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Schroeder v. SDSU Police

United States District Court, S.D. California

March 9, 2017

C. JOE SCHROEDER, Plaintiff,



         Presently before the Court is Plaintiff C. Joe Schroeder's Motion to Amend Original Complaint. (“Mot. to Amend, ” ECF No. 6.) The Court previously stated that Plaintiff was allowed to submit an amended complaint without so moving the Court, (ECF No. 4), so the Court construes this filing as Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). Nevertheless, for the reasons discussed below, the Court sua sponte dismisses Plaintiff's FAC without prejudice.


         I. Screening Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(b)

         The Court must screen every civil action brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) and dismiss any case it finds “frivolous or malicious, ” “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, ” or “seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see also Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (“[T]he provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners.”);[1] Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (noting that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) “not only permits but requires a district court to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a claim”).

         As amended by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) mandates that the court reviewing an action filed pursuant to the IFP provisions of § 1915 make and rule on its own motion to dismiss before directing the Marshal to effect service pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(c)(3). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3); Navarette v. Pioneer Med. Ctr., No. 12-cv-0629-WQH (DHB), 2013 WL 139925, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 2013).

         All 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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007)). “[D]etermining whether a complaint states a plausible claim is context-specific, requiring the reviewing court to draw on its experience and common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663-64 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         “When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity, and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement of relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. “[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.” Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000); see also Andrews v. King, 393 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2005); Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998) (“The language of § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) parallels the language of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).”).

         “While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not.” Hoagland v. Astrue, No. 1:12-cv-00973-SMS, 2012 WL 2521753, at *3 (E.D. Cal. June 28, 2012) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Courts cannot accept legal conclusions set forth in a complaint if the plaintiff has not supported her contentions with facts. Id. (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679).


         Plaintiff's FAC appears to be a chronicling of various alleged injustices. For these wrongs Plaintiff seeks over $225, 000 for (1) delayed MBA degree completion, (2) character attacks, slander, and libel, and (3) assault and battery. (FAC at 7.[2]) Plaintiff fails to plead a plausible claim for relief under each count.

         First, Plaintiff seeks damages for “delayed MBA degree completion.” (Id.) But, just as the Court previously found, Plaintiff again fails to provide any authority supporting this cause of action, and more fundamentally fails to plausibly demonstrate that he is in fact a San Diego State University (“SDSU”) student entitled to take courses on campus.[3]Additionally, Plaintiff claims that his Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”) was somehow hacked. Specifically, Plaintiff argues that after he tried to finish his saved application, the website said “social security number & name don't match, ” and, because that had never been the case before, “[t]hat means the application was hacked in one way or another.” (FAC 2.) This leap in logic is unsupported by any factual allegations, and Plaintiff provides no federal or state authority to support this cause of action.

         Second, Plaintiff generally seeks relief for alleged character attacks, slander, and libel. (Id. at 7.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that “since police contact, the rumor network of police has been in full affect [sic] attempting to use negative word of mouth to discredit Plaintiff & to harm social lives of Plaintiff & others.” (Id.) This is not enough. See, e.g., N.Y. Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964). Plaintiff fails to cite any statement actionable as slander or libel.

         Third, Plaintiff seeks relief for alleged incidents of assault and/or battery. (FAC 7.) These charges are presumably based on the following allegations. A police officer allegedly “off camera [and] after assault . . . grabbed [Plaintiff's] tablet out of [his] hand [and] pushed Plaintiff onto [the] stairs.” (Id. at 4.) On another occasion, a police officer ‚Äútackled, ...

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