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Willett v. Inslee

United States District Court, E.D. Washington

November 18, 2014

HARRY DANIEL WILLETT, Plaintiff,
v.
JAY INSLEE, Washington State Governor; CHRISTINE GREGOIRE, Former Washington State Governor; JOEL SACKS, Washington State Director of Labor and Industries; JUDY SCHURKE, Former Washington State Director of Labor and Industries; GRANT COUNTY WASHINGTON BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS; GRANT COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT 10; and DOES 10-100, Defendants

Harry Daniel Willett, Plaintiff, Pro se, Kennewick, WA.

ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

EDWARD F. SHEA, Senior United States District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is pro se Plaintiff Henry Daniel Willett's First Amended Complaint, ECF No. 8, filed July 28, 2014. Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis . Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court is required to screen the complaint filed by an individual proceeding in forma pauperis . 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Plaintiff filed his initial Complaint, ECF No. 6, on February 26, 2014, and, after conducting the required screening, this Court determined that Plaintiff's claims were barred by the statute of limitations. Order to Amend or Voluntarily Dismiss Complaint, ECF No. 7, at 5. This Court informed Plaintiff that he must file an amended complaint setting forth facts that plausibly give rise to an applicable exception to the three-year statute of limitations or his complaint would be dismissed. Id. Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint on July 28, 2014, ECF No. 8. After carefully conducting the required § 1915A(a) screening, the Court finds that Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint must be dismissed because Plaintiff's claims are barred by the statute of limitations, and Plaintiff has not pleaded facts indicating that equitable tolling of the statute of limitations is appropriate. Additionally, many of Plaintiff's claims seek relief from Defendants who are immune from the relief sought.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Legal Authority for Screening of Plaintiff's Complaint

Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Court is required to screen any complaint filed by a party seeking to proceed in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e); Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (holding that § 1915 applies to all applicants for in forma pauperis status, prisoner or non-prisoner). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the plaintiff has raised claims that are legally " frivolous or malicious, " that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) (2); Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998).

A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). The Court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. The critical inquiry is whether a constitutional claim, however inartfully pleaded, has an arguable legal and factual basis. Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 1989); Franklin, 745 F.2d at 1227.

The facts alleged in a complaint are to be taken as true and must " plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 664, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). Mere legal conclusions " are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Id. The complaint must contain more than " a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). It must plead " enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570.

B. Factual Background

The following summarizes the relevant facts that relate to Plaintiff's claims, as best the Court can tell from carefully reading Plaintiff's 55-page First Amended Complaint and the attachments thereto:

On November 16, 2005, Plaintiff Harry Daniel Willett was working as a maintenance person for Grant County Fire District 10.[1] As he was working under the hood on the engine of a fire truck, the Grant County Fire Chief accidentally set off an electronic siren within one foot of Plaintiff's head, exposing Plaintiff to an estimated 145 decibels of sound. Plaintiff suffered major hearing loss. ECF No. 8, at 8, 19. Plaintiff did not see a physician at that time, and the incident was not reported. Id. at 23-24.

On March 7, 2006, Plaintiff attempted to file a workers compensation claim for physical hearing loss at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Office in Moses Lake, Washington. Plaintiff allegedly was told that the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (" the Department") does not file claims against state or government agencies. Id. at 8, 25. It is unclear from the First Amended Complaint whether Plaintiff was told that he could not file a claim at all or whether he actually filed a claim that was denied. See ...


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