United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge.
the Court is pro se Plaintiff Henry Lagmay's Complaint,
supplement to Complaint (“Supplement”)
(collectively, “Pleadings”),  and exhibits.
See Doc. Nos. 1; 6; 7. Lagmay is incarcerated at the
Hawaii Department of Public Safety's (“DPS”)
Halawa Correctional Facility (“HCF”). He is
proceeding in forma pauperis (“IFP”).
See Doc. No. 5.
names seventy-three DPS, HCF, or Office of the Ombudsman
employees in their individual capacities as defendants
(collectively, “Defendants”). He seeks relief
under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985. See
Compl., Doc. Nos. 1, 1-2, PageID #1-43.
Pleadings are DISMISSED for failure to comply with the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rules for the
District of Hawaii. See 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2) & 1915A(b). Lagmay may amend his Pleadings to
clarify his claims and allegations as discussed and limited
below, on or before October 28, 2016.
Form of the Documents
filed two initiating documents, the Complaint (filed July 25,
2016), and the Supplement (filed August 24, 2016). The court
has reviewed these documents and liberally construes them as
Lagmay's complete Pleadings for purposes of this Order.
The Pleadings and exhibits constitute nearly 250 pages. They
are exceedingly difficult to comprehend due to their length
and form. For example, they are randomly bisected with lines.
The handwritten text, although neat, is minuscule and at
times indecipherable. Four and five lines of tiny script are
squeezed into each standard-sized line. The margins are
reduced, often contain writing, or are blacked out. The
counts are unnumbered and Lagmay makes no distinction between
counts or claims and the legal arguments meant to support
such claims. Statements of fact are randomly and repeatedly
scattered throughout the Pleadings, with unexplained
references to unattached and unlabeled exhibits. The
Pleadings are replete with citation to case law, statutes,
and keynotes, without explanation or application of these
citations to any statements of fact.
groups his claims in an unexplained system. See
Compl., Doc. No. 1, PageID #46 (numbered “5, ”
labeled “BEFORE”); PageID #47-52 (numbered
“6, 6A-E”); #53-67 (numbered “7,
7A-N”); Supp., Doc. No. 6 (each page states “PaGe
1513, ” but are labeled “A” through
“T”). For clarity, however, the court refers to
the electronic pagination of all documents in the record.
more than one hundred pages of exhibits. Some are randomly
inserted within the Pleadings, some are labeled as requests,
although most were filed with the Supplement. These exhibits
contain original documents (that are not on eight and one
half by eleven inch paper as required by Local Rule LR10.2).
He has also filed unverified photographs, statutory text,
letters, and grievances.
broadly and indiscriminately alleges that all Defendants
conspired to violate his rights under the First, Fourth,
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments in retaliation for his
filing grievances and commencing litigation. The Pleadings
are voluminous, excessively detailed, rambling, repetitive,
and conclusory. It is largely unclear to whom or what Lagmay
refers in any statement, despite his meticulous repetition of
Defendants, constitutional provisions, and statutes on any
given page. Lagmay generally provides few facts to support
his claims, but instead simply refers to his Exhibits. He
also, however, repeatedly asserts certain facts. There is no
clear chronology of events.
says that he is cuffed behind his back during cell movements,
possibly because he is in a special holding unit. Because he
alleges he was injured at a Mainland prison in 2008,
alleges this causes him pain, and has or will re-injure him
and cause disfigurement without surgery. Lagmay alleges all
Defendants are liable for his claims because he has filed
numerous grievances and medical requests to prison officials
regarding his past injuries, the prison's handcuffing
policy, his pain, and need for medical treatment.
first nine Counts cite statutes, constitutional amendments,
case law, legal concepts, and terms of art such as
retaliation, illegal search and seizure, inadequate medical
care, conspiracy, freedom of speech, deliberate indifference,
exhaustion, PLRA, excessive force, verbal abuse, and threats
to safety. See Compl., Doc. No. 1, PageID #46-54.
Lagmay refers repeatedly to his Exhibits.However, although
Lagmay repeatedly lists the Defendants he alleges were
involved in these violations, he sets forth insufficient
facts linking any Defendant to any action.
remaining Counts are equally unclear, although he provides
more statements of fact. Id., PageID #55-67.
Unfortunately, these pages are much more difficult to read,
as described above, making it nearly impossible to decipher
Lagmay's claims. Lagmay alleges his personal property was
confiscated and never returned. Id., PageID #55. He
refers to incidents during the past year when he was cuffed
behind his back. He repeatedly refers to an incident on May
25, 2016, involving Defendants Kaipo Sarkissian, Levy
Christensen, and Naoele. See id., PageId.
#59-62. Lagmay claims that prison medical staff denied him
medical care and that the Office of the Ombudsman has been
unhelpful. Lagmay therefore concludes that Defendants
conspired and retaliated against him for filing grievances
and pursuing litigation. He seeks compensatory damages.
court must screen all prisoner civil actions brought in forma
pauperis pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Complaints or
claims must be dismissed if they are frivolous, malicious,
fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seek
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
pleading must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This requires
“more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice.” Id. A claim is plausible
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
to amend should be granted if it appears the plaintiff can
correct the defects in the complaint. Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).
When it is clear the complaint cannot be saved by amendment,
dismissal without leave to amend is appropriate. Sylvia
Landfield Trust v. City of L.A., 729 F.3d 1189, 1196
(9th Cir. 2013).
Pleadings do not clearly express his claims and do not shed
light on the facts underlying his claims. The federal rules
contemplate brevity. See Galbraith v. Cty. of Santa
Clara, 307 F.3d 119, 1125 (9th Cir. 2002) (noting
“nearly all of the circuits have now disapproved any
heightened pleading standard in cases other than those
governed by Rule 9(b)”). A pleading need only
“contain . . . a short and plain statement showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(1). Directness and clarity are mandatory. See
Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 514 (2002)
(“Rule 8(a) is the starting point of a simplified
pleading system which was adopted to focus litigation on the
merits of a claim.”); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1) (“Each
allegation must be simple, concise, and direct.”). A
cognizable complaint “must give fair notice” of
the alleged wrong “and state the elements of the claim
plainly and succinctly.” Pickard v. WMC Mortgage
Corp., 2009 WL 3416134, *3 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 21, 2009)
(citing Jones v. Cmty. Redev. Agency, 733 F.2d 646,
649 (9th Cir. 1984)). That is, a court and the defendants
should be able to read and understand a complaint within
minutes. See McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177-78
(9th Cir. 1996) (comparing a sample form complaint, that
“can be read in seconds and answered in minutes,
” with plaintiff's “argumentative,
court may therefore dismiss a pleading “not only for
saying too little, but also for saying too much - though what
is objectionable in excessively wordy material is not the
length or wordiness itself, but the resulting lack of
clarity.” Baker v. Clerk, 2016 WL 4677459, at
*1-2 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 7, 2016) (citing McHenry, 84
F.3d at 1177-78) (affirming dismissal of a § 1983
complaint for violating Rule 8, after warning); see also
Hearns v. San Bernardino Police Dep't, 530 F.3d
1124, 1131-32 (9th Cir. 2008) (reiterating that
pleading's “verbosity and length” does not
mandate dismissal; dismissal is only appropriate when a
pleading's verbosity confuses issues and renders it
fatally unclear). “Something labeled a complaint but
written . . . prolix in evidentiary detail, yet without