Ransom v. Volunteers of America

Filing 3

ORDER and FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Allison Claire on 12/4/2017 ORDERING that Plaintiff's 2 application to proceed IFP is GRANTED. IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that all claims against all defendant should be DISMISSED without prejudice, so that plaintiff may seek to include them in an amended complaint in Ransom v. SHRA, 2:17-cv-01366-TLN-AC. Referred to Judge John A. Mendez. Objections to F&R due within 21 days. (Zignago, K.)

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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 CLINTON RANSOM, 12 13 14 15 No. 2:17-cv-02494 JAM AC PS Plaintiff, v. ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA, Defendants. 16 17 Plaintiff is proceeding in this action pro se. This matter was referred to the undersigned in 18 by E.D. Cal. R. 302(c)(21). Plaintiff has filed a request for leave to proceed in forma 19 pauperis (“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, and has submitted the affidavit required by that 20 statute. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The motion to proceed IFP will therefore be granted. 21 22 I. SCREENING A determination that a plaintiff qualifies financially for in forma pauperis status does not 23 complete the inquiry required by the statute. The federal IFP statute requires federal courts to 24 dismiss a case if the action is legally “frivolous or malicious,” fails to state a claim upon which 25 relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 26 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Plaintiff must assist the court in determining whether or not the 27 complaint is frivolous, by drafting the complaint so that it complies with the Federal Rules of 28 Civil Procedure (“Fed. R. Civ. P.”). Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the complaint 1 1 must contain (1) a “short and plain statement” of the basis for federal jurisdiction (that is, the 2 reason the case is filed in this court, rather than in a state court), (2) a short and plain statement 3 showing that plaintiff is entitled to relief (that is, who harmed the plaintiff, and in what way), and 4 (3) a demand for the relief sought. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Plaintiff’s claims must be set forth 5 simply, concisely and directly. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(d)(1). 6 A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. 7 Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the 8 court will (1) accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint, unless they 9 are clearly baseless or fanciful, (2) construe those allegations in the light most favorable to the 10 plaintiff, and (3) resolve all doubts in the plaintiff’s favor. See Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327; Von 11 Saher v. Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, 592 F.3d 954, 960 (9th Cir. 2010), cert. 12 denied, 564 U.S. 1037 (2011). 13 The court applies the same rules of construction in determining whether the complaint 14 states a claim on which relief can be granted. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (court 15 must accept the allegations as true); Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974) (court must 16 construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff). Pro se pleadings are held to a 17 less stringent standard than those drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 18 (1972). However, the court need not accept as true conclusory allegations, unreasonable 19 inferences, or unwarranted deductions of fact. Western Mining Council v. Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 20 624 (9th Cir. 1981). A formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action does not suffice 21 to state a claim. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 22 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). To state a claim on which relief may be granted, the plaintiff must 23 allege enough facts “to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 24 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the 25 court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” 26 Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. 27 28 A pro se litigant is entitled to notice of the deficiencies in the complaint and an opportunity to amend, unless the complaint’s deficiencies could not be cured by amendment. See 2 1 Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987). 2 II. THE COMPLAINT 3 The complaint alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act against defendant 4 for their alleged failure to properly maintain sidewalk areas around plaintiff’s home. ECF No. 1. 5 The court notes that plaintiff has an Americans with Disabilities Act case currently pending 6 against the same defendant (as well as other defendants), also for alleged housing-related 7 violations. See, Ransom v. Sacramento Housing Redeveloping Agency (“SHRA”) et al., 2:17-cv- 8 01366-TLN-AC. 9 III. ANALYSIS 10 This case is duplicative of one that is already pending before the undersigned, and 11 therefore must be dismissed. The correct way for plaintiff to bring the additional allegations 12 asserted against defendant in this case is to seek to amend his complaint in the already-pending 13 case, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15. 14 IV. CONCLUSION 15 16 In accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2), is GRANTED; 17 Further, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that all claims against all defendant should 18 be DISMISSED without prejudice, so that plaintiff may seek to include them in an amended 19 complaint in Ransom v. SHRA, 2:17-cv-01366-TLN-AC. 20 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge 21 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within twenty-one days 22 after being served with these findings and recommendations, plaintiff may file written objections 23 with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be captioned 24 “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendations.” Failure to file objections 25 //// 26 //// 27 //// 28 //// 3 1 within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court’s order. Martinez v. 2 Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 3 IT IS SO ORDERED 4 DATED: December 4, 2017 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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