United States District Court, D. Oregon, Medford Division
D. CLARKE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
case was initially filed in the United States District Court
for the District of Columbia as No. 1:18-cv-00308. It was
transferred to this Court on May 15, 2018. Plaintiff John
Henry seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis
("IFP") in this action. ECF No. 2. For the reasons
set forth below, the Complaint, ECF No. 1, is DISMISSED with
leave to amend. Plaintiffs IFP application is DENIED and will
be reconsidered upon the filing of an amended complaint and
an amended IFP application.
all parties instituting any civil action in United States
District Court must pay a statutory filing fee. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1914(a). However, the federal IFP statute, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1), provides indigent litigants an opportunity
for meaningful access to federal courts despite their
inability to pay the costs and fees associated with that
access. To authorize a litigant to proceed IFP, a court must
make two determinations. First, a court must determine
whether the litigant is unable to pay the costs of commencing
the action. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Second, it must
assess whether the action is frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune to such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
regard to the second of these determinations, district courts
have the power under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) to screen
complaints even before service of the complaint on the
defendants, and must dismiss a complaint if it fails to state
a claim. Courts apply the same standard under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) as when addressing a motion to dismiss
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Watison
v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012). To
survive a motion to dismiss under the federal pleading
standards, the complaint must include a short and plain
statement of the claim and "contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face.'" As heroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (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. The plausibility standard . . . asks for more than a
sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully." Id. The court is not required to
accept legal conclusions, unsupported by alleged facts, as
se pleadings are held to less stringent standards than
pleadings by attorneys. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520-21 (1972). That is, the court should construe
pleadings by pro se plaintiffs liberally and afford
the plaintiffs the benefit of any doubt. Karim-Panahi v.
Los Angeles Police Dep't, 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th
Cir. 1988). Additionally, a pro se litigant is
entitled to notice of the deficiencies in the complaint and
the opportunity to amend, unless the complaint's
deficiencies cannot be cured by amendment. Id.
Order transferring the case to Oregon, the DC district court
observed that Plaintiffs Complaint is "prolix" and
"difficult to decipher." ECF No. 3. The Complaint
is certainly voluminous, running to 117 pages when considered
with its supporting exhibits. Despite its length, the
Complaint is light on facts, and filled instead with
repetitive unsupported assertions and quasi-legal gibberish.
To the best of the Court's understanding, these are the
facts as alleged:
was driving on the highway when he was pulled over by
Defendant Oregon State Police Trooper Eric Tholberg. From the
supporting exhibits, it appears that Plaintiff was cited for
Failure to Display License Plates, No. Operator's
License, and Driving Uninsured. ECF No. 1-1, at 41. The
details of the traffic stop are not clearly described, but it
apparently escalated to the point where Plaintiff was
pepper-sprayed and arrested by Tholberg. Following his
arrest, Plaintiff was lodged at the Josephine County Jail,
which is administered by Defendant Josephine County Sheriff
vehicle and its contents were impounded and towed away by
Crystal Peak Towing LLC, which is operated by Defendants Jack
Way and Heidi K. Bornholdt-Way. It appears that the vehicle
and its contents remain impounded.
was criminally charged in Josephine County Circuit Court,
although the precise nature of Plaintiffs charges is not
clear from the Complaint. The case against Plaintiff was
overseen by Defendant Josephine County District Attorney Ryan
A. Mulkins. Defendant Judge Lindi L. Baker and Defendant
Judge pro tempore Lore Rutz-Burri presided over
portions of the criminal prosecution. It appears that this
was one of several state court cases in which Plaintiff was
defendant. It is not clear if any of these cases are ongoing
or, if not, how they were resolved.
brings this federal action for injunctive and declaratory
relief against Defendants for violation of his federal
statutory and constitutional rights. Plaintiff seeks to have
a number of state court criminal cases "avoided or
vacated." Plaintiff also appears to seek the criminal
prosecution of a number of Defendants.
from the factual deficiencies outlined in the preceding
section, the Court notes a number of other ...