United States District Court, D. Arizona
DAVID G. CAMPBELL, District Judge.
On September 17, 2014, Plaintiff Victor Pianka, who is confined in the Eloy Detention Center, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. In an October 29, 2014 Order, the Court denied the deficient Application to Proceed and dismissed the Complaint for failure to comply with Rule 3.4 of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file a new Application to Proceed and an amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.
On November 13, 2014, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint and a second Application to Proceed. In a December 10, 2014 Order, the Court granted the second Application to Proceed and dismissed the First Amended Complaint because Plaintiff had failed to comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court gave Plaintiff 30 days to file a second amended complaint that cured the deficiencies identified in the Order.
On January 7, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 16), a Motion to Designate Second Amended Complaint as First Amended Complaint (Doc. 15), and a Motion for Release to Custody of Witness Protection (Doc. 14). The Court will deny the motions and 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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (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 679. 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 681.
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
In his four-count Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff sues Tempe police officers Nick Moore and Palmer, Unknown Chandler police officer, and Unknown Public Defender. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages.
In Count One, Plaintiff claims that Defendant Palmer unreasonably seized him in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which led to his conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia in Maricopa County Superior Court case #XXXX-XXXXXX. Plaintiff claims that Palmer placed him in handcuffs "for absolutely no reason" and "[t]hat there was no crime being committed." Plaintiff alleges that his guilty plea was coerced.
In Count Two, Plaintiff claims that "Officer Palmer has done this exact set up arrest... in the year 2001, in 2003, and another time prior to [Plaintiff's] 2011 violation." Plaintiff claims that he was coerced into pleading guilty in those cases as well. Plaintiff claims that at some point, Defendant Moore kidnapped him and injected him with sodium pentothal in order to keep Plaintiff from suing Defendant Palmer. Plaintiff also claims that Defendant Palmer "was present when [Defendant] Moore raped [Plaintiff] 15 years ago which [Plaintiff] reported." Plaintiff claims that this "crime was [j]udged by Judge Grainville in the Superior Court."
In Count Three, Plaintiff alleges that on Thanksgiving 2000, Defendant Palmer seized Plaintiff "for absolutely no reason" and drove Plaintiff to Defendant Moore's apartment in Ahwatukee. At the apartment, Plaintiff was placed in handcuffs all day, and was raped by Chris Gutierrez, a friend of Defendant Moore. At some point, Phoenix police officer Whitlock "came to the apartment and injected [Plaintiff] with a dog/pet locator chip in [Plaintiff's] leg, the first of over now fifty, which have been used to stalk [Plaintiff] for over fifteen years to enable [Defendant] Palmer" to repeatedly set Plaintiff up. Plaintiff alleges that a couple of months after the Thanksgiving 2000 incident, Palmer seized him again and took him to his house where Plaintiff "was tortured [and] injected with [s]teroids, made to drink coffee, and plucked hairs out of [Plaintiff's] head to reprogram ...