United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA
PAUPERIS AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
Derrick K. Watson, United States District Judge
August 20, 2018, Plaintiff Crystal Carpenter, proceeding pro
se, filed a Complaint against numerous government employees,
private individuals and entities alleging violations of her
civil rights. Dkt. No. 1. Carpenter also filed an Application
to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP
Application”). Dkt. No. 3. The Court GRANTS the IFP
Application. The Complaint, however, is difficult to decipher
and fails to include factual allegations demonstrating either
that Carpenter or her children's rights have been
violated or that she is plausibly entitled to relief from any
Defendant. Because Carpenter fails to state a cognizable
claim for relief or to establish this Court's subject
matter jurisdiction, the Complaint is DISMISSED with limited
leave to amend pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), with
Carpenter is appearing pro se, the Court liberally construes
her 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 she is
“unable to pay such fees or give security
therefor.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
the IFP Application indicates that although Carpenter is
self-employed, she has “no clients as of yet, ”
nor other funds available, such as in cash or in a checking
or savings account. Her only source of income listed is $1,
027.00 per month in Social Security disability benefits.
Based upon the IFP Application, Carpenter's income falls
below the poverty threshold identified by the Department of
Health and Human Services (“HHS”) 2018 Poverty
Guidelines. See Annual Update of the HHS Poverty
Guidelines, available at
-of-the-hhs-poverty-guidelines. Accordingly, the Court finds
that Carpenter has made the required showing under Section
1915 to proceed without prepayment of fees and GRANTS her IFP
The Complaint Is Dismissed
review of the Complaint and attachments, the Court finds that
Carpenter fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted or to establish a basis for the Court's subject
matter jurisdiction. As discussed below, even liberally
construed, the Complaint fails to allege any discernable
basis for judicial relief against any party.
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).
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 VeteransAffairs, 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
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