United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER (1) GRANTING APPLICATION TO PROCEED WITHOUT
PREPAYMENT OF FEES OR COSTS; AND (2) DISMISSING COMPLAINT
WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND
October 31, 2017, Plaintiff Brud Rossmann, proceeding pro se,
filed a Complaint against several federal and state
government employees and an Application to proceed in
forma pauperis (“IFP
Application”). The Court GRANTS the IFP Application.
Rossmann's current Complaint, like his previous
complaints, is both frivolous and improper. Because the
Complaint fails to include any factual allegations
demonstrating that Rossmann's rights have been violated
or that he is plausibly entitled to relief from any
Defendant, and because amendment would be futile under the
circumstances, the Court DISMISSES the Complaint without
leave to amend.
he is an attorney, because Rossmann is proceeding pro se, the
Court liberally construes his filings. See Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Eldridge v.
Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1137 (9th Cir. 1987) (“The
Supreme Court has instructed the federal courts to liberally
construe the ‘inartful pleading' of pro se
litigants.”) (citing Boag v. MacDougall, 454
U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam)). The Court recognizes that
“[u]nless it is absolutely clear that no amendment can
cure the defect . . . a pro se litigant is entitled to notice
of the complaint's deficiencies and an opportunity to
amend prior to dismissal of the action.” Lucas v.
Dep't of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995);
see also Crowley v. Bannister, 734 F.3d 967, 977-78
(9th Cir. 2013).
Plaintiff's IFP Application Is Granted
courts can authorize the commencement of any suit without
prepayment of fees or security by a person who submits an
affidavit that demonstrates an inability to pay. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). “An affidavit in support
of an IFP application is sufficient where it alleges that the
affiant cannot pay the court costs and still afford the
necessities of life.” Escobedo v. Applebees,
787 F.3d 1226, 1234 (9th Cir. 2015) (citing Adkins v.
E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339
(1948)); see also United States v. McQuade, 647 F.2d
938, 940 (9th Cir. 1981) (The affidavit must “state the
facts as to affiant's poverty with some particularity,
definiteness and certainty.”) (internal quotation
reviewing an application filed pursuant to § 1915(a),
“[t]he only determination to be made by the court . . .
is whether the statements in the affidavit satisfy the
requirement of poverty.” Martinez v. Kristi
Kleaners, Inc., 364 F.3d 1305, 1307 (11th Cir. 2004).
While Section 1915(a) does not require a litigant to
demonstrate absolute destitution, Adkins, 335 U.S.
at 339, the applicant must nonetheless show that he is
“unable to pay such fees or give security
therefor.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
the IFP Application indicates that Rossmann is unemployed,
medically disabled, and receives SSI benefits in the amount
of $735 per month. Based upon the IFP Application,
Rossmann's income falls below the poverty threshold
identified by the Department of Health and Human Services
(“HHS”) 2017 Poverty Guidelines. See
2017 HHS Poverty Guidelines, available at
-of-the-hhs-poverty-guidelines. Accordingly, the Court finds
that Rossmann has made the required showing under Section
1915 to proceed without prepayment of fees, and GRANTS his
IFP Application. Dkt. No. 2.
Plaintiff's Complaint Is Dismissed Without Leave To
review of the Complaint, the Court finds that Rossmann fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. As
discussed below, even liberally construed, the frivolous
Complaint fails to state any discernible basis for judicial
Standard of Review
Court subjects each civil action commenced pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a) to mandatory screening and can order
the dismissal of any claims it finds “frivolous,
malicious, failing to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeking monetary relief from a defendant immune
from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B);
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir.
2000) (en banc) (stating that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)
“not only permits but requires” the court to
sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis
complaint that fails to state a claim); Calhoun v.
Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (per curiam)
(holding that “the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners”).
Court may dismiss a complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for “failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted[.]” A Rule 12(b)(6)
dismissal is proper when there is either a “‘lack
of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient
facts alleged.'” UMG Recordings, Inc. v.
Shelter Capital Partners, LLC, 718 F.3d 1006, 1014 (9th
Cir. 2013) (quoting Balistreri v. Pacifica Police
Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990)). A
plaintiff must allege “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007));
see also Weber v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs, 521
F.3d 1061, 1065 (9th Cir. 2008). This tenet-that the court
must accept as true all of the allegations contained in the
complaint-“is inapplicable to legal conclusions.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Accordingly,
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555); see also Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202,
1216 (9th Cir. 2011) (“[A]llegations in a complaint or
counterclaim may not simply recite the elements of a cause of
action, but must contain sufficient allegations of underlying
facts to give fair notice and to enable the opposing party to
defend itself effectively.”).
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, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Factual allegations that
only permit the Court to infer “the mere possibility of