United States District Court, D. Nevada
SCREENING ORDER AND REPORT AND
HOFFMAN, JR., UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
plaintiff Robert Pintado brings this case against the Maywood
Police Department and Maywood City Hall for return of his
personal property. Pintado moves to proceed in forma
pauperis. (IFP Application (ECF No. 1).) Pintado
submitted the affidavit required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)
showing an inability to prepay fees or costs or give security
for them. Pintado's request to proceed in forma
pauperis therefore will be granted. The court now
screens Pintado's complaint (ECF No. 1-1) as required by
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
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).
Screening the complaint
brings a complaint against the Maywood Police Department and
Maywood City Hall, alleging he would like his things returned
to him, including properties, accounts, and cars. (Compl.
(ECF No. 1-1) at 1.) Pintado also would like an apology.
(Id.) Pintado advises the court that it may contact
Robert Muller or Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor,
regarding this matter. (Id. at 2.) Pintado states
that the court has diversity jurisdiction in this matter.
(Civil cover sheet (ECF No. 1-2).) But he does not allege the
parties' citizenship or the amount in controversy.
district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction,
possessing only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute.” K2 Am. Corp. v. Roland Oil & Gas,
LLC, 653 F.3d 1024, 1027 (9th Cir. 2011) (quotation
omitted). Federal district courts “have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 1331. Federal district courts have original
jurisdiction over civil actions in diversity cases
“where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $75, 000” and where the matter is between
“citizens of different States.” 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a). “Section 1332 requires complete diversity of
citizenship; each of the plaintiffs must be a citizen of a
different state than each of the defendants.”
Morris v. Princess Cruises, Inc., 236 F.3d 1061,
1067 (9th Cir. 2001). Federal courts have the jurisdiction to
determine their own jurisdiction. Special Investments,
Inc. v. Aero Air, Inc., 360 F.3d 989, 992 (9th Cir.
2004). A court may raise the question of subject-matter
jurisdiction sua sponte, and it must dismiss a case if it
determines it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction.
Id.; Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
does not allege facts invoking the court's jurisdiction.
He does not allege claims arising under the Constitution,
laws, or treaties of the United States and therefore does not
invoke the court's federal question jurisdiction. As for
diversity jurisdiction, Pintado does not allege the
parties' citizenship or the amount in controversy. Thus,
even liberally construing his complaint, the court cannot
determine its own jurisdiction. As the party seeking to
invoke the court's jurisdiction, Pintado bears the burden
of establishing jurisdiction exists. See Naffe v.
Frey, 789 F.3d 1030, 1040 (9th Cir. 2015). The court
therefore will recommend that this case be dismissed for lack
of subject-matter jurisdiction, with leave to amend.
Pintado chooses to amend, he must include factual allegations
demonstrating that a federal question exists. Alternatively,
he must include factual allegations demonstrating there is
complete diversity of citizenship and more than $75, 000 in
controversy. Additionally, Pintado is advised that if he
files an amended complaint, the original complaint (ECF No.
1-1) no longer serves any function in this case. As such, if
plaintiff files an amended complaint, each claim and the
involvement of each defendant must be alleged sufficiently.
The court cannot refer to a prior pleading or to other
documents to make plaintiff's amended complaint complete.
The amended complaint must be complete in and of itself
without reference to prior pleadings or to other documents.