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Febo v. Alameda County Sheriff's Department

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 24, 2019

RUBEN FEBO, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND; ADDRESSING PENDING MOTIONS RE: DKT. NOS. 5, 8, 11, 18

          HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, a pretrial detainee at Santa Rita Jail, filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in a separate order. His complaint (Dkt. No. 1) is now before the Court for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         A federal court must engage in a preliminary screening of any case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity, or from an officer or an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the Court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) (1), (2). Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted). “[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.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). A complaint must proffer “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated; and (2) that the violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         B. Complaint

         The complaint will be DISMISSED with leave to amend because it violates Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8 requires the pleader to set forth his averments in a simple, concise, and direct manner. Before undertaking to determine whether a complaint may have merit, the Court may insist upon compliance with its rules. See McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993) (federal rules apply to all litigants, including prisoners lacking access to counsel); see also Crawford-El v. Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 597 (1998) (encouraging “firm application” of federal rules in prisoner cases). The Court simply does not have the resources to scour the 162 pages of Plaintiff's complaint and over 200 pages of exhibits and organize the allegations contained therein in order to perform its screening duty under § 1915A. Instead, the Court must insist on Plaintiff's compliance with Rule 8, and will accordingly dismiss the complaint with leave to file an amended complaint that contains only “a short and plain statement” of Plaintiff's claims. McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177-78 (9th Cir.) (affirming Rule 8 dismissal of complaint that was “argumentative, prolix, replete with redundancy, and largely irrelevant” and providing an example of a properly-pleaded claim, which could be “read in seconds and answered in minutes”).

         To assist Plaintiff in preparing an amended complaint, the Court reviews some of the applicable procedural rules and relevant legal principles.

         Rule 8.

         Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a complaint's allegations be short and plain; simple, concise, and direct; and describe the relief sought. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a); Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 514 (2002); Galbraith v. County of Santa Clara, 307 F.3d 1119, 1125 (9th Cir. 2002). In his amended complaint, Plaintiff should list the constitutional right he has, describe what and when each defendant did or failed to do, and describe how each defendant's acts or omissions caused him injury. A long pleading that goes into unnecessary detail about events not directly related to the constitutional violations suffered by the plaintiff, such as describing injuries to third parties or assaults committed by Plaintiff or relationships between third parties; that proffers personal opinion; or that speculates as to defendants' motives, will likely result in continued delay of the review required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A or an order dismissing this action pursuant to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for violation of the Court's instructions.

         Rule ...


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