United States District Court, D. Nevada
CLARENCE A. BRANCH, 3RD, Plaintiffs,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DIRECTOR OF COMMERCE, et al., Defendants.
APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS (EFC NO. 1)
AND COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 1-1)
Ferenbach United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court are pro se Plaintiff Clarence A. Branch,
3rd's application to proceed in forma pauperis
(ECF No. 1) and complaint (ECF No. 1-1). For the reasons
stated below, Branch's in forma pauperis
application is granted. The Court, however, orders that
Branch's complaint be dismissed without prejudice.
filings present two questions: (1) whether Branch may proceed
in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and
(2) whether Branch's complaint states a plausible claim
for relief. Each is discussed below.
Whether Branch May Proceed In Forma
's application to proceed in forma pauperis is
granted. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), a plaintiff may
bring a civil action “without prepayment of fees or
security thereof” if the plaintiff submits a financial
affidavit that demonstrates the plaintiff “is unable to
pay such fees or give security therefor.” According to
Branch's affidavit, he makes $125 per month and there are
five dependents who rely on him for support. (ECF No. 1).
Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma
pauperis is, therefore, granted.
Whether Branch's Complaint States a Plausible
the Court grants Branch's application to proceed in
forma pauperis, it must review Branch's complaint to
determine whether the complaint is frivolous, malicious, or
fails to state a plausible claim. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) 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.”
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)
(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 547, (2007)).
pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to
less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
(1976)). 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. Cato v.
United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995).
complaint is difficult to follow. It is styled as a
third-party complaint, though Branch does not claim to be a
third-party plaintiff. (ECF No. 1-1 at 1). This makes it
impossible to determine what role the parties play in this
case. Based on the party descriptions in the complaint, it
appears that Branch and all defendants reside in Washington,
D.C., which makes it doubtful that this Court would have
personal jurisdiction over the defendants or could be
considered a proper venue. See Morrill v. Scott Fin.
Corp., 873 F.3d 1136, 1141-42 (9th Cir. 2017); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1391(b). In addition, the complaint does not contain a
short and plain statement showing that Branch is entitled to
relief. Asked to “[d]escribe the events that gave rise
to the plaintiff's complaint, the nature of the claims
asserted, and the relief sought, ” Branch gives the
following list: “simple assault 7/22/12, competency
examination 05/29/2014, release order 7/1/2013, St.
Elizabeth's, nolle prosequi 09/09/2014, mandate true and
certified copy 05/04/2015, mandate “Clayton Act”
06/09/2016, mandate 04/25/2017.” (Id. at 4).
Branch also states the relief sought is “tolling
case.” (Id.). However, Branch's civil
cover sheet states this is an antitrust case with a brief
description merely stating “Big Tucker.” (ECF No.
1-2). Attached to the complaint are documents from several
other court cases, but Branch does not explain how they are
related to this case. (ECF No. 1-1 at 6-43).
Court cannot determine what Branch is alleging in this case.
Branch fails to allege coherent facts or articulate a claim
or claims against defendants. These deficiencies may be cured
through amendment. Therefore, Branch's complaint is
dismissed without prejudice. Branch must file an amended
complaint explaining how the Court has jurisdiction over the
defendants, the circumstances of the case, the relief Branch
seeks from the Court, and the law upon which he relies in
bringing the case in this Court. The amended complaint must
also must follow the directions in Fed.R.Civ.P. 5.2(d)
regarding what confidential information must be redacted, as
Branch's original complaint contains confidential
information. The amended complaint must be “complete in
itself, including exhibits, without reference to the
superseded pleading.” LR 15-1.
IT IS ORDERED that Branch's application to proceed in
forma pauperis (ECF No. 1) is granted.
FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall file the
Complaint (ECF No. 1-1). Given the personal identifiers