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Brown v. Sandoval

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 15, 2017

BRIAN SANDOVAL, et al., Defendant.



         Before the Court is Plaintiff Jackson Brown's Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 3). Brown was previously granted leave to proceed with this action In Forma Pauperis. (ECF No. 2). Under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2), the Court screens Brown's Amended Complaint to determine whether it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim for which relief may be granted. For the reasons stated below, Brown's Amended Complaint should be dismissed with prejudice.

         I. Background

         At 8:54 p.m. on the night of April 10, 2016, Brown walked southbound on Paradise Road from Elm Drive. ECF No. 3 at 4, 13, 41. According to Brown, he looked both ways before proceeding westbound across Paradise Road. Id. at 41. Brown, however, never made it across. Id. When Brown arrived at the median, two Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers (“Metro”) driving northbound stopped him. Id. at 4. Brown alleges that the Metro Officers proceeded to place him under arrest, instructing him to stand by the front of their police van and place his hands on the hood. Id. at 41.

         As Metro was placing Brown under arrest, Brown alleges that he asked the Officers if he was “committing a felony.” ECF No. 3 at 41. The Metro Officers, according to Brown, responded that he was “jaywalking” and that “you can get hit by a car.” Id. The Officers then proceeded to issue a traffic ticket to Brown for jaywalking. Id. at 4. Brown objected and asked the Officers not to give him a ticket. Id. at 41. Brown alleges that he stated to the Metro Officers that he “was clearly standing in a ‘safe area' of the median and [he] did not feel that [he] was in any danger of getting injured.” Id. Brown further explained that he did not know he could not cross there. Id. When Brown initially refused to sign the traffic ticket, he alleges that the Metro Officers threatened to arrest him and take him to jail, not to a judge. Id. at 4. Brown alleges that this was a clear threat to his liberty and his life and that this was a threat to kidnap him and hold him for ransom. Id. So, he signed the ticket, but he claims under duress. Id. at 41.

         Brown asserts that the Metro Officers wasted his valuable time and used his name for financial and possibly political gain in violation of Nevada law. Id. at 23. In particular, Brown asserts that there “was no contract between [him] and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department which obligated [him] to obey the statutes.” Id.; ECF No. 3 at 5 (“Police routinely issue tickets and arrest the people, knowing the citizens are exempt from government rules, regulations, codes and statutes because citizens are not factually employees of the organization to whom those ‘laws' apply”). Brown alleges that he told both Officers that a verbal warning was sufficient and that they should allow him to walk away, but they “both conspired to deprive him of his rights and sanction him without cause.” Id.

         At bottom, Brown claims that Metro Officers illegally and unlawfully issued him a ticket for jaywalking. Brown brings the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983[1]against Governor Brian Sandoval, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, Attorney General Adam Laxalt, District Attorney Steven Wolfson, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, Traffic Division Referee David Doto, Captain Christopher Tomaino, Attorney Ruth Miller, Detective McNabb, and Officer Mitchell for “depriving [him] of [his] right to redress of the government, equal protection under the law, as well as federal laws which include but are not limited to Title 18 Sections: 241, 242, 373, 654, 872, 1344, 1348.” ECF No. 3 at 3.

         Brown is seeking, inter alia, (1) “ratification and enforcement of the contract which was lawfully established so [he] may collect the debt owed and have the agents of government which are guilty of crimes against the people, impeached and sanctioned” (2) “that all guilty parties be impeached and sanctioned for crimes against the People and [I] am willing to sign the necessary paperwork to expedite such arrests as the 14th Amendment states that government must provide equal protection under the law” (3) “that City, County and State government Officers cease and desist all fraudulent actions against me or my person” and (4) “treble damages as punitive and again treble damages under the R.I.C.O. Act” Id. at 5.

         II. Discussion

         A. Legal Standard

         The Court must review Brown's Amended Complaint to determine whether the Amended Complaint is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a plausible claim. See 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2); see also Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995). A complaint is frivolous within the meaning of §1915(e) if it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact, Cato, 70 F.3d at 1106, or is premised on a nonexistent legal interest or delusional factual scenario, Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989). See also Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992) (A “finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible”).

         Put differently, an action is frivolous where “the court determines that the claim is: (1) of little or no weight, value, or importance; (2) not worthy of serious attention; or (3) trivial.” See Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1082 (3rd Cir. 1995); see also Fratus v. DeLand, 49 F.3d 673, 674 (10th Cir. 1995) (holding that dismissal is appropriate for a claim based on an indisputably meritless legal theory); Boruski v. Stewart, 381 F.Supp. 529, 533 (S.D.N.Y. 1974) (stating that a dismissal under § 1915[e] is appropriate when, inter alia, the allegations of the complaint are “beyond credulity”). Nevertheless, if the Court dismisses a complaint under §1915(e), the plaintiff should be given leave to amend the complaint with directions as to curing its deficiencies, unless it is clear from the face of the complaint that the deficiencies could not be cured by amendment. See Cato, 70 F.3d at 1106.

         The Court's review of Brown's Amended Complaint is guided by two legal standards: Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and the Supreme Court's decision in Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) also provides that a complaint “that states a claim for relief must contain … a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, states that to satisfy Rule 8's requirements a complaint's allegations must cross “the line from conceivable to plausible.” 556 U.S. 662, 680 (2009). The Court's decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007) and Iqbal prescribe a two-step procedure to determine whether a complaint's allegations cross that line.

         First, the Court must identify “the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 680. Factual allegations are not entitled to the assumption of truth if they are “merely consistent with liability, ” id. at 678, or ÔÇťamount to nothing more than a ...

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