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Gambert v. Bergsman
United States District Court, Ninth Circuit
October 29, 2013
Jason Gambert, Plaintiff,
Mark Bergsman, Defendant.
G. MURRAY SNOW, District Judge.
Plaintiff has moved to proceed in forma pauperis. The court has concluded that Plaintiff's complaint should be screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) before it is allowed to be served. Therefore, the court will do so in this order.
I. Legal Standards
A. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)
Congress provided with respect to in forma pauperis cases that a district court "shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines" that the "allegation of poverty is untrue" or that the "action or appeal" is "frivolous or malicious, " "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, " or "seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). While much of section 1915 outlines how prisoners can file proceedings in forma pauperis, section 1915(e) applies to all in forma pauperis proceedings, not just those filed by prisoners. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000)("section 1915(e) applies to all in forma pauperis complaints"). "It is also clear that section 1915(e) not only permits but requires a district court to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a claim." Id. Therefore, this court must dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint if it fails to state a claim or if it is frivolous or malicious.
"[A] complaint, containing both factual allegations and legal conclusions, is frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Furthermore, "a finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially recognized facts available to contradict them." Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). "A case is malicious if it was filed with the intention or desire to harm another." Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2005).
B. Rule 8, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
A claim must be stated clearly enough to enable a defendant to frame a responsive pleading. A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). "Each averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e)(1). A complaint having the factual elements of a cause of action present but scattered throughout the complaint and not organized into a "short and plain statement of the claim" may be dismissed for failure to satisfy Rule 8(a). Sparling v. Hoffman Constr. Co., 864 F.2d 635, 640 (9th Cir. 1988).
A. Plaintiff's Complaint
Plaintiff's complaint does not satisfy the requirements of Rule 8. Plaintiff's complaint is 42 pages long, but his only "claim" is as follows:
FIRST CLAIM - VIOLATION OF 28 U.S.C. § 2680... The acts and events set forth above constitute theft, obstruction of justice, gross negligence, wrongful acts, malicious conduct, abuse of process, nonfeasance, malfeasance, malicious prosecution under the law of the state of Arizona and alleged criminal acts of American betrayal and a violation of civil rights. Because these acts and events were undertaken and caused by the named participant and co-defendant Ann Linnehan by personally acting on her own behalf as a mere woman, for clarification as an individual no longer protected from [ sic ] immunity, is therefore legally liable for all damages cause by such acts, as provided in 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a), the greater (A)(B) rubric and 28 U.S.C. § 2680(h) and from within the laws found within the State of Arizona.
Doc. 1 at 39-40.
28 U.S.C. § 2680, the section on which Plaintiff relies, is the section that lists the exceptions to 28 U.S.C. § 1346. Specifically, 28 U.S.C. § 1346 is commonly referred to as the Federal Tort Claims act and waives sovereign immunity in certain circumstances. 14 Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller, & Edward H. Cooper, Federal Practice and Procedure: Jurisdiction § 3658 (3d ed. ...
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