United States District Court, D. Nevada
CLARENCE A. BRANCH, III Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DIRECTOR OF COMMERCE, et al., Defendants.
WEKSLER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
plaintiff Clarence A. Branch brings this lawsuit and moves to
proceed in forma pauperis. (IFP Application (ECF No.
1).) Plaintiff submitted the affidavit required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a) showing an inability to prepay fees or costs
or give security for them. Therefore, Plaintiff's request
to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. The
court now screens Plaintiff'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, fail 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
Plaintiff filled out a form “Third-Party
Complaint” and attached several documents to it. The
documents attached to the complaint include documents from
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the District of Columbia,
the Southern District of New York, the United States Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia, the Northern District
of California, the United States Court of Federal Claims, as
well as other documents. However, it is impossible for the
court to tell, from either the Third-Party Complaint or the
documents attached thereto, what Plaintiff's claims are.
There is not even a general indication of what claims
Plaintiff is attempting to bring or the facts underlying
liberally construing the complaint, the court finds Plaintiff
does not state a claim against any of the entities mentioned
in the complaint. Plaintiff does not provide sufficient
factual allegations for the court to understand which legal
claims he seeks to assert against which defendants. Without
additional factual allegations regarding the underlying
dispute and the various entities' roles in the case, the
court cannot evaluate whether Plaintiff's complaint
states a claim against any defendant. Additionally, Plaintiff
does not include any statement of the grounds for the
court's jurisdiction in this case. The court therefore
will order dismissal of Plaintiffs complaint without
prejudice for Plaintiff to file an amended complaint.
Plaintiff chooses to file an amended complaint, the document
must be titled “Amended Complaint.” The amended
complaint must contain a short and plain statement of the
grounds for the court's jurisdiction. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 8(a)(1). Additionally, the amended complaint must
contain a short and plain statement describing the underlying
case and each defendant's involvement in the case.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Although the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure adopt a flexible pleading standard,
Plaintiff must still give each defendant fair notice of
Plaintiffs claims against it and of Plaintiff s entitlement
Plaintiff 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, the amended complaint must be
complete in and of itself without reference to prior
pleadings or other documents. The court cannot refer to a
prior pleading or other documents to make Plaintiffs amended
THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiffs application to proceed
in forma pauperis (ECF No. 1) is GRANTED. Plaintiff
is permitted to maintain this action to conclusion without
prepaying fees or costs or giving security for them.
FURTHER ORDERED that the clerk of court must detach and
separately file ...