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Calip v. Meic

United States District Court, N.D. California

August 3, 2015

TAJAI CALIP, Plaintiff,
v.
M.E.I.C., et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND Re: Dkt. Nos. 1, 3, 6

MARIA-ELENA JAMES, Magistrate Judge.

INTRODUCTION

On May 27, 2015, pro se Plaintiff Tajai Calip filed two documents: (1) a Complaint against Defendants "Dr. Brooks" and insurance company "M.E.I.C." for the death of her infant daughter, Dkt. No. 1, and (2) an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP"), Dkt. No. 3. On June 10, 2015, Plaintiff consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Dkt. No. 5. Because Plaintiff's original IFP Application was incomplete, the Court ordered Plaintiff to provide supplemental information by July 1, 2015. Dkt. No. 6. Plaintiff submitted an amended IFP Application on July 10, 2015. Dkt. No. 8. For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's In Forma Pauperis Application, but DISMISSES the Complaint WITH LEAVE TO AMEND.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff's three-page long Complaint is often difficult to understand, with little detail about the exact actions of each of the named Defendants. See Compl., Dkt. No. 1. From the Court's reading, it appears Plaintiff alleges Dr. Brooks instructed her to arrive at Alta Bates Hospital for the delivery of her baby, a nine-month, full-term daughter. Id. at 1. Upon Plaintiff's arrival, Dr. Brooks was not present, and Plaintiff was "left in a room alone with a relative fighting for hours from very strong pains that increased after an I.V. by one of the [hospital] staffs that page[d] Dr. Brooks gave her." Id. at 2. By the time Dr. Brooks arrived, Plaintiff's baby had died. Id.

Plaintiff appears to assert two claims against Dr. Brooks and his insurance company, M.E.I.C.: homicide and medical negligence. Id. at 1. It also appears that Plaintiff filed an earlier action alleging the same claims against the same defendants in a state court. See id. at 2-3; see also Am. Appl. at 4 (referencing Calip v. M.E.I.C. & Dr. Brooks, Case No. RG11594419, Renee C. Davidson[1]). The Complaint indicates that Plaintiff appeared before a superior court judge for mediation but does not explain the current status of that mediation. See Compl. at 2-3. Plaintiff also states that the superior court "did not give her the court order she needed to collect on a statue [sic] case against the defendants." Id. at 2. She now seeks damages for $10 million from Defendants. Id.

APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, a district court may authorize the commencement of a civil action in forma pauperis if it is satisfied that the would-be plaintiff cannot pay the filing fees necessary to pursue the action. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Having received Plaintiff's amended IFP Application, Plaintiff has now submitted the required information, and it is evident from that Application that the listed assets and income are insufficient to enable Plaintiff to pay the filing fees. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.

SUA SPONTE SCREENING UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)

A. Legal Standard

Notwithstanding payment of any filing fee or portion thereof, a complaint filed by any person proceeding IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) is subject to a mandatory and sua sponte review and dismissal by the Court if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Section 1915(e)(2) mandates that the court reviewing an IFP complaint make and rule on its own motion to dismiss before directing that the complaint be served by the United States Marshall pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 4(c)(2). Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1127; see also Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998) (noting that the language of § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) parallels the language of Rule 12(b)(6)). As the Supreme Court has explained, "[the IFP statute] is designed largely to discourage the filing of, and waste of judicial and private resources upon, baseless lawsuits that paying litigants generally do not initiate because of the costs of bringing suit." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989).

The Court may dismiss a complaint sua sponte under Rule 12(b)(6). Sparling v. Hoffman Constr. Co., 864 F.2d 635, 638 (9th Cir. 1988). Under Rule 12(b)(6), a district court must dismiss a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Rule 8(a)(2) requires that a complaint include a "short and plain statement" showing the plaintiff is entitled to relief. "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its fact." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted); see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, but the plaintiff must "provide the grounds' of his entitle[ment]' to relief, " which "requires more than labels and conclusions, " and merely "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action" is insufficient. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

B. Discussion

Having carefully reviewed Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court has identified a number of grounds that require its dismissal at this time. However, because it is possible that Plaintiff may be able to cure the issues in her ...


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