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Humes v. Salt Lake City

United States District Court, D. Utah

January 14, 2020

JON HUMES, Plaintiff,
v.
SALT LAKE CITY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER TO CURE DEFICIENT AMENDED COMPLAINT

          Jill N. Parrish United States District Court Judge

         Plaintiff, inmate Jon Humes, 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 claims.

         AMENDED COMPLAINT'S DEFICIENCIES

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

(a) does not properly affirmatively link Defendant to civil-rights violations;
(b) states § 1983 claims in violation of municipal-liability doctrine (see below);
(c) possibly asserts claims on the constitutional validity of his sentence, which should be brought in a habeas-corpus petition, not civil-rights complaint;
(d) asserts claims possibly invalidated by the rule in Heck (see below);
(e) asserts claims that are past the statute of limitations for a civil-rights case (see below); and
(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)).

         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, ...


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