United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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.
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.
IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION
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
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).
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. §
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.
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).
Rule 8: Short and Plain Statement Requirement
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
Rule 20: Same Transaction or ...