Enslow v. State of Washington et al

Filing 11

ORDER denying 8 Motion for Leave to Appeal in forma pauperis; granting 9 Motion to file Amended Complaint. Plaintiff is directed to pay the filing fee or file an Amended Complaint within 21 days of this Order, or this matter will be dismissed; denying 10 Motion to petition second half of complaint. Signed by Judge Ronald B. Leighton.(DN) Modified on 5/31/2017 (DN). (cc to pltf)

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HONORABLE RONALD B. LEIGHTON 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT17 WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 7 8 ZACHARY MARK ENSLOW, CASE NO. C17-5031RBL 9 Plaintiff, 10 ORDER v. [Dkt. #s 8, 9 10] 11 STATE OF WASHINGTON, 12 Defendant. 13 14 THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Enslow’s Motion for Leave to Appeal in 15 forma pauperis [Dkt. # 8], his proposed amended complaint [Dkt. #9] and his “motion to petition 16 second half of complaint.” The Court previously ordered Enslow to pay the filing fee or file an 17 amended complaint, so his request for permission to do so is GRANTED. The Court will treat 18 Dkt. #s 9 and 10 as a proposed amended complaint. This Court articulated the in foram pauperis 19 standard, and the problems with Enslow’s first filing, in its prior Order: 20 21 22 23 A district court may permit indigent litigants to proceed in forma pauperis upon completion of a proper affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). The court has broad discretion in resolving the application, but “the privilege of proceeding in forma pauperis in civil actions for damages should be sparingly granted.” Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598, 600 (9th Cir. 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S. 845 (1963). Moreover, a court should “deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis at the outset if it appears from the face of the proposed [pleading] that the action is frivolous or without merit.” Tripati v. First Nat’l Bank & Trust, 821 24 ORDER - 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 F.2d 1368, 1369 (9th Cir. 1987) (citations omitted); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). An in forma pauperis complaint is frivolous if “it ha[s] no arguable substance in law or fact.” Id. (citing Rizzo v. Dawson, 778 F.2d 527, 529 (9th Cir. 1985); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1228 (9th Cir. 1984). A pro se plaintiff’s complaint is to be construed liberally, but like any other complaint it must nevertheless contain factual assertions sufficient to support a facially plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A claim for relief is facially plausible when “the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Enslow’s proposed complaint is insufficient as measured against this standard. The bare factual claim that he was arrested, jailed, and acquitted does not articulate a plausible claim that any of his rights were violated by any of the named defendants. The prosecutor is facially entitled to immunity from this sort of claim, see Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 430 (1976), and the state(s) likely are, as well. Enslow has not identified the individual defendants he claims violated which of his rights, how, or when. His application to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED. He shall pay the filing fee or file a proposed amended complaint within 21 days of this ORDER or the claim will be dismissed. 12 [See Dkt. #7] 13 Enslow’s proposed amended complaint does not remedy the defects in his first effort. He 14 has not articulated a claim against a particular officer or defendant, or explained the “who what 15 when where how and why” of what happened or, or how it amounts to a cognizable, plausible 16 claim. He has instead filed exhibits from an unexplained state court action, which may be 17 evidence someday, but they are not a complaint that can start a lawsuit or trigger a defendants’ 18 obligation to answer. The Court and the defendants would be left guessing what Enslow is 19 complaining about, who he thinks did something wrong, why, and what he wants as the result. 20 The Motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED. Plaintiff will again have 21 21 days to file a complaint addressing these deficiencies—identifying people (by name, title, and 22 role in the underlying factual story), dates (preferably in chronological order), the claims and the 23 wrongs he claims to have suffered, and why this is the proper court to address them—or the 24 [DKT. #S 8, 9 10] - 2 1 matter will be dismissed. Enslow does not have to include exhibits or other proof of his claims, 2 but he does have to articulate a plausible claim. The Court has articulated the standard above, in 3 its prior order. If he does not do so, this matter will be dismissed. 4 For the reasons stated previously the Court will not grant Enslow in forma pauperis status 5 to appeal the Court’s prior Order, or this one, if he intends to appeal rather than file an amended 6 complaint addressing these continuing deficiencies. The Motions are DENIED. 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. 8 Dated this 31st day of May, 2017. 10 A 11 Ronald B. Leighton United States District Judge 9 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 [DKT. #S 8, 9 10] - 3

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