United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
April 16, 2015
BRIAN DAVID WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
DEREK'S AUTO REPAIR, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING IFP AND DISMISSING CASE WITH PREJUDICE
RONALD B. LEIGHTON, District Judge.
This Matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Brian David Williams' Motion to proceed in forma pauperis. [Dkt. #1] His proposed complaint claims that his name-"Brian David Matthews"-is protected by a copyright and that Defendant Derek's Auto Repair is violating that right by "selling unauthorized copies of Brian David Williams."
He seeks a declaration that he has such a copyright, money damages, and fees.
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's proposed complaint does not, and as it relates to the subject matter, cannot even theoretically, meet this standard. Plaintiff does not a have a copyright in his name, and the claim that someone is "selling unauthorized copies of Brian David Matthews" is frivolous on its face.
This is not the first time Brian David Matthews has sought to use (or abuse ) the in forma pauperis system to file facially frivolous claims. In Matthews v. Washington, Cause No. 11-5018BHS, he claimed that he was a "maritime vessel." That case was dismissed as frivolous. [Dkt. #5 therein]. Last year, Judge Settle dismissed Matthews v. Washington, Cause No. 14-5762BHS, in which Matthews similarly claimed that the State was infringing on his "trade name, " "Brian D. Matthews."
In Matthews v. Holder, Cause No. 14-0155RAJ, he sued claiming that he was a "nonreligious corporation sole." That case was dismissed as frivolous under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2). [ See Dkt. #s 5 & 6 in that case]. And this Court addressed the malicious frivolity of Mr. Matthews' misguided, wasteful efforts in Matthews v. Pierce County, Cause No. 11-5131RBL [Dkt. #7].
The Motion to Proceed in forma Pauperis is DENIED. Because the case is fatally frivolous under §1915, the case is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
Mr. Brian David Matthews is further WARNED that further, similarly frivolous filings in this District may result in an Order barring him as a vexatious litigant, or other appropriate sanctions.
IT IS SO ORDERED.