United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
F. BRENNAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He filed his initial
complaint on February 8, 2016. ECF No. 1. After review of
that pleading, the court dismissed it as illegible. ECF No. 7
at 2. Plaintiff was afforded an opportunity to amend and he
has done so. ECF No. 10. That amended complaint is before the
court for screening.
Screening Requirement and Standards
courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in
which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The court must identify cognizable claims or
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b).
se plaintiff, like other litigants, must satisfy the pleading
requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Rule 8(a)(2) “requires a complaint to
include a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554, 562-563 (2007) (citing
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)). While the
complaint must comply with the “short and plaint
statement” requirements of Rule 8, its allegations must
also include the specificity required by Twombly and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim a complaint must
contain more than “naked assertions, ”
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-557. In other words,
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
a claim upon which the court can grant relief must have
facial plausibility. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
When considering whether a complaint states a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must accept the
allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
(2007), and construe the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, see Scheuer v. Rhodes,
416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
amended complaint is deficient. Crucially, the pleading does
not stand on its own and, rather than explicitly articulating
the alleged violations of plaintiff's rights, makes
repeated references to the original, illegible complaint. ECF
No. 10 at 3. It is well settled that an amended complaint
entirely supersedes the original. Lacey v. Maricopa
Cnty., 693 F.3d 896, 927 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc).
Further, this District's local rules state that every
pleading must be “complete in itself without reference
to the prior or superseded pleading, ” and “[n]o
pleading shall be deemed amended or supplemented until this
Rule has been complied with.” Local Rule 220.
Accordingly, the amended complaint must be dismissed.
will have a final opportunity to amend his complaint.
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir.
2000) (en banc) (district courts must afford pro se
litigants an opportunity to amend to correct any deficiency
in their complaints). Should plaintiff choose to file an
amended complaint, the amended complaint shall clearly set
forth the claims and allegations against each defendant. Any
amended complaint must cure the deficiencies identified above
and also adhere to the following requirements:
amended complaint must identify as a defendant only persons
who personally participated in a substantial way in depriving
him of a federal constitutional right. Johnson v.
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978) (a person
subjects another to the deprivation of a constitutional right
if he does an act, participates in another's act or omits
to perform an act he is legally required to do that causes
the alleged deprivation).
also contain a caption including the names of all defendants.
may not change the nature of this suit by alleging new,
unrelated claims. George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607
(7th Cir. 2007).
amended complaint must be written or typed so that it so that
it is complete in itself without reference to any earlier
filed complaint. E.D. Cal. L.R. 220. This is because an
amended complaint supersedes any earlier filed complaint, and
once an amended complaint is filed, the earlier filed
complaint no longer serves any function in the case. See
Forsyth v. Humana, 114 F.3d 1467, 1474 (9th Cir. 1997)
(the “‘amended complaint supersedes the original,