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Van Den Heuvel v. Placerville Self Storage

United States District Court, E.D. California

December 10, 2019




         On November 14, 2019, the undersigned issued an order to show cause why this action should not be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) based on plaintiff's failure to comply with the court's previous order and failure to prosecute this case. (ECF No. 8.) Plaintiff was given 14 days from the date of the order to file a first amended complaint in compliance with the court's October 3, 2019 order. (Id.; see also ECF No. 6.)

         On December 2, 2019, plaintiff's first amended complaint was filed. Plaintiff's first amended complaint names the following as defendants: Placerville Self Storage (located in Placerville, California), Steven Rawson (located in Ammon, Idaho), Robert C. Bowman (located in Sacramento, California), Kassie Cardullo (located in Placerville, California), Vern Pierce (location unknown), Judge Kenneth J. Melikian (Superior Court of the County of El Dorado), and Judge Warren C. Strancener (Superior Court of the County of El Dorado).

         As the basis for jurisdiction, plaintiff claims he is suing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) (“Bivens”). (ECF No. 9 at 3.)

         Although difficult to understand, it appears plaintiff complains about property he owned that was wrongfully placed in Placerville Self Storage by Steven Rawson, a landlord. (ECF No. 9 at 4.) Plaintiff claims “massive injuries” and cites what appears to be another litigation matter, Heckart v. Self Storage, Inc., as well as California state causes of action for violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 1750), negligent misrepresentations, and civil conspiracies. (Id.) According to the complaint, an unnamed party, Rich Tyler, unlawfully gained access to plaintiff's property located in the storage unit. (Id. (citing a number of California Insurance Code sections).)

         In support of his Bivens claim(s), plaintiff alleges as follows. “The officials District Attorneys are accountable by the government civil rights violations” and a judge should be held accountable for “conclusive decisions to move forward, and intently [prosecute], and falsely hold accountable inmate #132049 John Mark Van den Heuvel, A.K.A. artisan Jean Marc Van den Heuvel to face the harsh ‘FELONY' charges that would never be removed off the police records, as of today, November 25, 2019 the felony still is records.” (Id. at 5.) It appears from plaintiff's attachments that these allegations stem from an incident between plaintiff and three other individuals. (See id. at 15-25 (detailed police reports summarizing a May 10, 2017 incident involving plaintiff).)

         Plaintiff also complains about an unlawful detainer matter involving unnamed party Rodger Musso, an individual who apparently owned plaintiff's prior residence. (Id. at 5.)

         Regarding Judge Kenneth J. Melikian, plaintiff alleges that he and other judges have exercised “abusive powers, onto the unsuspecting handicapped persons placed before them in their mutual El Dorado County Courts.” (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff then elaborates on his Bivens claim, alleging that “the judicial counsels of the United States, shall enforce the necessary, and appropriate conducts of discipline to a judge that intently fails to sustain ethical in the proceedings of the court.” (Id. at 7.) It appears plaintiff takes issues with how Judge Melikian and other judges handled state court criminal matters against plaintiff. (Id.)

         Regarding Judge Warren C. Strancener, plaintiff alleges that he “practiced an unethicals (#2) unlawful Detainers to a stroke patient, using the rental units for the recoveries of the stroke incident, no one ever requests to have placed on them.” (Id. at 7.)

         In sum, plaintiff appears to be complaining about three separate incidents: (1) the taking of his personal property from a storage unit; (2) a criminal matter from May 2017; and (3) an unlawful detainer action.

         As summarized previously in this court's October 3, 2019 order, the allegations in the first amended complaint are again insufficient to identify any conceivable federal claim. (ECF No. 6.) Plaintiff's conclusory references to Bivens, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 do not establish that any of his claims are federal claims.

         Further, to the extent plaintiff attempts to assert diversity of citizenship as the basis for this court's jurisdiction, he cannot establish that this suit arises under diversity of citizenship given that plaintiff pleads that he and at least one defendant are citizens of California. (See ECF No. 6 at 2-3 (citing Newman-Green, Inc. v. Alfonzo-Larrain, 490 U.S. 826, 829 (1989).)

         As with plaintiff's original complaint, the court finds the allegations in plaintiff's first amended complaint so vague and conclusory that it is unable to determine whether the current action is frivolous or fails to state a claim for relief. The court has determined that the first amended complaint does not contain a short and plain statement as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although the Federal Rules adopt a flexible pleading policy, a complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of the claim plainly and succinctly. Jones v. Community Redev. Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). Plaintiff must allege with at least some degree of particularity overt acts which each named defendant engaged in that support plaintiff's claim. Id. Because plaintiff has failed to comply with the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), the first amended complaint must be dismissed. The court will, however, grant leave to file a second amended complaint.

         If plaintiff chooses to amend the complaint again, plaintiff must set forth the jurisdictional grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). Further, plaintiff must demonstrate how the conduct complained of has resulted in a deprivation of ...

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