Spencer v. Johanson

Filing 4

ORDER Granting 2 Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis; Order Denying 3 Motion for Appointment of Counsel; and Order of Dismissal. The IFP motion shows Spencer lacks the funds to pay the filing fee, and the motion is granted. The complaint is dism issed without prejudice for failure to state a claim, and for failure to invoke the Court's jurisdiction. The motion for appointment of counsel is denied as moot. Signed by Judge Larry Alan Burns on 9/11/2017. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(lrf) Modified on 9/12/2017 to update docket text (lrf).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ALONZO SPENCER, Case No.: 17cv1798-LAB (JLB) Plaintiff, 12 13 v. 14 ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS; PIER JOHANSON, ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL; AND Defendant. 15 16 17 18 ORDER OF DISMISSAL Plaintiff Alonzo Spencer, proceeding pro se, filed his complaint in this case along 19 with a motion to proceed in forma pauperis and a motion for appointment of counsel. 20 The IFP motion shows Spencer lacks the funds to pay the filing fee, and the motion is 21 GRANTED. The motion for appointment of counsel, however, is incomplete. Spencer 22 used a form to prepare this motion. In the area where he was to have described his efforts 23 to find an attorney to represent him, Spencer has said nothing. 24 A complaint filed by any person seeking to proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 25 § 1915(a) is subject to a mandatory and sua sponte review and dismissal by the court to 26 the extent it is “frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be 27 granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. 28 § 1915(e)(2)(B). 1 17cv1798-LAB (JLB) 1 Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a), every complaint filed in federal court must contain a 2 short and plain statement of the grounds for the Court’s jurisdiction, and a short and plain 3 statement of the claim showing that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. The complaint, 4 which is illegible in places, alleges that Spencer worked for Falkenburg/Gilliam, Inc. 5 Later Pier Johanson was hired. Spencer alleges that Johanson harassed him on the job. 6 The complaint also says Johanson “took the Plaintiff to his Kang[a]roo Court” after 7 which Spencer was fired. Spencer is suing Johanson only, not Falkenburg/Gilliam or 8 anyone else. A review of state court records shows that spencer sued Johanson in 2009 9 for harassment, and Falkenberg/Gilliam Associates in 2013 for wrongful termination. 1 10 Besides failing to state a claim, the complaint identifies no basis for the Court’s 11 exercise of jurisdiction in this case. Spencer’s alleged harassment by a co-worker might 12 be actionable in state court, but it is not actionable here. Furthermore, it appears Spencer 13 already brought his claims in state court, which deprives this Court of jurisdiction to hear 14 them, under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. See Noel v. Hall, 341 F.3d 1148, 1154–56 (9th 15 Cir. 2003). 16 Even if Spencer had shown why counsel could or should be appointed, he is not 17 bringing any claims over which the Court can exercise jurisdiction. The complaint is 18 DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for failure to state a claim, and for failure to 19 invoke the Court’s jurisdiction. The motion for appointment of counsel is DENIED AS 20 MOOT. 21 22 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 11, 2017 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 Spencer’s spelling of these parties’ names has been inconsistent, but the two state law cases appear to involve the exact same people. In the 2009 state court proceeding, the defendant’s name is spelled both as “Per Johnson” and “Pierce Johnson”. 2 17cv1798-LAB (JLB)

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