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Hitt v. Douglas County

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division

May 9, 2019

CLAY HENRY LEE HITT, [1]KRISTI LYN SPERLING, DALE LEE HITT, Plaintiffs,
v.
DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON et al., Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER

          Ann Aiken United States District Judge

         Plaintiffs filed this action on September 7, 2018 along with an application for leave to proceed in forma pauper is ("IFP"). I dismissed Plaintiffs' first complaint for failing to state an actionable legal claim and deferred ruling on Plaintiffs' IFP petition pending submission of an amended complaint. Plaintiffs have now filed an amended complaint (doc. 13).

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A complaint filed in forma pauper is 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 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see also Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989) (sua sponte dismissals under section 1915 spare defendants the inconvenience of answering frivolous complaints); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126 n.7 (9th Cir. 2000) (section 1915(e) applies to all in forma pauperis complaints, not just those filed by inmates). A complaint is frivolous "where it lacks an arguable basis in either law or in fact." Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325.

         Pro 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 give them 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.,

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiffs' amended complaint asserts various claims in support of their request for $500, 000, 000 in damages. Specifically, they allege state law claims of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, a claim for attorneys' fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988, and a litany of constitutional claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of their constitutional rights based on the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Fourteenth, and Seventeenth Amendments. Like their initial complaint, the amended complaint lists over thirty named defendants, as well as one hundred unnamed defendants, and includes various medical facilities, medical professionals, state agencies, state officials, judicial officials, and others. For the reasons below, Plaintiffs' amended complaint is dismissed for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and a determination of Plaintiffs' IFP status is deferred. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Plaintiffs shall have 14 days to amend the complaint if they so choose.

         I. Failure ...


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