Homer E. Crockett Jr. v. The State of California et al

Filing 7

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND by Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal. The Complaint is dismissed with leave to amend. If Plaintiff still wishes to pursue this action, he is granted thirty (30) days from the date of this Memorandum and Order within which to file a First Amended Complaint. Plaintiff is strongly encouraged to utilize the standard civil rights complaint form when filing any amended complaint, a copy of which is attached. Plaintiff is further advised tha t if he no longer wishes to pursue this action, he may voluntarily dismiss it by filing a Notice of Dismissal in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1). A form Notice of Dismissal is attached for Plaintiff's convenience. (See document for further details). (Attachments: # 1 Civil Rights Complaint Form, # 2 Notice of Dismissal Form) (mr)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 HOMER E. CROCKETT JR., Plaintiff, 12 MEMORANDUM AND ORDER v. 13 14 Case No. CV 18-1397 DSF (SS) DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA and HON. ELDEN FOX, 15 LEAVE TO AMEND Defendants. 16 17 18 I. 19 INTRODUCTION 20 21 On February 20, 2018, plaintiff Homer E. Crockett Jr. 22 (“Plaintiff”), a California resident proceeding pro se, filed a 23 civil rights complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Complaint”). 24 (Dkt. 25 California and Superior Court Judge Elden Fox are liable for false 26 imprisonment, malicious prosecution, search and seizurs [sic], and 27 tort claims. 28 No. 1). Plaintiff (Id. at 1, 8). vaguely alleges that the State of 1 Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a trial court 2 may dismiss a claim sua sponte “where the claimant cannot possibly 3 win relief.” 4 Cir. 1987); see also Baker v. Director, U.S. Parole Comm’n, 916 5 F.2d 725, 726 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (per curiam) (adopting the Ninth 6 Circuit’s position in Omar and noting that such a sua sponte 7 dismissal “is practical and fully consistent with plaintiff’s 8 rights and the efficient use of judicial resources”). 9 plaintiff appears pro se in a civil rights case, the court must 10 construe the pleadings liberally and afford the plaintiff the 11 benefit of any doubt. 12 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988). In giving liberal interpretation 13 to a pro se complaint, the court may not, however, supply essential 14 elements of a claim that were not initially pled. 15 Regents of Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). 16 court must give a pro se litigant leave to amend the complaint 17 unless 18 complaint could not be cured by amendment.” 19 at 623 (citation omitted). 20 Complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend.1 it is Omar v. Sea-Land Serv., Inc., 813 F.2d 986, 991 (9th When a Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles Police Dep’t., “absolutely clear that the Ivey v. Bd. of deficiencies of A the Karim-Panahi, 839 F.2d For the reasons stated below, the 21 22 23 24 25 26 A magistrate judge may dismiss a complaint with leave to amend without the approval of a district judge. See McKeever v. Block, 932 F.2d 795, 798 (9th Cir. 1991). 1 27 28 2 1 II. 2 ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT 3 4 Plaintiff’s Complaint is largely unintelligible. He vaguely 5 alleges that he was subject to “unjustified dention [sic]” and 6 “negligence” by Defendants. 7 that Defendants subjected him to “false imprisonment” by admitting 8 affidavits of evidence and testimony of witnesses before a court 9 of law. (Id. at 3). (Compl. at 2). He further alleges Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants are 10 liable for various California unnamed employees committing perjury 11 and corrupt acts. 12 that the State of California issued a warrant that resulted in an 13 unreasonable search and seizure. 14 million in damages and “interest at the maximum rate.” 15 9). (Id. at 4-5, 7). Finally, Plaintiff alleges (Id. at 6). Plaintiff seeks $24 (Id. at 8- 16 17 III. 18 DISCUSSION 19 20 A. The Complaint Fails To State A Claim Against Either Defendant 21 22 In order to state a claim, the complaint need not contain 23 detailed factual allegations, but it must, at a minimum, plead 24 “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its 25 face.” 26 claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual 27 content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that 28 the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). 3 “A Ashcroft v. 1 Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). 2 and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a 3 cause 4 “Threadbare 5 supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” 6 556 U.S. at 678. of action will recitals not of do.” the A pleading that offers “labels Twombly, elements of a 550 U.S. cause of at 555. action, Iqbal, 7 8 Here, other than naming the State of California and Judge Fox 9 as Defendants, the Complaint does not allege sufficient facts that 10 tie either Defendant to any of the four alleged claims. (Compl. 11 2-7). 12 the State of California or Judge Fox, and Plaintiff’s claims 13 against the State of California and Judge Fox must be dismissed, 14 with leave to amend. As a result, Plaintiff fails to state a claim against either 15 16 B. The State of California Is An Improper Defendant 17 18 The Eleventh Amendment bars actions in federal court for money 19 damages against a state or one of its agencies or departments. See 20 Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 8, 100 (1984); 21 see also Pittman v. Oregon Employment Dep’t, 509 F.3d 1065, 1071 22 (9th Cir. 2007) (“[A]n unconsenting State is immune from suits 23 brought in federal courts by her own citizens as well as by citizens 24 of another State.”) (citation omitted). 25 has not waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity with respect to 26 claims brought under § 1983 in federal court, and the Supreme Court 27 has held that ‘§ 1983 was not intended to abrogate a State’s 28 Eleventh Amendment immunity.’ ” “The State of California Dittman v. California, 191 F.3d 4 1 1020, 1025–26 (9th Cir. 1999) (quoting Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 2 159, 169 n.17 (1985)). 3 precludes Plaintiff’s claims for monetary damages against the State 4 of California, the State of California is an improper defendant. 5 Accordingly, the claims against the State of California must be 6 dismissed. Therefore, because the Eleventh Amendment 7 8 C. Defendant Fox Is Entitled To Absolute Judicial Immunity 9 10 “Judges are immune from damage actions for judicial acts taken 11 within the jurisdiction of their courts.” Ashelman v. Pope, 793 12 F.2d 1072, 1075 (9th Cir. 1986) (en banc); see Pangelinan v. 13 Wiseman, 370 F. App’x 818, 819 (9th Cir. 2010) (“The district court 14 properly concluded that the judges were immune to the extent they 15 were sued for claims arising from their decisions in [plaintiff’s] 16 lawsuits.”). 17 “[j]udges and those performing judge-like functions are absolutely 18 immune from damage liability for acts performed in their official 19 capacities.” 20 “immunity from suit, not just from ultimate assessment of damages,” 21 and applies “even when the judge is accused of acting maliciously 22 and corruptly.” Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (citation omitted); 23 see also In re Castillo, 297 F.3d 940, 947 (9th Cir. 2002) (absolute 24 judicial immunity applies even when it is alleged that “the action 25 was driven by malicious or corrupt motives” or was “flawed by the 26 commission of grave procedural errors”) (citation omitted). Indeed, under the doctrine of judicial immunity, Ashelman, 793 F.2d at 1075. 27 28 5 Judicial immunity is an 1 Here, the Complaint alleges that Judge Fox, in his capacity 2 as a state court judge, is liable for false imprisonment, malicious 3 prosecution, search and seizure, and other torts. 4 because the allegations relate to Judge Fox performing a judicial 5 function, 6 immunity. 7 alleged, must be dismissed on immunity grounds. he is unquestionably entitled to Accordingly, absolute judicial Therefore, the claims against Judge Fox, as currently 8 9 D. The Complaint Violates Federal Rule Of Civil Procedure 8 10 11 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 requires that a complaint 12 contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the 13 pleader is entitled to relief in order to give the defendant fair 14 notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” 15 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation and alteration omitted). 16 claim must be simple, concise, and direct. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(d)(1). 17 Rule 8 can be violated when “too much” or “too little” is said. 18 Knapp v. Hogan, 738 F.3d 1106, 1109 (9th Cir. 2013). Each 19 20 Here, the Complaint does not comply with Rule 8. Plaintiff 21 does not clearly and concisely identify the nature of each of his 22 legal claims, the specific facts giving rise to each claim, and 23 the specific conduct of each Defendant or Defendants against whom 24 each claim is brought. 25 statement of Plaintiff’s claims. 26 repetitious and largely incoherent statements. 27 Complaint fails to provide a simple, concise and direct statement 28 of each violation alleged. The Complaint is not a short and plain Rather, it consists of rambling, Consequently, the Thus, the Complaint fails to provide 6 1 Defendants with fair notice of the claims in a short, clear and 2 concise statement. 3 the Complaint is dismissed, with leave to amend. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Accordingly, 4 5 The Court has The addressed Court notes the obvious that there deficiencies may be of the 6 Complaint. additional 7 deficiencies, i.e., it appears that some or all of the claims may 8 be barred by the applicable statute of limitations or by the 9 doctrines of res judicata or collateral estoppel. The Court 10 advises Plaintiff that he should attempt to correct all noted 11 deficiencies if he chooses to file a First Amended Complaint. 12 13 IV. 14 CONCLUSION 15 16 For the reasons stated above, the Complaint is dismissed with 17 leave to amend. If Plaintiff still wishes to pursue this action, 18 he is granted thirty (30) days from the date of this Memorandum 19 and Order within which to file a First Amended Complaint. 20 amended complaint, the Plaintiff shall cure the defects described 21 above. 22 allegations that are not reasonably related to the claims asserted 23 in the original complaint. 24 shall be complete in itself and shall bear both the designation 25 “First Amended Complaint” and the case number assigned to this 26 action. 27 complaint in this matter. 28 OMIT ANY CLAIMS THAT ARE BARRED BY A LACK OF JURISDICTION OR ON Plaintiff shall not include new defendants In any or new The First Amended Complaint, if any, It shall not refer in any manner to any previously filed PLAINTIFF IS SPECIFICALLY ADVISED TO 7 1 IMMUNITY GROUNDS, unless an exception exists or those defects can 2 be corrected. 3 4 In any amended complaint, Plaintiff should confine his 5 allegations to those operative facts supporting each of his claims. 6 Plaintiff 7 Procedure 8(a), all that is required is a “short and plain statement 8 of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” 9 Plaintiff is strongly encouraged to utilize the standard civil 10 rights complaint form when filing any amended complaint, a copy of 11 which is attached. 12 identify the nature of each separate legal claim and make clear 13 what specific factual allegations support each of her separate 14 claims. 15 concise and to omit irrelevant details. 16 Plaintiff to cite case law, include legal argument, or attach 17 exhibits at this stage of the litigation. Plaintiff is also advised 18 to omit any claims for which he lacks a sufficient factual basis. is advised that pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil In any amended complaint, Plaintiff should Plaintiff is strongly encouraged to keep his statements It is not necessary for 19 20 Plaintiff is explicitly cautioned that failure to timely file 21 a First Amended Complaint or failure to correct the deficiencies 22 described above, will result in a recommendation that this action 23 be dismissed with prejudice for failure to prosecute and obey court 24 orders 25 Plaintiff is further advised that if he no longer wishes to pursue 26 this action, he may voluntarily dismiss it by filing a Notice of 27 Dismissal pursuant in to Federal accordance with Rule of Federal 28 8 Civil Rule of Procedure Civil 41(b). Procedure 1 41(a)(1). A form Notice of Dismissal is attached for Plaintiff’s 2 convenience. 3 4 DATED: March 6, 2018 5 /S/ __________ SUZANNE H. SEGAL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 6 7 8 9 10 THIS ORDER IS NOT INTENDED FOR PUBLICATION IN WESTLAW, LEXIS, OR ANY OTHER LEGAL DATABASE. 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 9

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