Bruce v. State of Colorado et al
ORDER DIRECTING APPLICANT TO FILE AN AMENDED APPLICATION by Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher on 9/29/15. (dkals, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 15-cv-01653-GPG
DOUGLAS EDWARD BRUCE,
STATE OF COLORADO;
COLORADO PROBATION DEPARTMENT;
COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL;
COLORADO SUPREME COURT; and
DENVER DISTRICT COURT; et al.,
ORDER DIRECTING APPLICANT TO FILE AN AMENDED APPLICATION
Applicant, Douglas Edward Bruce, has filed, pro se, an Application for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (ECF No. 2), and has paid the $5.00 filing
fee. In the § 2254 Application, Applicant challenges his convictions for tax evasion,
filing a false tax return, attempting to influence a public servant, and failing to file a tax
return or to pay tax.
The Court must construe the Application liberally because Applicant 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). However, the Court should not be an
advocate for a pro se litigant. See Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110. Moreover, inasmuch as
Applicant is a former prosecutor and has legal training, he should not be the beneficiary
of the liberal construction that a non-attorney pro se litigant is entitled to.
The Court has reviewed the § 2254 Application and finds that it is deficient, for
the reasons discussed below. Accordingly, Applicant will be directed to file an Amended
Application if he wishes to proceed in this action.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure apply to applications for habeas corpus
relief. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 81(a)(4); Browder v. Director, Dep’t of Corrections, 434 U.S.
257, 269 (1978); Ewing v. Rodgers, 826 F.2d 967, 969-70 (10th Cir. 1987). Pursuant to
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a), a pleading “shall contain (1) a short and plain statement of the
basis 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.” Fed. R. Civ.
P. 8(d)(1) 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, vague, or unintelligible pleadings violate the
requirements of Rule 8. In addition, Rule 4(c) of the Rules Governing Section § 2254
Cases in the United States District Courts requires that an application “specify all
grounds for relief available to the petitioner” and “state the facts supporting each
Applicant’s claims are vague and do not state facts to show that his convictions
are invalid under the Constitution. Applicant is also reminded that he is required to
exhaust any constitutional claims in the state courts before seeking federal habeas
corpus relief. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b); see also Montez v. McKinna, 208 F.3d 862, 866
(10th Cir. 2000). It is not clear from Applicant’s allegations in the § 2254 Application
whether he has exhausted available state court remedies. Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that Applicant file, within thirty days from the date of this Order,
an Amended Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, on
the court-approved form, that complies with the requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure and the directives in this Order. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that if Applicant fails within the time allowed to file an
Amended Application as directed, the action will be dismissed without prejudice and
without further notice.
DATED September 29, 2015, at Denver, Colorado.
BY THE COURT:
/s Gordon P. Gallgher
United States Magistrate Judge
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