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Roussel v. State

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division

April 24, 2014

REBECCA ROUSSEL/FADDEN and LAWRENCE ROUSSEL, Plaintiffs,
v.
STATE OF OREGON, CITY OF RAINIER, TROOPER FARGHER, and NOLAN BORDERS, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

JANICE M. STEWART, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiffs, Rebecca Roussel/Fadden and Lawrence Roussel, have applied to proceed in forma pauperis (docket #1). An examination of the application reveals that they are unable to afford the fees of this action. Accordingly, their application is granted and no filing fee will be assessed. However, for the reasons set forth below, the Complaint is dismissed without prejudice, and pro bono counsel will be appointed for the limited purpose of assisting plaintiffs in filing an amended complaint.

STANDARDS

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).

A court must liberally construe the allegations of a pro se plaintiff and "afford the plaintiff the benefit of any doubt." Lopez, 939 F.2d at 883 (citation omitted). However, under FRCP 8(a)(2), all complaints must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." A complaint must "give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957). This standard "does not require detailed factual allegations, '" but does demand "more than an unadorned, the- defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009), quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "A pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Id.

ALLEGATIONS

The Roussels, who live in Vancouver, Washington, have filed their Complaint (using the court's form) against the State of Oregon, the City of Rainier, Trooper Fargher (who appears to be employed as an Oregon State Trooper), and Nolan Borders (who appears to be employed by the City of Rainier). They allege that this court had jurisdiction based on both a federal question and diversity of citizenship. However, as the basis for federal question jurisdiction, they do not cite any federal Constitutional, statutory, or treaty right, but make only the following incomprehensible statement: "State permittee of a disabled U.S. citizen and an Alaskan Native. Unlawful imprisonment of a minor." As the basis for jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship, the Roussels fail to list the state of ...


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