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Garcia v. Reber

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 13, 2013

Robert Anthony Garcia, Sr., Plaintiff,
Daniel Reber, et al., Defendants.


JAMES A. TEILBORG, Senior District Judge.

Plaintiff Robert Anthony Garcia, Sr., who is confined in the Arizona State Prison Complex, Mohave Unit, in Douglas, Arizona, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which the Court dismissed for failure to state a claim with leave to amend. (Doc. 1, 7.) Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, which the Court dismissed based on Plaintiff's failure to comply with the Instructions for completing the court-approved form, among other issues. (Doc. 12, 17.) Plaintiff has filed a Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 19.) Plaintiff has again failed to comply with the Instructions for completing the form, as discussed below, despite the dismissal of his First Amended Complaint for the same failure. The Second Amended Complaint is also frequently illegible, fanciful or fantastic, and fails to state a claim. The Court will dismiss the Second Amended Complaint and this action.

I. Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints

The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or an employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if a plaintiff has raised claims that are legally frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).

A pleading must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) (emphasis added). While Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id.

"[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 (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 prisoner] 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 )).

II. Second Amended Complaint

Plaintiff ostensibly alleges eight counts. Plaintiff sues the following Defendants: Glendale Police Officers Daniel Reber, Rodrigo Veneracion, Robert Anselmo, Glenn Koehler, Nicholas Magley, Mark Schilling, Eric Brown, Eric Rouse, Donald Labrant, and Adam Yattes; civilian Victor Nobel Hernandez; Maricopa County Superior Court Judges Cynthia J. Bailey, Christina McHolgon, Michael Hintz, Robert Gottfried; and Steve Lynch; Deputy Maricopa County Attorneys Jerry Hamant, Lisa Austien, James Howard Rolstead; and criminal defense attorneys Amanda C. Martin, Justin Beresky, Michael Todd Glover, and Jennifer Rock[1]; Maricopa County Superior Court; Maricopa County Correctional Health Service; Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail Sheriff Department; and the Glendale City Prosecutor's Attorney Office. Plaintiff does not indicate the relief he seeks.


Most of the individuals sued by Plaintiff in his Second Amended Complaint were in some way involved in two criminal cases brought against him in Maricopa County Superior Court. Plaintiff was charged in case# CR2010-157605[2] with aggravated assault and resisting arrest, occurring on October 27, 2010.[3] Plaintiff was charged in case# CR2011-145947 with a dangerous drug violation, occurring on September 2, 2011.[4] On July 12, 2012, after a six-day jury trial presided over by Judge Gottfried in CR2010-157605, Plaintiff was convicted of two counts of the lesser-included offense of disorderly conduct and one count of resisting arrest.[5] On July 16, 2012, Plaintiff pleaded guilty to possession or use of dangerous drugs pursuant to a plea agreement in case CR2011-145947 before Commissioner Lynch. Plaintiff represented himself in both cases with the assistance of advisory defense attorney Michael Todd Glover.[6] Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Lisa Austien prosecuted both cases.[7] On August 30, 2012, Plaintiff was sentenced to eight years in prison in CR2011-145947[8] and 3.75 years in prison in CR2010-157605 to run concurrently with the sentence in CR2011-145947.[9] Earlier in the above criminal cases, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Hintze presided over competency hearings.[10] Defendant Reber testified at Plaintiff's trial in CR2010-157605.[11]

III. Failure to Comply with Instructions and Rules

Local Rule 3.4(a) requires prisoners to use court-approved form complaints. Although Plaintiff used the court-approved form complaint, he again failed to substantially comply with the Instructions and rules for completing his Second Amended Complaint.

This District's court-approved form complaint, which prisoners are required to use pursuant to Local Rule 3.4(a), requires that each defendant be clearly identified, including name, position, and location where the defendant works or worked at times relevant to claims against the defendant. Further, the ...

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