United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Michalla Alfaro Brittany, is proceeding in this action pro
se. This matter was referred to the undersigned in accordance
with Local Rule 302(c)(21) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Pending before the court is plaintiff's complaint and
motion to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.) Therein, plaintiff seeks
an “[a]nswer [to] a question about” her children.
court is required to screen complaints brought by parties
proceeding in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2); see also Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122,
1129 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Here, plaintiff's
application to proceed in forma pauperis and complaint are
deficient. Accordingly, for the reasons stated below, the
undersigned will recommend that plaintiff's application
to proceed in forma pauperis be denied and plaintiff's
complaint be dismissed without leave to amend.
Plaintiff's Application to Proceed In Forma
in forma pauperis application is incomplete. In this regard,
plaintiff's in forma pauperis application states that in
the past twelve months plaintiff received money from several
sources. Plaintiff, however, fails to state the amounts
received and if she expects to continue to receive those
funds. (ECF No. 2 at 1.) Moreover, even a determination that
a plaintiff qualifies financially for in forma pauperis
status does not complete the inquiry required by the statute.
district court may deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis at
the outset if it appears from the face of the proposed
complaint that the action is frivolous or without
merit.'” Minetti v. Port of Seattle, 152
F.3d 1113, 1115 (9th Cir. 1998) (quoting Tripati v. First
Nat. Bank & Trust, 821 F.2d 1368, 1370 (9th Cir.
1987)); see also McGee v. Department of Child Support
Services, 584 Fed.Appx. 638 (9th Cir. 2014) (“the
district court did not abuse its discretion by denying
McGee's request to proceed IFP because it appears from
the face of the amended complaint that McGee's action is
frivolous or without merit”); Smart v. Heinze,
347 F.2d 114, 116 (9th Cir. 1965) (“It is the duty of
the District Court to examine any application for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis to determine whether the proposed
proceeding has merit and if it appears that the proceeding is
without merit, the court is bound to deny a motion seeking
leave to proceed in forma pauperis.”).
court must dismiss an in forma pauperis case at any time if
the allegation of poverty is found to be untrue or if it is
determined that the action is frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against an immune defendant. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). A complaint is legally frivolous
when it lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact.
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989);
Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir.
1984). Under this standard, a court must dismiss a complaint
as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless
legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly
baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327; 28 U.S.C. §
state a claim on which relief may be granted, the plaintiff
must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). In considering
whether a complaint states a cognizable claim, the court
accepts as true the material allegations in the complaint and
construes the allegations in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S.
69, 73 (1984); Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Trustees of Rex
Hosp., 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976); Love v. United
States, 915 F.2d 1242, 1245 (9th Cir. 1989). Pro se
pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those
drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,
520 (1972). However, the court need not accept as true
conclusory allegations, unreasonable inferences, or
unwarranted deductions of fact. Western Mining Council v.
Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981).
minimum requirements for a civil complaint in federal court
are as follows:
A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief . . . shall
contain (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds upon
which the court's jurisdiction depends . . ., (2) a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for judgment for the
relief the pleader seeks.
Civ. P. 8(a).
complaint fails to contain a short and plain statement of the
grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends and
fails to state a claim showing that plaintiff is entitled to
relief. The basic federal jurisdiction statutes are 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 and 1332, which confer “federal
question” and “diversity” jurisdiction,
respectively. Federal jurisdiction may also be conferred by
federal statutes regulating specific subject matter.
“[T]he existence of federal jurisdiction depends solely
on the plaintiff's claims for relief and not on
anticipated defenses to those claims.” ARCO Envtl.
Remediation, LLC v. Dep't of Health & Envtl.
Quality, 213 F.3d 1108, 1113 (9th Cir. 2000).
courts have diversity jurisdiction only over “all civil
actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, ”
and the action is between: “(1) citizens of different
States; (2) citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a
foreign state; (3) citizens of different States and in which
citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional
parties; and (4) a foreign state . . . as plaintiff and
citizens of a State or of different States.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332. “To demonstrate citizenship for diversity
purposes a party must (a) be a citizen of the United States,
and (b) be domiciled in a state of the United States.”
Lew v. Moss, 797 F.2d 747, 749 (9th Cir. 1986).
“Diversity jurisdiction ...