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Muric-Dorado v. LVMPD

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 9, 2018

RAMON MURIC-DORADO, Plaintiff,
v.
LVMPD et al., Defendants.

          SCREENING ORDER

         Plaintiff, who is an inmate in the custody of the Clark County Detention Center (“CCDC”), has submitted a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis, a motion for appointment of counsel, a motion for preliminary injunction, and a motion for temporary restraining order. (ECF Nos. 1, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 3, 4, 5). The court now addresses the application to proceed in forma pauperis, screens plaintiff's civil rights complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and addresses the remaining motions.

         I. IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION

         Before the court is plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 1). Based on the information regarding plaintiff's financial status, the court finds that plaintiff is not able to pay an initial installment payment toward the full filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Plaintiff will, however, be required to make monthly payments toward the full $350.00 filing fee when he has funds available.

         II. SCREENING STANDARD

         Federal 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). Pro se pleadings, however, must be liberally construed. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) the violation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         In addition to the screening requirements under § 1915A, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), a federal court must dismiss a prisoner's claim, if “the allegation of poverty is untrue, ” or if the action “is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Dismissal of a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted is provided for in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), and the court applies the same standard under § 1915 when reviewing the adequacy of a complaint or an amended complaint. 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).

         Review under Rule 12(b)(6) is essentially a ruling on a question of law. See Chappel v. Lab. Corp. of America, 232 F.3d 719, 723 (9th Cir. 2000). Dismissal for failure to state a claim is proper only if it is clear that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle him or her to relief. See Morley v. Walker, 175 F.3d 756, 759 (9th Cir. 1999). In making this determination, the court takes as true all allegations of material fact stated in the complaint, and the court construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Warshaw v. Xoma Corp., 74 F.3d 955, 957 (9th Cir. 1996). Allegations of a pro se complainant are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980). While 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.

         Additionally, a reviewing court should “begin by identifying pleadings [allegations] that, because they are no more than mere conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). “While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported with factual allegations.” Id. “When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id. “Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief . . . [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id.

         Finally, all or part of a complaint filed by a prisoner may therefore be dismissed sua sponte if the prisoner's claims lack an arguable basis either in law or in fact. This includes claims based on legal conclusions that are untenable (e.g., claims against defendants who are immune from suit or claims of infringement of a legal interest which clearly does not exist), as well as claims based on fanciful factual allegations (e.g., fantastic or delusional scenarios). See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989); see also McKeever v. Block, 932 F.2d 795, 798 (9th Cir. 1991).

         III. SCREENING OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff has filed a 337-page complaint and sues over 26 defendants and multiple Doe defendants consisting of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (“LVMPD”) employees and Clark County employees. (See ECF Nos. 1-1, 1-2, 1-3). The court dismisses the complaint in its entirety, without prejudice, with leave to amend. The court now advises plaintiff of the following requirements under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in order to facilitate the filing of a properly formatted first amended complaint. Plaintiff is advised that the failure to comply with these rules while drafting and filing his first amended complaint may result in this action being dismissed.

         First, plaintiff's first amended complaint must be short and plain. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, plaintiff's first amended complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “Each allegation must be simple, concise, and direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). “A party must state its claims or defenses in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b). “[E]ach claim founded on a separate transaction or occurrence . . . must be stated in a separate count.” Id. A 337-page complaint is not “short and plain.”

         Second, plaintiff may not raise multiple unrelated claims in a single lawsuit. Plaintiff is advised that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not permit a litigant to raise unrelated claims involving different defendants in a single action. A basic lawsuit is a single claim against a single defendant. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a) allows a plaintiff to add multiple claims to the lawsuit when those claims are against the same defendant. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a) allows a plaintiff to add multiple parties to a lawsuit where the right to relief arises out of the “same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2)(A). “However, unrelated claims that involve different defendants must be brought in separate lawsuits.” Bryant v. Romero, No. 1:12-CV-02074-DLB PC, 2013 WL 5923108, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 1, 2013) (citing George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007)). This rule is not only intended to avoid confusion that arises out of bloated lawsuits, but also to ensure that inmates pay the required filing fees for their lawsuits and to prevent inmates from circumventing the three strikes rule under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).[1]

         Lastly, plaintiff's first amended complaint must be complete in itself. If plaintiff chooses to file a first amended complaint he is advised that a first amended complaint supersedes the original complaint and, thus, the first amended complaint must be complete in itself. See Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., Inc., 896 F.2d 1542, 1546 (9th Cir. 1989) (holding that “[t]he fact that a party was named in the original complaint is irrelevant; an amended pleading supersedes the original”); see also Lacey v. Maricopa Cnty., 693 F.3d 896, 928 (9th Cir. 2012) (holding that for claims dismissed with prejudice, a plaintiff is not required to reallege such claims in a subsequent amended complaint to preserve them for appeal). Plaintiff's first amended complaint must contain all claims, defendants, and factual ...


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