United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
V. EAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
7, 2017, Plaintiff, a prisoner in custody at the Tulsa County
Jail and appearing pro se, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983
civil rights complaint (Dkt. # 1). By Order filed July 12,
2017 (Dkt. # 7), the Court granted Plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis and directed him to pay an initial
partial filing fee of $8.10 on or before August 11, 2017. The
Court also denied Plaintiff's motions for class action
certification and for appointment of counsel and directed
Plaintiff to file an amended complaint. Id.
27, 2017, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint (Dkt. # 13).
To date, Plaintiff has failed to pay the initial partial
filing fee. However, on August 15, 2017, Plaintiff filed a
response (Dkt. # 14) regarding his failure to pay the initial
partial filing fee, explaining that he has “other
obligations” and needs additional time to make the
reasons discussed below, the amended complaint fails to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted and is dismissed
without prejudice. Even though the amended complaint is
dismissed, Plaintiff remains obligated to pay the full $350
filing fee in monthly installments when he has sufficient
courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in
which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must identify any
cognizable claim and dismiss any claim which is frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). To avoid dismissal
for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a
complaint must present factual allegations, assumed to be
true, that “raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint must
contain “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. A court
must accept all the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint
as true, even if doubtful in fact, and must construe the
allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Id. at 555. However, “when the allegations in
a complaint, however true, could not raise a [plausible]
claim of entitlement to relief, ” the cause of action
should be dismissed. Id. at 558. Twombly
articulated the pleading standard for all civil actions.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009). The
Court applies the same standard of review for dismissals
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) that is employed for
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss for failure to state
a claim. Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1217-18 (10th
se plaintiff's complaint must be broadly construed under
this standard. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007); see also Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972). The generous construction to be given the pro se
litigant's allegations “does not relieve the
plaintiff of the burden of alleging sufficient facts on which
a recognized legal claim could be based.” Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).
Notwithstanding a pro se plaintiff's various mistakes or
misunderstandings of legal doctrines or procedural
requirements, “if a court can reasonably read the
pleadings to state a valid claim on which the plaintiff could
prevail, it should do so . . . .” Id. A
reviewing court need not accept “mere conclusions
characterizing pleaded facts.” Bryson v. City of
Edmond, 905 F.2d 1386, 1390 (10th Cir. 1990); see
also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (“While a complaint
attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need
detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to
provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires
more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation
of the elements of a cause of action will not do.”
(quotations and citations omitted)). The court “will
not supply additional factual allegations to round out a
plaintiff's complaint or construct a legal theory on a
plaintiff's behalf.” Whitney v. New
Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997).
Causes of action raised in the amended complaint
Court finds that the amended complaint fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiff describes the
nature of the case as follows:
Tulsa County Public Defender's Office court appointed
counsel fails to provide effective assistance of counsel to
the indigent appointed and State fails to provide adequate
remedy to address issue. Tulsa County District Attorneys
Office fails to comply with ABA Standards violating the
constitutional rights of indigent defendants through
prosecutorial misconduct and other unethical methods.
(Dkt. # 13 at 3). Plaintiff identifies four (4) grounds for
relief as follows:
Count I: The indigent defendant was denied right to a fair
an[d] impartial trial process. Indigent defendant was denied
constitutional protections under the provisions of law in
accordance with the 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments.
Count II: Indigent defendant was denied the right to
effective assistance of counsel when appointed counsel failed
to provide Plaintiff with copies of discovery denying the
defendant the right to participate and to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusations against me. In violation
of the Sixth Amendment, due process and equal protection of
the law in accordance with the Fourteenth Amendment.
Count III: Indigent defendant was denied the right to
effective assistance of counsel when appointed counsel fails
to file and argue proper motions and ...