Johnson v. Myelin Productions
ORDER Directing Plaintiff to File an Amended Complaint, by Magistrate Judge Boyd N. Boland on 6/29/2012. (skssl, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 12-cv-01359-BNB
LARRY ELEVTHERIOS JOHNSON,
SR. GREGORY A.N. COONS,
AXUM21ST GROUP GLOBAL,
KAITLYN NOLAN, and
ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO FILE
AN AMENDED COMPLAINT
Plaintiff, Larry Elevtherios Johnson, currently resides in Boulder, Colorado. Mr.
Johnson, acting pro se, initiated this action by filing a Complaint. The Court must
construe the Complaint liberally because Mr. Johnson is not represented by an attorney.
See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106,
1110 (10th Cir. 1991). The Court, however, should not act as a pro se litigant’s
advocate. See Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110. For the reasons stated below, Mr. Johnson will
be ordered to file an Amended Complaint.
The Court finds that the Complaint does not comply with the pleading
requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The twin purposes of a
complaint are to give the opposing parties fair notice of the basis for the claims against
them so that they may respond and to allow the court to conclude that the allegations, if
proven, show that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. See Monument Builders of Greater
Kansas City, Inc. v. American Cemetery Ass’n of Kansas, 891 F.2d 1473, 1480 (10th
Cir. 1989). The requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 are designed to meet these purposes.
See TV Communications Network, Inc. v. ESPN, Inc., 767 F. Supp. 1062, 1069 (D.
Colo. 1991), aff’d, 964 F.2d 1022 (10th Cir. 1992).
Specifically, Rule 8(a) provides that a complaint “must contain: (1) a short and
plain statement of the grounds for the court’s jurisdiction, . . . (2) a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for
the relief sought . . . .” The philosophy of Rule 8(a) is reinforced by Rule 8(d)(1), which
provides that “[e]ach allegation must be simple, concise, and direct.” Taken together,
Rules 8(a) and (d)(1) underscore the emphasis placed on clarity and brevity by the
federal pleading rules. Prolix pleadings violate the requirements of Rule 8.
Mr. Johnson fails to set forth a short and plain statement of his claims showing
what the named defendants did to infringe on his copyright ownership of the
screenplays Children of Tykarindom and Theodora the Great. Mr. Johnson’s claims are
not sufficient under Rule 8(a). Liability for copyright infringement by an individual
requires direct participation in the infringement. See American Airlines v. Christensen,
967 F.2d 410, 417 (10th Cir. 1992). The Court, therefore, will direct Mr. Johnson to file
an Amended Complaint that complies with the pleading requirements of Rule 8. Mr.
Johnson must present his claims in a manageable format that allows the Court and
Defendants to know what claims are being asserted and to be able to respond to those
Mr. Johnson also must name the proper parties who are responsible for violating
rights and assert each defendant’s personal participation in the alleged violations. Mr.
Johnson further must explain what each defendant did to him; when the defendant did
it; how the defendant’s action harmed him; and, what specific legal right he believes the
defendant violated. Nasious v. Two Unknown B.I.C.E. Agents, 492 F.3d 1158, 1163
(10th Cir. 2007). Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that Mr. Johnson file an Amended Complaint as instructed above,
within thirty days from the date of this Order. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that Mr. Johnson shall obtain the proper Court-approved
form, along with the applicable instructions, at www.cod.uscourts.gov for use in filing the
Amended Complaint. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that if Mr. Johnson fails to show cause and properly
amend the Complaint, within thirty days from the date of this Order, the Complaint
and action shall be subject to dismissal without further notice.
DATED June 29, 2012, at Denver, Colorado.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Boyd N. Boland
United States Magistrate Judge
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