United States District Court, D. Nevada
Hoffman, Jr., United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the court on the screening of Nevada
state-prison inmate John Turner's amended complaint (ECF
No. 1, Ex. A) under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
filed his amended complaint in state court on June 13, 2017.
(Notice of Removal (ECF No. 1), Exs. A-B [“Am.
Compl.”].) The handwritten amended complaint is on what
appears to be the state court's form for civil rights
complaints under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Id.) Turner
lists Polo Towers Las Vegas, LVMPD Joe Lombardo, LVMPD
Officer #5781, and Clark County as defendants. (Id.
at 7-8.) Although the handwritten portions of the amended
complaint are mostly illegible, it appears Turner alleges
civil rights claims related to an incident resulting in his
arrest at the Polo Towers resort hotel. (Id. at
9-10.) Defendant Polo Towers Master Owners Association, Inc.
removed the case to this court on July 26, 2017. (Notice of
Removal (ECF No. 1).) Based on the removal statement and what
the court deciphered from the amended complaint, it appears
at this time that removal to federal court was proper. The
court now screens Turner's amended complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A.
courts must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). In its review, the court must
identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that
are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
for failure to state a claim under § 1915A incorporates
the standard for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Nordstrom v.
Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2014). To survive
§ 1915A review, a complaint must “contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id.
(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009)). The court liberally construes pro se civil rights
complaints and may only dismiss them “if it appears
beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in
support of his claim which would entitle him to
relief.” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S.
considering whether the complaint is sufficient to state a
claim, all allegations of material fact are taken as true and
construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Wyler Summit P'ship v. Turner Broad. Sys. Inc.,
135 F.3d 658, 661 (9th Cir. 1998) (citation omitted).
Although the standard under Rule 12(b)(6) does not require
detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff must provide more
than mere labels and conclusions. Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action is
insufficient. Id. Unless it is clear the
complaint's deficiencies could not be cured through
amendment, a pro se plaintiff should be given leave to amend
the complaint with notice regarding the complaint's
deficiencies. Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103,
1106 (9th Cir. 1995).
evaluating a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), a court also
reviews compliance with Rule 8. See Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555-63. Illegible allegations do not satisfy Rule
8(a), which requires a complaint to contain a
“short” and “plain” statement of the
claim. See, e.g., Shuster v. Oppelman, 962 F.Supp.
394, 396 (S.D.N.Y. 1997) (stating that a partially illegible
pro se complaint does not comply with Rule 8); Knutson v.
Lucky Store, Inc., No. CIV S-07-0981-LKK-EFB-P, 2008 WL
4167076, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 5, 2008) (dismissing a pro se
complaint that was mostly illegible and did not comply with
even liberally construing the amended complaint in
Turner's favor, it fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. Turner's handwriting is mostly
illegible, making it impossible for the court decipher all of
his allegations. To the extent the amended complaint is
legible, Turner appears to seek damages related to his arrest
following an incident at the Polo Towers. But given the
extreme difficulty in reading Turner's handwriting, the
court is unable to determine exactly what claims Turner is
attempting to allege against which defendants and cannot
evaluate whether Turner states claims for relief. The court
therefore will dismiss the amended complaint without
prejudice for Turner to file a second amended complaint.
Turner chooses to file a second amended complaint, it must be
clearly printed or typed. To the extent Turner is attempting
to bring a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Turner must
allege facts indicating that: (1) a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and
(2) the alleged violation was committed by a person acting
under color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487
U.S. 42, 48 (1988). Turner must ascribe particular conduct to
particular defendants. All defendants must be identified in
the caption of the pleading and all defendants must be named
in the section of the second amended complaint designated for
that purpose. Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
adopt a flexible pleading standard, Turner still must give
the defendants fair notice of his claims against them and of
his entitlement to relief.
Turner is advised that if he files a second amended
complaint, the amended complaint no longer serves any
function in this case. As such, if Turner files a second
amended complaint, it must be complete in and of itself
without reference to prior pleadings or other documents. The
court cannot refer to a prior pleading or other documents to
make Turner's second amended complaint complete.
the court will deny without prejudice all other pending
motions in the case. The court cannot determine its
jurisdiction in this matter or evaluate these motions until
it determines which claims and parties are at issue in this