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Bell v. Burton

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

November 5, 2013

THOMAS M. BELL, Plaintiff,
v.
LAVOR BURTON and PARAMOUNT PICTURE, Defendants.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

JANICE M. STEWART, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, Thomas M. Bell ("Bell"), has filed a pro se Complain against two defendants, Lavor Burton at Paramount Picture Studio and Paramount Picture Studio, both in Hollywood, California. The handwritten portions of the Complaint are nearly illegible, and the gravamen of the claims is nearly impossible to ascertain. In his three claims, Bell refers to lost or damaged dental crowns and a need for replacement or a total implant. By way of relief, he appears to request full payment of $55, 000 for dental care. For the reasons set forth below, the Complaint should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

STANDARDS

"If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action." FRCP 12(h)(3); see also Cal. Diversified Promotions, Inc. v. Musick, 505 F.2d 278, 280 (9th Cir 1974) ("It has long been held that a judge can dismiss sua sponte for lack of jurisdiction."). Moreover, a complaint filed in forma pauperis may be dismissed at any time, including before service of process, if the court determines that:

(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or
(B) the action or appeal
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 USC ยง 1915(e)(2); see also Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989); Jackson v. State of Ariz., 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir 1989).

A complaint is frivolous "where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325; Lopez v. Dep't of Health Servs., 939 F.2d 881, 882 (9th Cir 1991); Jackson, 885 F.2d at 640.

In order to state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual allegations which, when accepted as true, give rise to a plausible inference that defendants violated plaintiff's constitutional rights. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 556-57 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility 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.

As the Ninth Circuit has instructed, however, courts must "continue to construe pro se filings liberally." Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 341 (9th Cir 2010). A "complaint [filed by a pro se prisoner] must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" ...


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