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. Local
Rule 302(c)(21). Plaintiff has filed a request for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”), and has
submitted the affidavit required by that statute.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The motion to
proceed IFP will therefore be granted.
federal IFP statute requires federal courts to dismiss a case
if the action is legally “frivolous or 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).
Plaintiff must assist the court in determining whether or not
the complaint is frivolous, by drafting the 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
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; 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).
court applies the same rules of construction in determining
whether the complaint states a claim on which relief can be
granted. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)
(court must accept the allegations as true); Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974) (court must construe
the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff).
Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than
those drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520 (1972). However, the court need not accept as true
conclusory allegations, unreasonable inferences, or
unwarranted deductions of fact. Western Mining Council v.
Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981). A formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action does not
suffice to state a claim. Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007); Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
state a claim on which relief may be granted, the plaintiff
must allege enough facts “to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678. 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. 1987), superseded on other grounds by statute as
stated in Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122 (9th
Cir.2000)) (en banc).
brings suit against the Secretary of Health and Human
Services for “violation of AB 88, civil rights,
Medicare standards of care, 5150 rules, etc.” ECF No. 1
at 4. Under “statement of claim” plaintiff writes
“defendant reimbursed Medicare claims proved fraudulent
but refused to reimburse clinically necessary
treatment.” Id. at 5. Plaintiff seeks $500,
000, 000 in “whistleblower awards.” Id.
at 6. The remainder of plaintiff's complaint is
incoherent. Plaintiff's complaint contains 246 pages of
documents - including written narrative, photocopied papers,
e-mail correspondence, and handwritten notes - without any
indication of how these documents relate to plaintiff's
complaint does not contain a “short and plain”
statement setting forth the basis for federal jurisdiction,
plaintiff's entitlement to relief, or the relief that is
sought, even though those things are required by Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(1)-(3). The exact nature of what happened to plaintiff
is obscured by the complaint, which describes apparently
disconnected events and circumstances that do not bear any
clear connection to the only defendant in this case. The
court cannot tell from examining the complaint what legal
wrong was done to plaintiff, by whom and when, or how any
alleged harm is connected to the relief plaintiff seeks.
AMENDING THE COMPLAINT
plaintiff chooses to amend the complaint, the amended
complaint must allege facts establishing the existence of
federal jurisdiction. In addition, it must contain a short
and plain statement of plaintiff's claims. 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. Rule 10(b). As noted above, forms are available to
help plaintiffs organize their ...