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Williams v. Anderson

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 24, 2018

AHKEEM DESHAVIER WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL OFFICER ANDERSON, Defendant.

          ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF TO EITHER NOTIFY COURT OF WILLINGNESS TO PROCEED ONLY ON FALSE ARREST CLAIM OR FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT (Doc. 11) THIRTY (30) DAY DEADLINE

          SHEILA K. OBERTO.UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I.INTRODUCTION

         A. Background

         On February 6, 2018, Plaintiff Ahkeem Deshavier Williams, proceeding pro se, filed a civil complaint against Defendant “California Highway Patrol Officer Anderson.” (Doc. 1 (“Compl.”).) Plaintiff also filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, which was granted on March 19, 2018. (Docs. 6 & 7.)

         On April 17, 2018, the undersigned found that Plaintiff stated a cognizable false arrest claim on which he may proceed and may be able to correct the deficiencies in his Complaint as to his other claims. (Doc. 9.) Plaintiff was provided with the applicable legal standards so that he could determine if he would like to pursue those other claims, and was granted 21 days leave to either file an amended complaint correcting the deficiencies, or advise the Court that he is willing to proceed only on his false arrest claim. (Id.)

         On April 26, 2018, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, which is now before the Court for screening.[1] (Doc. 11.)

         B. Screening Requirement and Standard

         In cases where the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court is required to screen each case, and shall dismiss the case at any time if the Court determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or the action or appeal is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). If the Court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).

         The Court's screening of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) is governed by the following standards. A complaint may be dismissed as a matter of law for failure to state a claim for two reasons: (1) lack of a cognizable legal theory; or (2) insufficient facts under a cognizable legal theory. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). Plaintiff must allege a minimum factual and legal basis for each claim that is sufficient to give each defendant fair notice of what plaintiff's claims are and the grounds upon which they rest. See, e.g., Brazil v. U.S. Dep't of the Navy, 66 F.3d 193, 199 (9th Cir. 1995); McKeever v. Block, 932 F.2d 795, 798 (9th Cir. 1991).

         C. Pleading Requirements

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), a complaint 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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In determining whether a complaint states a claim on which relief may be granted, allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Love v. United States, 915 F.2d 1242, 1245 (9th Cir. 1989). Moreover, since plaintiff is appearing pro se, the Court must construe the allegations of the Complaint liberally and must afford plaintiff the benefit of any doubt. See Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles Police Dep't, 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988). However, “the liberal pleading standard . . . applies only to a plaintiff's factual allegations.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). “[A] liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled.” Bruns v. Nat'l Credit Union Admin., 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Ivey v. Bd. of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982)).

         Further, “a plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do . . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations omitted); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.' 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.”) (internal citations omitted)

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. ...


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