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Petramala v. Connelly

United States District Court, D. Arizona

May 1, 2019

Michael Petramala, Plaintiff,
Richard Connelly, et al., Defendants.


          Honorable Susan M. Brnovich, United States District Judge.

         Pending before this Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 19). Plaintiff seeks reconsideration of the dismissal order (Doc. 18). The case was dismissed because Plaintiff failed to complete timely service. However, prior to the case being reassigned to this division, the Amended Complaint (Doc. 8) was never screened, as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court will grant Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration and reinstate the case for screening.

         I. Legal Standards

         The Court must review the complaint to determine whether the action:

(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Additionally, Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that:

A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counter-claim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall contain (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new grounds of jurisdiction to support it, (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded.

         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. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). A complaint that provides “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Nor will a complaint suffice if it presents nothing more than “naked assertions” without “further factual enhancement.” Id. at 557.

         II. Statutory Screening

         In the First Amended Complaint (Doc. 8, “FAC”), Plaintiff argues that Defendants have failed to grant and enforce an ADA Reasonable Accommodation to stop smoke and drug fumes from entering the rental apartment. (FAC at 1:17-18). Next, he argues that Defendants failed to grant an allowance for auto repairs on the property as ADA Reasonable Accommodation. (FAC at 1:22-23). Finally, Plaintiff argues that Defendants retaliated against Plaintiff for filing an ADA complaint. (FAC at 1:25-26).

         In the present case, the Court finds that Plaintiff's allegations fail to state a claim for relief against Defendants. The FAC is deficient because, as noted in the italicized language above, it repeatedly lumps together all of the defendants as a collective whole- “Defendants”-without specifically alleging the role that each defendant played in causing Plaintiff's alleged injury. See, e.g., Dickenson v. Haga, No. EDCV 18-2464-DOC (KK), 2019 WL 416720, at *3 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 31, 2019) (dismissing complaint at the screening stage because “Plaintiff merely sets forth allegations as to actions taken by ‘Defendants' as a collective group”). “Absent specific allegations identifying what actions each defendant took against Plaintiff and how such actions violated Plaintiff's rights, the Complaint fails to provide Defendants with fair notice of Plaintiff's claims or the grounds upon which they rest. As such, Plaintiff's claims against each individual defendant are subject to dismissal.” Id. (internal citation omitted); see De Cambra v. Sakai, Civil No. 14-00279 DKW-BMK, 2014 WL 3108002, at *4 (D. Haw. July 7, 2014) (“Plaintiff simply . . . concludes that all Defendants, without differentiation, are liable to him for these alleged deprivations. . . . To state a claim, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each Defendant was personally involved in the alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights. . . . While Plaintiff's Complaint suggests that at least some of the conditions of confinement in [Saguaro Correctional Center] segregation may be unlawful, . . . it contains no facts showing that any particular Defendant acted unlawfully . . . . [Thus, it] stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.”) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted); Harris v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 2:11-cv-03279-MCE-KJN, 2011 WL 6294249, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 13, 2011) (“Plaintiffs allegations fail to satisfy the liberal pleading standards as set forth in [Twombly] and [Iqbal]. Throughout the Complaint, Plaintiff[']s allegations are confusing and conclusory, directed generally at multiple Defendants without differentiating between the actions of one defendant and another.”); Corazon v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, No. 11-00542 SC, 2011 WL 1740099, at *4 (N.D. Cal. May 5, 2011).

         Additionally, Plaintiff does not provide facts to support his causes of action. Plaintiff must state factual allegations and explain how those allegations establish a violation of a relevant legal authority. In short, Plaintiff must show he is entitled to relief. He has not done so here. For this reason, the Court ...

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