United States District Court, D. Nevada
MIRANDA M. DU, District Judge.
This prisoner civil rights action comes before the Court: (a) for initial review of the amended complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (dkt. no. 16); and (b) on defendants' motion for screening (dkt. no. 17). The Court defers action on the pauper application at this time.
When a "prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity, " the court must "identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint: (1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
In considering whether the plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be granted, all material factual allegations are accepted as true for purposes of initial review and are to be construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See, e.g., Russell v. Landrieu, 621 F.2d 1037, 1039 (9th Cir. 1980). However, mere legal conclusions unsupported by any actual allegations of fact are not assumed to be true in reviewing the complaint. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). That is, bare and conclusory assertions that constitute merely formulaic recitations of the elements of a cause of action and that are devoid of further factual enhancement are not accepted as true and do not state a claim for relief. Id.
Further, the factual allegations must state a plausible claim for relief, meaning that the well-pleaded facts must permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct:
[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." [ Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007).] 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. Id., at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955. 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. Ibid. 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., at 557, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (brackets omitted).
.... [W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it has not "show[n]" - "that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.Rule Civ. Proc. 8(a)(2).
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
Allegations of a pro se complainant are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972).
As the Ninth Circuit has explained, a pleading that says too much can violate federal pleading rules just as can a pleading that says too little:
.... Rule 8 requires that a pleading "must contain" a "short and plain statement" of the grounds for jurisdiction and the claim, as well as a demand for relief sought. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Violations of this Rule warrant dismissal, but there are multiple ways that it can be violated. One well-known type of violation is when a pleading says too little - the baseline threshold of factual and legal allegations required was the central issue in the Iqbal line of cases. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). The Rule is also violated, though, when a pleading says too much. Cafasso, U.S. ex rel. v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys., Inc., 637 F.3d 1047, 1058 (9th Cir.2011) ("[W]e have never held - and we know of no authority supporting the proposition - that a pleading may be of unlimited length and opacity. Our cases instruct otherwise.") (citing cases); see also McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1179-80 (9th Cir.1996) (affirming a dismissal under Rule 8, and recognizing that "[p]rolix, confusing complaints such as the ones plaintiffs filed in this case impose unfair burdens on litigants and judges").
Knapp v. Hogan, 738 F.3d 1106, 1109 (9th Cir.2013).
Moreover, under Local Rule LSR 2-1, a plaintiff filing a civil rights action must use the Court's required civil rights complaint form. A plaintiff must follow all instructions in the complaint form. Inter alia, the instructions for the complaint form ...