United States District Court, D. Oregon
KIP A. FARTHING, Plaintiff,
ERIN KELLY SIEL, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL H. SIMON, District Judge.
Plaintiff, Kip A. Farthing, filed claims pro se against Defendant Erin Kelly Siel, the Director of the Department of Human Services in Oregon. Dkt. 2. Plaintiff also filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. 1) and moved for the appointment of a pro bono attorney. Dkt. 3. The Court granted Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. 9) and denied Plaintiff's motion for the appointment of a pro bono attorney. Dkt. 12. Defendant filed her Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 6) in this matter on June 10, 2014, before service of the complaint and summons. As a result, the Court stayed the briefing schedule for Defendant's Motion to Dismiss until after service of process. Plaintiff's response to the motion was due August 18, 2014. Dkt. 10. Plaintiff failed to file a response and the Court granted an extension for Plaintiff to file a response no later than September 9, 2014. Dkt. 15. To date, Plaintiff has filed no response to Defendant's motion.
Under the liberal pleading standards afforded to filings of a pro se plaintiff, the Court finds that Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiff's claims are also barred by the Eleventh Amendment and state law notice requirements. Accordingly, for the reasons stated below, this case is dismissed.
A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim may be granted only when there is no cognizable legal theory to support the claim or when the complaint lacks sufficient factual allegations to state a facially plausible claim for relief. Shroyer v. New Cingular Wireless Servs., Inc., 622 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir. 2010). In evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint's factual allegations, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded material facts alleged in the complaint and construe them in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Wilson v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 668 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir. 2012); Daniels-Hall v. Nat'l Educ. Ass'n, 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010). To be entitled to a presumption of truth, allegations in a complaint "may not simply recite the elements of a cause of action, but must contain sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable the opposing party to defend itself effectively." Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). All reasonable inferences from the factual allegations must be drawn in favor of the plaintiff. Newcal Indus. v. Ikon Office Solution, 513 F.3d 1038, 1043 n.2 (9th Cir. 2008). The court need not, however, credit the plaintiff's legal conclusions that are couched as factual allegations. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009).
A complaint must contain sufficient factual allegations to "plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such that it is not unfair to require the opposing party to be subjected to the expense of discovery and continued litigation." Baca, 652 F.3d at 1216. "A claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663 (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)).
A court must liberally construe the filings of a pro se plaintiff and afford the plaintiff the benefit of any reasonable doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). "A pro se litigant must be given leave to amend his or her complaint unless it is absolutely clear that the deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by amendment." Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles Police Dep't, 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Under Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, however, every complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." This standard "does not require detailed factual allegations, '" but does demand "more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "A pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
On May 15, 2014, Plaintiff filed the Complaint in this action. He alleges four claims against Defendant: (1) "taxation without representation"; (2) "refusing to take valid grievances and return written disposition as required by law"; (3) "wrongful and illegal exclusion resulting in a false arrest by refusing me a fair hearing required by law so they can prove me guilty and not forcing me to prove myself innocent with no venue to do so in. Also, illegal and unconstitutional as well"; and (4) "laughing at someone begging for help instead of accommodating his needs as required by the [Americans with Disabilities Act "ADA"]. All of these people that are associated with this violation of my civil rights as well as basic human rights should be fired (terminated) and lose their P.E.R.S. especially and including my ex primary care doctor, Amy Hennegre." Farthing seeks $250, 000 in damages.
A. Failure to State a Claim
Plaintiff's Complaint fails to state a claim under federal law. Plaintiff's first and second claims make no relevant factual allegations, let alone facts that could plausibly give rise to a claim under state or federal law. Plaintiff's third claim appears to allege the tort of false arrest. This claim, however, states only that Plaintiff faced "wrongful and illegal exclusion" and was refused a fair hearing, but provides no further information. Plaintiff's fourth claim for violation of the ADA alleges only that Plaintiff's primary care doctor Amy Hennegre and other unidentified persons laughed at Plaintiff and did not accommodate his needs.
Interpreting the facts in the Complaint under the liberal pro se pleading standard and affording the Plaintiff "the benefit of any reasonable doubt, " the Complaint contains no facts that could support a cause of action under the United States Constitution, the ADA, another federal law, or relevant state law. Accordingly, the ...