United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
order filed January 3, 2017, the undersigned screened the
original complaint and dismissed it with leave to amend. ECF
No. 21. Plaintiff then filed a motion for leave to exceed the
twenty-five page limit for his first amended complaint, which
included a proposed amended complaint. ECF Nos. 25, 26. He
sought leave to exceed the page limit based on a need to
address “each level of review of [his] appeals, ”
with “lengthy verbiage.” ECF No. 25 at 2.
was advised that the twenty-five page limit applied only to
complaints that were filed using the e-filing system. ECF No.
27 at 1. He was further warned that “while there is no
page limit outside of e-filing, a complaint exceeding
twenty-five pages would be highly disfavored because it would
be unlikely to meet the short, plain statement
requirement” under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8.
proposed amended complaint was ninety-two pages long. ECF No.
26. The court denied the and struck the proposed amended
complaint because it did not meet the short, plain statement
standard and the circumstances he alleged did not merit an
exception to Rule 8. ECF No. 27. Plaintiff was given thirty
days to file an amended complaint that complied with Rule 8.
has now filed a first amended complaint. ECF No. 30. However,
the amended complaint is 121 pages, approximately thirty
pages longer than the proposed amended complaint which was
dismissed for its excessive length. Plaintiff has completely
disregarded the court's directive that he comply with
Rule 8. The first amended complaint will therefore be
dismissed and plaintiff will be given one last opportunity to
file an amended complaint that complies with Rule 8.
Furthermore, the court will limit plaintiff's
amended complaint to twenty-five pages. Exceeding
the page limit set by this order will result in a
recommendation that this action be dismissed for failure to
comply with a court order.
is reminded that his claims must be set forth in short and
plain terms, simply, concisely, and directly. He must
eliminate from his pleading all preambles, introductions,
argument, speeches, explanations, stories, griping, vouching,
evidence, attempts to negate possible defenses, summaries,
and the like or face dismissal of the complaint. See
McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1180 (9th Cir. 1996)
(affirming dismissal of § 1983 complaint for violation
of Rule 8 after warning); Crawford-El v. Britton,
523 U.S. 574, 597 (1998) (reiterating that “firm
application of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is fully
warranted” in prisoner cases (citations and internal
quotation marks omitted)). The court (and defendants) should
be able to read and understand plaintiff's pleading
within minutes. See McHenry, 84 F.3d at 1177
(pointing out that the form complaint for negligence
previously provided in the Federal Rules “can be read
in seconds and answered in minutes”). A long, rambling
pleading, including many defendants with unexplained,
tenuous, or implausible connection to the alleged
constitutional injury or joining a series of unrelated claims
against many defendants very likely will result in delaying
the review required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and an order
dismissing plaintiff's action pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 41 for violation of these instructions.
plaintiff is advised that he may join multiple claims if they
are all against a single defendant, Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a), and
joinder of defendants is only permitted if “any right
to relief is asserted against them . . . with respect to or
arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and any question of law or fact
common to all defendants will arise in the action, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 20 (emphasis added). In other words, joining
more than one claim is only proper when it is against one
defendant, and joining multiple defendants in one complaint
is only proper when the action is based on the same facts.
Additionally, in drafting an amended complaint, plaintiff
should not walk the court through the facts and circumstances
of every grievance. Instead, plaintiff should tell the court
whether he has properly exhausted his claims, and if not,
briefly explain why. For example, if plaintiff
claims that the prison refused to accept his appeals, he
should plainly state “they refused to accept my
appeals.” This type of statement would be appropriate
under the short, plain statement standard that is applicable
here. He should not explain every attempt he made to have his
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's first amended complaint (ECF No. 30) is
dismissed with leave to amend.
2. Within thirty days from the date of service of this order,
plaintiff may file an amended complaint that complies with
this order and with the Rule 8 standard of a short, plain
statement. The amended complaint must be no longer
than twenty-five pages, must bear the docket number
assigned this case, and must be labeled “Second Amended
Complaint.” Plaintiff must file an original and two
copies of the amended complaint. An amended complaint that
does not comply with this order will result in a
recommendation for dismissal of this action.
3. The Clerk of the Court is directed to send plaintiff a
copy of the prisoner complaint form ...