United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco Division
ELLEN M. McCRACKEN, et al., Plaintiff,
WELLS FARGO BANK NA, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT [Re: ECF Nos. 1, 3,
BEELER United States Magistrate Judge
Ellen M. McCracken filed a complaint asserting
federal-question and diversity jurisdiction. See
(Compl. - ECF No. 1.) The court previously granted her request
to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 5.) She has
filed several motions. (ECF Nos. 3, 7-8.) The events
described in the Complaint seem to have happened in Oregon.
The plaintiff writes, however, that she has found "no
Remedy or Justice in Oregon" and so has filed suit here.
(Compl. - ECF No. 1 at 11.)
complaint is confusing, ambiguous, and fails to state a claim
for relief. The plaintiff generally alleges that she was
evicted from her home, which was paid hi frill, and was later
arrested for trespassing. (Id. at 2, 6.) She further
alleges that she was sentenced to 10 days in jail for
"filing a Motion in defense of [her] constitutional
rights." (Id. at 7.) While it is not entirely
clear, the plaintiff seems to allege mortgage-foreclosure
fraud, discrimination, retaliation, neglect, and denial of
procedural due process. She may also be claiming breach of
fiduciary responsibility, mail fraud, and treason, among
also plague her identification of defendants. Although the
caption of her complaint lists only Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.,
Shapiro & Sutherland LLC, and "State Officials
acting under color of law, " as defendants (id.
at 1), numerous others are mentioned within the discursive
text of the complaint. For example, the plaintiff mentions
the State of Oregon, Clackamas Comity, and court-appointed
public defenders. In a separate filing, the plaintiff lists
"parties designated & joined as defendants."
(ECF No. 11.) Among the individuals and entities named there
are: the "Social Security Administration";
"Non-Judicial Officers of the Court, & . . .
contracted Security"; and at least four judges.
(Id. at 1.) It is thus not clear who the defendants
are, and it is even less clear which causes of action are
alleged against which defendants.
reasons more fully stated below, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915
and Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court
dismisses the complaint with leave to amend.
Sua Sponte Screening - 28 U.S.C. §
court recently granted the plaintiff leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. (ECF No. 5.) A complaint filed by any
person proceeding in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a) is subject to a mandatory and sua
sponte review and dismissal by the court to the extent
that it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B); Calhoun v. Staid, 254 F.3d 845, 845
(9th Cir. 2001); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122,
1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Section 1915(e)(2)
mandates that the court reviewing an in forma
pauperis complaint make and rule on its own motion to
dismiss before directing the United States Marshal to serve
the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
4(c)(2). Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1127. The Ninth Circuit
has noted that "[t]he language of §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) parallels the language of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)." Barren v.
Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998).
Rule 12(b)(6) and § 1915(e)(2)(B), a district court must
dismiss a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. Rule 8(a)(2) requires that a complaint
include a "short and plain statement" showing the
plaintiff is entitled to relief. "To survive a motion to
dismiss, a complaint must contain 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 (2009) (internal quotation omitted); see Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The
complaint need not contain "detailed factual
allegations, " but the plaintiff must "provide the
'grounds' of his 'entitle[mem]' to relief,
" which "requires more than labels and
conclusions"; a mere "formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action" is insufficient.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
determining whether to dismiss a complaint under Rule
12(b)(6), the court is ordinarily limited to the face of the
complaint. Van Buskirk v. Cable News Network, Inc.,
284 F.3d 977, 980 (9th Cir. 2002). Factual allegations in the
complaint must be taken as true and reasonable inferences
drawn from them must be construed in favor of the plaintiff.
Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336, 337-38
(9th Cir. 1996). The court cannot assume, however, that
"the [plaintiff] can prove facts that [he or she] has
not alleged." Assoc. Gen. Contractors of Cal, Inc.
v. Cal. State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526
(1983). "Nor is the court 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).
dismissing a case for failure to state a claim, the Ninth
Circuit has "repeatedly held that a district court
should grant leave to amend even if no request to amend the
pleading was made, unless it determines that the pleading
could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other
facts." Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130 (internal
The Complaint Does Not Adequately State a Claim
plaintiff here fails to allege "sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
Maybe more to the point, she has not offered "a short
and plain statement of [her] claim[s] showing that [she] is
entitled to relief" Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). She has
nowhere clearly tied facts to the requirements of some legal
claim, or claims, to show that she has a facially viable
action; nor has she tied specific claims to specific
defendants - so that it is hard, if not impossible, to know
exactly whom the plaintiff is suing for what. The complaint
mostly operates at a high level, generally and summarily
claiming that the defendants have wronged her and reproducing
the text of various statutes. (Though, again, mostly without
clearly linking definite facts to definite ...