United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER GRANTING
DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS
J. Shelby, District Judge
Anthony Jeffrey Christensen, filed this pro se civil
rights suit, see 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2018),
proceeding in forma pauperis. See 28 id.
§ 1915. Based on the latest information available to the
Court, Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee, currently defending
himself on murder and related charges. His claims involve the
murder investigation and follow-up proceedings.
names the following defendants: Nate Taylor (Mount Pleasant
Police Department (MPPD)); Jim Willberg (MPPD); Daniel Mower
(MPPD); Duane Ballantyne (MPPD); Keith Jensen, (Sanpete
County (SC)); Greg Peterson (SC); Tyler Johnson (SC); and
Brady Keisel (SC). He asserts that Defendants violated his
federal constitutional rights under the facts of releasing
his personal property in an unauthorized way, bullying a
witness holding Plaintiffs power of attorney, search and
seizure of his personal property, denial of counsel to
represent him, service of a warrant to him in jail, and
irregular activities of a prosecutor.
Amended Complaint, (Doc. No. 37), is now before the Court on
Defendants' Motions to Dismiss. (Doc. Nos. 28 &
Grounds for Dismissal
evaluating the propriety of dismissing claims for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, this Court
takes all well-pleaded factual assertions as true and regards
them in a light most advantageous to the plaintiff. Ridge
at Red Hawk L.L.C. v. Schneider, 493 F.3d 1174, 1177
(10th Cir. 2007). Dismissal is appropriate when, viewing
those facts as true, the plaintiff has not posed a
"plausible" right to relief. See Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); Robbins
v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247-48 (10th Cir. 2008).
"The burden is on the plaintiff to frame a
'complaint with enough factual matter (taken as true) to
suggest' that he or she is entitled to relief."
Robbins, 519 F.3d at 1247 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556). When a civil rights complaint contains
"bare assertions," involving "nothing more
than a 'formulaic recitation of the elements' of a
constitutional. . . claim," the Court considers those
assertions "conclusory and not entitled to" an
assumption of truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1951 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
554-55). In other words, "the mere metaphysical
possibility that some plaintiff could prove
some set of facts in support of the pleaded claims
is insufficient; the complaint must give the court reason to
believe this plaintiff has a reasonable likelihood
of mustering factual support for these claims."
Red Hawk, 493 F.3d at 1177 (italics in original).
Court must construe pro se '"pleadings
liberally,' applying a less stringent standard than is
applicable to pleadings filed by lawyers. Th[e] court,
however, will not supply additional factual allegations to
round out a plaintiffs complaint or construct a legal theory
on a plaintiffs behalf." Whitney v. New Mexico,
113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted).
In the Tenth Circuit, this means that if this Court can
reasonably read the pleadings "to state a valid claim on
which the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so despite
the plaintiffs failure to cite proper legal authority, his
confusion of various legal theories, his poor syntax and
sentence construction, or his unfamiliarity with pleading
requirements." Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106,
1110 (10th Cir. 1991). Still, it is not "the proper
function of the district court to assume the role of advocate
for the pro se litigant." Id.; see also Peterson v.
Shanks, 149 F.3d 1140, 1143 (10th Cir. 1998) (citing
Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1197 (10th Cir. 1989)
Court first addresses Plaintiffs due-process and
just-compensation claims regarding his allegations that his
personal property was released with a lack of authorization.
Plaintiff just says that "the police" released his
property but does not identify any particular defendant.
complaint must clearly state what each individual defendant
did to violate Plaintiffs 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 does not identify behavior by Defendants
that links them with this violation of his constitutional
Plaintiff has done nothing to affirmatively link the claim
regarding the release of his personal property to Defendants,
this claim does not survive further.
alleges that the "bullying" of his
"witness," who held his "power of
attorney," somehow violated his federal constitutional
rights. First, there is no federal constitutional claim for
bullying; and second, Plaintiff has no standing to assert a
claim for his ...