United States District Court, D. Utah
ORDER & MEMORANDUM DECISION
BENSON JUDGE United States District Court
inmate Ryan Darley Maughan, 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
(a) by naming “Utah Department of Corrections” as
a defendant, effectively improperly names "State of
Utah" as a defendant, though there is no showing that it
has waived its governmental immunity (see below).
(b) appears to involve claims that are past the statute of
limitations for a civil-rights case (see below).
(c) is perhaps supplemented with claims from a letter filed
on May 1, 2017, which claims should be included in an amended
complaint, if filed, and will not be treated further by the
Court unless properly included.
(d) has claims apparently regarding current confinement;
however, the complaint was apparently not drafted with the
help of contract attorneys.
Instructions to Plaintiff
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).
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).
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).
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 Cir. July 20, 2009)
(unpublished) (emphasis in original) (quoting Robbins v.
Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1250 (10th Cir. 2008)).
Plaintiff cannot name an individual as a defendant based
solely on his or her supervisory position. See Mitchell
v. Maynard, 80 F.2d 1433, 1441 (10th Cir. 1996) (stating