United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT
L. ROBART, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court are (1) pro se Plaintiff Tobias
McWhortor's complaint (Compl. (Dkt. ## 1-1, 3)), and (2)
Magistrate Judge Brian A. Tsuchida's order granting Mr.
McWhortor in forma pauperis (“IFP”)
status and recommending that the court review Mr.
McWhortor's action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) (IFP Order (Dkt. # 2) at 1). Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e), district courts have authority to review IFP
complaints and must dismiss them if “at any time”
it is determined that a complaint is frivolous, malicious,
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or
seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126 n.7 (9th Cir. 2000)
(clarifying that “section 1915(e) applies to all [IFP]
complaints, ” not just those filed by prisoners). As
discussed below, Mr. McWhortor's complaint falls within
the category of pleadings that the court must dismiss.
26, 2019, Mr. McWhortor filed a motion for leave to proceed
IFP and a proposed complaint. (IFP Mot. (Dkt. # 1); Compl.)
Later that day, Magistrate Judge Tsuchida granted Mr.
McWhortor IFP status, and Mr. McWhortor's proposed
complaint was filed on the docket. (IFP Order; Compl.)
complaint, Mr. McWhortor sues Defendant ITA Court Harborview
USA Government, which may be two separate Defendants: (1) ITA
Court Harborview; and (2) USA Government (collectively,
“Defendants”). (See Compl. at 1-3.) Mr.
McWhortor's complaint is difficult to decipher and
self-contradictory. For example, Mr. McWhortor says that he
has not “brought any other lawsuits in any federal
court in the United States, ” but then details a
previous lawsuit. (Id. at 3.) In addition, Mr.
McWhortor filed his action against Defendants on the
“COMPLAINT FOR VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS” form
provided by the United States District Court for the Western
District of Washington, but Mr. McWhortor does not state that
he is bringing suit against any “federal
officials” or “state or local officials.”
(Id. at 1, 5.)
the events underlying Mr. McWhortor's action, Mr.
McWhortor claims that, between September 2000 and June 2019,
he “was detained and they injected [him] with sedatives
and liquids and ordered [him to] eat pills or [he] could not
leave confinement.” (Id. at 6.) Mr. McWhortor
alleges his injuries are sleeping alone since September 2001
and being “attacked by 8 demons described in bible
verse.” (Id. at 7.) Mr. McWhortor requests
that the court “prevent ITA court from hospitalizing
[him] or ordering [him] treatment or prevent them from
threatening [him]. [P]revent the voices in the air from
surveillance and let [him] [indecipherable] why they are
where, and why they are talking to [him].”
(Id.; see also Id. at 12.)
McWhortor also attaches a number of pages to his complaint,
in which he describes that he has been hospitalized 14 times
since 2001 for issues relating to “schizophrenia due to
voices in air and physical weight concerns and poor hygiene
concerns.” (Id. at 9.) Mr. McWhortor claims
that he does not need medicine or hospitalization, that he is
“gravely disabled only due to sleeping alone since Sept
2001, ” and that he “must go to the nation of
Israel.” (Id. at 10.) Mr. McWhortor makes
additional disjointed allegations throughout the complaint.
(See generally id.)
Dismissal Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)
1915(e)(2)(B) of Title 28 authorizes a district court to
dismiss an IFP complaint “at any time” if the
court determines: (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.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Section 1915(e)(2) parallels
the language of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1126-27. The complaint therefore
must allege facts that plausibly establish the
defendant's liability. See Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007). An IFP complaint
must contain factual allegations “enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.”
Id. at 555. An IFP complaint must also comply with
the pleading requirements of Rule 8, which requires “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 8(1)(2). Although Rule 8's pleading standard 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).
liberally construed, Mr. McWhortor's factual allegations
are wholly inadequate to plausibly establish the
Defendants' liability and or raise Mr. McWhortor's
“right to relief above the speculative level.”
See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. There is no way for
either the court or Defendants to discern the nature of Mr.
McWhortor's claims based on his complaint. Any such
attempt would be mere speculation. Mr. McWhortor's
complaint must “contain sufficient allegations of
underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable the
opposing party to defend itself effectively.” See
Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). Mr.
McWhortor's complaint fails to accomplish this
requirement. Although his complaint need not include detailed
factual allegations, in order to overcome the foregoing
deficiencies, he must allege sufficient factual matter to
place Defendants on notice of what his claims are and the
grounds upon which they rest. Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555-56. Because Mr. McWhortor fails do so, the court
concludes that Mr. McWhortor's complaint fails to state a
claim against Defendants, and the court dismisses his
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(2).
Leave to Amend
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). Thus, the court
grants Mr. McWhortor 14 days to file an amended complaint
that properly addresses the pleading deficiencies identified
herein and any other pleading deficiencies. If Mr. McWhortor
fails to timely comply with this order or fails ...