Mason v. Mason

Filing 5

ORDER denying 1 Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis; plaintiff shall pay the filing fee or file an amended complaint within 21 days or the case will be dismissed; signed by Judge Ronald B. Leighton.(DN) Modified on 5/30/2017 (DN). (cc to pltf)

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HONORABLE RONALD B. LEIGHTON 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 7 8 TATYANA I MASON, CASE NO. C17-5289RBL 9 Plaintiff, 10 11 12 v. ORDER DENYING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS JOHN A MASON, Defendant. 13 14 THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Tatyana Mason’s application to proceed 15 in forma pauperis, supported by her proposed complaint [Dkt. #s 1, 3, and 4]. She seeks to sue 16 her ex-husband, apparently to enforce or get recognition of the effect of an I-584 immigration 17 affidavit he signed to obtain her fiancé visa. After the marriage, John Mason made his wife the 18 victim of domestic violence, and they were divorced. 19 Mason’s complaint in this Court does not assert any claims against John Mason. Instead 20 it describes her financial situation, and includes a series of filings from what appears to a 21 dissolution or child custody case in Thurston County. 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 24 ORDER DENYING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS - 1 1 discretion in resolving the application, but “the privilege of proceeding in forma pauperis in civil 2 actions for damages should be sparingly granted.” Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598, 600 (9th Cir. 3 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S. 845 (1963). Moreover, a court should “deny leave to proceed in 4 forma pauperis at the outset if it appears from the face of the proposed [pleading] that the action 5 is frivolous or without merit.” Tripati v. First Nat’l Bank & Trust, 821 F.2d 1368, 1369 (9th Cir. 6 1987) (citations omitted); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). An in forma pauperis 7 complaint is frivolous if “it ha[s] no arguable substance in law or fact.” Id. (citing Rizzo v. 8 Dawson, 778 F.2d 527, 529 (9th Cir. 1985); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1228 (9th Cir. 9 1984). 10 A pro se plaintiff’s complaint is to be construed liberally, but like any other complaint it 11 must nevertheless contain factual assertions sufficient to support a facially plausible claim for 12 relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing Bell 13 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A 14 claim for relief is facially plausible when “the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the 15 court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” 16 Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. 17 Tatyana Mason’s proposed complaint against her ex-husband does not meet this standard. 18 First, she has not identified any claim against John Mason; she does not tell the court what he 19 did, when, or why, or how it adds up to a claim against him that is properly in this Court. She 20 does not actually ask the Court to do anything to compensate her or otherwise grant her some 21 relief. She has instead only described her own financial difficulties and provided copies of 22 documents form another court. She refers to the Thurston County Superior Court as “the lower 23 court;” but that is not accurate. 24 ORDER DENYING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS - 2 1 This Court cannot and will not review or reverse decisions made in state court. The 2 Rooker-Feldman doctrine precludes “cases brought by state-court losers complaining of injuries 3 caused by state-court judgments . . . and inviting district court review and rejection of those 4 judgments.” Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284, 125 S. Ct. 1517, 5 1521, 161 L. Ed. 2d 454 (2005). [W]hen a losing plaintiff in state court brings a suit in federal 6 district court asserting as legal wrongs the allegedly erroneous legal rulings of the state court and 7 seeks to vacate or set aside the judgment of that court, the federal suit is a forbidden de facto 8 appeal. Noel v. Hall, 341 F.3d 1148, 1156 (9th Cir. 2003); Carmona v. Carmona, 603 F.3d 1041, 9 1050 (9th Cir. 2008). 10 This is a trial court, not an appellate court, and it is a court of limited jurisdiction. To 11 state a claim here, the plaintiff must identify an actual claim, and identify both the basis for this 12 Court’s jurisdiction over the claim, and its jurisdiction over the parties. The motion to proceed in 13 forma pauperis is DENIED. Plaintiff Mason shall pay the filing fee or file a proposed amended 14 complaint within 21 days of this Order or the case will be dismissed. 15 Any proposed amended complaint shall address the above deficiencies. It must identify 16 the “who what when where why and how” of the claim, identify the basis of the claim, the basis 17 for the Court’s jurisdiction over it, and identify the relief that she seeks and why this Court can 18 give it to her. 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 Dated this 30th day of May, 2017. A 21 22 Ronald B. Leighton United States District Judge 23 24 ORDER DENYING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS - 3

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