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Pruitt v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 6, 2015

Roy Pruitt, Plaintiff,
v.
Charles Ryan, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

David G. Campbell United States District Judge

On June 16, 2015, Plaintiff Roy Pruitt, who is confined in the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis in Buckeye, Arizona, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. 1) and an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. On June 23, 2015, he filed a Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 5). On June 30, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion for an Order to Show Cause and a Motion for an Order Compelling Discovery. In a July 6, 2015 Order, the Court denied the deficient Application to Proceed and gave Plaintiff 30 days to pay the filing and administrative fees or file a complete Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.

On July 21, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Extension of Time, seeking a sixty-day extension of time to comply with the Court’s Order. In an August 10, 2015 Order, the Court granted the Motion for Extension of Time and denied without prejudice the Motion for an Order to Show Cause and the Motion for an Order Compelling Discovery. The Court gave Plaintiff 60 days to either pay the filing and administrative fees or file a complete Application to Proceed.

On September 1, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Status of Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. In a September 18, 2015 Order, the Court granted the Motion for Status to the extent that the Court informed Plaintiff that the Court had not received an Application to Proceed or certified account statement from him.

On September 22, 2015, Plaintiff filed a second Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc. 14) and a certified account statement. The Court will grant the Application to Proceed and will dismiss the Complaint and this action. In light of the Court’s dismissal of this action, the Court will deny as moot the Motion for Appointment of Counsel.

I. Second Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and Filing Fee

Plaintiff’s second Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis will be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Plaintiff must pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). The Court will assess an initial partial filing fee of $2.30. The remainder of the fee will be collected monthly in payments of 20% of the previous month’s income credited to Plaintiff’s trust account each time the amount in the account exceeds $10.00. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The Court will enter a separate Order requiring the appropriate government agency to collect and forward the fees according to the statutory formula.

II. 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)).

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). Plaintiff’s Complaint will be dismissed for ...


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