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Haws v. Cedar City Police Department

United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division

April 9, 2019

RICKY HAWS, Plaintiff,
v.
CEDAR CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT, Defendant.

          Clark Waddoups District Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          EVELYN J. RURSE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pro se Plaintiff Ricky Haws, proceeding in forma pauperis, filed the Complaint in this matter in October 2018. (ECF No. 3.) Subsequently, the undersigned[1] set a status conference for January 15, 2019 to give Mr. Haws the opportunity to explain the claims he asserts and the bases for those claims. (ECF No. 10.) Mr. Haws failed to appear at the status conference. (ECF No. 12.)

         The Court reviewed Mr. Haws's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and finds that it fails to state a plausible claim for relief. Accordingly, the undersigned RECOMMENDS the District Judge dismiss Mr. Haws's Complaint without prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         On October 24, 2018, a magistrate judge granted Mr. Haws's request to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. (ECF No. 2.) Mr. Haws filed some documents with the court as a Complaint along with a Civil Cover Sheet. (Compl., ECF No. 3; Civil Cover Sheet, ECF No. 3-1.) The documents do not resemble a complaint and fail to provide sufficient information to even begin to identify specific defendants or incidents. (Compl., ECF No. 3.) The Civil Cover Sheet identifies the Cedar City Police Department as the sole defendant, however nothing in the documents makes any reference to Cedar City or its police. (Compl., ECF No. 3; Civil Cover Sheet, ECF No. 3-1.)

         The documents identified as the Complaint describe purported interactions Mr. Haws had with various law enforcement officials, including “[t]he police officer, ” “3 police officers, ” “[t]he guard, ” “[t]he officer, ” and “[t]he Prosecutor” but does not identify the officials or the departments involved, the date of the incident, or the location of the incident. (Compl. 1, ECF No. 3.) The Complaint alleges one officer threatened Mr. Haws with a dart; three police officers tackled him; he did not resist; and he ended up in the emergency room as a result. (Id.) Mr. Haws further alleges the officers searched him at the ER and found drugs. (Id.) The Complaint subsequently references the Fourth Amendment. (Id. at 2.)

         The Complaint references Maricopa County, located in Arizona, in relation to a separate incident while in a “unit for the mentally ill.” (See id. at 1.) However, that same paragraph states “This paragraph links events that happened separately but is not really a single event.” (Id.) Furthermore, Mr. Haws appears to have written on the front page “according to the charges the great stat[e] of ___made” but never filled in the state. (Id.)

         The Complaint also recites various other constitutional amendments, including the Fifth Amendment, and states that “[t]he 3 arrests for the same offense within a 3 month period along with the [sic] another 3 through-out the lifetime is an instance of double jeopardy mentioned in the 5th amendment.” (Id. at 2.) The Complaint further asserts that “[t]he whole system is a conspiracy of tyrants”, and “[t]he amount of damage and destruction is immense.” (Id. at 3.)

         The Civil Cover Sheet indicates that Mr. Haws asserts a conspiracy claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, and he attached a printout with underlining and handwritten notes on § 1985(2)-“Obstructing justice; intimidating party, witness, or juror”. (Compl. 4, ECF No. 3; Civil Cover Sheet, ECF No. 3-1.) The notation seems to complain about the prosecutor and judge forcing Mr. Haws not to have a jury trial. (Compl. 4, ECF No. 3.) He also underlines and has handwritten notes next to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on the printout, complaining that all his property was lost; he lost all his rights while in jail; and he suffered intimidation and torture in jail. (Id.)

         Earlier, the Complaint cites the Second Amendment and notes going to jail infringed on his right to bear arms. (Compl. 2, ECF No. 3.)

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Whenever the Court authorizes a party to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court must “dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action . . . fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim for relief under this statute, the Court employs the same standard used for analyzing motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1217-18 (10th Cir. 2007).

         Under this standard, “ ‘[t]he court's function . . . is . . . to assess whether the plaintiff's complaint alone is legally sufficient to state a claim for which relief may be granted.' ” Smith v. United States,561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009) (quoting Sutton v. Utah State Sch. for Deaf & Blind, 173 F.3d 1226, 1236 (10th Cir. 1999)). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 requires that a complaint contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), and further provides that “[e]ach allegation must be simple, concise, and direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). “Rule 8 serves the important purpose of ...


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