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Terry v. State

United States District Court, D. Utah

June 6, 2019

RICHARD STEPHEN TERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF UTAH, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER 1) TO CURE DEFICIENT AMENDED COMPLAINT; 2) DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL; AND 3) GRANTING MOTION FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

          JILL N. PARRISH UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Richard Stephen Terry (“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 Amended Complaint, (Doc. No. 9), under its statutory review function, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, [1] the court orders Plaintiff to file a second amended complaint to cure deficiencies before further pursuing his claims.

         AMENDED COMPLAINT'S DEFICIENCIES

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

1. Does not properly affirmatively link Defendant to civil-rights violations.
2. Is not on the form complaint required by the court.
3. Needs clarification regarding what constitutes a cause of action under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) (see below).
4. Names State of Utah as a defendant, which violates governmental-immunity principles (see below).
5. Possibly asserts claims on the constitutional validity of his sentence, which should be brought in a habeas-corpus petition, not civil-rights complaint.
6. Asserts claims possibly invalidated by the rule in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) (see below).
7. Does not state what relief is requested.
8. 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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