United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER (1) GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA
PAUPERIS AND (2) DIRECTING SERVICE (ECF NO. 2)
Janis L. Sammartino United States District Judge.
before the Court are Plaintiff Emilio Reyes's Complaint
for a Vaughn Index, (ECF No. 1), and Motion to
Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP Mot.”),
(ECF No. 2). The Court first addresses Plaintiff's IFP
Motion and then evaluates Plaintiff's Complaint.
parties instituting any civil action, suit, or proceeding in
a district court of the United States, except an application
for writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee of $400.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). An action may proceed
despite a plaintiff's failure to prepay the entire fee
only if he is granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See
Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th Cir. 1999).
A federal court may authorize the commencement of an action
without the prepayment of fees if the party submits an
affidavit, including a statement of assets, showing that she
is unable to pay the required filing fee. 28 U.S.C. §
present case, Plaintiff has submitted an affidavit indicating
that his sole source of income comes from his employment at
Premier Dealer Services and totals $2, 500.00 per month. (IFP
Mot. 2.) However, Plaintiff has two nieces who allegedly rely
on him for support, (id. at 3), and Plaintiff's
expenses total approximately $2, 380.00 per month,
(id. at 3-5). Given the foregoing, the Court finds
that Plaintiff's application demonstrates he is unable to
pay the requisite fees and costs. See Adkins v. E.I.
DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339 (1948)
(explaining that a plaintiff need not “be absolutely
destitute to enjoy the benefit of the statute”).
Accordingly, the Court GRANTS
Plaintiff's IFP Motion.
PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) &
Court must screen every civil action brought pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a) and dismiss any case it finds
“frivolous or malicious, ” “fails to state
a claim on which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B);
see also Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th
Cir. 2001) (“[T]he provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners.”);
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir.
2000) (en banc) (noting that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)
“not only permits but requires a district court to
dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a
amended by the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) mandates
that the court reviewing an action filed pursuant to the IFP
provisions of § 1915 make and rule on its own motion to
dismiss before directing the Marshal to effect service
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(c)(3).
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3); Navarette v.
Pioneer Med. Ctr., No. 12-cv-0629-WQH (DHB), 2013 WL
139925, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 2013).
complaints 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) (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555
(2007)). “[D]etermining whether a complaint states a
plausible claim is context-specific, requiring the reviewing
court to draw on its experience and common sense.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663-64 (citing Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556).
there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should
assume their veracity, and then determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement of relief.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. “[W]hen determining
whether a complaint states a claim, a court must accept as
true all allegations of material fact and must construe those
facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.”
Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000);
see also Andrews v. King, 393 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th
Cir. 2005); Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193,
1194 (9th Cir. 1998) (“The language of §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) parallels the language of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).”).
factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions
are not.” Hoagland v. Astrue, No.
1:12-cv-00973-SMS, 2012 WL 2521753, at *3 (E.D. Cal. June 28,
2012) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Courts cannot
accept legal conclusions set forth in a complaint if the
plaintiff has not supported her contentions with facts.
Id. (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679).
present case, Plaintiff requested certain documents under the
Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), nine of
which “have been partially redacted.” (Compl. 3.)
Plaintiff now seeks a Vaughn index in order to
“permit the plaintiff to test the bases for the
government's exemption claims.” (Id.)
Plaintiff further specifies that “[t]he precise
documents to which plaintiff seeks access are contained in an
online request dated September 7, 2016 to the Indian Affairs
FOIA Office.” (Id. at 2.) This provides
Defendant with sufficient information regarding
Plaintiff's claim, and is therefore sufficient to survive
the Court's sua sponte screening.