United States District Court, D. Nevada
HOFFMAN, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the court is plaintiffs Jody Williams and Trafficking
and Prostitution Services' application for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 1), filed on
September 7, 2018.
IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION
Jody Williams has submitted the declaration required by 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a) showing an inability to prepay fees and
costs or give security for them. Accordingly, Williams'
request to proceed in forma pauperis will be
granting a request to proceed in forma pauperis, a
court must screen the complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2). In screening the complaint, a court must identify
cognizable claims and dismiss claims that are frivolous,
malicious, file to state a claim on which relief may be
granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
Dismissal for failure to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2) incorporates the standard for failure to state a
claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir.
2012). To survive § 1915 review, a complaint must
“contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). The court liberally construes pro se 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.”
Nordstrom v. Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
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).
plaintiff Jody Williams brings a class action complaint on
behalf of herself and the members of Sex Workers Anonymous,
challenging the constitutionality of the Allow States and
Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017. (Compl.
(ECF No. 1-3) at 9-10.) Plaintiff names the United States of
America, Facebook Inc., Googleplex, Amazon, Jesse Maley, and
Sex Workers Outreach Project as defendants in the complaint
and seeks declaratory and injunctive relief. (Id. at
2-3, 10-13). Plaintiff also alleges due process violations,
deceptive trade practices, conspiracy to interfere with civil
rights, and an assortment of state law claims.
reviewed the complaint, the court finds that plaintiff's
complaint fails to demonstrate that the United States has
waived its sovereign immunity. The United States is immune
from suit, unless it consents to be sued. See Quarty v.
United States, 170 F.3d 961, 972 (9th Cir. 199) (quoting
United States v. Sherwood, 312 U.S. 584, 586-87
(1941).) Any such waiver of sovereign immunity must be
unequivocal. See Consejo de Desarrollo Economico de
Mexicali, A.C. v. United States, 482 F.3d 1157, 1173
(9th Cir. 2007) (citing United States v. Nordic Village,
Inc., 503 U.S. 30, 33 (1992). Plaintiff's complaint
fails to state whether the United States has made an
unequivocal waiver of its sovereign immunity.
plaintiff cannot proceed with this class action as a pro se
litigant. Pro se litigants have the right to plead and
conduct their own cases personally. 28 U.S.C. § 1654.
However, pro se litigants do not have authority to represent
anyone other than themselves. See Simon v. Hartford Life,
Inc., 546 F.3d 661, 664 (9th Cir. 2008) (stating that a
non-attorney plaintiff may not pursue a claim on behalf of
others in a representative capacity). Given that Plaintiff is
a pro se litigant and does not have the authority to
represent the other plaintiffs, this case cannot proceed as a
this case cannot proceed as to plaintiff as an individual,
because plaintiff does not specify which factual allegations
pertain to her as an individual and which allegations pertain
to the other plaintiffs. Thus, even liberally construing
plaintiff's complaint, the court is unable to determine
which allegations apply only to plaintiff. The court
therefore will dismiss the complaint without prejudice for
plaintiff to file a new action solely on her own behalf or to
secure an attorney to represent the class.
plaintiff chooses to file a second amended complaint on her
own behalf, plaintiff is advised that all defendants must be
identified in the caption of the pleading and that she must
specify which claims she is alleging against which
defendants. Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
adopt a flexible pleading policy, plaintiff must give
defendants fair notice of each of the claims plaintiff is
alleging against each defendant. Specifically, plaintiff must
allege facts showing how each named defendant is involved and
the approximate dates of their involvement.
is further advised that in drafting her second amended
complaint, all that is required is that she state, in short
and plain terms, a claim showing an entitlement to relief.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Although plaintiff must
give defendants fair notice of the claims alleged against
them, intricately detailed and lengthy factual allegations
are not necessary. Plaintiff is further advised that the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure rely on discovery and
summary judgment, rather than the pleadings, to flesh out the
disputed facts of the case. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
26-37, 56. Thus, if the amended complaint survives the