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Gomez v. Clark County School District

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 10, 2019

TERRI GOMEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al ., Defendants.

          ORDER APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS [ECF NO. 2] AND AMENDED COMPLAINT [ECF NO. 5]

          CAM FERENBACH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court is pro se Plaintiff Terri Gomez's application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2) and amended complaint (ECF No. 5). For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff's in forma pauperis application is granted. However, Plaintiff's amended complaint is dismissed without prejudice.

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff's filings present two questions: (1) whether she may proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and (2) whether her complaint states a plausible claim for relief.

         I. Plaintiff's In Forma Pauperis Is Granted

         A plaintiff may bring a civil action “without prepayment of fees or security therefor” if the plaintiff submits a financial affidavit demonstrating that the plaintiff is “unable to pay such fees or give security therefor.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Plaintiff's application states that she has an income of $1014 every two weeks. (ECF No. 2 at 1). Plaintiff's monthly rent and car payments total $1450. (Id. at 2). In addition, she cares for two children, including paying various school fees. (Id.). Based on this information, the Court finds that Plaintiff is unable to pay fees in this case. Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.

         II. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint Fails to State a Claim Upon Which the Court May Grant Relief

         Section 1915 also requires that, should the Court grant an application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court must review Plaintiff's complaint to determine whether the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which the Court may grant relief, or if the complaint seeks damages against a defendant who is immune from that relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 mandates that a claim must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). To meet Rule 8's burden, a complaint must contain “sufficient factual matter” establishing that the claim is facially plausible. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009). Courts must liberally construe pleadings drafted by pro se litigants. Resnick v. Warden Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000) (citing Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988)).

         A. Comparing the Original and Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff filed her original complaint with her in forma pauperis application. (ECF No. 2-1). The original complaint provides information about Defendants Misel, Ertman, Mullaney, Perez, and Morse (Id. at 2-4); indicates that this is a Title VII case (Id. at 4); and states that Plaintiff's claims are based on unequal terms and conditions of employment, retaliation, and discrimination based on race, gender/sex, and national origin (Id. at 5). The original complaint then contains a six-page summary of facts from 2018 and 2019, with no headings or other formatting to assist the Court in analyzing the paragraphs. (Id. at 6-12). The original complaint attaches a right to sue letter from the EEOC. (Id. at 15).

         Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on April 8, 2019. (ECF No. 5). The amended complaint does not have the proper caption on the first page as outlined by the Court to Plaintiff. (Compare ECF No. 4 at 4 with ECF No. 5 at 1). The amended complaint lists seven new Defendants-Nicolas, Burgess, O'Reilly, Perryman, Maidi, Oines, and Rosales. (ECF No. 5 at 1). The amended complaint does not list the original Defendants or provide any information about the new Defendants at the beginning of the complaint. The amended complaint does not cite Title VII, though Plaintiff does indicate she is bringing claims for discrimination based on race, sex, and disability. (Id. at 2). The amended complaint then provides a six-page summary of facts from 2016 to 2019, again without headings or similar formatting. (Id. at 2-7). The amended complaint does not mention or attach the right to sue letter from the EEOC or contain a request for relief.

         B. The Amended Complaint Must Be Complete in Itself

         “[W]hen a plaintiff files an amended complaint, ‘[t]he amended complaint supersedes the original, the latter being treated thereafter as non-existent.'” Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1005 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Loux v. Rhay, 375 F.2d 55, 57 (9th Cir.1967)). An amended complaint must be “complete in itself, including exhibits, without reference to the superseded pleading.” LR 15-1.

         Plaintiff's original complaint was properly formatted and contained important information like a basic description of the Defendants, a citation to Title VII, and the EEOC right to sue letter. (ECF No. 2-1). These things are not contained in the amended complaint. (ECF No. 5). In addition, the two complaints ...


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