United States District Court, N.D. California
SCREENING ORDER RE: FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT RE: DKT.
S. HIXSON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Plaintiff Michael Alexander filed a Complaint and an
Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, the Court granted
the application but found his complaint failed to state a
claim on which relief may be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e) and therefore directed him to file an amended
complaint. This screening order addresses Alexander's
First Amended Complaint.
11, 2019, Alexander filed his original complaint, naming at
least 29 defendants and listing 11 causes of action. Compl.,
ECF No. 1. He appeared to allege a conspiracy among the
California Department of Motor Vehicles, the San Mateo County
Superior Court, San Mateo County District Attorney's
Office, the City of Pacifica, and the Pacifica Police
Department to discriminate against him based on a physical
disability by suspending his driver's license and taking
him into custody for driving on a suspended driver's
license. Id. ¶¶ 6-131. Although he listed
11 causes of action, he referred to various federal and state
statutes and provisions of the United States Constitution
throughout his complaint without tying them to any cause of
action. Id. ¶¶ 132-222.
16, 2019, the Court issued a screening order advising
Alexander that dismissal would be appropriate because he
failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Order, ECF No. 6. Specifically, the Court found
Alexander's complaint did not comply with Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 8 because he did not set forth a short and
plain statement of his claims showing entitlement to relief.
Id. at 3. Although he listed 11 causes of action, he
referred generally to “Defendants” throughout and
did not clearly connect any of the facts alleged in the
complaint to any of the named individual defendants.
Id. The Court also noted that he named at least 29
defendants but referred to numerous other entities and
individuals throughout and appeared to bring his allegations
against them as well. Id. Alexander also named
entities that were likely entitled to immunity as to certain
claims, including the “California State
Government” and the “San Mateo County Superior
Court” and its employees. Id. at 4-5. Finally,
the Court noted that many of Alexander's allegations
stemmed from events that occurred in 2013, which could pose a
problem for him in terms of his claims being time-barred by
the statute of limitations. Id. at 5-6. The Court
directed Alexander to file an amended complaint that
addressed these issues.
filed his amended complaint on August 19, 2019. First Am.
Compl., ECF No. 8. He now names two groups of defendants: (1)
California Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”)
and K. Cox, D.S.M. 1, a Driver's Safety employee for the
DMV; and (2) “San Mateo County Superior Court en banc,
et al” (“Superior Court”), including
“the Clerk of the Court, Court Reporters, and all other
such agents, attendants, servants, or employees that State
Court defendant exercises direct control over whether by
statutory law, local rule, or otherwise, ” and Ron
Mortenson, the ADA Coordinator for San Mateo County Superior
Court. Id. ¶¶ 7-12.
alleges he is a disabled individual within the meaning of 42
U.S.C. § 12182(b)(1)(A)(iv). Id. ¶ 6. His
allegations relate to his suspended driver's license in
2013, a 2018 traffic stop by Pacifica police and subsequent
court case, and his request for a citizen's arrest of the
entities and individuals involved.
Suspended Driver's License
January 9, 2013, Alexander went to the local DVM office
located in Clovis, California to renew his vehicle
registration, but was informed that his driver's license
had been suspended. Id. ¶ 9. When he visited
the Driver's Safety Division and inquired as to the
reason for his license suspension, the clerk “stated
they received a complaint but was vague and refused to
provide any details.” Id. ¶ 10. Alexander
alleges he requested an administrative hearing on three
separate occasions in writing but K. Cox “refused on
his own behalf and/or on the behalf of the DMV.”
Id. ¶ 11. Rather than respond to his request
for a hearing, Alexander alleges K. Cox “sent via U.S.
Mail four different forms over a three week period of time,
DS 2326 titled ‘Driver Medical Evaluation. The
documents were not signed by anyone. Each of the four Driver
Medical Evaluation Forms was the same but the ‘reasons
or basis' for the inquiry changed each time.”
Id. ¶ 12. Alexander further alleges that each
form demanded access to his medical records, to which he
objected. Id. ¶ 13. In response,
“Defendants K. Cox and DMV retaliated against plaintiff
because he has opposed said acts and practices and alleged
that said acts were unlawful because plaintiff had made a
complaint, testified, assisted and participated in an
investigation, sought related administrative proceedings, and
requested a hearing.” Id. ¶ 14.
states he does not know the basis for the suspension as he
“has not had a DUI, drug, medical, major injury
accidents, or other driving related event warranting such
action.” Id. ¶ 20. He filed three letters
with the DMV, dated January 10, 2013 through February 5,
2013, informing the DMV that it would be held liable for
“such illegal action.” Id. ¶ 15. K.
Cox acknowledged receipt of the three letters, but no action
has taken place as a result. Id. ¶ 18.
Alexander states he did not receive the suspension order
until K. Cox mailed it to him on February 13, 2013, but that
order required him to act by December 23, 2011. Id.
¶ 20. Although he requested all information relating to
his suspension, “DMV has refused all requests and
provided no disclosure as to the basis for their
post-suspension action.” Id. ¶ 21.
Traffic Stop and Subsequent Superior Court Case
next allegations in Alexander's complaint begin on July
11, 2018. On that date, he “was stopped by Pacifica who
asked plaintiff if he knew his license was suspended.”
Id. ¶ 44. When Alexander responded it was
“good” and not “legally suspended, ”
the police officer checked his computer and told him that his
driver's license was suspended because of
“disability.” Id. When he asked the
officer “what about plaintiff's disability, ”
the officer replied, “it does not specify, . . .
‘it just says disability.'” Id.
¶ 45. Alexander alleges this “establishes that K.
Cox and DMV have targeted plaintiff and labeled him and that
target label is plaintiff's
‘disability.'” Id. The officer
issued a “Notice to Appear” citation “and
threatened tow [sic] plaintiff's vehicle and take
additional property because of the actions of K. Cox and DMV
giving rise to new and separate causes of action.”
next alleges he “has made numerous requests for
reasonable accommodations under the ADA with Ron Mortenson
the San Mateo County Court ADA Coordinator.”
Id. ¶ 18. However, he does not provide any
background information as to his requests or how they relate
to the other allegations in his complaint. The Court notes
that Alexander's amended complaint contains two sets of
paragraph numbers that overlap, with the first set (numbered
¶¶ 1-61) on pages 1-16 and the second (numbered
¶¶ 18-160) on pages 16-41. As his allegations
regarding Ron Mortenson begin at ¶ 18 in the second set,
it is possible that some background information was omitted.
The Court also notes that Alexander later alleges Judge Nancy
L. Fineman “made comments to the affect [sic] that
plaintiff was not capable of acting as counsel” and a
public defender should be appointed and that he “has
been subjected to 13 different judges, and 7 different deputy
district attorney's [sic], on a single-count misdemeanor
vehicle code violation.” Id. ¶¶ 29,
37. Thus, it appears that Alexander's second set of
allegations refer to a criminal case at the Superior Court
related to his 2018 citation for driving with a suspended
states he “emailed Ron Mortenson at 10:50 am on dated
[sic] December 12, 2018, and made many requests for
reasonable accommodations and explained the general issues
and nature of his disability” and sent a follow up
email that afternoon at 2:46 p.m. Id. ¶¶
20-21. However, “Ron Mortenson has not responded to any
these questions, defined any of the process' [sic] to be
used, and acted in a discriminatory manner on behalf of
defendant State Court who hammers plaintiff for the constant
inconsistencies.” Id. ¶ 22. As the
Superior Court has two locations, Alexander also requested
that his appearances be at a specific branch because it is
closer and he “does not physically function well early
in the morning.” Id. ¶ 24. He alleges Ron
Mortenson moved his court appearance to the further location
over his objection. Id. ¶ 26. Alexander
contends “the State Court is trying to remove plaintiff
as counsel in propria persona and deny him access to a public
accommodation, goods, services, and due process on the basis
of his disability and used such to carry out that
function.” Id. ¶ 27. He alleges Ron
Mortenson and the Superior Court have caused him
“physical pain and suffering with lasting nerve damage
in his feet as a direct result of their refusal to schedule
proceedings in SSF and at a time that accommodate [sic]
plaintiff's disability.” Id. ¶ 32.
Alexander alleges he subpoenaed the DMV, but it refused to
comply. Id. ¶¶ 43-44. When he moved for a
contempt citation to compel DMV to comply, “the court
clerk said the ‘Judge' rejected it.”
Id. ¶ 44. Alexander then attempted to file
“a written pleading form contempt citation using all
the elements from the civil contempt judicial council form,
” but “it was denied by State Court based on a
review of the defective computer system whereas the court
clerk no longer keep [sic] paper court files, every document
is scanned into a computer file, so they claim.”
Id. When he reviewed the “computer court file
record, ” he discovered these documents did not exist.
Id. ¶ 45. Alexander alleges the state court
proceedings constitute a malicious prosecution and that the
multiple delays he has faced are “intentional,
controlled by State Court defendant, and designed and
calculated to deny this ...