United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DISMISSING ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE
L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court are (1) pro se Plaintiff Andrew
Tobias's complaint (Compl. (Dkt. # 1-2)) and (2)
Magistrate Judge Brian A. Tsuchida's order granting Mr.
Tobias in forma pauperis (“IFP”) status
and recommending that the court review Mr. Tobias'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. Tobias's complaint falls within the category
of pleadings that the court must dismiss.
December 9, 2019, Mr. Tobias filed a motion for leave to
appear in forma pauperis and a proposed complaint.
(IFP Mot. (Dkt. # 1); Compl.) The next day, Magistrate Judge
Tsuchida granted Mr. Tobias IFP status, and Mr.
McWhortor's proposed complaint was filed on the docket.
(IFP Order; Compl.)
complaint, Mr. Tobias purports to sue the “Federal
Government.” (See Compl. at 1.) Although
difficult to decipher, Mr. Tobias's complaint appears to
allege that the federal government is spying on him.
(See Compl. at 5.) An “exhibit” attached
to the complaint consists of several pages of photographs of
vehicles, followed by several pages of undecipherable
grammar, allegations of spying and aliens, and repeated use
of the “n” word. (See generally Exhibit
(Dkt. # 1-3).) Additionally, Mr. Tobias lists the
“Federal Government” as the defendant without
stating that he is bringing suit against any federal
officials. (See generally Compl.)
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. Tobias's factual allegations are
wholly inadequate to plausibly establish the liability of a
defendant and or raise Mr. Tobias's “right to
relief above the speculative level.” See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. There is no way for the court
to discern the nature of Mr. Tobias's claims, or even who
he intends to sue, based on his complaint. Any such attempt
would be mere speculation. Mr. Tobias'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. Tobias'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 a defendant on notice of
what his claims are and the grounds upon which they rest.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-56. Because Mr. Tobias
fails do so, the court concludes that Mr. Tobias's
complaint fails to state a claim, 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. Tobias 14 days to file an amended complaint that
properly addresses the pleading deficiencies identified
herein and any other pleading deficiencies. If Mr. Tobias
fails to timely comply with this order or fails to file an
amended complaint that remedies the aforementioned
deficiencies, the court will dismiss his complaint without
leave to amend.
foregoing reasons, the court DISMISSES Mr. Tobias's
complaint for failure to state a claim under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). The court, however, GRANTS Mr. Tobias leave to
file an amended complaint that meets the federal court