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Jefferson v. City of Fresno/Code Enforcement

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 20, 2017

BRIAN EUGENE JEFFERSON; LEAN MANAGEMENT; FIZZOLEAN ENT; and COAST 2 COAST DETAIL & POLISHING, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF FRESNO/CODE ENFORCEMENT, CENTRAL CALIFORNIA SPCA; FRESNO POLICE DEPARTMENT; COUNTY OF FRESNO/SHERIFF DEPARTMENT; POVERELLO HOUSE; and UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS THAT PLAINTIFFS' AMENDED COMPLAINT BE DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE AND WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND (DOC. 6)

          Sheila K. Oberto UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On September 1, 2016, Plaintiff Brian Eugene Jefferson (“Plaintiff” or “Jefferson”), proceeding pro se, filed this action against Defendants City of Fresno, Fresno Police Department, and “Fresno City County SPCA” (“Defendants”), along with an application to proceed in forma pauperis and a “Motion to Release.” (Docs. 1-3.) On November 4, 2016, the undersigned recommended that Plaintiff's complaint be dismissed with prejudice and without leave to amend. (Doc. 4.) On January 6, 2017, the Court adopted the undersigned's findings and recommendations, but permitted Plaintiff leave to amend to plead a claim under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132 (“Title II”). (Doc. 5.) Plaintiff's amended complaint was due to be filed by February 6, 2017. (See id.) On February 10, 2017, Plaintiffs Jefferson, “Lean Management, ” “Fizzolean Ent, ” and “Coast 2 Coast Detail & Polishing” (collectively “Plaintiffs”) filed an amended complaint against “City of Fresno/Code Enforcement, ” Central California SPCA, Fresno Police Department, “County of Fresno/Sheriff Department, ” Poverello House, and “United States District Court, Eastern District of California.”[1] (Doc. 6.) Along with their amended complaint, Plaintiffs filed a “Motion the Court to issue subpoena all complaints, Reports, Citations, Officers involved to be ordered to restrain against further undue unjust harassment against my clients.” (Doc. 7.)

         After screening Plaintiffs' amended complaint, the Court finds that despite the explicit recitation of the deficiencies of Plaintiff Jefferson's original complaint, Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate any violation of Title II of the ADA. Accordingly, the Court RECOMMENDS that Plaintiffs' amended complaint be DISMISSED with prejudice and without leave to amend.[2]

         II. PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff Jefferson alleges that he “very briefly” left three nationally-recognized highly-trained service dogs “reluctantly tied by chain to separate trees each with shade, water, all available on a private lot.” (Doc. 6 at 9.) Plaintiff Jefferson alleges further that he “return[ed] to the lot about one half hour later to see that the dogs had been moved & personal property items were being dumped into what looked like a garbage bin type truck.” (Id.)

         Plaintiffs seek “[t]otal and complete asservation [sic], Assignment of Analysis/per all financial cost & damages, ” “[a]ssignment of all rights & orders reinstated, General Guarantee, General Improvements, General Fund, General Pardon to Full amnesty, ” and “[a]ssignment of Benefits fund per reguards [sic] gov vs Plaintiff or gov agency vs Plaintiff.” (Doc. 6 at 10.)

         III. SCREENING STANDARD

         In cases where the plaintiff is seeking to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court is required to screen each case, and must dismiss the case at any time if the Court determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or the Court determines that the action or appeal is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). A complaint 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) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

         A complaint may not simply allege a wrong has been committed and demand relief. The pleading standard “demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation[;]” the complaint must contain “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570). Further, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). // Finally, pro se pleadings are liberally construed. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Balistreri, 901 F.2d at 699. Unless it is clear that no amendment can cure the defects of a complaint, a pro se plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis is entitled to notice and an opportunity to amend before dismissal. See Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987). If the Court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint are capable of being cured by amendment. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiffs Have Not Pleaded Any Viable Federal Claim.

         Federal courts have no power to consider claims for which they lack subject-matter jurisdiction. Bender v. Williamsport Area Sch. Dist., 475 U.S. 534, 541 (1986); see also Vacek v. United States Postal Serv., 447 F.3d 1248, 1250 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Subject matter jurisdiction is determined and must exist at the time the complaint is filed. See Morongo Band of Mission Indians v. Cal. State Bd. of Equalization, 858 F.2d 1376, 1380 (9th Cir. 1988) (looking to original complaint, and not amended complaint, for subject matter jurisdiction). This Court has an independent duty to consider its own subject-matter jurisdiction and must dismiss an action over which it lacks jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3); see also Cal. Diversified Promotions, Inc. v. Musick, 505 F.2d 278, 280 (9th Cir. 1974) (“It has long been held that a judge can dismiss sua sponte for lack of jurisdiction.”). The burden is on Plaintiffs to allege facts establishing the existence of jurisdiction to hear their claims.

         Plaintiffs allege the following bases for federal question jurisdiction: “ADA and Code of Federal Regulations § 36.202, ” 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Doc. 8 at 8.) At the outset, 28 U.S.C. sections 1331 (federal question) and 1332 (diversity) are purely jurisdictional statutes that do not, on their own, create a private right of action. See Montana-Dakota Util. Co. v. Northwestern Pub. Serv. Co., 341 U.S. 246, 249 (1951) (“The Judicial Code, in vesting jurisdiction in the District Courts, does not create causes of action, but only confers jurisdiction to adjudicate those arising from other sources which satisfy its limiting ...


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