Glass v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Filing 49

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND AND DENYING SANCTIONS MOTION. Signed by Judge James Donato on 3/24/2017. (jdlc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/24/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 LEIGH GLASS, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Case No. 16-cv-02142-JD v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND AND DENYING SANCTIONS MOTION Defendant. 12 13 14 DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS (DKT. NO. 16) Defendant asks the Court to dismiss this action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, because “the federal government has not waived its 16 sovereign immunity” for plaintiff’s claims. Dkt. No. 16 at 1-2. The Court finds, however, that 17 that argument is somewhat premature, and dismissal of the complaint is more appropriate under a 18 different rule. As defendant notes, plaintiff’s complaint “does not identify the specific statutes 19 under which she is suing.” Id. at 2. Indeed, the complaint makes no reference to any law, 20 statutory or otherwise, other than a reference to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (the federal question statute) as 21 the basis for federal jurisdiction in this case. Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 2. 22 Dismissal is consequently appropriate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2). That 23 rule requires “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to 24 relief,” which “give[s] the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon 25 which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Plaintiff’s complaint 26 fails this requirement because it gives no indication of the legal bases for her claims for relief. A 27 defendant required to respond to such a complaint “would have little idea where to begin.” 28 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 565 n.10. Plaintiff has, however, requested leave to amend in the event of a 1 dismissal, see Dkt. No. 30, and that is entirely appropriate here. The Court dismisses plaintiff’s 2 complaint with leave to amend under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), and sets April 21, 3 2017, as the deadline by which an amended complaint may be filed. 4 MOTION FOR SANCTIONS (DKT. NO. 34) 5 Plaintiff’s sanctions motion against the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to this 6 case and her supervisor is wholly without merit and it is denied. Nothing described in plaintiff’s 7 motion comes close to approaching sanctionable conduct. In making her motion, plaintiff unnecessarily disparages the other side. See, e.g., Dkt. 8 9 No. 34 at 4 (suggesting the government’s arguments here are “frivolous and ridiculous”). That plaintiff is proceeding pro se in this case does not excuse her from observing basic rules of 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 civility, courtesy and respect. Plaintiff has failed in that regard with respect to court staff as well. 12 See Dkt. No. 43. Plaintiff is admonished that future failures in this regard will not be well taken 13 by the Court, and reminded that sanctions may be imposed if this kind of improper litigation 14 conduct continues, including the possible termination of plaintiff’s ECF filing rights. See Dkt. 15 No. 45. 16 OTHER OUTSTANDING MOTIONS 17 The Court terminates as moot docket numbers 31, 32, 33 and 48. 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 Dated: March 24, 2017 20 21 JAMES DONATO United States District Judge 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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