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Warfield v. California Attorney Generals Office

United States District Court, E.D. California

August 28, 2019

BRODERICK WARFIELD, Plaintiff,
v.
CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff is a civil detainee at Napa State Hospital who filed this civil rights action while detained in the Solano County Stanton Correctional Facility. Plaintiff proceeds pro se with a complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This action is referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302(c). For the following reasons, plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis is granted; however, the undersigned recommends that this action be dismissed as frivolous, without leave to amend.

         I. In Forma Pauperis Application

         Plaintiff has submitted an affidavit and prison trust account statement that make the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See ECF No. 4. Accordingly, plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.

         II. Screening of Plaintiff's Complaint

         A. Legal Standards for Screening Prisoner Civil Rights Complaints

         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. § 1915A(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. § 1915A(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).

         Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “requires only ‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). “[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require ‘detailed factual allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly at 555). To survive 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.'” Iqbal at 678 (quoting Twombly 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. The plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (citing Twombly at 556). “Where a complaint pleads facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, it ‘stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of “entitlement to relief.”'” Id. (quoting Twombly at 557).

         “A document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally construed,' and ‘a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) (internal quotation marks omitted)). See also Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e) (“Pleadings shall be so construed as to do justice.”). Additionally, a pro se litigant is entitled to notice of the deficiencies in the complaint and an opportunity to amend, unless the complaint's deficiencies cannot be cured by amendment. See Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987).

         B. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff's rambling complaint seeks wide-ranging relief against more than eighty (80) named defendants. Plaintiff alleges, inter alia, that Vallejo City Police Officer Capote would not have been killed if the Solano County Sheriff had relayed plaintiff's timely warning to the police department. ECF No. 1 at 8. Plaintiff alleges that numerous defendants “are involved in federal and state criminal illegal activities that range from tax evasion to first degree murder, capital cases and murders, second degree murder, including conspiracys [sic] to commit murder and or conspiracy to inflict harm upon federal[ly] protected petitioner by their attempt to render petitioner Warfield [] mentally incompetent and incapacitated.” Id. at 9. Plaintiff alleges that defendants should be held to answer to “other federal and state criminal charges includ[ing] rape, statutory rape, sexual groping, child molestation . . . possession of illegal firearms, and as well narcotics traffiking on vessels utilized by illegal cartels or illegal gang smuggling traffiking foreign or domestic international or nationwide or weapons of mass destruction, chemical warfare, etc.” [sic] Id. Plaintiff seeks damages and “demands” the issuance of “federal search warrants to any place of business listed in defendants” [sic] and arrest warrants on criminal charges “ranging through scope of sexual misconduct which requires mandatory castration;” plaintiff also requests that he be provided specific food items (e.g., “more dry oatmeal”). Id. at 13-4.

         C. Analysis

         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)). Plaintiff's nearly incomprehensible complaint does not comply with the standards of Rule 8.

         Moreover, the factual allegations of the complaint are fantastical. “[A] court may dismiss a claim as factually frivolous only if the facts alleged are ‘clearly baseless,' a category encompassing allegations that are ‘fanciful,' ‘fantastic,' and ‘delusional.' As those words suggest, a finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible[.]” Denton v. ...


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