United States District Court, D. Nevada
FOLEY, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Application to
Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 1), filed on
August 28, 2017. Also before the Court is Plaintiff's
Motion to Amend (ECF No. 5), filed on September 28, 2017.
September 28, 2017, Plaintiff filed her motion to consolidate
cases (ECF No. 4) and on October 25, 2017, the Court denied
her motion to consolidate as premature because the Court had
not yet screened her complaint. On September 20, 2017,
Plaintiff filed her first amended complaint (ECF No. 3)
without leave of the Court and on September 28, 2017, she
filed her motion to amend complaint (ECF No. 5). The Court
grants Plaintiff's motion to amend complaint and will
screen her amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C §
1915(a). Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and 42 U.S.C. § 1985 alleging that the Las
Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (“LVMPD”)
and individuals who appear to be officers employed by LVMPD
violated her civil rights. Plaintiff appears to allege that
several officers used excessive force against her.
Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
filed this instant action and attached a financial affidavit
to her application and complaint as required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a). Reviewing Plaintiff's financial affidavit
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the Court finds that
Plaintiff is unable to pre-pay the filing fee. As a result,
Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis
in federal court is granted.
Screening the Complaint
granting a request to proceed in forma pauperis, a
court must additionally screen a complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e). Specifically, 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/third party plaintiff who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). A complaint, or
portion thereof, should be dismissed for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted “if it appears
beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts
in support of his claims that would entitle him to
relief.” Buckey v. Los Angeles, 968 F.2d 791,
794 (9th Cir. 1992). A complaint may be dismissed as
frivolous if it is premised on a nonexistent legal interest
or delusional factual scenario. Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989). Moreover, “a finding of
factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts alleged
rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible,
whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts
available to contradict them.” Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). When a 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 v. United States, 70
F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995).
Court shall liberally construe a complaint by a pro se
litigant. Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1137
(9th Cir. 2007). This is especially important for civil
rights complaints. Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d
1258, 1261 (9th Cir. 1992). However, a liberal construction
may not be used to supply an essential element of the claim
absent from the complaint. Bruns v. Nat'l Credit
Union Admin., 12 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997)
(quoting Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268
(9th Cir. 1982)).
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.
Laboratory Corp. of America, 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. Twombley, 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (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, 129 S.Ct. at 1950. Mere
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported only
by conclusory allegations, do not suffice. Id. at
1949. Secondly, where the claims in the complaint have not
crossed the line from plausible to conceivable, the complaint
should be dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
complaint has several deficiencies. It is difficult to
follow, disjointed, and is, at times, incoherent. The Court
cannot refer to prior pleadings to make her amended complaint
complete. Local Rule 15-1 requires that an amended complaint
be complete in itself without reference to any prior
pleading. Plaintiff names Defendants from other cases and
references allegations against individuals that are not named
complaint does not provide a short and plain statement of the
facts as required by Rule 8. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
8(a)(2). Dismissal of a complaint for failure to satisfy Rule
8(a) is proper if the factual elements supporting a cause of
action are scattered throughout the complaint and not
organized into a short and plain statement. Sparling v.
Hoffman Constr. Co., 864 F.2d 635, 640 (9th Cir. 1988).
See also Nw. Nat'l Ins. Co. v. Baltes, 15 F.3d
660, 662 (7th Cir. 1994) (“It is not the Court's
job to laboriously search the Complaint for factual
assertions that could, in theory, be used to support one
legal claim or another. District judges are not
archaeologists. They need not excavate masses of papers in
search of revealing tidbits”); Jennings v.
Emry, 910 F.2d 1434, 1436 (7th Cir. 1990) (“[A]
complaint must be presented ‘with clarity sufficient to
avoid requiring a district court or opposing party to forever
sift through its pages in search of plaintiff's
1983 creates a path for the private enforcement of
substantive rights created by the Constitution and Federal
Statutes. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94
(1989). Section 1983 suits against local governments alleging
constitutional rights violations by government officials
cannot rely solely on respondeat superior liability. See
Whitaker v. Garcetti, 486 F.3d 572, 581 (9th Cir. 2007);
see also Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436
U.S. 658, 691 (1978). A plaintiff can bring a § 1983
action against a local government entity if the plaintiff can
show that the entity had an established policy or custom that
caused employees who implemented the policy or custom to
violate the constitutional rights of others. Monell,
436 U.S. at 690-92; see also, Van Ort v. Estate of
Stanewich, 92 F.3d 831 (9th Cir. 1996). However, absent
such a policy or custom, a local government entity cannot be
held liable solely because one of its employees commits an
unlawful wrong against another. Id. at 691. Here,
Plaintiff appears to allege claims against LVMPD as it
relates to officers' alleged use of excessive force.
However, Plaintiff does not demonstrate what policy or custom
LVPMD implemented which was the driving force behind the
officers alleged violations of Plaintiff's constitutional
rights. Furthermore, Plaintiff includes unclear allegations
regarding several officers. An individual defendant is not
liable on a civil rights claim unless the facts establish
that defendant's personal involvement in some
constitutional deprivation or a causal connection between the
defendant's wrongful conduct and the alleged
constitutional deprivation. Van Snowden v. Cazares,
2015 WL 12859714, at *8 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 21, 2015) (citing
Hansen v. Black, 885 F.2d 642, 646 (9th Cir. 1989)).
foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed
with leave to amend to correct the noted deficiencies. If
Plaintiff elects to proceed in this action by filing an
amended complaint, she is informed that the court cannot
refer to a prior pleading in order to make her amended
complaint complete pursuant to Local Rule 15-1. This is
because, as a general rule, an amended complaint supersedes
the original complaint. See Valdez-Lopez v.
Chertoff, 656 F.3d 851, 857 (9th Cir. 2011); see
Loux v. Rhay, 375 F.2d 55, 57 (9th Cir.1967). Once
Plaintiff files an amended complaint, the original pleading
no longer serves ...