Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wei v. Department of Physics at Stanford University

United States District Court, N.D. California

February 5, 2018

LIQIANG WEI, Plaintiff,


          NATHANAEL M. COUSINS United States Magistrate Judge

         Pro se plaintiff Liqiang Wei filed a complaint and application to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP) in the Central District of Illinois on January 2, 2018, and the case was transferred to this Court on January 12, 2018. ECF 1, 2, 3. The complaint alleges that the Department of Physics at Stanford University discriminatorily failed to hire Wei based on his age, national origin, and race. Upon review, the Court finds the IFP application establishes that Wei cannot afford to pay the court filing fees, and so GRANTS Wei's request to proceed IFP. Screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court FINDS that the complaint fails to state a claim for relief.

         Not all named parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), so the Court instructs the clerk of court to reassign this case to a district judge.[1] See Williams v. King, 875 F.3d 500, 503-04 (9th Cir. 2017). The Court RECOMMENDS that Wei's claims under the ADEA and Title VII be DISMISSED without leave to amend, but also without prejudice to re-filing these claims in the future, and RECOMMENDS that Wei's claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 be DISMISSED with leave to amend.


         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, a district court may authorize the commencement of a civil action in forma pauperis if it is satisfied that the would-be plaintiff cannot pay the filing fees necessary to pursue the action. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Wei's application establishes that, between the reported income and debts, Wei is unable to afford the filing fees. The motion to proceed IFP is therefore GRANTED.

         II. SCREENING UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)

         A. Standard

         Notwithstanding payment of any filing fee or portion thereof, a complaint filed by any person proceeding in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) is subject to a mandatory and sua sponte review and dismissal by the Court if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). A complaint is frivolous for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) if it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Similarly, a complaint fails to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) unless it includes sufficient facts that, if accepted as true, state a claim “that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted); see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         B. Facts

         In his complaint, Wei asserts that he is a world class physicist and that Stanford University's physics department discriminated against him by declining to hire him. The complaint claims that Wei is “a number one theoretical physicist in the world at the present time, ” who has “made the essential and major contributions in quantum physics and quantum mechanics, and [has] the greatest and decisive achievements in quantum many-body theory and quantum statistics mechanics that are paramount to all the application fields of modern physics.” ECF 1-2 (Compl. Attachment 2 ¶ 1). Wei has been applying for a professor position in the Department of Physics at Stanford University “for a long time, ” but assertedly has been “mistreated with a denial” every time. Id. ¶ 2.

         Giving rise to the current action, Wei most recently applied to teach at Stanford on October 16, 2017, and amended his application on October 19, 2017. ECF 1-4 (Compl. Attachment 4). Although he does not specify how or when his application was denied, the complaint states that Wei and Stanford last corresponded on October 19, 2017, and seemingly on that basis Wei asserts that “they must have denied my job application for this year too as has been stated, and have also failed to promote my job qualification as has been seen.” Compl. Attachment 2 ¶ 4. Wei contends that “[b]ecause of [his] academic status . . ., it is obvious that [he] must have been offered the job[.]” Id. ¶ 2. Because he is “extremely overqualified, ” and because Stanford is unable to give “any good reasons” for denying his application, Wei asserts “it is simply that if [he] were a white race or of the related origin or younger age, then [he] could be offered the job immediately in all [his] applications!” Id. ¶ 4.

         Specifically, Wei alleges (1) age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 621; (2) national origin and race discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e; and (3) race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. ECF 1 (Compl. at 2). Wei seeks damages and injunctive relief, and asks the Court to order Stanford to accept Wei's application and to promote him. Id. at 4; Compl. Attachment 2 at 3.

         C. Analysis

         1. Wei Does Not Name a ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.