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Allen v. Utah State Prison

United States District Court, D. Utah

February 6, 2017

PAUL C. ALLEN, Plaintiff,
v.
UTAH STATE PRISON et al., Defendants.

          ORDER & MEMORANDUM DECISION

          David Nuffer District Judge

         Plaintiff, inmate Paul C. Allen, filed this pro se civil rights suit, see 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2017), in forma pauperis, see 28 Id. § 1915. The Court now screens his Complaint and orders Plaintiff to file an amended complaint to cure deficiencies before further pursuing his claims.

         DEFICIENCIES IN COMPLAINT

         The Complaint:

(a) is not on the form required by the Court.
(b) by naming “Utah State Prison” as a defendant, Plaintiff effectively improperly names "State of Utah" as a defendant, though there is no showing that it has waived its governmental immunity (see below).
(c) inappropriately alleges civil-rights violations on a respondeat-superior theory.
(d) inappropriately alleges civil-rights violations on the basis of denied grievances.
(e) raises issues of classification change in a way that does not support a cause of action.
(f) appears not to have been prepared with help from the prison's contract attorneys.

         INSTRUCTIONS TO PLAINTIFF

         Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a complaint to contain "(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . .; (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief sought." Rule 8's requirements mean to guarantee "that defendants enjoy fair notice of what the claims against them are and the grounds upon which they rest." TV Commc'ns Network, Inc. v ESPN, Inc., 767 F.Supp. 1062, 1069 (D. Colo. 1991).

         Pro se litigants are not excused from complying with these minimal pleading demands. "This is so because a pro se plaintiff requires no special legal training to recount the facts surrounding his alleged injury, and he must provide such facts if the court is to determine whether he makes out a claim on which relief can be granted." Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). Moreover, it is improper for the Court "to assume the role of advocate for a pro se litigant." Id. Thus, the Court cannot "supply additional facts, [or] construct a legal theory for plaintiff that assumes facts that have not been pleaded." Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1197 (10th Cir. 1989).

         Plaintiff should consider the following points before refiling his complaint. First, the revised complaint must stand entirely on its own and shall not refer to, or incorporate by reference, any portion of the original complaint. See Murray v. Archambo, 132 ...


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