United States District Court, D. Oregon
ORDER TO DISMISS
E. JONES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a patient at the Oregon State Hospital, purports to bring
this action as a joint habeas corpus and mandamus proceeding.
In a separate Order, the Court has granted Plaintiff leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. However, for the reasons
set forth below, Plaintiff's Petition is dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) (2).
appears to allege that individuals refused to mail two of his
outgoing letters. He casts this as a habeas corpus problem
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241 and 2254, but seeks
mandamus relief requiring Defendants to mail all of his
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), the Court is required to screen
prisoner complaints seeking relief against a governmental
entity, officer, or employee and must dismiss a complaint if
the action is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b). In order to state a claim,
Plaintiff's Complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter which, when accepted as true, gives rise to a
plausible inference that defendants violated plaintiff's
constitutional rights. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 554, 556-57 (2007) . "Threadbare recitals of
the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere
conclusory statements, do not suffice." Iqbal,
129 S.Ct. at 1949.
for failure to state a claim is proper if it appears beyond
doubt that Plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of
his claims that would entitle him to relief. Ortez v.
Washington County, 88 F.3d 804, 806. (9th Cir. 1996);
Cervantes v. City of San Diego, 5 F.3d 1273, 1274
(9th Cir. 1993). Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro
se, the Court construes his pleadings liberally and
affords him the benefit of any doubt. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Ortez, 88 F.3d
initial matter, Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) requires a complaint in
federal court to be comprised of "a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief." "Each averment of a pleading shall be
simple, concise and direct." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e). If the
factual elements of a cause of action are scattered
throughout the complaint but are not organized into a
"short and plain statement of the claim," dismissal
for failure to satisfy Rule 8(a) is proper. Sparling v.
Hoffman Constr. Co., 864 F.2d 635, 640 (9th Cir. 1988);
see also Nevijel v. North Coast Life Ins. Co., 651
F.2d 671, 674 (9th Cir. 1981) (district court may dismiss an
action with prejudice due to a litigant's failure to
comply with Rule 8(a) if meaningful, less drastic sanctions
have been explored).
Complaint consists of rambling allegations referencing
allegations within a variety of exhibits. In addition, the
Complaint, itself, consists of a Petition as well as
photocopies of a document entitled "First Amended
Complaint" with those words crossed out. It is difficult
to ascertain exactly the true nature of Plaintiff's
Complaint, how his allegations pertain to violations of
federal law, and exactly how each Defendant personally
participated in the deprivations alleged.
addition, although Plaintiff purports to bring this as a
habeas corpus case seeking mandamus relief pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254, he claims to be a pretrial detainee and
thus is not being held "pursuant to the judgment of a
State court" as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Although Plaintiff also references 28 U.S.C. § 2241 for
purposes of his pretrial habeas corpus challenge, federal
courts will not interfere with ongoing state criminal
proceedings absent extraordinary circumstances. See World
Famous Drinking Emporium v. City of Tempe, 820 F.2d
1079, 1082 (9th Cir. 1987) . Nothing in the Petition before
this court demonstrates extraordinary circumstances
warranting federal interference with petitioner's pending
state criminal prosecution.
Plaintiff s principal claim appears to be that he is entitled
to mandamus relief as to the actions of various state
officials. Federal courts lack mandamus authority to direct
state officials regarding the performance of their duties,
and a petition for a writ of mandamus requesting such relief
is frivolous as a matter of law. Demons v. U.S. District
Court, 925 F.2d 1160, 1161-62 (9th Cir.), cert,
denied, 498 U.S. 1123 (1991); Pennhurst State School
& Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 121 (1984).
For all of these reasons, Plaintiff's Petition is
on the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus seeking mandamus relief (#1) is
DISMISSED for failure to state a claim. Should Plaintiff wish
to continue with this case, he must file an amended complaint
within 30 days that: (1) cures the deficiencies identified
above; (2) names all defendants in the caption of his civil
rights complaint; (3) describes how each named defendant
personally participated in the deprivation of a federal
right; and (4) does not incorporate any other document ...