United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING IFP APPLICATION AND DISMISSAL WITHOUT
RICHARD A. JONES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
Qian Chen, appearing pro se, filed an application to
proceed in forma pauperis (IFP) and a proposed civil
complaint. Dkt. 1. Maria Elaine Cantwell is named as a
defendant in the captions, but otherwise the IFP application
and complaint are blank. The docket reflects Plaintiff
telephoned the Clerk of Court to advise that he is visually
impaired, he does not receive written mail, and he does not
intend to file any additional documents in this case.
September 5, 2019, Magistrate Judge Michelle L. Peterson
denied Plaintiffs IFP application with leave to amend within
thirty days. Dkt. 3. On September 6, 2019, Plaintiff filed a
motion requesting all communication and documents be
submitted to him via telephone. Dkt. 4. Plaintiff did not
amend his IFP application and has not filed any other
pleadings to date.
August 30, 2019, the same day he filed the IFP application
and complaint in this case, Plaintiff filed similarly blank
IFP applications and complaints in six other cases.
See No. 2:19-1386 RAJ-BAT; Chen v. Human Rights
Commission; 2:19-cv-01387-RAJ-MAT Chen v.
Martinez; No. 2:19-cv-01388-RSM-BAT Chen v. City of
Seattle; 2:19-cv-01390 Chen v. University of
Washington; No. 2:19-cv-01391-JCC-MLP Chen v.
Seattle Office for Civil Rights; and
2:19-cv-01392-RAJ-MAT Chen v. Department of Services for
the Blind. On September 4, 2019, Plaintiff filed a
seventh lawsuit, No. 2:19-cv-01424-RAJ Chen v.
Commissioner of Social Security. Reports and
Recommendations are pending in six cases, recommending denial
of Plaintiff s IFP application and dismissal without
prejudice. In No. 2:19-cv-01391 Chen v. Seattle Office
for Civil Rights, Plaintiff has been given leave to file
an amended complaint. His motion for telephonic communication
with the Court was denied. Dkt. 8 (therein).
he submitted a blank IFP application, Plaintiff has failed to
make the financial showing required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1). Although Plaintiff indicated to the Clerk that he
is visually impaired and has difficulties accessing his mail,
the record reflects that he 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. 2:1 l-cv-02140-EFS Chen v.
University of Washington et al (filed 12/21/11, closed
Plaintiff was given an opportunity to submit an amended IFP
application - a decision that was communicated to him by
written order and a by telephone. See Dkt. 3 (and
staff docket entry). He has not done so.
Plaintiffs complaint is blank, this provides additional
reason to deny his IFP application. '"A district
court may 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.'" Minetti v. Port of Seattle, 152
F.3d 1113, 1115 (9th Cir. 1998) (quoting Tripati v. First
Nat. Bank & Trust, 821 F.2d 1368, 1370 (9th Cir.
1987)). In fact, the court has a duty to examine any IFP
application to determine whether the proposed proceeding has
merit and if it appears that the proceeding is without merit,
the court is bound to deny the IFP application. Smart v.
Heinze, 347 F.2d 114, 116 (9th Cir. 1965).
the court must dismiss an in forma pauperis case at
any time if the allegation of poverty is found to be untrue
or if it is determined that the action is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against an immune
defendant. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). A
complaint is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable
basis in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d
1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). Under this standard, a court
must dismiss a complaint as frivolous where it is based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual
contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S.
at 327; 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
complaint is clearly without basis in law or fact because it
contains no factual contentions at all.
the foregoing deficiencies, it is at least possible that
Plaintiff can file an IFP application with a sufficient
financial showing and a complaint stating a factually and
legally sufficient cause of action against a proper
defendant, as he has demonstrated an ability to do so in the
past. For this ...