Hunt v. State of California et al

Filing 8

ORDER DISMISSING CASE. Signed by Judge Maria-Elena James on 6/4/2012. (cdnS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/4/2012)

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1 2 3 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 TYRONE HUNT, No. CV 12-2291 MEJ Plaintiff, 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 ORDER DISMISSING AMENDED COMPLAINT vs. STATE OF CALIFORNIA, et al., Defendants. / 12 13 INTRODUCTION 14 On May 8, 2012, Plaintiff Tyrone Hunt filed a three-page handwritten complaint and an 15 application to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court granted Plaintiff’s application to proceed in 16 forma pauperis, but dismissed the complaint with leave to amend. Plaintiff has now filed an 17 amended complaint. Upon review of the amended complaint, the Court DISMISSES this case 18 WITH PREJUDICE for the reasons set forth below. 19 LEGAL STANDARD 20 A complaint filed by any person proceeding in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 21 1915(a) is subject to a mandatory and sua sponte review and dismissal by the Court to the extent it is 22 frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief 23 from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 24 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). 25 Section 1915(e)(2) mandates that the court reviewing an in forma pauperis complaint make and rule 26 on its own motion to dismiss before directing that the complaint be served by the United States 27 Marshal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 4(c)(2). Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1127; see 28 also Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998) (noting that the language of § 1 1915(e) (2)(B)(ii) parallels the language of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (Rule) 12(b)(6).”). As 2 the United States Supreme Court has explained, “[the in forma pauperis statute] is designed largely 3 to discourage the filing of, and waste of judicial and private resources upon, baseless lawsuits that 4 paying litigants generally do not initiate because of the costs of bringing suit.” Neitzke v. Williams, 5 490 U.S. 319, 327–28 (1989). 6 “Frivolousness” within the meaning of the in forma pauperis standard of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d) and failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) are distinct concepts. A complaint is “frivolous” 8 where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Id. at 325 (definition of “frivolous . . . 9 embraces not only the arguable legal conclusion, but also the fanciful factual allegation”). When 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 7 determining whether to dismiss a complaint as “frivolous” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(I), the 11 Court has “‘the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint’s factual allegations,’” meaning 12 that the Court “is not bound, as it usually is when making a determination based solely on the 13 pleadings, to accept without question the truth of the plaintiff's allegations.” Denton v. Hernandez, 14 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992) (quoting Nietzke, 490 U.S. at 327). Further, the Ninth Circuit has expressly 15 held that frivolous litigation “is not limited to cases in which a legal claim is entirely without merit . 16 . . . [A] person with a measured legitimate claim may cross the line into frivolous litigation by 17 asserting facts that are grossly exaggerated or totally false.” Molski v. Evergreen Dynasty Corp., 18 500 F.3d 1047, 1060–61 (9th Cir. 2007). 19 The Court may also dismiss a complaint sua sponte under Rule 12(b)(6). Sparling v. 20 Hoffman Constr. Co., 864 F.2d 635, 638 (9th Cir. 1988). Under Rule 12(b)(6), a district court must 21 dismiss a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Rule 8(a)(2) requires 22 that a complaint include a “short and plain statement” showing the plaintiff is entitled to relief. “To 23 survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 24 state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 25 1949 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted); see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 26 570 (2007). The complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, but the plaintiff must 27 “provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment]’ to relief,” which “requires more than labels and 28 2 1 conclusions,” and merely “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” is insufficient. 2 Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. 3 In determining whether to dismiss a complaint under 12(b)(6), the Court is ordinarily limited to the face of the complaint. Van Buskirk v. Cable News Network, Inc., 284 F.3d 977, 980 (9th Cir. 5 2002). The factual allegations pled in the complaint must be taken as true and reasonable inferences 6 drawn from them must be construed in favor of the plaintiff. Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 7 336, 337–38 (9th Cir. 1996). However, the Court cannot assume that “the [plaintiff] can prove facts 8 which [he or she] has not alleged.” Assoc. Gen. Contractors of Cal., Inc. v. Cal. State Council of 9 Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526 (1983). “Nor is the court required to accept as true allegations that 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 4 are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences.” Sprewell v. 11 Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001) (citation omitted). 12 ANALYSIS 13 Here, Plaintiff’s amended complaint simply states that Defendant Michelle Rhee is “in 14 violation of Brown v. Board of Ed., (1954) etc., then she should be immediately placed into 15 permanent exile from this country.” Am. Compl. at 2. Plaintiff goes on to state that he “seeks the 16 immediate expulsion, expellment [sic], and the immediate placement of Ms. Michelle Rhee to 17 Korea, and all others similarly situated into permanent exile from this nation.” Id. Plaintiff seeks 18 two trillion dollars in damages. Id. The Court finds Plaintiff’s amended complaint frivolous as it 19 lacks any basis either in law or in fact. Even if Plaintiff’s complaint had merit (and no such finding 20 is being made), Plaintiff’s claim for Defendant’s exile to Korea and demand for two trillion crosses 21 the line into frivolous litigation with nebulous claims that are grossly exaggerated or totally false. 22 Molski, 500 F.3d at 1060–61. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s complaint is DISMISSED. 23 As the Court noted in its previous order, when dismissing a case, the Ninth Circuit has 24 “repeatedly held that a district court should grant leave to amend even if no request to amend the 25 pleading was made, unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the 26 allegation of other facts.” Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130. The Court previously granted Plaintiff leave to 27 amend and advised him to comply with the guidelines set forth in Rule 8(a), and to allege with at 28 3 1 least some degree of particularity the facts in which defendant engaged to support the claim. Jones 2 v. Cmty. Redev. Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). Plaintiff has done neither. The Court 3 also 4 recommended that Plaintiff obtain a copy of the Court's Handbook for Litigants Without a Lawyer, 5 which provides an explanation of the required components of a complaint, and that he may wish to 6 seek assistance from the Legal Help Center or from the San Francisco Bar Association’s lawyer 7 referral service. As the Court has provided Plaintiff ample instruction and recommendations for 8 assistance, and his amended complaint continues to be deficient at best, the Court finds that leave to 9 amend would be futile. Accordingly, the case is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The Clerk of United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 Court shall close the file. IT IS SO ORDERED. 12 Dated: June 4, 2012 13 MARIA-ELENA JAMES United States Magistrate Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4 1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 8 TYRONE HUNT, Case Number: CV12-2291 MEJ Plaintiff, 9 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 vs. STATE OF CALIFORNIA, et al., Defendants. / 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That on June 4, 2012, I SERVED a true and correct copy(ies) of the attached, by placing said copy(ies) in a postage paid envelope addressed to the person(s) hereinafter listed, by depositing said envelope in the U.S. Mail, or by placing said copy(ies) into an inter-office delivery receptacle located in the Clerk's office. Tyrone Hunt 422 Chesapeake St. SE #33 Washington, DC 20032 20 21 22 Dated: June 4, 2012 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Rose Maher, Deputy Clerk 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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