe Plaintiff's complaints liberally because he was representing himself pro se, and she did so. But as she also explained, even under a liberal construction Plaintiff's allegations were clearly inadequate to put the named Defendants on notice of their alleged unlawful conduct, and the complaints suffered from other deficiencies as well.

Plaintiff is correct, however, that he has the right to stand on his complaints and seek immediate appellate review. See Edwards, 356 F.3d at 1063-64. He has unambiguously indicated that that is what he desires to do, both in his November 19 filing and by twice appealing the Magistrate Judge's dismissalwith-leave-to-amend orders. Because the Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's reasoning in those two orders and finds that Plaintiff's complaints fail to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court will not stand in his way.


It therefore is ORDERED that this action is dismissed with prejudice, both for the reasons explained in the Magistrate Judge's dismissal orders and because Plaintiff has affirmatively chosen to take an immediate appeal rather than ...

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