United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IFP REQUEST AND STAYING CASE AND
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO DISMISS (ECF NO. 1,
KENDALL J. NEWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
who proceeds in this action without counsel, has requested
leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. (ECF No. 2.) Plaintiff's application in support
of his request to proceed in forma pauperis makes the showing
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Accordingly, the
undersigned grants the request to proceed in forma pauperis.
However, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the Court is
directed to dismiss the case at any time if it determines the
action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against
an immune defendant.
reasons discussed below, the Court concludes that
Plaintiff's Complaint fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted and is otherwise frivolous, and that
further leave to amend would be futile. Thus, the Court
recommends that the action be dismissed with prejudice.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint
contain: “(1) a short and plain statement of the
grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . .; (2) a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief sought,
which may include relief in the alternative or different
types of relief.”
considering whether a complaint states a claim upon which
relief can be granted, the court must accept the well-pled
factual allegations as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007), and construe the complaint in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff, see Papasan v.
Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 283 (1986). However, to avoid
dismissal for failure to state a claim, a complaint must
contain more than “naked assertions, ”
“labels and conclusions, ” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57
(2007). In other words, “[t]hreadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Furthermore, a claim upon which the
court can grant relief must be facially plausible.
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 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). The court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous
where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory
or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless.
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. Finally, Rule 8 also bars
so-called ‘shotgun pleadings'--where a complaint
alleges all defendants were responsible for all conduct
(without facts linking each defendant to each claim) --as
this pleading style “interferes with the court's
ability to administer justice.” Destfino v.
Kennedy, 2008 WL 4810770, at *3 (E.D.Cal. Nov. 3, 2008).
pleadings are liberally construed. See Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Dep't., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
1988). A pro se plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis is
ordinarily entitled to notice and an opportunity to amend
before dismissal. 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); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d
1221, 1230 (9th Cir. 1984). Nevertheless, leave to amend need
not be granted when further amendment would be futile.
See Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336,
339 (9th Cir. 1996).
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that the State of California, a
number of Solano County and Vacaville City entities, the
Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Homeland
Security, a number of private cell service providers and
multiple private individuals have conspired against him by,
among other things, blocking his internet access, directing
malware attacks against his online accounts, and monitoring
his internet activity. (ECF No. 1 at pp. 2, 12-14.) Plaintiff
lists a number of federal statutes as the apparent basis for
his claims, including multiple sections of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C § 12101, 12112, 12203,
12182), “Terrorism” (citing to 42 U.S.C. §
2333(a)), “Torture” (42 U.S.C. § 2340A),
Economic Espionage (42 U.S.C. § 1831), Theft of Trade
Secrets (42 U.S.C. 1831), Wire and Electronic Communication
(42 U.S.C. § 2520), 42 U.S.C. § 1983--for First,
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth
Amendment violations, as well as two employment-
discrimination sections (42 U.S.C. 2000a-3 and -5), four
criminal-code sections (18 U.S.C. § 2511 and § 242,
Cal. Penal Code. § 530.5 and 530.6), and the entirety of
Titles 11 (Bankruptcy) and 17 (Copyright). (Id. at
p. 10.) Plaintiff seeks a number of injunctions against
various Defendants, an unspecified amount of compensatory and
punitive damages, and other miscellaneous
relief. (Id. at pp. 17-18.)
explained to Plaintiff in 2015, simply listing a series of
statutes without listing the facts supporting each claim does
not comport with federal pleading standards. (See
2:15-cv-1398, ECF No. 4 at p. 3: “In the complaint
plaintiff then alleges multiple causes of action[.] Those
causes of action, however, are asserted without any reference
to any facts. For example, the complaint does not identify
the actions of any defendant, any dates or any locations.
Moreover, the complaint does not even identify which causes
of action are asserted against which defendants.”)
Here, Plaintiff's Complaint again fails to give fair
notice to any of the listed Defendants as to what claims are
asserted against them. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Jones v.
Community Redev. Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir.
1984). Instead, Plaintiff's complaint offers mere labels,
which is insufficient to state a claim. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678 (“A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of cause of action will not do.' Nor does a
complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertions'
devoid of ‘further factual enhancements.'”)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
in order for a claim to proceed in federal court, the facts
presented must be plausible on their face. Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570. Claims must also be legally cognizable, not
frivolous in nature. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327;
see also Allen v. Gold Country Cascino, 464 F.3d
1044, 1048 (9th Cir. 2006) (no private right of action exists
for alleged violations of criminal statutes); Iegorova v.
Intercom Sec., 2019 WL 6332162, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Sept.
17, 2019) (recommending dismissal of complaint where
plaintiff alleged factually-baseless causes of action under
numerous statutes, including portions of the U.S. criminal
code). Plaintiff's Complaint fails the above standards,
and so should be dismissed.
federal courts liberally grant pro se plaintiffs leave to
amend. However, because the record here shows that Plaintiff
would be unable to cure the above-mentioned deficiencies
through further amendment of the Complaint, the Court
concludes that granting leave to amend would be futile.
See Cahill, 80 F.3d at 339. The Court therefore
recommends dismissal with prejudice.