United States District Court, E.D. California
DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Akika Parker, 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 complains about
“unfair treatment from Chase bank.” (Compl. (ECF
No. 1) at 8.)
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,
plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis will
be denied without prejudice and plaintiff's complaint
will be dismissed with 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 last twelve months plaintiff received money from
business, profession, or other self-employment, as well as
from other sources. Plaintiff, however, failed to answer how
much money was received and if the receipt of that money is
expected to continue. (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.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a).
plaintiff's complaint fails to contain a short and plain
statement of a claim showing that plaintiff is entitled to
relief. In this regard, plaintiff's complaint alleges
that “Chase froze her account with a sequence number of
over 260000000.00, ” and that the “account has
grown to over 6 zillion, [and] the bank is trying to cover it
up!” (Id.) It is entirely unclear, however,
when these events occurred, where they occurred, who was
involved, and what claim plaintiff is asserting against the
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure adopt a flexible
pleading policy, a complaint must give the defendant fair
notice of the plaintiff's claims and must allege facts
that state the elements of each claim plainly and succinctly.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Jones v. Community Redev.
Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). “A
pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or
‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of cause of
action will not do.' Nor does a complaint suffice if it
tenders ‘naked assertions' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancements.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S.662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.