United States District Court, D. Nevada
MOORISH NATIONAL REPUBLIC FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; and ANTONIO EL, Consulate General, Plaintiffs,
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE; STATE OF CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL; CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL; J.R. YOUNT, California Highway Patrol 445; and M CORTEZ, Kings County Sheriff's Office, Defendants.
ORDER APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN
FORMA PAUPERIS [ECF NO. 1] AND COMPLAINT [ECF NO.
FERENBACH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court are pro se plaintiffs the Moorish National
Republic Government and Antonio El, the Consulate General on
behalf of the MNRG's application to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 1) and complaint (ECF No. 1-2).
Plaintiffs' in forma pauperis application is
denied without prejudice.
filings present two questions: (1) whether they may proceed
in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and
(2) whether the complaint states a plausible claim for
Plaintiff MNRG May Not Proceed In Forma
natural person may bring a civil action “without
prepayment of fees or security therefor” if the person
submits a financial affidavit demonstrating that the person
is “unable to pay such fees or give security
therefor.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The Supreme
Court has held that the term “person” in the
context of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) only applies to
“natural persons”, meaning that only a natural
person, not a company, organization, association, or any
other artificial entity can, “qualify for treatment
in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. §
1915”. Rowland v. Cal. Men's Colony, 506
U.S. 194, 196 (1993). The Rowland Court found that the
individual people associated the artificial entity (the
Council) could not file suit in the Council's name, and
suggested that plaintiffs file suit, “under the title
‘X, Y, and Z, known as the Council v.
Rowland,' X, Y, and Z would each need to file an
affidavit stating that he met the indigency requirements of
§ 1915.” Id. at 211.
complaint states that the MNRG and Antonio El, the Consulate
General, are the plaintiffs in this action. (ECF No. 1-2 at
1). Plaintiffs' application to proceed in forma
pauperis states that the plaintiff is the MNRG and El
appears to have signed the application to proceed in
forma pauperis on behalf of the MNRG. The sworn
application states that the MNRG has no income, assets, or
financial information. (ECF No. 1). Only a natural person may
qualify to proceed in forma pauperis, so MNRG does
not qualify to proceed with its complaint without paying
filing fees. A natural person will not qualify to proceed
in forma pauperis if the natural person is
attempting to commence an action on behalf of the MNRG.
Plaintiffs' application to proceed in forma
pauperis is denied without prejudice.
Plaintiffs' Complaint Fails to State a Claim Upon Which
the Court May Grant Relief
1915 also requires that if the Court grant an application to
proceed in forma pauperis, the Court must review
plaintiffs' 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(a)
provides that a complaint “that states a claim for
relief” must contain “a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the [plaintiff] is entitled to
relief.” The Supreme Court's decision in
Ashcroft v. Iqbal states that to satisfy Rule
8's requirements, a complaint's allegations must
cross “the line from conceivable to plausible.”
556 U.S. 662, 680 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547, (2007)).
the Court does not need to screen plaintiffs' complaint
at this time, the Court will provide guidance to plaintiffs
on the screening that will take place should plaintiff
El's application be granted in the future, or if
plaintiffs pay the filing fee. If Antonio El files a new
in forma pauperis application for himself only, then
El must file an amended complaint stating that he is the
plaintiff, not the MNRG, as outlined by the Rowland Court
above. If the MNRG wishes to proceed as the plaintiff, then
it must pay the court filing fees.
allegations in the complaint appear to arise from events that
took place in California. Antonio El appears to be a resident
of Oakland, California and all the defendants appear to be in
California. This makes it doubtful that this Court would have
personal jurisdiction over any of the parties or could
possibly be considered a proper venue. See Morrill v.
Scott Fin. Corp., 873 F.3d 1136, 1141-42 (9th Cir.
2017); 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
on these issues with the complaint, it is likely that the
Court will require Antonio El to amend the complaint when it
is screened under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). El should
consider submitting an amended complaint if he files an
in forma pauperis application for himself or pays
the filing fee.
and for good cause shown, IT IS ORDERED that plaintiffs'
application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 1)
is DENIED without prejudice.
FURTHER ORDERED that by October 9, 2019, plaintiffs must
either (1) file an application to proceed in forma
pauperis on behalf of plaintiff El as a natural person
or (2) ...