United States District Court, D. Utah
JAMES C. NORMAN, Plaintiff,
STATE OF UTAH et al., Defendants.
ORDER TO CURE DEFICIENT COMPLAINT & MEMORANDUM
WADDOUPS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
James C. Norman, housed at the Utah State Hospital, filed
this pro se civil rights suit, see 42
U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2018), in forma pauperis,
see 28 Id. § 1915. The Court now
screens the Complaint and orders Plaintiff to file an amended
complaint to cure deficiencies before further pursuing
Deficiencies in Complaint
(a) improperly names a judge as a defendant, without
considering judicial immunity. (See below.)
(b) possibly alleges claims that concern the
constitutionality of his imprisonment, which should be
brought in a habeas-corpus petition, not a civil-rights
(c) alleges claims that are possibly invalidated by the rule
in Heck. (See below.)
(d) names State of Utah as a defendant which is in violation
of governmental immunity principles. (See below.)
(e) has claims appearing to be based on conditions of current
confinement; however, the complaint was apparently not
submitted using the legal help Plaintiff is entitled to by
his institution under the Constitution. See Lewis v.
Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 356 (1996) (requiring prisoners be
given "'adequate law libraries or
adequate assistance from persons trained in the
law' . . . to ensure that inmates . . . have a reasonably
adequate opportunity to file nonfrivolous legal claims
challenging their convictions or conditions of
confinement") (quoting Bounds v. Smith, 430
U.S. 817, 828 (1977) (emphasis added)).
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
Plaintiff's 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
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 ...