Holmes-James v. King County Court et al

Filing 10

ORDER declining to issue summons in this matter and directing Plaintiff to file an amended complaint by 5/4/2017, by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. (PM) cc: Plaintiff via the USPS

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 8 GENEVA HOLMES-JAMES, 9 10 Plaintiff, v. 11 12 13 CASE NO. C17-0321RSL KING COUNTY COURT, et al., ORDER REQUIRING MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT Defendant. 14 15 On March 22, 2017, plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis was 16 granted and her complaint was accepted for filing. The nature of plaintiff’s claim or 17 claims is difficult to discern, however. It appears that plaintiff was denied counsel in a 18 previous lawsuit aimed at (a) defending against a government lien, (b) seeking custody 19 of her children, and/or (c) recovering property held by various California banks. She 20 identifies three defendants (two of whom appear to be judicial officers), but mentions 21 only one of them in her statement of claim. Plaintiff may be seeking damages for the 22 failure to appoint counsel in the earlier lawsuit or she may be requesting assistance in 23 this case so that she can pursue one or all of those matters here. 24 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires “a short and plain statement of 25 the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Although a complaint need not 26 provide detailed factual allegations, it must give rise to something more than mere ORDER REQUIRING MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT PAGE – 1 1 speculation that plaintiff has a right to relief. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 2 555 (2007). The Court has reviewed the pleading under the standards articulated in 28 3 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and finds that plaintiff has not met her burden. Plaintiff has not 4 alleged any facts raising a plausible inference that the judicial officers, who are entitled 5 to absolute immunity from suits related to actions taken in their judicial capacity, could 6 be held liable in this action. Miller v. Davis, 521 F.3d 1142, 1145 (9th Cir. 2008) 7 (quoting Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 335, 347 (1871)). Nor is the Court able to 8 decipher a cognizable claim against Lonnie C. Gulley. Plaintiff alleges that her property, 9 including wills, titles and deeds to buildings, and “$100,000,000,000.00 plus a five 10 dollar, 10 dollar, twentie dollars, 1 dollar, and one was okayed by the court’s to Lonnie 11 C. Gulley”. Dkt. # 6 at 3. Receiving an award of damages or property at the direction of 12 the court does not suggest wrongdoing or liability: additional facts would be needed to 13 present a plausible claim for relief against this defendant.1 14 15 For all of the foregoing reasons, the Court declines to issue summons in this 16 matter. Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED to file on or before May 4, 2017, an amended 17 complaint which clearly and concisely identifies the acts of which each defendant is 18 accused, how those acts violated plaintiff’s legal rights, and the relief requested. The key 19 to filing an acceptable amended complaint will be providing enough facts that one could 20 conclude that plaintiff has a right to relief that is as least plausible. The amended 21 complaint will replace the existing complaint in its entirety. Failure to timely file an 22 23 24 25 26 1 The Court notes that, to the extent plaintiff is attempting to relitigate the validity of a government lien, she has not alleged facts showing that this Court has jurisdiction over what appears to be a claim by the state. To the extent plaintiff is challenging a child custody determination, that issue falls squarely within the domestic relations exception to federal diversity jurisdiction. Thompson v. Thompson, 798 F.2d 1547, 1558 (9th Cir. 1986); Atwood v. Fort Peck Tribal Court Assiniboine, 513 F.3d 943, 947 (9th Cir. 2008). Finally, any claim by this California resident against the banking institutions of California would not trigger federal jurisdiction, as there is no indication of a federal question or diversity of citizenship. ORDER REQUIRING MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT PAGE – 2 1 amended complaint that asserts a plausible claim for relief will result in dismissal of this 2 action. 3 4 5 The Clerk of Court is directed to place this Order Requiring More Definite Statement on the Court’s calendar for consideration on Friday, May 5, 2017. 6 7 8 9 Dated this 31st day of March, 2017. A Robert S. Lasnik United States District Judge 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 ORDER REQUIRING MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT PAGE – 3

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