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.

Auten v. County of Calaveras

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 9, 2019

DONALD AUTEN, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF CALAVERAS, Defendant.

          ORDER

          ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff is proceeding in this action pro se. This matter was accordingly referred to the undersigned by E.D. Cal. 302(c)(21). Plaintiff has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. ECF No. 2. Plaintiff has submitted the affidavit required by that statute. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The motion to proceed IFP will therefore be granted.

         I. SCREENING

         The federal IFP statute requires federal courts to dismiss a case if the action is legally “frivolous or malicious, ” fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Plaintiff must assist the court in determining whether or not the complaint is frivolous, by drafting the complaint so that it complies with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Fed. R. Civ. P.”). The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are available online at www.uscourts.gov/rules-policies/current-rules-practice-procedure/federal-rules-civil-procedure.

         Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the complaint must contain (1) a “short and plain statement” of the basis for federal jurisdiction (that is, the reason the case is filed in this court, rather than in a state court), (2) a short and plain statement showing that plaintiff is entitled to relief (that is, who harmed the plaintiff, and in what way), and (3) a demand for the relief sought. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Plaintiff's claims must be set forth simply, concisely and directly. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). Forms are available to help pro se plaintiffs organize their complaint in the proper way. They are available at the Clerk's Office, 501 I Street, 4th Floor (Rm. 4-200), Sacramento, CA 95814, or online at www.uscourts.gov/forms/pro-se-forms.

         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). In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the court will (1) accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint, unless they are clearly baseless or fanciful, (2) construe those allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and (3) resolve all doubts in the plaintiff's favor. See Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327; Von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, 592 F.3d 954, 960 (9th Cir. 2010), cert. denied, 564 U.S. 1037 (2011).

         The court applies the same rules of construction in determining whether the complaint states a claim on which relief can be granted. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (court must accept the allegations as true); Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974) (court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff). Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However, the court need not accept as true conclusory allegations, unreasonable inferences, or unwarranted deductions of fact. Western Mining Council v. Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981). A formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action does not suffice to state a claim. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         To state a claim on which relief may be granted, the plaintiff must allege enough facts “to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. 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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A pro se litigant is entitled to notice of the deficiencies in the complaint and an opportunity to amend, unless the complaint's deficiencies could not be cured by amendment. See Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987), superseded on other grounds by statute as stated in Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122 (9th Cir.2000)) (en banc).

         A. The Complaint

         Plaintiff brings suit against the County of Calaveras. ECF No. 1 at 2. As the basis for jurisdiction, plaintiff invokes the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112-12117 by checking a box on the form complaint. Id. at 3. Plaintiff checked boxes indicating that the discriminatory conduct of which he complains includes termination of employment, failure to accommodate his disability, and retaliation. Id. at 4. He checked a box indicating the discrimination is ongoing, but when asked to provide dates of incidences, he indicated only several dates in 2016. Id. The entire description of facts provided by plaintiff is as follows:

Suffered industrial head/brain injury which caused additional cognitive/phycological disabilities. Wrongful termination based on lack of accomidations [sic] and interactive process with requests for proper medical treatment recommendations. Placed on workers compensation with medical leave per three independent California Qualified Medical Examinors [sic] evaluations, discovery, and recommendations with treatment plan prior to re-evaluations never received. Discrimination based on respondent and their representation failed to honor said treatment to engage in a proper interactive process. Retaliation based on being terminated while on leave from medical doctor. Discrimination, retaliation and harrassment [sic] based on cognitive/phycological inabilities while being denied treatment for the chance to receive reasonable accomidations [sic].

Id. at 5. Plaintiff was issued a Right to Sue letter from the Equal Opportunity Commission on June 13, 2019. Id. at 5, 7. As damages, plaintiff seeks payment of his base salary from June 16, 2015 to the present, comp time, vacation, and sick leave accrued prior to June 8, 2014, Early Industrial CALPERS retirement granted to be calculated to full retirement age of 65, and punitive damages. Id. at 6.

         B. Analysis

         The complaint does not contain a “short and plain” statement setting forth the basis for plaintiff's entitlement to relief, or the relief that is sought, even though those things are required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1)-(3). The exact nature of what happened to plaintiff is simply not articulated by the complaint, which largely states legal conclusions. Plaintiff does not explain the facts of what happened to him, such as who discriminated against him, the form the discrimination took, or the dates when the discriminatory acts occurred. The court ...


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.