United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
is proceeding in this action pro se. This matter was
accordingly referred to the undersigned by E.D. Cal.
302(c)(21). Plaintiff has, in two separate motions, requested
leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”)
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. ECF Nos. 2 and 4. The
request will be denied because the complaint, in its current
form, is frivolous. Where “plaintiff's claim
appears to be frivolous on the face of the complaint, ”
the district court may “deny plaintiff leave to file
in forma pauperis.” O'Loughlin v.
Doe, 920 F.2d 614, 617 (9th Cir. 1990). Moreover, the
applications for IPF do not in their present form demonstrate
plaintiff's inability to pay the filing fee.
must assist the court in determining whether the complaint is
frivolous or not, by drafting his complaint so that it
complies with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
(“Fed. R. Civ. P.”). The Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure are available online at
Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the complaint
must contain (1) a “short and plain statement” of
the basis for federal jurisdiction (that is, the reason the
case is filed in this court, rather than in a state court),
(2) a short and plain statement showing that plaintiff is
entitled to relief (that is, who harmed the plaintiff, and in
what way), and (3) a demand for the relief sought.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Plaintiff's claims must be set forth
simply, concisely and directly. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). Forms
are available to help pro se plaintiffs organize their
complaint in the proper way. They are available at the
Clerk's Office, 501 I Street, 4th Floor (Rm. 4-200),
Sacramento, CA 95814, or online at
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989). In reviewing a complaint under this
standard, the court will (1) accept as true all of the
factual allegations contained in the complaint, unless they
are clearly baseless or fanciful, (2) construe those
allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and
(3) resolve all doubts in the plaintiff's favor. See
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327; Erickson v. Pardus,
551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum
of Art at Pasadena, 592 F.3d 954, 960 (9th Cir. 2010),
cert. denied, 564 U.S. 1037 (2011); Hebbe v.
Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 340 (9th Cir. 2010). However, the
court need not accept as true, legal conclusions cast in the
form of factual allegations, or allegations that contradict
matters properly subject to judicial notice. See Western
Mining Council v. Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir.
1981); Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d
979, 988 (9th Cir.), as amended, 275 F.3d 1187
pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those
drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,
520 (1972). Pro se complaints are construed liberally and may
only be dismissed if it appears beyond doubt that the
plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim
which would entitle him to relief. Nordstrom v.
Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2014). A pro se
litigant is entitled to notice of the deficiencies in the
complaint and an opportunity to amend, unless the
complaint's deficiencies could not be cured by amendment.
See Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir.
complaint is almost entirely blank, with the exception of the
parties' names and addresses. Plaintiff checks the box
indicating this court has jurisdiction because a federal
question is at issue, but when prompted to list the federal
law at issue plaintiff only writes “#896; Arbitration,
et al.” ECF No. 1 at 3. Plaintiff attaches to her
complaint what appears to be an internet search result,
showing a communication purportedly from defendant.
Id. at 8.
complaint does not contain any facts showing that plaintiff
has a claim entitling him to relief. The information
plaintiff provided does not allege that defendant violated
any state law or federal right. In addition, the complaint
does not contain any facts showing that federal jurisdiction
exists, that is, that the case is properly filed in this
court, rather than in a state court.
order to survive IFP screening, the complaint must allege
facts showing that defendant engaged in some conduct that the
law prohibits (or failed to do something the law requires),
and that in doing so, defendant harmed plaintiff. In
addition, if a state law alone is at issue, plaintiff must
allege facts showing that “diversity”
jurisdiction exists, that is, that the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000, and that he is a citizen of a different
state than the defendant. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
not clear from the few factual allegations of the complaint
whether plaintiff could possibly state a claim that can be
heard in this court, and that would entitle him to relief.
Plaintiff will therefore be given an opportunity to amend his
Amending the Complaint
amended complaint, in addition to alleging facts establishing
the existence of federal jurisdiction, must contain a short
and plain statement of plaintiff's claim. The allegations
of the complaint must be set forth in sequentially numbered
paragraphs, with each paragraph number being one greater than
the one before, each paragraph having its own number, and no
paragraph number being repeated anywhere in the complaint.
Each paragraph should be limited “to a single set of
circumstances” where possible. Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b). As
noted above, forms are available to help plaintiffs organize
their complaint in the ...