United States District Court, D. Nevada
JESSIE L. SIMS, Plaintiffs,
DISTRICT ATTORNEY OFFICE, et al., Defendants.
J. KOPPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 Plaintiff is proceeding in this
action pro se and has requested authority pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 to proceed in forma
pauperis. Docket No. 1. Plaintiff also submitted a
complaint. Docket No. 1-1.
In Forma Pauperis Application
has submitted the affidavit required by § 1915(a).
Docket No. 1. The Court concludes that Plaintiff has shown an
inability to prepay fees and costs or give security for them.
Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma
pauperis will be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a). The Clerk's Office is further
INSTRUCTED to file the complaint on the
docket. The Court will now review Plaintiff's complaint.
granting an application to proceed in forma
pauperis, courts additionally screen the complaint
pursuant to § 1915(e). Federal courts are given the
authority 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). When a court dismisses a complaint under
§ 1915, 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 v.
United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995).
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for
dismissal of a complaint for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. Review under Rule 12(b)(6) is
essentially a ruling on a question of law. See Chappel v.
Lab. Corp. of Am., 232 F.3d 719, 723 (9th Cir. 2000). A
properly pled complaint must provide a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Although Rule 8 does
not require detailed factual allegations, it demands
“more than labels and conclusions” or a
“formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286
(1986)). The court must accept as true all well-pled factual
allegations contained in the complaint, but the same
requirement does not apply to legal conclusions.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Mere recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory
allegations, do not suffice. Id. at 678. Secondly,
where the claims in the complaint have not crossed the line
from conceivable to plausible, the complaint should be
dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. Allegations of
a pro se complaint are held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Hebbe
v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 & n.7 (9th Cir. 2010)
(finding that liberal construction of pro se
pleadings is required after Twombly and
complaint suffers from some threshold defects. First, it does
not provide sufficient detail. Although the Court construes
complaints drafted by pro se litigants liberally,
they still must comply with the basic requirements of Rule 8.
See, e.g., Montgomery v. Las Vegas Metropolitan
Police Dept., 2014 WL 3724213, at *3 n.3 (D. Nev. July
28, 2014). To comply with Rule 8, a complaint must set forth
coherently who is being sued, for what relief, and on what
theory, with enough detail to guide discovery. See
McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 1995).
“Where claims are brought against multiple defendants,
it is important that the complaint concisely alleges which
defendants are liable for which wrongs. Similarly, where
multiple claims are brought, the complaint should make clear
which factual allegations give rise to each of the various
causes of action.” Montgomery, 2014 WL
3724213, at *3 (discussing McHenry, 84 F.3d at
1178). Here, Plaintiff appears to be bringing several claims
against several defendants, but has failed to state in a
coherent manner what those claims are, against whom
specifically each claim is being brought, and which factual
allegations specifically each claim is based.
construing the complaint broadly, the basic gist of
Plaintiff's complaint is that he was stopped for
jay-walking without probable cause and later arrested on an
improper bench warrant. See Docket No. 1-1 at 3-4.
Although not entirely clear, it appears that Plaintiff was
then charged with failing to register as a sex offender.
See Docket No. 1-2 at 1-5. Plaintiff has not alleged
the results of those charges, including whether he was
convicted. This information is required because the
Supreme Court has held that a § 1983 action cannot be
used to collaterally attack a criminal conviction unless the
conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal,
expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal authorized to make such a determination, or called
into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477,
484 (1994). Allegations that, for example, the underlying
arrest was made without probable cause would necessarily
imply the invalidity of a conviction or sentence. See,
e.g., Smithart v. Towery, 79 F.3d 951, 952 (9th Cir.
Plaintiff's complaint fails to comply with Rule 8 and
fails to show that it is not barred by Heck or
Younger. The Court will allow Plaintiff an
opportunity to amend the complaint if he believes he can cure
IT IS ORDERED that:
Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis
is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall not be required
to pay the filing fee of four hundred dollars ($400.00).
Plaintiff is permitted to maintain this action to conclusion
without the necessity of prepayment of any additional fees or
costs or the giving of a security therefor. This Order
granting leave to proceed in forma pauperis shall