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Stull v. Allen

United States District Court, D. Oregon

June 30, 2015

BARRY JOE STULL, Plaintiff,
v.
KEVIN W. ALLEN, et al., Defendants.

Barry Joe Stull, Portland, OR, Plaintiff Pro Se.

ORDER

MARCO A. HERNNDEZ, District Judge.

Despite having four opportunities to submit a complaint, pro se Plaintiff Barry Stull fails to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons that follow, the Court dismisses Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint with prejudice.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff initiated this action on August 6, 2013, by filing a Complaint and an application to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP). This Court granted Plaintiff's IFP application but dismissed his Complaint sua sponte for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Plaintiff submitted an Amended Complaint on October 15, 2013, and then, three days later, a Second Amended Complaint. On December 27, 2013, this Court dismissed the Second Amended Complaint sua sponte, finding that the Complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, was frivolous, and failed to comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint on September 17, 2014. Plaintiff summarized his case as one concerning "a series of episodes of arrests, use of excessive force, and other interferences with plaintiff, a person with a disability." Third Am. Compl. 3. Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint was 96 pages long and contained 42 "claims" against 41 defendants. Most of the complaint consisted of a detailed narrative of Plaintiff's medical history, educational background, interactions with police and the criminal justice system, and involvement in promoting changes to cannabis law.

The Court dismissed Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint on April 28, 2015 and provided the following explanation:

[T]he Court dismisses Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint under Rule 8(a)(2). Plaintiff is granted leave to amend his complaint. However, Plaintiff's pleadings must comply with the requirements of Rule 8, specifically that his complaint must include a "short and plain statement" of facts showing he is entitled to relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). At this stage in the proceedings, the court needs only a succinct statement of the facts relevant to Plaintiff's claims in a numbered paragraph format. Plaintiff should clearly state which law or constitutional right he alleges was violated and by whom. Plaintiff must comply with this Order and condense his allegations to include only those facts necessary to state a claim.

Opinion & Order, April 28, 2015, ECF 33. In addition, the Court's Opinion & Order warned:

If Plaintiff chooses to file a fourth amended complaint, it must be consistent with this Opinion & Order and filed within 30 days of the date below. Plaintiff is advised that failure to file an amended complaint which cures the deficiencies noted shall result in the dismissal of this proceeding, with prejudice.

Id.

STANDARDS

"The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure describe a liberal system of notice pleading.'" Walsh v. Nev. Dep't of Human Resources, 471 F.3d 1033, 1036 (9th Cir. 2006) (quotation omitted). This notice pleading system "requires a complaint to contain (1) a statement of jurisdiction, (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks.'" Id . (quoting Rule 8(a)) (emphasis added).

While "verbosity and length is not by itself a basis for dismissing a complaint based on Rule 8(a), " Hearns v. San Bernardino Police Dep't, 530 F.3d 1124, 1131 (9th Cir. 2008), a district court may consider the length of the complaint and may dismiss a complaint when it fails to set forth cognizable causes of action, has incoherent legal theories, or the court cannot tell which causes of action are alleged against which defendants. Id. at 1130; see also Nevijel v. North Coast Life Ins. Co., 651 F.2d 671, 674 (1981) (dismissal of amended complaint ...


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