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McGee v. State of Oregon Circuit Court

United States District Court, D. Oregon

January 13, 2020




         Plaintiff, an inmate at the Multnomah County Inverness Jail, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to an Order entered this date, the Court granted plaintiffs Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. However, for the reasons set forth below, the Court dismisses plaintiffs Complaint.


         In the caption of his Complaint, plaintiff identifies the Defendant as "State of Oregon Circuit Court." At pages 2-3 however, he identifies the following Defendants: Multnomah County Circuit Court, State of Oregon Attorney General, Multnomah County District Attorney, and C.A.R.E.S. Northwest. The substance of plaintiff s Complaint is not a model of clarity. He alleges violation of his rights under the Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as Oregon state law. Plaintiff alleges he suffered "injury to reputation and loss of property" and "mental health neglected, severe PTSD and depression." By way of relief, plaintiff asks the Court to "order default Judgment on plaintiffs behalf from Circuit Court .... Lost wages and time held in jail being denied appropriate due process and mental/physical medical treatment the sum of $30, 000[.]" Attached to plaintiffs Complaint are two narrative statements which appear to allege prosecutorial and judicial misconduct by the Multnomah County District Attorney and a Multnomah County Judge in connection with a criminal prosecution against plaintiff.


         A district court must dismiss an action initiated by a prisoner seeking redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee, if the Court determines that the action (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. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(b). When a plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the court must construe the pleadings liberally and afford the plaintiff the benefit of any doubt. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Moreover, before dismissing a pro se civil rights complaint for failure to state a claim, the court supplies the plaintiff with a statement of the complaint's deficiencies. Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles Police Dept., 839 F.2d 621, 623-24 (9th Cir. 1988); Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1136 (9th Cir. 1987). Apro se litigant will be given leave to amend his or her complaint unless it is clear that the deficiencies of the complaint cannot be cured by amendment. Karim-PanahU 839 F.2d at 623; Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2000).


         I. Procedural Deficiencies

         Pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." "Each allegation must be simple, concise and direct." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). 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 Neviiel 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); cf. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(e)(1) ("each averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct").

         Plaintiffs Complaint does not satisfy the pleading requirements of Rule 8. Plaintiffs narrative statements frustrate any attempt to ascertain his individual claims against the named defendants.

         II. Substantive Deficiencies

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins. 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). A plaintiff must also allege that he suffered a specific injury as a result of a particular defendant's conduct and an affirmative link between the injury and the violation of his rights. See Monell v. Dep't of Social Servs.. 436 U.S. 658 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode. 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377(1976).

         A. Claims Barred by Heck v. Humphrey

         Plaintiff appears to allege misconduct in the prosecution of a criminal case against him. It is not clear from the Complaint, however, ...

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