United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER (1) GRANTING APPLICATION TO PROCEED WITHOUT
PREPAYMENT OF FEES OR COSTS; AND (2) DISMISSING COMPLAINT IN
PART WITH PARTIAL LEAVE TO AMEND 
Derrick K. Watson, United States District Judge
October 19, 2018, Plaintiff Richard Slezak, proceeding pro
se, filed a Complaint against Subaru Corporation, Subaru of
America (Subaru Corporation and Subaru of America, together,
the “Subaru Defendants”), and Does 1-25 (Does
1-25 and the Subaru Defendants, collectively,
“Defendants”). Dkt. No. 1. Slezak subsequently
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis
(“IFP Application”).Dkt. No. 6.
Slezak's IFP Application
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). While Section 1915(a) does not
require a litigant to demonstrate absolute destitution,
Adkins v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., 335
U.S. 331, 339 (1948), the applicant must nonetheless show
that he is “unable to pay such fees or give security
therefor, ” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
Slezak has made the required showing under Section 1915(a).
In the IFP Application, Slezak states that he is unemployed
and has received no pay during 2019. Further, Slezak states
that he receives approximately $400 a year from a “few
shares” he owns, has $400 in a checking or savings
account, and owns a 2014 Subaru for which he does not know
the value and is the subject of this litigation. Slezak does
state, though, that he owns real estate on Maui that is worth
“millions, ” but, he claims, is “now
unusable.” He also states that he is homeless. Further,
Slezak does not report any monthly expenses, but states that
he owes $15, 000 to the U.S. Department of Education, $2, 000
to $3, 000 in real estate taxes, and $1, 900 in credit card
these figures do not necessarily shed a complete or coherent
picture on the state of Slezak's finances, given that
Slezak states that he is unemployed, it appears that his
income falls below the poverty threshold identified by the
Department of Health and Human Services'
(“HHS”) 2019 Poverty Guidelines. See HHS
Poverty Guidelines, available at:
addition, at this juncture, the Court cannot say that Slezak
has sufficient assets to provide security. As a result, the
Court GRANTS the IFP Application, Dkt. No. 6, with the
proviso that, should a more coherent picture of Slezak's
finances become available later in this case, the Court will
be prepared to re-visit this decision.
Screening of Slezak's Complaint
Court liberally construes the pro se Complaint. Eldridge
v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1137 (9th Cir. 1987). However,
the Court cannot act as counsel for a pro se litigant or
supply the essential elements of a claim. Pliler v.
Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231 (2004); Ivey v. Bd. of
Regents of Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir.
Complaint, Slezak purports to bring five claims related to a
Subaru vehicle he purchased on February 14, 2014. Those
claims are: (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of implied
warranties; (3) violation of the Magnuson Moss Act (MMA); (4)
breach of express warranties; and (5) punitive damages. The
Court addresses each purported claim below.
Breach of Contract
Complaint alleges that Slezak's vehicle is
“currently in the possession” of Servco Subaru of
Maui and has been so “for the past two days.” It
is further alleged that “[n]o one has said if any
repairs will be done or if it will be covered by
Complaint, however, does not allege that Slezak and the named
defendants, i.e., the Subaru Defendants, have entered into
any contract. Instead, the Complaint only asserts that Slezak
has purchased a vehicle manufactured by the Subaru
Corporation. Further, even if there was a contract, the
Complaint does not allege that the Subaru Defendants have
breached any provision of the same. Instead, the Complaint
alleges that Slezak's vehicle is currently in the
possession of Servco Subaru of Maui-an unnamed defendant-and
no one at Servco Subaru of Maui has said whether any repairs
will be done. The Complaint also fails to identify, among
other things, the provision of any contract with Servco
Subaru (or with anyone else) that has been breached. See
Honold v. Deutsche Bank. Nat'l Trust Co., 2010 WL
5174383, at *3 (D. Haw. Dec. 15, 2010) (dismissing a
breach-of-contract claim for failure to identify the contract
at issue, the parties to the contract, whether the plaintiff
performed under the contract, the particular provision of the
contract allegedly violated, and how the defendants allegedly
breached the contract).
result, the Court DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE and with leave
to amend Slezak's claim for breach of contract.
Breach of ...