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Smith v. Oreol

United States District Court, C.D. California

June 20, 2017

JACK ROBERT SMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
HARRY OREOL, Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          HONORABLE KENLY KIYA KATO United States Magistrate Judge

         I.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Jack Robert Smith (“Plaintiff”) has filed a pro se civil rights complaint (“Complaint”) alleging Defendants Harry Oreol and all staff members of Patton State Hospital (“Defendants”) violated his First, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983”). Plaintiff additionally raises state law claims including negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, medical malpractice, illegal detainment, and defamation. For the reasons discussed below, the Court dismisses the Complaint with leave to amend.

         II.

         BACKGROUND

         On June 4, 2017, Plaintiff constructively filed[1] a prose civil rights complaint alleging staff employed by Patton State Hospital violated his First, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights and committed other state law violations. ECF Docket No. ("Dkt.") 1 at 5. Plaintiff's claims are based on allegations of "physical abuse [and] ongoing mental abuse & is about [Plaintiff] being illegally detained [at Patton State Hospital]." Id. at 7. Plaintiff further alleges "[his] character has been assassinated, [he] has been lied about, physically abused, slandered." Id. at 8. He additionally claims Defendants "force [him] on medication, tell [him] to shut up & then they desperately try & convince everybody that [he] is incompetent & [is] incapable of making important life decisions." Id.

         Plaintiff alleges he has submitted "serious complaints" about his treatment, yet "[the hospital's] first response was not to address the issue and help [him] in any way." Id. According to Plaintiff, " [his] current doctor is trying to get [him] released straight out... [b]ut Harry Oreol the executive director of the hospital refuses to allow that power to be exercised." Id. at 7. Plaintiff alleges, as a result, Defendants "are robbing [him] of his constitutional rights." Id.

         Plaintiff seeks $100, 000, 000 in monetary damages, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief requiring (1) release of "all non dangerous patients that are capable of living by themselves or with the aid of responsible family or friends"; and (2) "ConRep or any outpatient treatment program be made optional and not mandatory." Id. at 6.

         III.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         In civil actions where the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, Congress requires district courts to dismiss the complaint “at any time” if the court determines the complaint, or any portion thereof: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see also Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 n.7 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).

         Even when a plaintiff is not proceeding in forma pauperis, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a court to dismiss a claim sua sponte and without notice “where the claimant cannot possibly win relief.” Omar v. Sea-Land Serv., Inc., 813 F.2d 986, 991 (9th Cir. 1987); see also Sparling v. Hoffman Constr. Co., 864 F.2d 635, 638 (9th Cir. 1988) (same). The court's authority in this regard includes sua sponte dismissal of claims against defendants who have not been served and defendants who have not yet answered or appeared. See Abagnin v. AMVAC Chemical Corp., 545 F.3d 733, 742-43 (9th Cir. 2008).

         In applying these standards, “a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Woods v. Carey, 525 F.3d 886, 889-90 (9th Cir. 2008) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). However, “a pro se litigant is not excused from knowing the most basic pleading requirements” or “from following court rules.” Am. Ass'n of Naturopathic Physicians v. Hayhurst, 227 F.3d 1104, 1107-08 (9th Cir. 2000) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see also Pliler v. Ford, 542 ...


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