Griffin v. Skils Kin Payee Service

Filing 10


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1 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 3 EASTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON 4 5 JUAN P. GRIFFIN, 6 Plaintiff, 7 8 9 v. SKILS KIN PAYEE SERVICE, 10 NO. 2:16-CV-00273-JLQ ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AS FRIVOLOUS AND BASELESS, DIRECTING ENTRY OF JUDGMENT, AND CLOSING FILE Defendant. 11 12 On July 26, 2016, Plaintiff submitted his pro se Complaint along with an 13 Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. See (ECF No. 1); (ECF No. 2). Magistrate 14 Judge Rodgers initially denied his application to proceed in forma pauperis, but later 15 accepted his application notwithstanding the fact Plaintiff has “repeatedly refused to 16 comply with the Court’s directive to provide additional information in part 9 of the 17 application, regarding Plaintiff’s other pending cases.” (ECF No. 8). Magistrate Judge 18 Rodgers set the matter for screening by this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). 19 Although the caption names the Wolfe Apartments as a party, Skils Kin Payee 20 Service is the only named Defendant within the body of the Complaint. See (ECF No. 9 21 at 2). Plaintiff alleged his civil rights were violated because an employee of Skils Kin 22 Payee Service stopped paying Plaintiff’s cell phone bill and he was forced to pay it 23 himself. (ECF No. 9 at 6). Plaintiff asserted he and other veterans “are being robbed” by 24 employees of Skils Kin. (ECF No. 9 at 4). Plaintiff also alleged the Wolfe Apartments 25 “are filled with bed bugs and roaches.” (ECF No. 9 at 4). Rather than asserting a provided 26 ground for jurisdiction, Plaintiff wrote “National Security comes before my right to due 27 process.” (ECF No. 9 at 3). For these alleged civil rights violations, Plaintiff seeks “$995 28 trillion dollars” in damages. (ECF No. 9 at 7). ORDER - 1 1 Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), a district court “may authorize the 2 commencement ... of any suit ... without prepayment of fees... by a person who submits 3 an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets such [person] possesses that the person 4 in unable to pay such fees or give security therefor.” See also, Andrews v. Cervantes, 493 5 F.3d 1047, 1051 n.1 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Lister v. Department of Treasury, 408 F.3d 6 1309, 1312 (10th Cir. 2005) stating the statute applies to all persons, not just prisoners). 7 However, “the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines ... the 8 action ... (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be 9 granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such 10 11 relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). A complaint “is frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. 12 [The] term ‘frivolous,’ when applied to a complaint, embraces not only the inarguable 13 legal conclusion, but also the fanciful factual allegation.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 14 319, 325 (1989), superseded by statute on other grounds as stated in Lopez v. Smith, 203 15 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000). The court may dismiss a claim when it is “based on 16 an indisputably meritless legal theory” or when “factual contentions are clearly baseless.” 17 Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The “critical inquiry” is whether any of the claims have “an 18 arguable basis in law and fact.” Jackson v. State of Ariz., 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 19 1989), superseded by statute on other grounds as stated in Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130-31. 20 The facts alleged in a complaint are to be taken as true and must “plausibly give 21 rise to an entitlement of relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). Mere legal 22 conclusions “are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” (Id.). A complaint must contain 23 more than “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Bell Atlantic 24 Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). It must plead “enough facts to state a claim 25 to relief that is plausible on its face.” (Id. at 570). 26 A “finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts alleged rise to the 27 level of the irrational or the wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially 28 noticeable facts available to contradict them.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 ORDER - 2 1 (1992). In considering whether a complaint is frivolous, “the in forma pauperis statute, 2 unlike Rule 12(b)(6), ‘accords judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on 3 an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the 4 complaint’s factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are 5 clearly baseless.” (Id.) (quoting Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327). 6 In considering a pro se complaint which fails to state a claim as presented, the 7 court should allow leave to amend unless it is “absolutely clear that the deficiencies of the 8 complaint could not be cured by amendment.” Broughton v. Cutter Laboratories, 622 9 F.2d 458, 460 (9th Cir. 1980) (per curiam). 10 Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must prove: (1) a person acting under color of 11 state law (2) committed an act that deprived the plaintiff of some right, privilege, or 12 immunity protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. Leer v. Murphy, 844 13 F.2d 628, 632-33 (9th Cir. 1988). A person deprives another “of a constitutional right, 14 within the meaning of section 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in another’s 15 affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes 16 the deprivation of which [the plaintiff complains].” Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 17 (9th Cir. 1978). 18 To establish liability pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiff must set forth facts 19 demonstrating how each defendant caused or personally participated in causing a 20 deprivation of the plaintiff’s protected rights. Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 21 1989); Arnold v. International Business Machines Corp., 637 F.2d 1350, 1355 (9th Cir. 22 1981). Even a liberal interpretation of a civil rights complaint may not supply essential 23 elements of a claim the plaintiff failed to plead. Ivey v. Board of Regents of University of 24 Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). 25 Plaintiff’s factual allegations are baseless and frivolous. It is wholly implausible to 26 file a federal lawsuit because the Defendant would not pay a cell phone bill for the 27 Plaintiff. The court is unaware of any protected constitutional right to own a cell phone 28 and have someone pay the bill for the person. Additionally, the condition of privately ORDER - 3 1 owned apartments does not raise a plausible civil rights claim. These findings are 2 illustrated by Plaintiff not asserting a valid basis for federal jurisdiction. The court finds 3 the Complaint frivolous and no amendment would cure the baseless claims contained 4 therein. 5 The court also observes Plaintiff has eight other cases pending which contain 6 similar allegations of a sparse, conclusory, and fanciful nature. It appears Plaintiff deems 7 it appropriate to file a new lawsuit whenever he is unhappy or dissatisfied with another 8 person’s actions. This defies the purpose of civil lawsuits and takes up the court’s time 9 addressing frivolous claims. Plaintiff is warned a litigant who burdens the court with 10 repetitive and frivolous litigation runs the risk of being declared a vexatious litigant. See 11 Molski v. Evergreen Dynasty Corp., 500 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir. 2007). This court is 12 considering initiating such a process in light of Plaintiff’s conduct and allegations in all 13 of the pending cases, including the instant matter. 14 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: 15 1. The Complaint (ECF No. 9) and the claims therein are DISMISSED WITH 16 PREJUDICE based on the court’s finding the claims and factual allegations 17 contained therein are frivolous and baseless. 18 2. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment of dismissal of the Complaint (ECF 19 No. 9) and the claims therein WITH PREJUDICE and without costs or 20 attorneys’ fees awarded to any party. 21 22 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. The Clerk is directed to enter this Order and Judgment, furnish copies to Mr. Griffin, and close this file. Dated October 14, 2016. s/ Justin L. Quackenbush JUSTIN L. QUACKENBUSH SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER - 4

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