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Maciel v. Board of Pardons

United States District Court, D. Utah

April 21, 2017

ROBERT MACIEL, Plaintiff,
v.
BOARD OF PARDONS et al., Defendants.

          ORDER & MEMORANDUM DECISION

          Robert J. Shelby District Judge

         Plaintiff, inmate Robert Maciel, 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.

         A. Deficiencies in Complaint

         The Complaint:

         (a) possibly alleges claims that concern the constitutionality of his conviction and/or validity of his imprisonment, which should be brought in a habeas-corpus petition, not a civil-rights complaint.

         (b) alleges claims that are possibly invalidated by the rule in Heck (see below).

         (c) improperly names Board of Pardons as a defendant, though it is not an independent legal entities that can sue or be sued.

         (d) improperly names "State of Utah" as a defendant, though there is no showing that it has waived its governmental immunity (see below).

         (e) appears not to have been prepared with help from the prison's contract attorneys.

         B. 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 F.3d 609, 612 (10th Cir. 1998) (stating amended complaint supersedes original).

         Second, the complaint must clearly state what each defendant--typically, a named government employee--did to violate Plaintiff's civil rights. See Bennett v. Passic, 545 F.2d 1260, 1262-63 (10th Cir. 1976) (stating personal participation of each named defendant is essential allegation in civil-rights action). "To state a claim, a complaint must 'make clear exactly who is alleged to have done what to whom.'" Stone v. Albert, No. 08-2222, slip op. at 4 (10th ...


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