United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER: (1) GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA
PAUPERIS PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(A); AND (2) SUA
SPONTE DISMISSING CIVIL ACTION FOR FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM
PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(E)(2)
LARRY ALAN BURNS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Oliver (“Plaintiff”), a former state inmate, has
filed a civil rights complaint (“Compl.”)
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant, his probation officer, has violated
his Fourth Amendment rights by conducting an illegal search
and has discriminated against him based on his disabilities.
(Id. at 10-11.) Plaintiff seeks 1.5 million dollars
in compensatory damages and 3 million dollars in punitive
damages. (Id. at 7.)
has not paid the civil filing fees required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1914(a) to commence a civil action; instead he has
filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
(“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
(ECF No. 2.)
initial matter, the Court finds that while Plaintiff appears
to bring claims on behalf of his Mother, only Plaintiff has
signed the Complaint, and only he has requested leave to
proceed IFP. Pro se litigants have no authority to represent
anyone other than themselves; therefore, they lack the
representative capacity to file motions and other documents
on behalf of other persons. See Johns v. County of San
Diego, 114 F.3d 874, 877 (9th Cir. 1997) (“[A]
non-lawyer ‘has no authority to appear as an attorney
for others than himself.'” (quoting Equity
Trust v. United States, 818 F.2d 696, 697 (9th Cir.
1987)). “Although a non-attorney may appear in propria
persona in his own behalf, that privilege is personal to
him.” Id. (citations omitted); see also
Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a) (“[I]f the party is not represented
by an attorney, [every written motion and other paper] shall
be signed by the party.”). Thus, because only
Plaintiff, a non-attorney proceeding pro se, has signed the
Complaint, and only Plaintiff has requested IFP status, he is
the only proper Plaintiff in this case. Purported claims by
anyone else, including Plaintiff's Mother, are therefore
DISMISSED from this action.
Motion to Proceed IFP
parties instituting any civil action, suit or proceeding in a
district court of the United States, except an application
for writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee of $400. See
28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). An action may proceed despite a
plaintiff's failure to prepay the entire fee only if the
plaintiff is granted leave to proceed IFP pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a). See Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176,
1177 (9th Cir. 1999).
“[u]nlike other indigent litigants, prisoners
proceeding IFP must pay the full amount of filing fees in
civil actions and appeals pursuant to the PLRA [Prison
Litigation Reform Act].” Agyeman v. INS, 296
F.3d 871, 886 (9th Cir. 2002). As defined by the PLRA, a
“prisoner” is “any person incarcerated or
detained in any facility who is accused of, convicted of,
sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for, violations of
criminal law or the terms and conditions of parole,
probation, pretrial release, or diversionary program.”
28 U.S.C. § 1915(h).
Plaintiff is not a “prisoner” as defined by 28
U.S.C. § 1915(h), the filing fee provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b) do not apply to this case. Therefore, the
Court has reviewed Plaintiff's affidavit of assets, just
as it would for any other non-prisoner litigant seeking IFP
status, and finds it is sufficient to show that he is unable
to pay the fees or post securities required to maintain a
civil action. See S.D. Cal. CivLR 3.2(d).
the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed IFP
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) (ECF No. 2).
Sua Sponte Screening per 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)
Standard of Review
complaint filed by any person proceeding IFP is subject to
sua sponte dismissal, however, if it is “frivolous,
malicious, fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seek[s] monetary relief from a defendant immune
from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B);
Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001)
(per curiam) (holding that “the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners.”);
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000)
(en banc) (“[S]ection 1915(e) not only permits, but
requires a district court to dismiss an in forma pauperis
complaint that fails to state a claim.”).
complaints must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual
allegations are not required, but “[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a 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)). “Determining whether a complaint states a
plausible claim for relief [is] . . . a context-specific task
that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id. The