Steel v. Sacramento County, et al

Filing 7

ORDER signed by Judge Edmund F. Brennan on 12/03/07 GRANTING 3 Application to proceed IFP. Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed with leave to amend; plaintiff is granted 30 days to file amended complaint.(Dillon, M)

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(PS) Steel v. Sacramento County, et al Doc. 7 Case 2:07-cv-02528-LKK-EFB Document 7 Filed 12/03/2007 Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 vs. SACRAMENTO COUNTY, YOLO COUNTY Defendants. / ORDER IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA DANIELLE MACY STEEL, Plaintiff, No. CIV S-07-2528 LKK EFB PS This case, in which plaintiff is proceeding in propria persona, was referred to the undersigned under Local Rule 72-302(c)(21), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1). Plaintiff seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915. Plaintiff has submitted the affidavit required by 1915(a) showing that she is unable to prepay fees and costs or give security therefor. Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. 28 U.S.C. 1915(a). A determination that plaintiff may proceed in forma pauperis does not complete the required inquiry, however. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2), the court is directed to dismiss the case at any time if it determines the allegation of poverty is untrue, or if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against an immune defendant. 1 Dockets.Justia.com Case 2:07-cv-02528-LKK-EFB Document 7 Filed 12/03/2007 Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972), a pro so plaintiff must still satisfy the pleading requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8(a)(2) "requires a complaint to include a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (May 21, 2007) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)). "[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the `grounds' of his `entitlement to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of a cause of action's elements will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all of the complaint's allegations are true." Id. (citations omitted). Upon review of the complaint, the court has determined that it fails to comply with Rule 8(a)(2), as it fails to set forth a short and plain statement showing entitlement to relief. It also fails to satisfy the requirement of Rule 8(a)(1) and (3), as it does not include the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction rests or a demand for relief. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). A federal court is a court of limited jurisdiction, and may adjudicate only those cases authorized by the Constitution and by Congress. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). The basic federal jurisdiction statutes, 28 U.S.C. 1331 & 1332, confer "federal question" and "diversity" jurisdiction, respectively. Federal question jurisdiction requires that the complaint (1) arise under a federal law or the U. S. Constitution, (2) allege a "case or controversy" within the meaning of Article III, 2 of the U. S. Constitution, or (3) be authorized by a federal statute that both regulates a specific subject matter and confers federal jurisdiction. Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 198 (1962). To invoke the court's diversity jurisdiction, a plaintiff must specifically allege the diverse citizenship of all parties, and that the matter in controversy exceeds $75,000. 28 U.S.C. 1332(a); Bautista v. Pan American World Airlines, Inc., 828 F.2d 546, 552 (9th Cir. 1987). A case presumably lies outside the jurisdiction of the federal courts unless demonstrated otherwise. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 376-78. Lack of 2 Case 2:07-cv-02528-LKK-EFB Document 7 Filed 12/03/2007 Page 3 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time by either party or by the court. Attorneys Trust v. Videotape Computer Products, Inc., 93 F.3d 593, 594-95 (9th Cir. 1996). Here, plaintiff does not allege any facts at all, let alone any that would establish this court's jurisdiction. Plaintiff likewise does not state what her claim is, nor does she demand any relief. Plaintiff merely submits a complaint form containing instructions for filing a civil complaint. For these reasons, the court must dismiss the complaint. However, the court will grant plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint that complies with Rule 8 and corrects the deficiencies addressed herein. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (district courts must afford pro se litigants an opportunity to amend to correct any deficiency in their complaints). If plaintiff chooses to file an amended complaint, she is informed that the court cannot refer to prior pleadings in order to make an amended complaint complete. Local Rule 15-220 requires that an amended complaint be complete in itself. This is because, as a general rule, an amended complaint supersedes the original complaint. See Loux v. Rhay, 375 F.2d 55, 57 (9th Cir. 1967). Accordingly, once plaintiff files an amended complaint, the original no longer serves any function in the case. Therefore, "a plaintiff waives all causes of action alleged in the original complaint which are not alleged in the amended complaint," London v. Coopers & Lybrand, 644 F.2d 811, 814 (9th Cir. 1981), and defendants not named in an amended complaint are no longer defendants. Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1992). Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that: 1. Plaintiff's request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted; 2. Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed with leave to amend; and, 3. Plaintiff is granted thirty days from the date of service of this order to file an amended complaint. The amended complaint must bear the docket number assigned to this case and must be labeled "Amended Complaint." Plaintiff must file an original and two copies of the amended //// 3 Case 2:07-cv-02528-LKK-EFB Document 7 Filed 12/03/2007 Page 4 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 complaint. Failure to timely file an amended complaint in accordance with this order will result in a recommendation this action be dismissed. DATED: December 3, 2007. 4

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