United States District Court, D. Arizona
G. Campbell United States District Judge.
John Priestley, Jr., apparently as a beneficiary of the John
Priestley, Sr. Trust, filed his complaint in this case on
November 28, 2016. Doc. 1. On January 30, 2017, the Court
screened Plaintiff's complaint, entered an order
dismissing the complaint for failure to state a claim, and
granted Plaintiff until February 24, 2017 to file an amended
complaint. Doc. 12. The Court has reviewed Plaintiff's
amended complaint and will dismiss it for failure to state a
claim, failure to follow Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, and failure to follow this Court's order of
January 30, 2017. Id. Plaintiff has also filed a
motion to order the U.S. Marshal to serve Plaintiff's
complaint. Doc. 15. The Court will deny the motion without
proceedings, a district court “shall dismiss the case
at any time if the court determines that . . . the action . .
. fails to state a claim on which relief can be
granted[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). While much of
§ 1915 concerns prisoner litigation, § 1915(e)
applies to all IFP proceedings. Lopez v. Smith, 203
F.3d 1122, 1126 n.7 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). “Section
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) . . . allows a district court to dismiss
sua sponte . . . a complaint that fails to state a
claim[.]” Id. at 1130. “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. at 1127. A district court
dismissing a case under this section “should grant
leave to amend even if no request to amend the pleading was
made, unless it determines that the pleading could not
possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.”
Id. at 1127-29 (citations omitted).
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint.
claims appear to be focused on two houses in Buckeye,
Arizona, that previously were held in the John Priestly, Sr.
Trust. Plaintiff sues the Internal Revenue Service, the
Public Integrity Section of the United Sates Department of
Justice, three judges, some attorneys, and others. His
21-page complaint contains a rambling narrative that appears
to allege various wrongs committed by Defendants, including
violations of various state and federal statutes. The
complaint also describes a case, apparently filed in
Cleveland County, Oklahoma, where Plaintiff claims to have
received a default judgment against some party, labeled
“Trustee, ” and Plaintiff now seeks an execution
of that judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 69. Plaintiff makes
additional requests from the Court, including that the Court
require an accounting of the trust, a criminal investigation,
and other forms of relief that are not clear.
alleges a number of facts in his amended complaint, but most
are incomplete and fail to either identify the actor or
provide needed context. Furthermore, the complaint frequently
fails to connect Plaintiff's alleged facts to his claims.
Plaintiff also includes several attachments in his complaint,
and occasionally cites them. These attachments include legal
documents filed in a state court in Oklahoma, excerpts of
testimony, news article on an Oklahoma state judge, internet
comments reacting to the article, photocopied checks, an
unauthenticated letter from Randi Jo Haley, as well as a
number of financial documents, diagrams, and hand written
Court has carefully reviewed the complaint, and finds it
defective. The amended complaint fails to state the basis for
this Court's jurisdiction, the legal nature of
Plaintiff's claim, or the actions of Defendants that give
rise to liability.
initial matter, the Court finds that the entire complaint may
be dismissed under Rule 8. That rule provides that a
complaint should contain “a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “Each allegation
must be simple, concise, and direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(d)(1). A complaint that fails to comply with these
requirements may be dismissed. See McHenry v. Renne,
84 F.3d 1172, 1179-80 (9th Cir. 1996).
fails to allege specific facts showing how each Defendant
violated the particular right at issue in a given count.
Plaintiff scatters facts throughout the complaint and
includes allegations that seem irrelevant. The Court will
therefore dismiss the complaint with leave to file a second
sues three judges. Specifically, Plaintiff states that
“[t]hree Judges have an affirmative duty under 58 O.S.
234 Chapter 3 that is not discretionary, and have repeatedly
refused to use the statutory tools at their disposal to
compel the accounting or prevent or remedy damages caused by
third parties in their courts.” Doc. 13 at 18. As best
the Court can surmise, Plaintiff alleges that Oklahoma judges
ordered an accounting of the trust in question and have not
fulfilled their duty to enforce the order.
Court need not sift through more because each judge in
question is entitled to judicial immunity for decision made
in the adjudication of cases. Forrester v. White,
484 U.S. 219, 227 (1988) (“When applied to the
paradigmatic judicial acts involved in resolving disputes
between parties who have invoked the jurisdiction of a court,
the doctrine of absolute judicial immunity has not been
particularly controversial.”) Because each violation
Plaintiff alleges against these judges stems from a decision
made from the bench, Plaintiff's claims may not stand.