Enslow v. State of Washington et al

Filing 7

ORDER denying 4 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis; plaintiff has 21 days from the date of this Order to pay the filing fee and/or file an amended complaint or this matter will be dismissed; signed by Judge Ronald B. Leighton.(DN) Modified on 4/26/2017 (DN). (cc to pltf)

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1 HONORABLE RONALD B. LEIGHTON 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 7 8 ZACHARY MARK ENSLOW, CASE NO. C17-5031RBL 9 Plaintiff, 10 v. ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS 11 STATE OF WASHINGTON, 12 Defendant. 13 14 THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Enslow’s Motion for Leave to Proceed in 15 forma pauperis, supported by his proposed complaint and a slightly revised proposed amended 16 complaint. Enslow’s prior case arising out of the same set of facts was dismissed without 17 prejudice for failure to state a claim. See Enslow v Washington, No. 16-CV-05497-RBL-DWC. 18 Enslow claims that he was arrested in Portland for arson, attempted murder and reckless 19 endangerment, and jailed there and in Thurston County for six months before trial. He claims 20 was acquitted on all charges but he does not provide a case name or number. Enslow claims that 21 state and local officials violated all twenty seven of his constitutional rights. He seeks to sue 22 Oregon, Washington, the Thurston County prosecutor, the Thurston County jail, Washington’s 23 attorney general, and perhaps others. He seeks $100,000,000 in compensation. 24 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS - 1 1 A district court may permit indigent litigants to proceed in forma pauperis upon 2 completion of a proper affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). The court has broad 3 discretion in resolving the application, but “the privilege of proceeding in forma pauperis in civil 4 actions for damages should be sparingly granted.” Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598, 600 (9th 5 Cir. 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S. 845 (1963). Moreover, a court should “deny leave to proceed 6 in forma pauperis at the outset if it appears from the face of the proposed [pleading] that the 7 action is frivolous or without merit.” Tripati v. First Nat’l Bank & Trust, 821 F.2d 1368, 1369 8 (9th Cir. 1987) (citations omitted); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). An in forma pauperis 9 complaint is frivolous if “it ha[s] no arguable substance in law or fact.” Id. (citing Rizzo v. 10 Dawson, 778 F.2d 527, 529 (9th Cir. 1985); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1228 (9th Cir. 11 1984). 12 A pro se plaintiff’s complaint is to be construed liberally, but like any other complaint it 13 must nevertheless contain factual assertions sufficient to support a facially plausible claim for 14 relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing Bell 15 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A 16 claim for relief is facially plausible when “the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the 17 court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” 18 Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. 19 Enslow’s proposed complaint is insufficient as measured against this standard. The bare 20 factual claim that he was arrested, jailed, and acquitted does not articulate a plausible claim that 21 any of his rights were violated by any of the named defendants. The prosecutor is facially 22 entitled to immunity form this sort of claim, see Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 430 (1976), 23 and the state(s) likely are, as well. Enslow has not identified the individual defendants he claims 24 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS - 2 1 violated which of his rights, how, or when. His application to proceed in forma pauperis is 2 DENIED. He shall pay the filing fee or file a proposed amended complaint within 21 days of this 3 ORDER or the claim will be dismissed. 4 Any proposed amended complaint should identify the specific individuals or agencies 5 that he claims violated his rights, and how they did so. It is not enough to claim, as Enslow does, 6 that “everyone” violated “all of my rights.” The complaint should instead identify the “who what 7 when where and why” behind his claims— Who falsely accused him? Why? What right did they 8 violate? An acquittal alone is not enough to plausibly claim that a defendant’s rights were 9 violated when he was arrested, charged, jailed, or tried. 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 Dated this 26th day of April, 2017. 13 A 14 Ronald B. Leighton United States District Judge 12 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS - 3

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