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West v. Hales

United States District Court, District of Oregon, Portland Division

May 12, 2015

ROBERT WEST, Plaintiff,
v.
MAYOR HALES, CHIEF OF POLICE REESE, and 150 OFFICERS, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

Janice M. Stewart United States Magistrate Judge

Plaintiff, Robert West, has applied to proceed in forma pauperis (docket #1). An examination of the application reveals that he is unable to afford the fees of this action. Accordingly, his application is granted and no filing fee will be assessed. However, for the reasons set forth below, the Complaint is dismissed without prejudice. If Mr. West completes the first page of his Motion for Appointment of Pro Bono Counsel (docket #3), then the court will appoint pro bono counsel for the limited purpose of assisting him 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 § 1915(e)(2); see also Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989); Jackson v. 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 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“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

Using the court’s form, Mr. West has filed a Complaint against Mayor Hales and Chief of Police Reese for the City of Portland, Oregon, as well as against 150 unidentified “Officers.” He alleges three claims for violations of the First, Fourth and Eighth Amendments based on an incident at a “peaceful protest” on November 29, 2014, when he was “flash banged” by the police, arrested, denied water and the use of a bathroom, and later sent ...


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