United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with an action brought
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Bivens v. Six Unknown
Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S.
388 (1971), and the Federal Tort Claim Act (FTCA). In
addition to filing a complaint (ECF No. 1), he has also filed
an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.2).
Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
court has reviewed the second of plaintiff's applications
(ECF No. 2) and finds that it makes the showing required by
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) and (2). Accordingly, by separate
order, the court directs the agency having custody of
plaintiff to collect and forward the appropriate monthly
payments for the filing fee as set forth in 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(1) and (2).
court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous
or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
“is [legally] frivolous where it lacks an arguable
basis either 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).
“[A] judge may dismiss [in forma pauperis] claims which
are based on indisputably meritless legal theories or whose
factual contentions are clearly baseless.” Jackson
v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989) (citation
and internal quotations omitted), superseded by statute
on other grounds as stated in Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d
1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000); Neitzke, 490 U.S. at
327. The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim,
however inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only ‘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, 555 (2007) (alteration in
original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957)). However, in order to survive dismissal for failure
to state a claim, a complaint must contain more than “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action;” it must contain factual allegations sufficient
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Id. (citations omitted). “[T]he
pleading must contain something more . . . than . . . a
statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a
legally cognizable right of action.” Id.
(alteration in original) (quoting 5 Charles Alan Wright &
Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216
(3d ed. 2004)).
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, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp., 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.” Id. (citing
Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 556). In reviewing a
complaint under this standard, the court must accept as true
the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital
Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hosp. Trs., 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976),
as well as construe the pleading in the light most favorable
to the plaintiff and resolve all doubts in the
plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395
U.S. 411, 421 (1969).
brings this action on theories of: (1) false arrest; (2)
false imprisonment and unlawful confinement; and (3) breach
of contract. ECF No. 1 at 5. He names no fewer than 206
separate defendants,  among whom are Barack Obama, Eric Holder,
Jerry Brown, and eleven federal judges - including the
undersigned. Id. at 6-9. The complaint - which is
divided into several “attachments” - runs to 145
preliminary matter, the court must consider whether the
undersigned should be disqualified from these proceedings. A
judge should disqualify herself from proceedings to which she
is a party. 28 U.S.C. 455(b)(5)(i). The Ninth Circuit has,
however, upheld district judges' decisions not to
disqualify themselves “unless there is a legitimate
basis for suing the judge.” Glick v. Edwards,
803 F.3d 505, 508 (9th Cir. 2015) (citing Andersen v.
Roszkowski, 681 F.Supp. 1284, 1289 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 22,
1988)). Plaintiff alleges that the undersigned unlawfully
detained plaintiff on March 11, 2013 despite his objections
that the court had no jurisdiction over him and that the
warrant for his arrest was defective. ECF No. 1 at 56. He
also claims that the undersigned violated his rights by
“failing to intercede and prevent” unspecified
constitutional and civil rights violations. Id.
Judges are absolutely immune “from damage liability for
acts performed in their official capacities.” See
Ashelman v. Pope, 793 F.2d 1072, 1075 (9th Cir. 1986)
(en banc). Additionally, section 1983 “contemplates
judicial immunity from suit for injunctive relief for acts
taken in a judicial capacity.” Wolfe v.
Strankman, 392 F.3d 358, 366 (9th Cir. 2004). The
allegations against the undersigned involve actions taken in
judicial capacity and, accordingly, there is no legitimate
basis on which plaintiff's claims might proceed.
Accordingly, the court finds that disqualification is
to the substance of plaintiff's complaint, the court
finds it deficient. Plaintiff alleges that, on the morning of
March 9, 2013, he was preparing to drop a friend off at the
train station. ECF No. 1 at 10. He was standing near his van
when Deputy McGuire of the Sacramento County Sheriff's
Department approached and asked about plaintiff's
ownership of the vehicle. Id. at 10-11. Plaintiff
claims that McGuire asked him numerous questions about the
van, his clothing, where he was from, his immigration status,
and what language (other than English) he spoke. Id.
at 11. After answering McGuire's questions and providing
him with documentation showing ownership and insurance for
the vehicle, plaintiff was handcuffed and placed in the back
seat of a patrol car. Id. Shortly thereafter, more
deputies arrived at the scene along with three United States
postal inspectors. Id. at 12. The items in
plaintiff's van were seized and the inspectors counted
out more than fifty-thousand dollars in cash which plaintiff
contends were his life savings. Id. Plaintiff was
taken to the Sacramento County Jail. Id.
complaint then makes several chronological leaps.
Id. at 13. The following claims are presented in the
order stated by the complaint. Plaintiff claims that, on
January 17, 2015, United States District Judge John Mendez
denied his request for recovery and production of his van.
Id. He claims that, on October 14, 2014 and also
before Judge Mendez, his objections to his detention, the
court's jurisdiction, and adequacy of the arrest warrant
were denied. Id. These same objections were raised
and denied on: (1) October 17 2014, during arraignment before
United States Magistrate Judge Carolyn Delaney; (2) ...