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Kennard v. State

United States District Court, D. Utah

May 22, 2019

LON HARVEY KENNARD, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF UTAH et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER TO CURE DEFICIENT COMPLAINT

          JILL N. PARRISH JUDGE

         Plaintiff, inmate Lon Harvey Kennard, brings this pro se civil-rights action, see 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2019), [1] in forma pauperis, see 28 Id. § 1915. Having now screened the Complaint, (Doc. No. 3-2), under its statutory review function, [2] the Court orders Plaintiff to file an amended complaint to cure deficiencies before further pursuing claims.

         COMPLAINT'S DEFICIENCIES

         Complaint:

         (a) does not properly affirmatively link defendants to some civil-rights violations (e.g., inadequate medical care and failure to protect).

         (b) does not adequately state a claim of inadequate medical treatment (see below).

         (c) names some defendants only in text, not in Complaint's heading.

         (d) brings civil-rights claims against several attorneys, witnesses, and business people and entities, who are not properly named, as they are private citizens, not state actors, under § 1983.

         (e) possibly asserts claims on the constitutional validity of his imprisonment, which should be brought in a habeas-corpus petition, not civil-rights complaint (e.g., ineffective assistance of counsel).

         (f) asserts claims possibly invalidated by the rule in Heck (see below).

         (g) names State of Utah as a defendant which violates governmental-immunity principles (see below).

         (h) improperly names prosecutors as defendants, apparently without considering prosecutorial immunity (see below).

         (i) states crimes by Defendants must be redressed; however, a federal civil-rights is not the proper place to address criminal behavior.

         (j) has claims apparently regarding current confinement; however, complaint apparently not drafted with contract attorneys' help.

         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 ...


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