Kelbessa v. City of Seattle et al

Filing 16

ORDER dismissing plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend within 20 days by Judge Richard A Jones. (RS) cc plaintiff

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HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 9 BERHANU G. KELBESSA, Plaintiff, 10 11 12 v. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ORDER CITY OF SEATTLE, et al., Defendants. 13 14 Case No. C17-323-RAJ This matter comes before the Court sua sponte. For the reasons that follow, the Court DISMISSES Plaintiff Berhanu G. Kelbessa’s complaint with leave to amend. On March 1, 2017, Kelbessa filed this action alleging that Defendants City of Seattle and Washington State Department of Social and Health Services have committed a broad array of civil rights violations. Dkt. # 1-1. In doing so, Kelbessa submitted an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Dkt. # 1. The Honorable Brian A. Tsuchida granted his application. Dkt. # 3. The Court’s authority to grant in forma pauperis status derives from 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Upon permitting a plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court is subject to 23 certain requirements set forth under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Among these 24 requirements is the Court’s duty to dismiss the plaintiff’s case if the Court determines 25 that the complaint fails to state a claim: “the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the 26 court determines that . . . the action . . . fails to state a claim on which relief may be 27 granted. . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); see also See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 28 ORDER – 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1129 (9th Cir. 2000) (“[S]ection 1915(e) applies to all in forma pauperis complaints, not just those filed by prisoners.”). “The legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to state a claim under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) parallels that used when ruling on dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).” Day v. Florida, No. 14-378RSM, 2014 WL 1412302, at *4 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 10, 2014) (citing Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1129). Rule 12(b)(6) permits a court to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim. The rule requires the court to assume the truth of the complaint’s factual allegations and credit all reasonable inferences arising from those allegations. Sanders v. Brown, 504 F.3d 903, 910 (9th Cir. 2007). The plaintiff must point to factual allegations that “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 568 (2007). Where a plaintiff proceeds pro se, the court must construe the plaintiff’s complaint liberally. Johnson v. Lucent Techs. Inc., 653 F.3d 1000, 1011 (9th Cir. 2011) (citing Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010)). Kelbessa alleges that Defendants have forced him and other individuals into homelessness, prevented them from accessing medical treatment, imposed conditions of enslavement, subjected them to brain controlling technology, and committed other acts of misconduct. Dkt. # 1-1. In addition to Defendants, Kelbessa identifies numerous other entities and individuals as bearing responsibility for his alleged harm, including the FBI, Washington State, unspecified countries and institutions, unnamed company executives, and unnamed criminals. Id. at 4. Taking these allegations as true and construing them liberally, the Court concludes that Kelbessa has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Kelbessa’s allegations are wholly conclusory, as they lack any detail whatsoever concerning the specific conduct of the various entities and individuals named in the complaint. Kelbessa himself appears to acknowledge this deficit in concluding that “details (as much as possible) will follow.” Id. Without more, the Court concludes that Kelbessa’s complaint ORDER – 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 fails to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 568. Kelbessa is entitled to an opportunity to amend the complaint. Lucas v. Dep’t of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam). The Court therefore grants Plaintiff twenty (20) days from the date of this Order to file an amended complaint that states a valid claim for relief. If Kelbessa fails to timely comply with this Order by filing an amended complaint that sufficiently addresses the deficiencies noted above, the Court will dismiss this action without leave to amend. For the reasons stated above, the Court DISMISSES Kelbessa’s complaint and grants Kelbessa twenty (20) days from the date of this Order to file an amended complaint. 10 11 DATED this 5th day of April, 2017. 12 14 A 15 The Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge 13 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER – 3

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