United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO SHOW OR AMEND
W. CHRISTEL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
James A. Williams, proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed this civil rights complaint under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed and screened
Plaintiff's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the
Court declines to serve the Complaint but provides Plaintiff
leave to file an amended pleading by October 27, 2017, to
cure the deficiencies identified herein.
who is currently incarcerated at Stafford Creek Corrections
Center (“SCCC”), states he is primarily filing
this lawsuit because he has been denied his First Amendment
right to access the courts for the last six years.
See Dkt. 6, p. 4. He also states 78
“grounds” for relief, --which are difficult to
read-- challenging incidents that occurred at Washington
State Penitentiary (“WSP”), SCCC, and the Special
Offender Unit (“SOU”) of an unidentified
corrections facility. See Dkt. 6.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Court is
required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking
relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee
of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
Court must “dismiss the complaint, or any portion of
the complaint, if the complaint: [ ] is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted[.]” Id. at (b); 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2); see Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193
(9th Cir. 1998).
Court is required to liberally construe pro se documents.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). However,
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 requires a complaint to
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing the pleader is entitled to relief, ” and
“[e]ach averment of a pleading shall be simple,
concise, and direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(e). Further,
unrelated claims against different defendants must be pursued
in multiple lawsuits.
controlling principle appears in Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a): ‘A
party asserting a claim ... may join, [ ] as independent or
as alternate claims, as many claims ... as the party has
against an opposing party.' Thus multiple claims against
a single party are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1
should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant
2. Unrelated claims against different defendants belong in
different suits, not only to prevent the sort of morass [a
multiple claim, multiple defendant] suit produce[s], but also
to ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees-for the
Prison Litigation Reform Act limits to 3 the number of
frivolous suits or appeals that any prisoner may file without
prepayment of the required fees.
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007)
(citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)); see also
Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2) (joinder of defendants not permitted
unless both commonality and same transaction requirements are
Plaintiff filed a 67 page Complaint. Dkt. 6. The Complaint is
difficult to read and portions are nearly illegible. He names
numerous Defendants, who are employed at three different
facilities. See Id. Plaintiff states his legal claim
is primarily that he has been denied access to the courts for
the last six years, but he provides a myriad of facts about
the conditions of his confinement at SCCC, WSP, and SOU.
Plaintiff appears to be alleging several constitutional
violations, all which arise from different incidents and
correctional facilities. Because “the Court cannot
glean what claims for relief might lay hidden in the
narration provided by [P]laintiff and it is [P]laintiff's
responsibility to make each claim clear and provide only a
short statement of facts supporting [each] claim, ”
Henderson v. Scott, 2005 WL 1335220, *1
(E.D. Cal. May 4, 2005), Plaintiff is ordered to file an
amended complaint which complies with Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8 and this Order.
amended complaint must contain a short, plain statement
telling the Court: (1) the constitutional right Plaintiff
believes was violated; (2) the name of the person who
violated the right; (3) exactly what the individual did or
failed to do; (4) how the action or inaction of the
individual is connected to the violation of Plaintiff's
constitutional rights; and (5) what specific injury Plaintiff
suffered because of the individual's conduct. See
Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377, 96 S.Ct. 598,
46 L.Ed.2d 561 (1976). Each claim for relief must be simple,
concise, and direct.
shall present the amended complaint on the form provided by
the Court. The amended complaint must be legibly rewritten or
retyped in its entirety, it should be an original and not a
copy, it should contain the same case number, and it may not
incorporate any part of the original complaint by reference.
The amended complaint will act as a complete substitute for
the original Complaint, not as a supplement. The Court will
screen the amended complaint to determine whether it contains
factual allegations linking each defendant to the alleged
violations of Plaintiff's rights.
amended complaint, Plaintiff should allege only the
constitutional violations arising from a single transaction
or occurrence. For example, if Plaintiff is alleging his
right to access the courts was violated while he was housed
at WSP, he should allege this claim in one complaint.
Plaintiff shall file additional lawsuits, if he so chooses,
regarding each of the remaining transactions or occurrences
that resulted in constitutional violations. For example,
allegations of deliberate indifference to a serious medical
need arising from an event at WSP, allegations of deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need arising from an event
at SCCC, allegations of conditions of confinement arising
from an event at SOU, and allegations of denial of access to
courts at SCCC should each be filed in separate lawsuits.
amended complaint shall not exceed twenty (20) pages absent
leave of Court ...