United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT Re: Dkt. No. 10
DONATO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff Monica Berlin has filed a complaint against 38
defendants alleging federal claims under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 as well as a number of California state law claims. Dkt.
No. 10. The Court dismisses the complaint with leave to amend
pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1915(e)(2).
Court previously granted Berlin’s application to
proceed in forma pauperis. Dkt. No. 15. A case filed by a
plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis is subject to sua
sponte dismissal at any time if the Court determines that it
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28
U.S.C § 1915(e)(2); see also Lopez v. Smith,
203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000). The dismissal must be
with leave to amend unless “the pleading could not
possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.”
Id. “The standard for determining whether a
plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is the same as the
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) standard for failure
to state a claim.” Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d
1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012).
for plaintiff’s claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, her
allegations are entirely conclusory, perfunctory and vague.
For example, for her fourth claim for relief for
“interference with exercise of free speech: violation
of due process” in violation of “42 U.S.C. §
1983, First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S.
Constitution, ” plaintiff alleges that she was
“harass[ed], intimidat[ed], and threaten[ed] . . . in
her home for her ideas and beliefs on December 31,
2015.” Dkt. No. 10 ¶ 74. But her complaint does
not provide any greater factual detail than that. Although at
this stage the Court must assume that the plaintiff’s
allegations are true and draw all reasonable inferences in
her favor, Usher v. City of Los Angeles, 828 F.2d
556, 561 (9th Cir. 1987), the Court need not “accept as
true allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted
deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences.” In
re Gilead Scis. Sec. Litig., 536 F.3d 1049, 1055 (9th
Cir. 2008). Similarly, plaintiff also has not alleged any
facts that give rise to a reasonable inference that she was
arrested without probable cause or other justification, or
that she was subjected to excessive force in the process.
Plaintiff’s allegations acknowledge that she was
removed from her home “under an involuntary 51/50
psychiatric hold, ” Dkt. No. 10 ¶ 45, which is
presumably a reference to California Welfare and Institutions
Code Section 5150. Nowhere in her complaint does plaintiff
provide any factual basis for concluding that this
application of Section 5150 against her was wrongful in any
than providing factual allegations that give her claims
“facial plausibility, ” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009), plaintiff instead
includes allegations that are not allegations at all.
See, e.g., Dkt. No. 10 ¶ 54
(“Plaintiff’s Insurance Card [Exhibit J]”),
¶ 55 (“San Mateo Daily Journal news article dated
January 9-10, 2016 about the state of children in California
and San Mateo County [Exhibit K]”); ¶ 57
(“Yearly salary of defendant Loc Nguyen director of San
Mateo Human Services Agency $251, 027.83 (2014). [Exhibit
M]”). Plaintiff does not explain how these seemingly
random facts have anything to do with her and the legal
claims she is alleging in this case, and it is difficult to
imagine how such a connection might exist.
for the vast majority of defendants, it is impossible to
discern how, if at all, they are connected to this case. The
presence in this case of companies such as LinkedIn, Google
and Airbnb is particularly puzzling. The many defendants
whose names appear only once in the complaint (under the
heading “parties”) would have “little idea
where to begin” in preparing a response to the
complaint. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
565 n.10 (2007). A complaint with characteristics like these
is one that fails to pass muster under either Rule 12(b)(6)
or Section 1915(e)(2).
absence of a cognizable federal claim, the Court finds it
unnecessary to expressly address her supplemental state law
claims at this time, but the Court does note that the same
deficiencies that exist for her federal claims appear to
permeate her state law claims as well. Because the Court
cannot say any amendment would be futile, plaintiff is given
leave to amend. Any amended complaint must be filed no later
than August 22, 2016.
Court advises plaintiff that to go forward, any amended
complaint must contain substantive factual allegations that
go beyond mere “threadbare recitals of a cause of
action’s elements.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
663. In addition, for each and every defendant named in the
complaint, plaintiff must “allege with at least some
degree of particularity overt acts which defendants engaged
in that support [her] claim.” Jones v. Cmty.
Redevelopment Agency of City of Los Angeles, 733 F.2d
646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). And each named defendant must be
connected to an alleged legal violation.
needed, plaintiff may seek assistance through the Legal Help
Center, a free service offered by the Justice & Diversity
Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco to provide
information and limited-scope legal assistance to pro se
litigants in civil cases. The Legal Help Center is located in
the United States Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 15th
Floor, Room 2796, San Francisco, CA 94102. Appointments may