Ward v. No Named Defendant
ORDER OF DISMISSAL. ORDERED that the Amended Prisoner Complaint (ECF No. 9 ) and action are DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. IFP on appeal is denied, by Judge Lewis T. Babcock on 1/19/2016. (agarc, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 15-cv-02440-GPG
JOSEPH WAYNE WARD,
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Plaintiff, Joseph Wayne Ward, is a prisoner currently incarcerated at the Crowley
Correctional Facility in Olney Springs, Colorado. On October 30, 2015, he filed pro se a
Prisoner Complaint (ECF No. 4) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has been granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 7).
On December 17, 2015, Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher ordered Mr.
Ward to file an amended prisoner complaint. (ECF No. 8). Magistrate Judge Gallagher
instructed Mr. Ward to file an amended prisoner complaint that complied with the
requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In response, on
January 8, 2015, Mr. Ward filed an Amended Prisoner Complaint. (ECF No. 9).
The court must construe the Amended Prisoner Complaint liberally because Mr.
Ward 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. For the
reasons stated below, the Amended Prisoner Complaint will be dismissed.
The Court has reviewed the Amended Prisoner Complaint and finds that it fails to
comply with the pleading requirements of Rule 8. As Mr. Ward was advised, 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, vague, or
unintelligible pleadings violate Rule 8.
Mr. Ward’s claims are unintelligible. They appear to involve his conviction in
Boulder County District Court case 03CR001277. At one point he argues the court had
no subject matter jurisdiction in that case. At another point, he references the
Defendant’s “own default within the Certificate of Dishonor/Administrative Judgment/
Notarial Protest.” Further, he argues that the “Defendant and/or his office sold bonds
and made profit upon the Plaintiff’s/Beneficiary’s conviction in case #03CR001277.”
The Court is unable to make sense of any of Plaintiff’s arguments.
As such, despite specific instructions from Magistrate Judge Gallagher, Mr. Ward
fails to set forth a short and plain statement of his claims showing he is entitled to relief.
The general rule that pro se pleadings must be construed liberally has limits and “the
court cannot take on the responsibility of serving as the litigant’s attorney in constructing
arguments and searching the record.” Garrett v. Selby Connor Maddux & Janer, 425
F.3d 836, 840 (10th Cir. 2005).
Mr. Ward has already had an opportunity to amend his prisoner complaint to
comply with the pleading requirements of Rule 8, but he has failed to do so. Therefore,
the action will be dismissed for failure to file an Amended Prisoner Complaint that
complies with Rule 8 as directed.
Finally, the Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal
from this order would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status
will be denied for the purpose of appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438
(1962). If Mr. Ward files a notice of appeal he also must pay the full $505 appellate
filing fee or file a motion to proceed in forma pauperis in the United States Court of
Appeals for the Tenth Circuit within thirty days in accordance with Fed. R. App. P. 24.
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that the Amended Prisoner Complaint (ECF No. 9) and action are
DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal is
DATED at Denver, Colorado, this
BY THE COURT:
s/Lewis T. Babcock_____________
LEWIS T. BABCOCK, Senior Judge
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