United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER (1) GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA
PAUPERIS; and (2) DISMISSING CIVIL ACTION FOR FAILING TO
STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF CAN BE GRANTED PURSUANT TO
T. BENITEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Anthony Rodgers (“Plaintiff), proceeding pro se, filed
this civil rights complaint (“Compl.”) pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 while he was civilly detained at
Atascadero State Hospital (“ASH”) in Atascadero,
California. (Doc. No. 1.) Plaintiff did not
prepay the civil filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. §
1914(a); instead he filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis (“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a). (Doc.No. 2.)
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). The action may proceed despite a plaintiffs failure
to prepay the entire fee only if he is granted leave to
proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See
Andrews v. Cervantes, 493 F.3d 1047, 1051 (9th Cir.
2007); Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th
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).
“civil detainee” is not a “prisoner”
within the meaning of the PLRA. Andrews v. King, 398
F.3d 1113, 1122 (9th Cir 2005); Agyeman, 296 F.3d at
886 (holding that INS detainee not also facing criminal
charges is not a “prisoner” under § 1915);
see also Page v. Torrey, 201 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th
Cir. 2000) (person confined under California's Sexually
Violent Predator Law, while a “a ‘prisoner'
within the meaning of the PLRA when he served time for his
conviction, ... ceased being a ‘prisoner' when he
was released from the custody of the Department of
Corrections.”); Mullen v. Surtshin, 590
F.Supp.2d 1233, 1240 (N.D. Cal. 2008) (holding plaintiff
“adjudicated NGI [not guilty by reason of insanity] and
committed to [Napa State Hospital] as a result of that
adjudication” was “not a prisoner as defined by
alleged in his Complaint, Plaintiff was a civilly committed
patient at ASH, and not a “prisoner” as defined
by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h) when he filed this action. (Doc.
No. I.) Therefore, the filing fee provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b) do not apply. Andrews, 398 F.3d at
1122. Accordingly, the Court has reviewed Plaintiffs
affidavit of assets 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 this action. See S.D. Cal.
CivLR 3.2(d). Plaintiffs Motion to Proceed IFP pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a) is therefore GRANTED.
(Doc. No. 2.)
Screening Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)
Standard of Review
complaint filed by any person proceeding in forma pauperis is
subject to sua sponte dismissal 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
“mere possibility of misconduct” falls short of
meeting this plausibility standard. Id; see also Moss v.
U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Gir. 2009).
there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should
assume their veracity, and then determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679; see also Resnickv.
Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000) (“[W]hen
determining whether a complaint states a claim, a court must
accept as true all allegations of material fact and must
construe those facts in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff.”); Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d
1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998) (noting that § 1915(e)(2)
“parallels the language of Federal Rule of Civil
while the court “ha[s] an obligation where the
petitioner is pro se, particularly in civil rights cases, to
construe the pleadings liberally and to afford the petitioner
the benefit of any doubt, ” Hebbe v. Pliler,627 F.3d 338, 342 & n.7 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Bretz
v. Kelman, 113 F.2d 1026, 1027 n.l (9th Cir. 1985)), it
may not “supply essential elements of claims that were
not initially ...