United States District Court, D. Arizona
Nicol A. Ybarra, Plaintiff,
Buckeye Police Department, et al., Defendants.
Dominic W. Lanza United States District Judge.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Application for Leave to
Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc. 2), which the Court hereby
grants. The Court will screen Plaintiff's complaint (Doc.
1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) before it is
allowed to be served. Pursuant to that screening, the
complaint will be dismissed.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), a complaint is subject to
dismissal if it contains claims that are “frivolous or
malicious, ” that “fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, ” or that “seek
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” Id. Additionally, under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must contain a
“short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id.
Although Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations,
“it demands more than an unadorned,
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
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.
Ninth Circuit has instructed that courts must “construe
pro se filings liberally.” Hebbe v.
Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). A
“complaint [filed by a pro se litigant]
‘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)). Conclusory and vague allegations, however,
will not support a cause of action. Ivey v. Bd. of
Regents of the Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th
Cir. 1982). A liberal interpretation may not supply essential
elements of the claim that were not initially pled.
a pleading can be cured by the allegation of other facts, a
pro se litigant is entitled to an opportunity to
amend before the final dismissal of the action.”
Ball v. Cty. of Maricopa, 2017 WL 1833611, *1 (D.
Ariz. 2017) (concluding that complaint could not be amended
to state a cognizable claim and dismissing with prejudice).
sued two defendants: (1) Buckeye City Police Department and
(2) Buckeye Police Officer A. Price.
facts, in their entirety, are as follows: “The officer
A. Price committed a federal crime against [Plaintiff] by
committing perjury by law under the direct orders of his
superiors to make the ‘Buckeye Police Department look
fluffed up.'” (Doc. 1 at 1.) Plaintiff seeks $5
million in damages. (Id.)
facts as alleged do not give rise to any cognizable claims.
In short, there is only one “fact” alleged-that
Officer Price committed perjury-but this is a legal
conclusion, which cannot support a cause of action.
Ivey, 673 F.2d at 268. Additionally, the complaint
does not allege a date on which the challenged conduct
the Court has an obligation to determine whether it has
subject-matter jurisdiction. Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon Oil
Co., 526 U.S. 574, 583 (1999). Pursuant to Rule 12(h)(3)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[i]f the
court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”
Plaintiff alleges that all parties are Arizona citizens and
asserts that this Court has jurisdiction “pursuant to
Arizona Blue Laws §§ Falsifying legal
documents.” (Id.) Presumably, Plaintiff brings
this action on the basis of federal question jurisdiction, as
the complaint references a “federal crime.” (Doc.
1 at 1.) But no federal law is cited, and therefore Plaintiff
failed to establish federal question jurisdiction.
Court will dismiss the complaint with leave to amend.
“Dismissal of a pro se complaint without leave to amend
is proper only if it is absolutely clear that the
deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by
amendment.” Schucker v. Rockwood, 846 F.2d
1202, 1203-04 (9th Cir. 1988) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). “If a pleading can be cured by the
allegation of other facts, a pro se litigant is
entitled to an opportunity to amend before the final
dismissal of the action.” Ball v. Cty. of
Maricopa, 2017 WL 1833611, *1 (D. Ariz. 2017).
amended complaint must adhere to all portions of Rule 7.1 of
the Local Rules of Civil Procedure (“LRCiv”).
Additionally, Plaintiff is advised that the amended complaint
must satisfy the pleading requirements of Rule 8 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Specifically, the amended
complaint shall contain a short and plain statement of the
grounds upon which the Court's jurisdiction depends, a
short and plain statement of each specific claim asserted
against each Defendant, and a good faith demand for the
relief sought. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1)-(3). These pleading
requirements are to be set forth in separate and discrete
numbered paragraphs, and “[e]ach allegation must be
simple, concise, and direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1);
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b) (“A party must
state its claims or defenses in numbered paragraphs, each
limited as far as practicable to a single set of
circumstances.”). Where a complaint contains the
factual elements of a cause, but those ...