Smith v. United State Government and Court System et al

Filing 3

FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman on 12/27/16 Recommending that the action be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the substantiality doctrine re 1 Complaint filed by Debbra Ann Smith. Pla intiff's MOTION to proceed in forma pauperis 2 be denied as moot. The Clerk of Court be directed to close this case. This Findings and Recommendations are submitted to U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley; Objections to these F&Rs due within fourteen days. (Mena-Sanchez, L)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 DEBBRA ANN SMITH, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 15 No. 2:16-cv-2937-TLN-KJN PS v. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND COURT SYSTEM; WASHINGTON DC, 16 Defendants. 17 Plaintiff Debbra Ann Smith, who proceeds in this action without counsel,1 has requested 18 19 leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (ECF No. 2.) Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the court is directed to dismiss the case at any time if it 20 21 determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails 22 to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against an immune 23 defendant. Furthermore, “[u]nder the substantiality doctrine, the district court lacks subject 24 matter jurisdiction when the question presented is too insubstantial to consider.” Cook v. Peter 25 Kiewit Sons Co., 775 F.2d 1030, 1035 (9th Cir. 1985) (citing Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U.S. 528, 26 536-39 (1974)). “The claim must be ‘so insubstantial, implausible, foreclosed by prior decisions 27 1 This case proceeds before the undersigned pursuant to Local Rule 302(c)(21). 28 1 1 of this Court or otherwise completely devoid of merit as not to involve a federal controversy 2 within the jurisdiction of the District Court, whatever may be the ultimate resolution of the 3 federal issues on the merits.’” Id. (quoting Oneida Indian Nation v. County of Oneida, 414 U.S. 4 661, 666 (1974)); see also Apple v. Glenn, 183 F.3d 477, 479 (6th Cir. 1999) (“a district court 5 may, at any time, sua sponte dismiss a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant 6 to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when the allegations of a complaint are 7 totally implausible, attenuated, unsubstantial, frivolous, devoid of merit, or no longer open to 8 discussion.”). 9 Here, plaintiff’s 41-page complaint is rambling and largely unintelligible. As best the 10 court can tell, plaintiff claims that the United States Government and Court System owes her $50 11 million based on alleged various irregularities that occurred in about 17 “trials,” which appear to 12 relate to evictions, name alterations, erroneous information on credit reports, medical insurance 13 policies, Social Security benefits, and alleged failures to appear by district attorneys. It is the 14 court’s policy, consistent with applicable law, to liberally construe the filings of pro se litigants in 15 an attempt to ascertain whether, despite inartful pleading, a potentially viable claim is stated. 16 However, plaintiff’s complaint here is a confusing hodgepodge of generalized grievances, which 17 not only fail to state a claim against the named defendants, but also appear frivolous, and are so 18 insubstantial as to not invoke the court’s subject matter jurisdiction. Furthermore, given the 19 frivolous and insubstantial nature of plaintiff’s allegations, the court finds that granting leave to 20 amend would be futile. 21 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that: 22 1. The action be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the substantiality 23 doctrine. 24 2. Plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2) be denied as moot. 25 3. The Clerk of Court be directed to close this case. 26 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge 27 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within fourteen (14) 28 days after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written 2 1 objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be captioned 2 “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendations.” Any reply to the objections 3 shall be served on all parties and filed with the court within fourteen (14) days after service of the 4 objections. The parties are advised that failure to file objections within the specified time may 5 waive the right to appeal the District Court’s order. Turner v. Duncan, 158 F.3d 449, 455 (9th 6 Cir. 1998); Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153, 1156-57 (9th Cir. 1991). 7 8 IT IS SO RECOMMENDED. Dated: December 27, 2016 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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