Brinkman v. Social Security Administration Headquarters et al

Filing 2

ORDER signed by Judge Benjamin H. Settle denying 1 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis and motion to appoint counsel. (TG; cc mailed to plaintiff)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 6 7 8 DAN BRINKMAN, CASE NO. C17-5661 BHS Plaintiff, 9 10 11 v. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION HEADQUARTERS, et al., ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT SUA SPONTE Defendants. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Dan Brinkman’s (“Brinkman”) motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. 1), proposed complaint (Dkt. 1-1), and motion for appointment of counsel (Dkt. 1-3). On August 21, 2017, Brinkman filed the instant motions and proposed complaint alleging a massive government conspiracy intended to wrong Brinkman and his wife. Id. The alleged conspiracy started during the Clinton administration and continued through the Bush and Obama administrations. Id. Although this is Brinkman’s first pro se complaint in this Court, he has filed several pro se complaints in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. See Brinkman v. IRS, et al., Case #: 3:13-cv- ORDER - 1 1 01434-SI (D. Or.); Brinkman v. Ross, et al., Case #: 3:11-cv-00489-HZ (D. Or.); 2 Brinkman v. Grant, et al., Case # 3:11-cv-00118-BR (D. Or.); Brinkman v. Leatherwood, 3 et al., Case # 3:10-cv-01133-KI (D. Or.); Brinkman v. Liberty Tax Service, et al., 3:10- 4 cv-00192-HU (D. Or.). Most of these cases were dismissed sua sponte, and none of the 5 complaints survived a motion to dismiss. The instant complaint is similarly flawed. 6 The district court may permit indigent litigants to proceed in forma pauperis upon 7 completion of a proper affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a); W.D. Wash. 8 Local Rules LCR 3(b). However, the “privilege of pleading in forma pauperis . . . in 9 civil actions for damages should be allowed only in exceptional circumstances.” Wilborn 10 v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328 (9th Cir. 1986). The court has broad discretion in denying 11 an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598 (9th Cir. 12 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S. 845 (1963). Here, Brinkman’s in forma pauperis 13 application shows that he is unable to prepay fees and costs. See Dkt. 1. 14 However, even if a plaintiff satisfies the financial requirements for eligibility to 15 proceed in forma pauperis, the Court’s review of the application and underlying 16 complaint is not complete. Under the in forma pauperis statute, the Court must dismiss 17 the case sua sponte if it determines at any time that (1) the allegation of poverty is untrue, 18 (2) the action is frivolous or malicious, (3) the complaint fails to state a viable claim, or 19 (3) the action seeks monetary relief against an immune defendant. 28 U.S.C. § 20 1915(e)(2); see also Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989); Jackson v. State of 21 Arizona, 885 F.2d 881, 882 (9th Cir. 1989). A complaint is frivolous “where it lacks an 22 ORDER - 2 1 arguable basis either in law or fact.” Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325; Lopez v. Dep’t of Health 2 Servs., 939 F.2d 881, 882 (9th Cir. 1991); Jackson, 885 F.2d at 640.. 3 In this case, Brinkman’s complaint lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. While it 4 seems that the trigger for Brinkman’s filing was the denial of his social security benefits, 5 Brinkman must exhaust his administrative remedies before challenging the denial in this 6 Court. More importantly, the denial of such benefits does not form a factual basis for a 7 federal and multi-state government conspiracy to harm Brinkman. Simply put, 8 Brinkman’s allegations are not plausible on their face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 9 678 (2009). Therefore, the Court sua sponte DISMISSES Brinkman’s complaint, 10 DENIES his motion to proceed in forma pauperis, and DENIES his motion to appoint 11 counsel. The Clerk shall close this case. 12 IT IS SO ORDERED. 13 Dated this 24th day of August, 2017. A 14 15 BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ORDER - 3

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