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Evans v. Salt Lake County Jail Admin

United States District Court, D. Utah

April 29, 2019

ANTHONY EVANS, Plaintiff,
v.
SALT LAKE COUNTY JAIL ADMIN., Defendant.

          ORDER TO CURE DEFICIENT COMPLAINT & MEMORANDUM DECISION

          TED STEWART JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Plaintiff, inmate Anthony Evans, filed this pro se civil rights suit, see 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2019), 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 claims.[1]

         COMPLAINT'S DEFICIENCIES

         Complaint:

(a) does not affirmatively link Defendant to civil-rights violations.
(b) appears to inappropriately allege civil-rights violations on a respondeat-superior theory.
(c) is not on the form required by the Court.
(d) does not identify Defendant by name.
(e) does not clarify whether Plaintiff is still held in Salt Lake County Jail as it must to state a valid claim under Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). Pfeil v. Lampert, 603 Fed.Appx. 665, 668 (10th Cir. 2015) (unpublished) (“'RLUIPA claims regarding prison conditions become moot if the inmate plaintiff is released from custody.'”).
(f) has claims appearing to be based on conditions of 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)).

         GUIDANCE FOR 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 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 or any other document. See Murray v. ...


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