United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER (DOCKET NOS. 5, 6)
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. 5. On June 4, 2018, Plaintiff filed
a complaint. Docket No. 1-1. On July 16, 2018, Plaintiff
filed an amended complaint. Docket No. 6.
In Forma Pauperis Application
has submitted the affidavit required by § 1915(a).
Docket No. 5. 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 Court will now review Plaintiff's amended
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 Fed.R.Civ.P.
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. Id. 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
attempts to state two claims under the Fair Housing Act
(“FHA”). See generally Docket No. 6.
First, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants discriminated
against her because of her race. Id. at 24-26.
Second, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants retaliated against
her by serving her an eviction notice. Id. at 28-30.
Plaintiff further attempts to state a claim for violations of
her rights under the First and Fourth Amendments of the
United States Constitution. Id. at 30-31.
preliminary matter, Plaintiff's FHA claim for racial
discrimination does not comply with Rule 8. 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 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102491, at *5
(discussing McHenry, 84 F.3d at 1178).
Plaintiff's amended complaint is convoluted and includes
inconsistent statements about whom she is suing and on what
grounds. See generally Docket No. 6. For example,
the basis of Plaintiff's discrimination claim is that
other tenants called her an “evil American, ” yet
she does not name the alleged speaker(s) as a Defendant(s).
Id. at 1, 6-7, 10, 14-15. Moreover, Plaintiff spends
a majority of the amended complaint describing her
interactions with her neighbors and their parties, yet does
not name these individuals as Defendants, but indicates that
they “may be added as DOES.” Id. at 2,
10-13, 15, 18-19. The Court therefore finds that
Plaintiff's FHA claim for racial discrimination fails
because it does not comply with Rule 8.
Plaintiff properly alleged which Defendants are liable for
which wrongs, the alleged facts do not state a claim under
the FHA. The FHA makes it unlawful “[t]o discriminate
against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of
sale or rental of a dwelling . . . because of race, color,
religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.” 42
U.S.C. § 3604(b). The FHA also reaches claims of
discrimination arising after property is acquired. See
The Comm. Concerning Cmty. Improvement v. City of
Modesto, 583 F.3d 690, 713-15 (9th Cir. 2009) (finding
that, based on statutory language and regulations, “the
FHA reaches post-acquisition discrimination”); see
also 24 C.F.R. § 100.65(b). Guided by
interpretations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
the FHA protects individuals from discrimination that creates
a hostile or abusive housing environment. 24 C.F.R. §
100.600(a)(2); see also Hall v. Meadowood Ltd.
P'ship, 7 Fed.Appx. 687, 689 (9th Cir. 2001)
(“Guided by interpretations of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 . . . [w]e determine whether an
environment is sufficiently hostile or abusive.”).
a claim for a hostile housing environment based on racial
discrimination under the FHA, a plaintiff must show, similar
to Title VII claims, that: (1) because of her race she was
(2) subject to unwelcome conduct that was (3) sufficiently
pervasive or severe to deprive her of the right to enjoy her
home. See Hicks v. Makaha Valley Plantation Homeowners
Ass'n, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85101, *31 (D. Haw.
June 30, 2015) (collecting cases); see also DiCenso v.
Cisneros, 96 F.3d 1004, 1008 (7th Cir. 1996)
(recognizing a claim for a hostile housing environment as a
result of sex discrimination by applying Title VII standards)
(referencing Honce v. Vigil, 1 F.3d 1085 (10th Cir.
1993)); Jackson v. Park Place Condos Ass'n,
Inc., 619 Fed.Appx. 699, 703 (10th Cir. 2015) (finding
that a hostile housing environment claim for racial
discrimination exists when the harassing conduct is severe or
pervasive and based on the plaintiff's
Court determines if an environment is hostile by
“‘looking at all the circumstances, including the
frequency of the discriminatory conduct; its severity;
whether it is physically threatening, or humiliating or a
mere offensive utterance; and whether it unreasonably
interferes with work performance' or, as here, a
tenant's living conditions.” Ha ...