United States District Court, D. Hawaii
HARDY K. AH PUCK, JR., Plaintiff,
STATE OF HAWAI‘I, Defendant.
ORDER (1) GRANTING APPLICATION TO PROCEED WITHOUT
PREPAYMENT OF FEES OR COSTS; AND (2) DISMISSING ACTION WITH
LEAVE TO AMEND.
Derrick K. Watson, United States District Judge.
April 18, 2019, Plaintiff Hardy K. Ah Puck, Jr., proceeding
pro se, filed a third application to proceed in forma
pauperis (“IFP Application”). Dkt. No. 10.
Because the IFP Application now provides the financial
information necessary to assess whether Ah Puck has the
ability to pay the filing fee in this case, and that
information reflects that he cannot, the Court GRANTS the IFP
Application. However, because it is not possible to discern
what (if any) claims Ah Puck is attempting to bring in the
letter he filed initiating this case, Dkt. No. 1, this action
is DISMISSED with leave to amend.
The 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).
Ah Puck has now made the required showing under Section
1915(a). In the IFP Application, Dkt. No. 10, Ah Puck appears
to state that he is self-employed, making $10 a day and $50
per week. Further, Ah Puck states that he receives no other
income, has no money in a checking or savings account, and
owns no automobile, real property, or financial instruments.
In light of these figures, Ah Puck's 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: https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines. In
addition, Ah Puck has insufficient assets to provide
security. As a result, the Court GRANTS the IFP Application,
Dkt. No. 10.
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, such
as by supplying 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.
March 7, 2019, Ah Puck initiated this action by mailing a
letter to the Clerk's Office of this Court. Dkt. Nos. 1,
1-4. The letter is a page in length and contains one (fairly
long) paragraph of relevant text. In that text, it appears
that Ah Puck is attempting to apprise the Court of a
situation where he, while incarcerated,  was unable to
visit his ill father prior to his father's death. Ah Puck
may be contending that his inability to visit his father was
a constitutional violation. He may, however, be suggesting
that he has an entitlement to death benefits. He could, of
course, be asserting both of the foregoing matters or perhaps
neither. Put simply, it is far from easy to tell.
purpose of filing what is usually a complaint is, at a bare
minimum, to place the party against whom the complaint is
directed on fair notice of the claims against him, her, or
it. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 n.3 (2007) (explaining that Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(a) requires “fair notice” of the
nature of the claim and the grounds upon which it rests).
Here, Ah Puck has failed to meet this bare requirement. In
addition, from the letter, it is impossible to discern
against whom Ah Puck's claim(s) are directed, as no party
is named as a defendant.
result, the Court must dismiss this action. However, because
it is possible that Ah Puck is attempting to allege one or
more plausible claims for relief, the Court will allow him
leave to amend to do just that. In that regard, the Court
will mail Ah Puck a copy of a form complaint for use in a
civil pro se proceeding such as this one. Should Ah Puck
choose to use the form mailed to him, he should answer
all of the questions clearly and
Ah Puck choose to use some other written form to present his
claims, he still must allege the facts and claims in a clear
and concise manner. So it is not misunderstood, the letter,
Dkt. No. 1, is not clear, so Ah
Puck should not simply repeat the text therein. Instead, Ah
Puck must write short, plain statements telling the Court:
(1) the specific basis of this Court's jurisdiction; (2)
the constitutional or statutory right(s) he believes were
violated; (3) the name of the defendant(s) who violated those
right(s); (4) exactly what each defendant did or failed to
do; (5) how the action or inaction of a defendant is
connected to the violation of Ah Puck's right(s); (6)
what specific injury he suffered because of a defendant's
conduct; and (7) what relief he seeks.
Puck's application to proceed in forma pauperis,
Dkt. No. 10, is GRANTED. This action is DISMISSED with leave
to amend as set forth herein.
may have until May 31, 2019 to file a
complaint. The Court cautions Ah Puck that failure to
file a complaint by May 31, 2019 may result in the ...