United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DECLINING SERVICE, GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND, AND
DENYING MOTION FOR TELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION WITH
HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Chen, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, has filed a civil complaint. Dkt. 7. He also
filed a motion requesting all communication and documents be
submitted via the telephone. Dkt. 5. The complaint names the
Seattle Office for Civil Rights as a defendant but is
otherwise blank. The Court DECLINES to serve
the complaint because it is deficient, but
GRANTS Mr. Chen leave to file an amended
complaint by October 11, 2019.
Plaintiff's motion for telephonic communication is
court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court
determines that ... the action … (i) is frivolous or
malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). This provision applies to all
actions filed in forma pauperis. See
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1129 (9th Cir. 2000).
of a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted is provided for in Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), and 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
tracks that language. Thus, when reviewing the adequacy of a
complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), the court
applies the same standard as is applied under Rule 12(b)(6).
See Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir.
reviewing the complaint under this standard, the court must
accept as true the allegations, construe the pleadings in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff, and resolve all doubts
in the plaintiff's favor. Jenkins v. McKeithen,
395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969). Additionally, allegations in pro se
complaints are “held to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers” (Hughes v.
Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980), and “[a] pro se
litigant must be given leave to amend his or her complaint,
and some notice of its deficiencies, unless it is absolutely
clear that the deficiencies of the complaint could not be
cured by amendment.” Cato v. United States, 70
F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995).
avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim, the plaintiff
must include a short and plain statement of a claim, which
shows that he is entitled to relief. This is required to
“give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is
and the grounds upon which it rests.” See
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 8(a)(2); Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554 (2007) (citing
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)). The plaintiff
must include more than “naked assertions, ”
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-557. A claim upon which the
court can grant relief has facial plausibility; in other
words, a claim has “facial plausibility 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, 129 S.Ct.
Mr. Chen has included no factual allegations in his
complaint, it is impossible for the Court to discern what
cause of action he is attempting to assert. Although the
Clerk has designated this case as one asserting a claim under
the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”),
there is nothing in Plaintiff's filings to indicate that
he intended to bring such an action or in fact, any action at
all. The Court notes that in a telephone communication with
the Clerk of Court on August 30, 2019, Mr. Chen indicated
that he meant to name the “Department of Education,
Office of Civil Rights” as a defendant. Regardless of
which entity is named, the Complaint is subject to dismissal
because it contains no factual allegations.
Chen also told the Court Clerk that he does not intend to
file anything further in this case and that he desires all
communication with the Court to be via telephone because he
is visually impaired. The Court finds no basis for granting
such an extraordinary request, particularly as Mr. Chen
previously filed several IFP applications and complaints in
this District. See No. 2:07-cv-55-RSM Chen v.
University of Washington (filed 01/12/07, closed
03/05/08); No. 2:07-cv-00514-TSZ Chen v. United States
Department of Education (filed 04/06/07, closed
06/03/08); No. 2:08-cv-00160-JLR Chen v. University of
Washington (filed 01/31/08, closed 06/03/08); No.
2:08-cv-00426-JCC Chen v. University of Washington
(filed 03/13/08, closed 05/13/08); No. 2:08-cv-00427-RSL
Chen v. Martinez (filed 03/13/08, closed 05/05/08);
No. 2:11-cv-02140-EFS Chen v. University of Washington et
al (filed 12/21/11, closed 03/19/12).
the time he filed the complaint in this action, Mr. Chen
filed similarly blank IFP applications and blank complaints
in seven other cases (naming some of the same parties
previously dismissed): See No. 2:19-cv-01386-RAJ
Chen v. Human Rights Commission; No.
2:19-cv-01387-RAJ Chen v. Martinez; No.
2:19-cv-01388-RAJ Chen v. City of Seattle; No.
2:19-cv-01389-RAJ Chen v. Cantwell; No.
2:19-cv-01390-RAJ Chen v. University of Washington;
No. 2:19-cv-01392-RAJ Chen v. Department of Services for
the Blind, and No. 2:19-cv-01424-RAJ Chen v. Social
Security Administration. In six of these cases,
recommendations to deny Mr. Chen's in forma
pauperis applications and dismiss his complaints without
prejudice are pending and in No. 2:19-cv-1389, he has been
ordered to submit an amended in forma pauperis
the foregoing, the Court realizes Mr. Chen is proceeding
pro se and therefore, grants Mr. Chen permission
file an amended complaint that sets out in short, plain
statements: what occurred, when it occurred, who was
involved, and how plaintiff was harmed. Mr. Chen should file
this amended complaint by October 11, 2019.
The amended complaint must carry the same case number as this
one. If Mr. Chen fails to timely file an amended complaint or
files an amended complaint that fails ...