United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND
DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM RE: DKT.
HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Shruti Shetty, representing herself, has filed a complaint
against Cisco Systems, purportedly brought under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for employment discrimination.
Plaintiff seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Dkt. No. 13.
Court may authorize the commencement of a civil action in
forma pauperis if it is satisfied that the would-be
plaintiff cannot pay the filing fees necessary to pursue the
action and that her action is not frivolous or malicious. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1); Escobedo v. Applebees, 787
F.3d 1226, 1234 (9th Cir. 2015). Having reviewed
Plaintiff's application, the Court finds she is unable to
pay the full amount of fees, costs or give security.
Escobedo, 787 F.3d at 1234 (“An affidavit in
support of an IFP application is sufficient where it alleges
that the affiant cannot pay the court costs and still afford
the necessities of life.”). Nevertheless, the Court
finds that the action is frivolous and accordingly DENIES the
motion to proceed in forma pauperis.
1915(e)(2) mandates that the Court review an in forma
pauperis complaint before directing the United States
Marshal to serve the complaint. Escobedo, 787 F.3d
at 1234 & n.8. The Court must dismiss a complaint if it
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir.
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) (citing Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d
1122, 1127-31 (9th Cir. 2000)). The complaint must include a
“short and plain statement, ” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), and “sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quotation omitted). Plaintiff must provide the
grounds that entitle her to relief. Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Because Plaintiff is
pro se, the Court construes her pleadings liberally and
affords her the benefit of any doubt. Karim-Panahi v. Los
Angeles Police Dep't, 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir.
1988); cf. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(e) (“Pleadings
must be construed so as to do justice.”). The Court is
not, however, required to accept as true allegations that are
merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or
unreasonable inferences. Sprewell v. Golden State
Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001).
presently drafted, the complaint is difficult to follow and
fails to set forth any facts that would support a cognizable
claim. Plaintiff provides twenty, single-spaced pages of
ambiguous grievances, but does not identify the claims she is
asserting. Another serious problem is that she does not
identify the specific actor or actors responsible. She cites
various conduct inconsistently attributed to foreign
government entities, private actors, and Defendant Cisco
Systems. As such, the complaint violates Rule 8's
directive that “[e]ach allegation  be simple,
concise, and direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1).
what the Court can discern, Plaintiff seems to allege that
Cisco Systems stole her intellectual property, erroneously
withheld a month's pay following her resignation, and
facilitated both the physical injury and reputational damage
she has suffered over the past two years. While the complaint
alleges “employment discrimination, ” it is not
clear if, or when, Plaintiff alleges she was employed by
Cisco. Plaintiff also alleges that Cisco's actions were
motivated by her “ethnic roots, race, and 
gender.” Dkt. No. 1 at 17. But there is no fact alleged
in the complaint that plausibly reflects discriminatory
motive or otherwise suggests that Cisco attacked her because
of her nationality, ethnicity, race, or gender. Even
liberally construed, Plaintiffs assertion is conclusory and
speculative, and insufficient to state a claim on which
relief can be granted. “Although a pro se litigant . .
. may be entitled to great leeway when the court construes
[her] pleadings, those pleadings nonetheless must meet some
minimum threshold in providing a defendant with notice of
what it is that it allegedly did wrong.” Brazil v.
United States Dep't of Navy, 66 F.3d 193, 199 (9th
Cir. 1995). The Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to meet
that minimum threshold and accordingly DENIES her request for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis and DISMISSES her
these deficiencies, the Court cannot say at this stage that
amending the complaint would be futile. See Lucas v.
Dep't of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995)
(“[A] pro se litigant is entitled to notice of the
complaint's deficiencies and an opportunity to amend
prior to dismissal of the action.”). Plaintiff may
still be able to allege sufficient facts to state a claim.
Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130. Plaintiff shall file an
amended complaint by no later than May 8, 2017. In the
amended complaint, Plaintiff should clearly identify: (1)
each legal claim; (2) the facts supporting each claim; and
(3) the defendant against whom the claim is alleged.
Plaintiff does not need to re-file a financial affidavit with
her amended complaint, because the Court has already found
that she has established her inability to pay the filing
fees. But failure to file an amended complaint by this
deadline may result in the dismissal of the action in its
entirety without further leave to amend. In addition,
Plaintiffs amended complaint will be dismissed if she does
not correct the deficiencies the Court has identified in this
Court further finds that Plaintiffs other pending ...