United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
L. ROBART United States District Judge
the court is pro se Plaintiff Herman Lee Barton,
Jr.'s complaint against Defendants “6 John Does,
” “6 Jane Does, ” and “Government
Work Source” (collectively, “Defendants”)
(Compl. (Dkt. # 1) at 1). Mr. Barton is proceeding in
forma pauperis (“IFP”). (IFP Order (Dkt. #
8).) In granting Mr. Barton IFP status, Magistrate Judge Mary
Alice Theiler recommended review of Mr. Barton's amended
complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). (Id.
at 1.) The court has conducted the recommended review and
DISMISSES Mr. Barton's complaint and GRANTS Mr. Barton
leave to amend his complaint as set forth below.
April 25, 2017, Mr. Barton filed this lawsuit (Compl.), and
on May 2, 2017, he filed a motion for leave to proceed IFP
(IFP Mots. (Dkt. ## 5, 7)). On May 8, 2017, Magistrate Judge
Theiler granted Mr. Barton's IFP motion. (IFP Order.) In
her order, Magistrate Judge Theiler recommends review of Mr.
Barton's complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
(Id. at 1.)
the limited allegations in Mr. Barton's complaint are
difficult to follow, Mr. Barton's complaint appears to
stem from his exclusion from “Government Work
Source.” (Compl. at 3.) Mr. Barton alleges that the
women who work at Government Work Source invited him to use
the service, but after a few days, some unspecified men told
him that he was committing “a criminal trespass.”
(Id.) He further states that he has “been
invited to use Government Work Source more than 27 times [by]
the women and at one time the women told the police that [he
did] not trespass and could use Government Work
Source.” (Id.) Mr. Barton requests a jury
trial, an award of damages in the amount of $75, 000.00, and
the use of Government Work Source. (Id. at 4.) The
court now evaluates Mr. Barton's complaint under Section
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) requires a district court to
dismiss a claim filed IFP if the court determines “at
any time” that (1) the action is frivolous or
malicious, (2) the action fails to state a claim, or (3) the
action seeks relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). The court concludes that Mr. Barton's
complaint is frivolous and fails to state a claim.
though the court must liberally construe pro se
pleadings, Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't,
901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990), the plaintiff must
nevertheless plead the court's subject matter
jurisdiction, see Simmons v. Revenue Officers, 865
F.Supp. 678, 679 (D. Idaho 1994), and allege facts sufficient
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level, ” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). Although Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8
does not require “detailed factual allegations, ”
it demands more than “an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
Mr. Barton fails to state the basis for subject matter
jurisdiction or to allege facts from which the court can
reasonably infer a basis for exercising subject matter
jurisdiction. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires
Mr. Barton to include “a short and plain statement of
the grounds for the court's jurisdiction” in his
complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). However, Mr. Barton provides no
information regarding the domicile of Defendants.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a); Medina v. Chas
Roberts Air Conditioning, Inc., No. CV 05-4214-PHX-SMM,
2006 WL 2091665, at *6 (D. Ariz. July 24, 2006) (citing
Fifty Assocs. v. Prudential Life Ins. Co. of Am.,
446 F.2d 1187, 1191 (9th Cir. 1970)) (“The Ninth
Circuit has rejected naming ‘Doe' defendants in
diversity actions, on the grounds that complete diversity
cannot exist if the identity and citizenship of some
defendants (i.e., the ‘Does') are
unknown.”)); (Compl. at 4 (seeking relief of $75,
000.00 in damages and “use of Government Work
Source”).) In addition, Mr. Barton does not appear to
assert any federal claims that support federal question
jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331; (Compl. at
3 (failing to allege facts from which a federal claim can be
inferred from the face of the complaint).) Accordingly, Mr.
Barton fails to allege facts to establish the court's
subject matter jurisdiction.
Mr. Barton's complaint contains only conclusory
allegations and lacks facts that plausibly support liability.
The court cannot determine what claims Mr. Barton attempts to
assert and cannot identify facts in Mr. Barton's
complaint from which the court can reasonably infer that
Defendants are liable to Mr. Barton. (See Compl. at
1-4.) Even though Mr. Barton is proceeding pro se
and the court construes his pleadings liberally, see
Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 341-42 (9th Cir. 2010),
his complaint is nevertheless evaluated under the
Iqbal/Twombly pleading standards, see Id.
at 342; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555;
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The complaint falls far
short of the applicable pleading standard.
these reasons, the court dismisses Mr. Barton's
complaint. However, when a court dismisses a pro se
plaintiff's complaint, the court must give the plaintiff
leave to amend unless it is absolutely clear that amendment
could not cure the defects in the complaint. Lucas v.
Dep't of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995).
Accordingly, the court grants Mr. Barton leave to amend his
complaint. Mr. Barton must file an amended complaint, if any,
that corrects the deficiencies the court identifies herein no
later than May 30, 2017. If Mr. Barton chooses to amend his
complaint, his amended complaint must include a short and
plain statement that describes (1) the factual circumstances
of the alleged harm, e.g., where and when it occurred; (2)
the actions of Defendants that give rise to Mr. Barton's
claims; (3) the basis for the court's jurisdiction; and
(4) the relief Mr. Barton seeks. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
8(a)(1)-(3). If Mr. Barton fails to timely comply with this
order or fails to file an amended complaint that remedies the
deficiencies identified herein, the court will dismiss his
complaint without leave to amend.
foregoing reasons, the court DISMISSES Mr. Barton's
complaint (Dkt. # 1) and GRANTS Mr. Barton leave to amend ...