United States District Court, D. Arizona
HONORABLE JOHN J. TUCHI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
issue is pro se Plaintiff Destiny Johnson's
Amended Complaint (Doc. 8, Am. Compl.), which Plaintiff filed
after the Court screened her original Complaint (Doc. 1)
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and dismissed it for
failure to state a claim. (See Doc. 7, Order.) The
Court finds the Amended Complaint also fails to state a
claim. For the same reasons as the Court laid out in the
previous Order (Doc. 7), the Court will dismiss the Amended
Complaint with leave to amend.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)
cases such as the present one in which a party is permitted
to proceed in forma pauperis-that is, the party
lacks the means to pay court fees-Congress provided 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). Section 1915(e) applies to all in forma
pauperis proceedings. Lopez v. Smith, 203
F.3d 1122, 1129 (9th Cir. 2000). “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.
Rule 8, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
complaint must include “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint must
contain “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Even where a complaint has 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, ” it may
be dismissed for failure to satisfy Rule 8(a). Sparling
v. Hoffman Constr. Co., 864 F.2d 635, 640 (9th Cir.
1988). A dismissal for failure to state a claim can be based
on either (1) the lack of a cognizable legal theory or (2)
insufficient facts to support a cognizable legal claim.
Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d
696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
Subject Matter Jurisdiction in Federal Court
state courts, federal courts only have jurisdiction over a
limited number of cases, and those cases typically involve
either a controversy between citizens of different states
(“diversity jurisdiction”) or a question of
federal law (“federal question jurisdiction”).
See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332. The United
States Supreme Court has stated that a federal court must not
disregard or evade the limits on its subject matter
jurisdiction. Owen Equip. & Erections Co. v.
Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 374 (1978). Thus, a federal court
is obligated to inquire into its subject matter jurisdiction
in each case and to dismiss a case when subject matter
jurisdiction is lacking. See Valdez v. Allstate Ins.
Co., 372 F.3d 1115, 1116 (9th Cir. 2004); Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(h)(3). To proceed in federal court, a plaintiff must
allege enough in the complaint for the court to conclude it
has subject matter jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
8(a); Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, 5 Fed.
Practice & Procedure § 1206 (3d ed. 2014).
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff states that the Court has
jurisdiction under “Civil Action P0610, ” which
she apparently took from the EEOC's Decision on Request
for Reconsideration, which is attached to the Amended
Complaint. “Civil Action P0610” is not a basis
for the Court's subject matter jurisdiction. Even though
the EEOC's decision states that Plaintiff has the right
to file a civil action in U.S. District Court, Plaintiff is
still obligated to file a Complaint that states a basis for
this Court's jurisdiction as well as alleges sufficient
facts to plausibly state a legal claim. Plaintiff does
again alleges that she was wrongfully terminated from her
employment with non-party Peckham Inc., but she is suing the
U.S. Department of State. It is unclear how Plaintiff can sue
the U.S. Department of State for wrongful termination when
she does not allege that the Department was her employer. If
Plaintiff is suing the U.S. Department of State for denying
her security clearance, Plaintiff must state the legal basis
for suing the Department and its Secretary, Michael R.
short, the Court again cannot determine what Plaintiff's
claim is, its legal basis, or whether the Court has
jurisdiction. If a defective complaint can be cured, the
plaintiff is entitled to amend the complaint before the
action is dismissed. See Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130.
Because Plaintiff may be able to cure the defects in her
Amended Complaint by another amendment, the Court will permit
her to file a Second Amended Complaint by May 6, 2019.
THEREFORE ORDERED dismissing Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint (Doc. 8) for failing to state a claim and the ...