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Carl v. State

United States District Court, D. Utah

May 23, 2019

SHANE R. CARL, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF UTAH et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER TO CURE DEFICIENT AMENDED COMPLAINT

          JUDGE TENA CAMPBELL United States District Court

         Plaintiff, Shane R. Carl, filed this pro se prisoner civil-rights suit, see 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2019), in forma pauperis, see 28 id. § 1915. The Court now screens the Amended Complaint, (Doc. No. 21), and orders Plaintiff to file a second amended complaint to cure deficiencies before further pursuing claims.

         A. Deficiencies in Amended Complaint

         Complaint:

         (a) improperly names a judge as a defendant, apparently without considering judicial immunity. (See below.)

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

         (c) improperly names public defender as defendant, apparently without considering that public defenders are not considered to be state actors subject to suit under § 1983.

         (d) alleges conspiracy claims that are too vague. (See below.)

         (e) improperly names prosecutors as defendants, apparently without considering prosecutorial immunity. (See below.)

         (f) 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)).

         B. Instructions to 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. See Murray v. Archambo, 132 F.3d ...


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