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Fischer v. Pierce County Washington

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

March 19, 2015

MS. JAY FRANK FISCHER, Plaintiff,
v.
PIERCE COUNTY WASHINGTON, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING IFP

RONALD B. LEIGHTON, District Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Fisher's Application to Proceed in forma pauperis. [Dkt. #1] Fisher seeks to sue "Pierce County" for unlawfully and repeatedly removing her from various homeless shelters. She also claims that Pierce County is prosecuting her "unlawfully." She claims that there are 911 calls related to "harassment and physical assault."

She does not describe the person who did or who is responsible for any of these claimed violations of her rights. Indeed, she has not identified what rights she claims have been violated, or in what way. Fisher does demonstrate that she is indigent.

A district court may permit indigent litigants to proceed in forma pauperis upon completion of a proper affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). The court has broad discretion in resolving the application, but "the privilege of proceeding in forma pauperis in civil actions for damages should be sparingly granted." Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598, 600 (9th Cir. 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S. 845 (1963). Moreover, a court should "deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis at the outset if it appears from the face of the proposed complaint that the action is frivolous or without merit." Tripati v. First Nat'l Bank & Trust, 821 F.2d 1368, 1369 (9th Cir. 1987) (citations omitted); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). An in forma pauperis complaint is frivolous if "it ha[s] no arguable substance in law or fact." Id. (citing Rizzo v. Dawson, 778 F.2d 527, 529 (9th Cir. 1985); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1228 (9th Cir. 1984).

A pro se Plaintiff's complaint is to be construed liberally, but like any other complaint it must nevertheless contain factual assertions sufficient to support a facially plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A claim for relief is facially plausible when "the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

Plaintiff Fisher's proposed complaint does not meet this standard. First, Plaintiff has not identified or sought to sue any individual for "violating her §1983 rights." The court reads this claim as a claim that someone violated her Constitutional rights, but she does not identify how that occurred. She must name the person responsible for the alleged violation:

Generally, under § 1983, a person can be sued for constitutional violations committed under the color of state law. A state and its agencies are not a person under § 1983.

See Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 69 (1997). Fisher has not identified or articulated the "who what when where and why" of her factual allegations: which defendant did what wrongful, actionable thing? What is the basis for the relief sought?

For these reasons, the application to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED. Plaintiff shall pay the filing fee, or file a proposed amended complaint addressing these deficiencies, within 21 days of this Order, or the matter will be dismissed without further notice.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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