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Quilici v. California Highway Patrol

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 18, 2016

JAMES S. QUILICI, Plaintiff,
v.
CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff is proceeding in this action pro se. This matter was accordingly referred to the undersigned by E.D. Cal. R. (“Local Rule”) 302(c)(21). Plaintiff has also requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. ECF No. 2. The request will be denied because (1) plaintiff failed to sign the affidavit he submitted to establish IFP status, and (2) the complaint, in its current form, is frivolous.

         I. INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION IN THE IFP APPLICATION

         Plaintiff’s in forma pauperis application leaves the signature line blank, and therefore does not qualify as the “affidavit” required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1).

         II. SCREENING

         Where “plaintiff’s claim appears to be frivolous on the face of the complaint, ” the district court may “deny[] plaintiff leave to file in forma pauperis.O’Loughlin v. Doe, 920 F.2d 614, 617 (9th Cir. 1990). 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). In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court will (1) accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint, unless they are clearly baseless or fanciful, (2) construe those allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and (3) resolve all doubts in the plaintiff’s favor. See Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327; Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, 592 F.3d 954, 960 (9th Cir. 2010); Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 340 (9th Cir. 2010). However, the court need not accept as true, legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations, or allegations that contradict matters properly subject to judicial notice. See Western Mining Council v. Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981); Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir.), as amended, 275 F.3d 1187 (2001).

         Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Pro se complaints are construed liberally and may only be dismissed if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. Nordstrom v. Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2014). A pro se litigant is entitled to notice of the deficiencies in the complaint and an opportunity to amend, unless the complaint’s deficiencies could not be cured by amendment. See Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987).

         A. The Complaint

         The complaint alleges civil rights violations, and is brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The allegations of the complaint are taken as true only for the purposes of this screening.

         The complaint alleges that plaintiff was stopped twice by law enforcement officers. In the first incident, on March 27, 2014, at 2:30 a.m., officer Richard Anglesey of the California Highway Patrol “engaged in a traffic stop” on plaintiff’s car. Complaint at 2. Officer Anglesey stated that plaintiff was being stopped “for tinted windows and a dimmed drivers side headlight.” Id. After giving plaintiff a field sobriety test, the officer arrested plaintiff for “Driving under the //// //// influence 8.0 or more VC 23152(A) 23152(B).” Complaint at 2.[1] The complaint then alleges that “the arresting officer had no grounds nor evidence to suspend the plaintiff Drivers License for DUI (VC 13353.2).” Id.[2]

         In the second incident, on July 3, 2014 at 4:00 a.m., plaintiff’s car was again stopped by officer Anglesey. Id. This time, the officer stated that plaintiff was “all over the road.” Id. Plaintiff was given a field sobriety test, and was then arrested “for driving on a suspended license for (23152(e) Drugs, VC 13353.2.” Id. at 2-3.[3] Plaintiff’s car was then impounded for 30 days. Id. at 3.[4] Plaintiff alleges that the impoundment occurred because this was his “second arrest for DUI.” Id. at 3.

         It is not entirely clear who is a named defendant in this action. The caption of plaintiff’s complaint lists only “California Highway Patrol, ” “Office of Protective Intelligence, ” and “Department of Motor Vehicles.” Complaint at 1. However, the body of the complaint states that “Defendant falsely arrested the Plaintiff, ” and identifies the “Arresting Officer” as “Richard Anglesey (019574).” The undersigned therefore interprets the complaint as naming officer Anglesey as a defendant.

         The only relief sought is listed as ...


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