United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge.
Scott Wesley Humphreys, proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed this civil rights Complaint under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Presently pending in this action is
defendants' motion for a more definite statement
(“motion”). Dkt. 62. The Court concludes that the
allegations in the fourth amended complaint are vague and
ambiguous, and the fourth amended complaint improperly
attempts to incorporate by reference prior complaints.
Therefore, the Court grants defendants' motion. Plaintiff
is required to file an amended complaint within 14 days of
the date of this order that does not incorporate by reference
any previously submitted complaints or documents and states
the actual factual allegations against each of the defendants
for which plaintiff requests relief.
Court will address the motion to dismiss filed by defendants
Cotton, Jones, Sharp, Thrasher, and Walden (Dkt. 63) in a
separately filed report and recommendation.
August 7, 2019, the undersigned entered a report and
recommendation granting in part and denying in part
defendants' motion to dismiss. Dkt. 57. The undersigned
recommended that plaintiff be granted leave to amend his
complaint with respect to the following claims:
is granted leave to amend his complaint on or before [DATE]
with respect to plaintiff's claims against: (1) defendant
Burgher for sexual harassment; (2) defendant Bennett for
sexual harassment and violations of plaintiff's right to
access to the courts and equal protection; (3) defendant
Lystad for violations of the Eighth Amendment related to
plaintiff's medical treatment; (4) defendant Jolly for
due process violations; (5) defendant Sharpe for violations
of access to the courts; (6) defendants Cardwell, Casey,
Gilbert, Haynes, Jones, Burgher, and Tornquist for failure to
protect; (7) defendant Haynes and Gilbert for supervisory
liability; and (8) defendants Thrasher, Cotton, Corder, and
Walden for any constitutional violations cognizable under
Dkt. 57, 57-1.
August 26, 2019, prior to District Judge Bryan's ruling
on the report and recommendation, plaintiff filed a proposed
fourth amended complaint. Dkt. 59. On September 16, 2019,
District Judge Robert J. Bryan adopted the undersigned's
report and recommendation on defendants' motion to
dismiss. Dkt. 60. District Judge Bryan also determined that
plaintiff's fourth amended complaint was now the
operative complaint in this matter. Dkts. 60, 61.
October 1, 2019, defendants filed the motion for a more
definite statement requesting that plaintiff be directed to
file an amended complaint. See Dkt. 62. The same
day, defendants Cotton, Jones, Sharp, Thrasher, and Walden
filed a motion to dismiss. Dkt. 63. On October 14, 2019,
plaintiff filed a proposed fifth amended complaint. Dkt. 64.
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). If a pleading is so
vague or ambiguous a defendant “cannot reasonably be
required to frame a responsive pleading, the party may move
for a more definite statement.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e).
“If a pleading fails to specify the allegations in a
manner that provides sufficient notice, a defendant can move
for a more definite statement under Rule 12(e) before
responding.” Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534
U.S. 506, 514 (2002). Defendants are required to “point
out the defects complained of and the details desired.”
their motion, defendants request that the Court direct
plaintiff to file another amended complaint that does not
incorporate by reference any previously submitted complaints
or documents and states the actual factual allegations
against each of the defendants for which plaintiff requests
relief. Dkt. 62.
defendants maintain that plaintiff has attempted to
incorporate by reference facts from a previous complaint.
See Dkt. 61 at 6, 8-9, 11. An amended pleading
operates as a complete substitute for the original complaint.
See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th
Cir. 1992) (citing Hal Roach Studios v. Richard Feiner
& Co., 896 F.2d 1542, 1546 (9th Cir. 1990)).
“All causes of action alleged in an original complaint
which are not alleged in an amended complaint are
waived.” Marx v. Loral Corp., 87 F.3d 1049,
1055-56 (9th Cir. 1996) (quoting King v. Atiyeh, 814
F.2d 565 (9th Cir. 1987)). Therefore, plaintiff is required
to amend his complaint and is instructed not to attempt to
incorporate by reference or join any prior complaints with
his amended complaint.
defendants maintain that they are unable to properly respond
to the fourth amended complaint because the allegations in
the fourth amended complaint are conclusory and not causally
connected to defendants. Dkt. 62 at 3. To state a claim under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff must allege facts showing
how a defendant caused or personally participated in causing
the harm alleged in the complaint. Leer v. Murphy,
844 F.2d 628, 633 (9th Cir. 1988); Arnold, 637 F.2d
at 1355. A person subjects another to a deprivation of a
constitutional right when committing an affirmative act,
participating in another's affirmative act, or omitting
to perform an act which is legally required. Johnson v.
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). Sweeping
conclusory allegations against an official are insufficient
to state a claim for relief. Leer, 844 F.2d at ...