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Greer v. State

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

June 12, 2013

Eric Greer, Plaintiff,
State of Arizona, Defendant.


BRUCE G. MacDONALD, Magistrate Judge.

On March 15, 2013, Plaintiff Eric Greer, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. 1). On the same date, Plaintiff filed his Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Doc. 2).


The Court may allow a plaintiff to proceed without prepayment of fees when it is shown by affidavit that he "is unable to pay such fees[.]" 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Plaintiff's statement, made under penalty of perjury, establishes that Plaintiff is an "unemployed student at Pima." Appl. to Proceed in Dist. Ct. Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Doc. 2) at 5. The statement also indicates that Plaintiff has no cash or other assets. The Court finds Plaintiff is unable to pay the fees. Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.


This Court is required to dismiss a case if the Court determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(A), or if the Court determines that the action "(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

A pleading must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief[.]" Rule 8(a), Fed.R.Civ.P. While Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. Where the pleader is pro se, however, the pleading should be liberally construed in the interests of justice. Johnson v. Reagan, 524 F.2d 1123 (9th Cir. 1975). Nonetheless, a complaint must set forth a set of facts that serves to put defendants on notice as to the nature and basis of the claim(s).

"[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A claim is plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is]... a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950. Thus, although a plaintiff's specific factual allegations may be consistent with a constitutional claim, a court must assess whether there are other "more likely explanations" for a defendant's conduct. Id. at 1951.

But as the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has instructed, courts must "continue to construe pro se filings liberally." Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). A "complaint [filed by a pro se plaintiff] must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Id. (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ( per curiam )).

If the Court determines that a pleading could be cured by the allegation of other facts, a pro se litigant is entitled to an opportunity to amend a complaint before dismissal of the action. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-29 (9th Cir. 2000) ( en banc ). The Court should not, however, advise the litigant how to cure the defects. This type of advice "would undermine district judges' role as impartial decisionmakers." Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231 (2004); see also Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1131 n.13 (declining to decide whether the court was required to inform a litigant of deficiencies). Plaintiff's Complaint will be dismissed for failure to state a claim.


Plaintiff alleges three claims for relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 including violations of his Constitutional rights pursuant to the ex post facto clause, procedural due process clause and equal protection clause of the United States Constitution. Compl. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff names the State of Arizona as his sole Defendant and seeks removal from the sex offender registry and damages to be assessed by this Court "as it deems appropriate." Id.

Plaintiff alleges he was arrested for sexual assault on December 22, 1991. Compl. (Doc. 1) at 2. Subsequently, Plaintiff entered into a plea agreement and was sentenced to 25 months[1]. Id. Plaintiff "landed in Tucson, AZ September 18, 2010, [and] was forced to register as a sex offender in Oct. of 2011." Id. Plaintiff alleges that the State of Arizona is imposing additional punishment on him since "[his] Judge did not require [him] to register as a sex offender." Id. Plaintiff further alleges that "[t]he state has in effect denied [him] expectation [sic] of finality on the case that I was convicted on."

Plaintiff further alleges that "[i]t is... only during judicial proceedings that one can have their rights as a citizen taken away." Compl. (Doc. 1) at 2. Because "the state has no judicial procedure attached to or that addresses the reviving a sentence that has been served in full[, ]" Plaintiff ...

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