United States District Court, D. Oregon
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael H. Simon United States District Judge
Susan Marces-Chavela (“Marces-Chavela”) filed pro
se claims against Defendants God, the Internal Revenue
Service, the Estate of Mattie Maultsby, and the Estate of
Irene Amsel. Service of process has not yet occurred.
Additionally, Plaintiff filed an application to proceed in
forma pauperis. ECF 1. The Court grant’s
Marces-Chavela’s application to proceed in forma
pauperis but finds that even under the liberal pleading
standards afforded a pro se plaintiff, Marces-Chavela fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Accordingly, for the reasons stated below, this case is
complaint filed in forma pauperis may be dismissed at any
time, including before service of process, if the Court
determines that the action is “frivolous or
malicious” or the complaint “fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2); see also Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 324 (1989) (discussing an earlier version of the
statute); Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 881, 882 (9th
Cir. 1989). A complaint is frivolous “where it lacks an
arguable basis either in law or fact.” Neitzke, 490
U.S. at 325; Lopez v. Dep’t of Health Servs.,
939 F.2d 881, 882 (9th Cir. 1991); Jackson, 885 F.2d at 640.
The term “frivolous, ” when used to describe a
complaint, “embraces not only the inarguable legal
conclusion, but also the fanciful factual allegation.”
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325.
complaint fails to state a claim when there is no cognizable
legal theory or the factual allegations are insufficient to
support a claim for relief. Shroyer v. New Cingular
Wireless Servs., Inc., 622 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir.
2010). In evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint’s
factual allegations, the court must accept as true all
well-pleaded material facts alleged in the complaint and draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.
Wilson v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 668 F.3d 1136, 1140
(9th Cir. 2012); Daniels-Hall v. Nat’l Educ.
Ass’n, 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010). But to
be entitled to a presumption of truth, the complaint must do
more than simply allege legal conclusions couched as factual
allegations. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79
(2009). The plaintiff “may not simply recite the
elements of a cause of action, but must [provide] sufficient
allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to
enable the opposing party to defend itself
effectively.” Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202,
1216 (9th Cir. 2011). The underlying factual allegations must
“plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.”
Baca, 652 F.3d at 1216 (emphasis added). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the pleaded factual content allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 663 (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 556 (2007)).
plaintiffs receive special dispensation. A court must
liberally construe the filings of a pro se plaintiff and
afford the plaintiff the benefit of any reasonable doubt.
Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010).
“A pro se litigant must be given leave to amend his or
her complaint unless it is absolutely clear that the
deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by
amendment.” Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles Police
Dep’t, 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988) (citation
and internal quotation marks omitted). But even a pro se
plaintiff must offer more than “‘labels and
conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action.’” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994).
Unlike state courts, which are courts of general
jurisdiction, federal courts may only exercise jurisdiction
in certain kinds of cases as authorized by the United States
Constitution and Congress. See id.; United States v.
Jacobo Castillo, 496 F.3d 947, 951 (9th Cir. 2007) (en
banc). Federal courts have jurisdiction over two primary
categories of cases: (1) “federal question”
cases; and (2) “diversity of citizenship” cases.
A “federal question” case involves the
Constitution or a federal law or treaty. See 28 U.S.C. §
1331. A “diversity of citizenship” case involves
citizens of different states where the amount of damages is
more than $75, 000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). When a
court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, meaning it lacks the
statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate a case, it
must dismiss the complaint, whether upon the motion of a
party or sua sponte. See Pistor v. Garcia, 791 F.3d
1104, 1111 (9th Cir. 2015); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
Complaint is largely illegible and thus it is difficult to
ascertain what claims she is bringing. Plaintiff names God as
a defendant in her suit for “trillions” in
damages. God is not a proper defendant in a court action and
claims against God are dismissed with prejudice.
claim against the Internal Revenue Service appears to be a
complaint that the IRS is “taxing [her] share of house
profits.” Plaintiff does not cite any statute, treaty,
or constitutional provision at issue, however, that might
give rise to jurisdiction in this court.
28 U.S.C. s 7421(a), except in circumstances not relevant in
this matter, “no suit for the purpose of restraining
the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained
in any court by any person, whether or not such person is the
person against whom such tax was assessed.” In
Enochs v. William Packing Co., 370 U.S. 1 (1962),
the United States Supreme Court held, in applying this
statute, that “only if it is then apparent that under
the most liberal view of the law and the facts, the United
States cannot establish its claim, may the suit for an
injunction be maintained. Otherwise, the district court is
without jurisdiction, and the complaint must be
dismissed.” Id. at 7. Given the absence of
factual allegations in Plaintiff’s Complaint, an
injunction here is inappropriate.
Section II of her Complaint, Plaintiff checked the box for
“federal question” as the basis of the
Court’s jurisdiction. Plaintiff does not appear to
assert any basis for federal question jurisdiction. Rather,
she appears to assert only that Defendants violated
“U.S. law based on Ten Commandments” and
“English Common Law.” She also appears to make a
claim for loss of consortium, but cites no federal statute,
rule, or constitutional provision to support federal question
also filled out the portion of the Complaint describing the
citizenship of the parties. The Court understands this as an
attempt to establish this Court’s jurisdiction on the
basis of diversity of citizenship. Where the Complaint asks
for the citizenship of the defendant, however, Marces-Chavela
lists only Defendant God and asserts that God is a citizen of
“all” states and “all” foreign
nations. She does not list the citizenship of the other
Defendants. Accordingly, Plaintiff has not adequately alleged
complete diversity of citizenship that could give rise to
jurisdiction in this Court.
interpreting Plaintiff’s Complaint under the liberal
pro se pleading standard and affording Plaintiff “the
benefit of any reasonable doubt, ” the Complaint
contains no facts that could support a cause of action. Thus,
the Complaint fails to state a ...