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Bastemeyer v. Burnham

United States District Court, D. Utah

June 6, 2019

WAYNE BASTEMEYER, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. BRUCE O. BURNHAM et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER TO CURE DEFICIENT COMPLAINT

          JILL N. PARRISH UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Plaintiff, inmate Wayne Bastemeyer (“Plaintiff”), brings this pro se civil-rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Having now screened the Complaint, (Doc. No. 3), under its statutory review function, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, [1] the court orders Plaintiff to file an amended complaint to cure deficiencies before further pursuing his claims.

         COMPLAINT'S DEFICIENCIES

         The court has identified several deficiencies with Plaintiff's Complaint including that it:

1. Does not properly affirmatively link several defendants to civil-rights violations.
2. Appears to inappropriately allege civil-rights violations on respondeat-superior theory (e.g., Warden Larry Benzon, Dr. Burnham, and Tony Washington).
3. Names some possible defendants only in the text, not in Complaint's heading.
4. Does not appear to recognize that Defendants' failure to follow their own promises or jail policy (e.g., regarding grievances) does not necessarily equal a federal constitutional violation.
5. Inappropriately alleges civil-rights violations on the basis of denied grievances.
6. Has claims apparently regarding current confinement; however, the complaint was 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 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 can neither “supply additional facts, nor ...


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