United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER DENYING IFP APPLICATION
B. Leighton United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Enslow's Motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, supported by
a proposed amended complaint [Dkt. #13]. Enslow has filed at
least five proposed complaints or amended complaints seeking
in forma pauperis status. This Court has denied his
efforts on two prior occasions [Dkt. #s 4 and 11], because he
failed to state a plausible claim, his §1983 claim
failed to identify any state actors, and he failed to
articulate any factual basis for his claim.
has since filed another proposed amended complaint [Dkt. #12]
and filed another Motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis [Dkt. #13], apparently in an effort to remedy
the deficiencies in his prior attempts.
was arrested and detained between February 3, 2015, and June
11, 2015, for arson, attempted murder, and reckless
endangerment. He claims he was falsely arrested by the
Thurston County Sherriff Department. He argues that it would
have been clear to the officers involved (but not
specifically named in this suit) that he was innocent if they
had performed a thorough pre-arrest investigation. Enslow
does not describe how the investigation was
deficient, he just states that it was. He claims he was
acquitted on all charges but he does not provide a case name
or number. During his detainment, Enslow alleges his house
was robbed, car stolen, reputation lost, and schizophrenia
worsened. He seeks to sue the State of Washington and the
Thurston Sheriff Department for $3, 000, 000 in compensation
for pain and suffering and false arrest.
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.
pro se plaintiff's complaint is liberally
construed, 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.
denying Enslow's first IFP application, this Court
articulated the problems with Enslow's claim:
Enslow's proposed complaint is insufficient as measured
against this standard. The bare factual claim that he was
arrested, jailed, and acquitted does not articulate a
plausible claim that any of his rights were violated by any
of the named defendants. The prosecutor is facially entitled
to immunity from this sort of claim, see Imbler v.
Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 430 (1976), and the state(s)
likely are, as well. Enslow has not identified the individual
defendants he claims violated which of his rights, how, or
when. His application to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED.
He shall pay the filing fee or file a proposed amended
complaint within 21 days of this ORDER or the claim will be
has narrowed his complaint from twenty-seven constitutional
deprivations to two: false arrest and pain and suffering. To
make a valid claim for false arrest Enslow “must plead
facts that would show [defendant(s)] ordered or otherwise
procured the arrest and the arrests were without probable
cause.” Lacey v. Maricopa County, 693 F.3d
896, 918 (9th Cir. 2012). “Probable cause exists when,
under the totality of the circumstances known to the
arresting officers (or within the knowledge of the officers
at the scene), a prudent person would believe the suspect had
committed a crime, ” March v. Twin Cities Police
Auth., C 12100512 WI, 2014 WL 3725931, at *4 (N. D. Cal.
July 25, 2014).
complaint is insufficient. He merely provides a broad
statement concerning the sufficiency of the “pre-arrest
investigation, ” as causing him to be falsely arrested
and detained for five months. Without further specificity
Enslow leaves the Court and Defendants guessing what specific
conduct Enslow claims deprived him of his rights,
specifically the “who, what, when, where, and
why” supporting his complaint.
Motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Dkt. #13] is
DENIED. Because it remains possible that Enslow could amend
his complaint to address these problems, the Court will Grant
him 21 days to do so-identifying people (by name, title, and
role in the underlying factual story), dates (preferably
chronological order), the claims and the wrongs he claims to
have suffered, and why this is the proper court to address
them. The Court has articulated this standard above in two