Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
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.

Witkin v. Blackwell

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 8, 2019

MICHAEL AARON WITKIN, Plaintiff,
v.
D. BLACKWELL, et al, Defendants.

          ORDER

          ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has requested authority pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 to proceed in forma pauperis. ECF Nos. 1, 3. This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Plaintiff has also filed a motion for clarification. ECF No. 6.

         For the reasons stated below, plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted and plaintiffs motion for clarification will be denied as moot. Plaintiff will also be given the opportunity to amend the complaint.

         I. IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION

         Plaintiff has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See ECF No. 3. Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.

         Plaintiff is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By this order, plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct the appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing fee from plaintiffs trust account and forward it to the Clerk of Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated for monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding month's income credited to plaintiffs prison trust account. These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate agency to the Clerk of Court each time the amount in plaintiffs account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).

         II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § l9l5A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § l9l5A(b)(1)-(2).

         A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams. 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis. See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.

         A complaint, or portion thereof, should only be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it appears beyond doubt that plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim or claims that would entitle him to relief. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984) (citing Conlev v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)); Palmer v. Roosevelt Lake Log Owners Ass'n. 651 F.2d 1289, 1294 (9th Cir. 1981). In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Rex Hosp. Trustees, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe the pleading in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and resolve all doubts in the plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969).

         III. APPLICABLE LAW

         A. Rule 8: Short and Plain Statement Requirement

         Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure mandates that a complaint include a "short and plain statement of the claim," Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), and that each allegation "be simple, concise, and direct." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). A complaint that is so confusing that its '"true substance, if any, is well disguised'" may be dismissed for failure to satisfy Rule 8. Hearns v. San Bernardino Police Dep't. 530 F.3d 1124, 1131 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Gillibeau v. City of Richmond. 417 F.2d 426. 431 (9th Cir. 1969)); see also McHenry v. Renne. 84 F.3d 1172. 1180 (9th Cir. 1996) ("Something labeled a complaint but written . . . prolix in evidentiary detail, yet without simplicity, conciseness and clarity as to whom plaintiffs are suing for what wrongs, fails to perform the essential functions of a complaint."); Nevijel v. N. Coast Life Ins. Co., 651 F.2d 671, 673-74 (9th Cir. 1981) (affirming a dismissal with prejudice for failure to comply with Rules 8(a) and 8(e), finding that both the original complaint and an amended complaint were "verbose, confusing and conclusory").

         B. Rule 20: Same Transaction or ...


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.