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Mayfield v. Garcia

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

June 2, 2017

EARL R. MAYFIELD, Plaintiff,
v.
JOE GARCIA; LEE HOOD; JEFFREY SCOVIL and JENNIFER WARNERBACH, Defendants.

          Earl R. Mayfield Clayton, New Mexico Plaintiff Pro Se.

          Joe Garcia Defendant Pro Se.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court, under rules 8(a) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)(2)(B), on (i) the Plaintiff's Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint, filed July 8, 2016 (Doc. 1)(“Complaint”); (ii) the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint, filed July 21, 2016 (Doc. 5)(“First Motion to Amend”); (iii) the Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, filed July 21, 2016 (Doc. 5-1)(“First Amended Complaint”); (iv) the Plaintiff's “2nd Amended” Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint, filed July 28, 2016 (Doc. 6)(“Second Amended Complaint”); (v) the Plaintiff's Letter to the Court Re: Filing a Motion to Amend (dated January 27, 2017), filed January 30, 2017 (Doc. 14)(“First Letter”); (vi) the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint, filed January 30, 2017 (Doc. 15)(“Second Motion to Amend”); (vii) the Plaintiff's (3) [sic] Amended Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint, filed January 30, 2017 (Doc. 16)(“Third Amended Complaint”); (viii) the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint, filed February 2, 2017 (Doc. 18)(“Third Motion to Amend”); (ix) the Plaintiff's Fourth Motion to Amend Good Cause Shown [sic], filed February 6, 2017 (Doc. 20)(“Fourth Motion to Amend”); (x) the Plaintiff's Letter to the Court Re: Misplaced Documents (dated February 14, 2017), filed February 15, 2017 (Doc. 23)(“Second Letter”); (xi) the Plaintiff's Letter to the Court Re: Leave to Amend (dated February 14, 2017), filed February 15, 2017 (Doc. 24)(“Third Letter”); (xii) the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint, filed February 15, 2017 (Doc. 25)(“Fifth Motion to Amend”); (xiii) the Plaintiff's Last One Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint, filed February 15, 2017 (Doc. 25-1)(“Fourth Amended Complaint”); (xiv) the Plaintiff's Letter to the Court Re: Motion to Amend (undated), filed February 21, 2017 (Doc. 26)(“Fourth Letter”); (xv) the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend/Cure Deficiency, filed February 21, 2017 (Doc. 27)(“Sixth Motion to Amend”); (xvi) the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Probation, filed February 28, 2017 (Doc. 28)(“Motion to Amend Probation”); (xvii) the Plaintiff's Letter to the Court Re: True Story/Plea Deals (dated February 24, 2017), filed February 28, 2017 (Doc. 29)(“Fifth Letter”); (xviii) the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Habius [sic] Corpus 1st Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint, filed March 6, 2017 (Doc. 30)(“Seventh Motion to Amend”); (xix) the Plaintiff's Letter to the Court Re: Copies of Electronic Filings (dated March 6, 2017), filed March 10, 2017 (Doc. 31)(“Sixth Letter”); (xx) the Plaintiff's Supplement to Seventh Motion to Amend, filed March 17, 2017 (Doc. 32)(“Supplement to Seventh Motion to Amend”); (xxi) the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint, filed April 19, 2017 (Doc. 34)(“Eighth Motion to Amend”); (xxii) the Plaintiff's Letter to the Court Re: Correcting Miscarriage of Justice and Mockery of the Judicial System (dated April 17, 2017), filed April 25, 2017 (Doc. 35)(“Seventh Letter”); (xxiii) the Plaintiff's Motion to Show Cause, filed April 27, 2017 (Doc. 36)(“Motion to Show Cause”); (xxiv) the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint, filed April 27, 2017 (Doc. 37)(“Ninth Motion to Amend”); and (xxv) the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Writ of Habeas Corpus 28 U.S.C. 22.54 & 42 USC 1983/81, filed May 11, 2017 (Doc. 38)(“Tenth Motion to Amend”). Plaintiff Earl R. Mayfield is incarcerated, appears pro se, and is proceeding in forma pauperis. For the reasons explained below, the Court will: (i) dismiss without prejudice Mayfield's Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); (ii) dismiss Mayfield's amended complaints and supplemental filings, and deny his motions to amend, for failure to comply with rule 8(a)'s pleading requirements; and (iii) grant Mayfield thirty days in which to file a single, comprehensive, and factually specific amended complaint that complies with this Memorandum Opinion and Order's standards.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Mayfield currently has five cases pending before the Court: (i) Earl R. Mayfield v. Joe Garcia, et al., No. CV 16-00805 JB/WPL; (ii) Earl Mayfield v. Tom Ruiz, No. CV 17-00193 JCH/LAM; (iii) Earl R. Mayfield v. Ken Smith, Warden, et al., No. CV 17-00237 RJ/CG; (iv) Earl R. Mayfield v. Craig Cole, et al., No. CV 17-00332 WJ/KK; and (v) Earl R. Mayfield v. Presbyterian Hospital Administration, No. CV 17-00398 MCA/KRS. Each lawsuit involves different claims for relief against different defendants and correctional facilities. The Court has received multiple, largely incomprehensible, filings from Mayfield, which he often requests be filed in all of the pending cases regardless whether the filings are relevant to all or even any of the cases.

         Mayfield originally filed this proceeding as a prisoner civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He named as Defendants the New Mexico Probation and Parole Office, Probation Officer Joe Garcia, and New Mexico Public Defender contract and staff attorneys Lee Hood, Jeffrey Scovil, and Jennifer Warnerbach. See Complaint at 1. At the time he filed suit, Mayfield was incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center (“MDC”). He alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy among the Defendants, MDC, the Bernalillo County (New Mexico) Sheriff's Office, jealous ex-girlfriends, and the Second Judicial District Court, State of New Mexico, to keep him illegally incarcerated on sentences imposed in multiple New Mexico criminal proceedings. See Complaint at 8-16. He seeks $1, 000, 000.00 in compensatory damages and $1, 000, 000.00 in punitive damages, as well as immediate release from custody, reinstatement of his bond, and various sanctions against individual Defendants. See Complaint at 7, 17-22.

         Since filing his original Complaint, Mayfield has filed four amended complaints, see First Amended Complaint at 1; Second Amended Complaint at 1; Third Amended Complaint at 1; Fourth Amended Complaint at 1, and ten motions to amend, see First Motion to Amend at 1; Second Motion to Amend at 1; Third Motion to Amend at 1; Fourth Motion to Amend at 1; Fifth Motion to Amend at 1; Sixth Motion to Amend at 1; Seventh Motion to Amend at 1; Eighth Motion to Amend at 1; Ninth Motion to Amend at 1; Tenth Motion to Amend at 1. The Court has also received multiple letters and supplemental filings from Mayfield containing allegations and argument related to his original Complaint and amended complaints. See First Letter at 1; Second Letter at 1; Third Letter at 1; Fourth Letter at 1; Fifth Letter at 1; Sixth Letter at 1; Supplement to Seventh Motion to Amend at 1; Seventh Letter at 1; Motion to Show Cause at 1; Motion to Amend Probation at 1. Although Mayfield continues to allege an ongoing conspiracy to deprive him of his constitutional rights, the amended complaints, motions to amend, letters, and supplements set forth conclusory allegations involving lawyers, police officers, judges, and state officials different from those named as Defendants in the original Complaint.

         LAW REGARDING PLEADING REQUIREMENTS

         The decision to strike a pleading or to dismiss an action without prejudice for failure to comply with rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is within the district court's sound discretion. See Kuehl v. FDIC, 8 F.3d 905, 908 (1st Cir. 1993); Atkins v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 967 F.2d 1197, 1203 (8th Cir. 1992); Salahuddin v. Cuomo, 861 F.2d 40, 42 (2d Cir. 1988). To state a claim for relief, rule 8(a) requires a plaintiff's complaint contain “(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, . . . (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief [he] seeks.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Although the Court is to construe pro se pleadings liberally, a pro se plaintiff must follow the rules of federal and appellate procedure. See Ogden v. San Juan County, 32 F.3d 452, 455 (10th Cir. 1994).

         A pro se complaint is subject to dismissal under rule 8(a) if it is “incomprehensible.” Olguin v. Atherton, 215 F.3d 1337 (10th Cir. 2000); Carpenter v. Williams, 86 F.3d 1015, 1016 (10th Cir. 1996). Rule 8(a)'s purpose is to require plaintiffs to state their claims intelligibly so as to give fair notice of the claims to opposing parties and the court. See Mann v. Boatright, 477 F.3d 1140, 1148 (10th Cir. 2007); Monument Builders of Greater Kansas City, Inc., v. American Cemetery Ass'n of Kansas, 891 F.2d 1473, 1480 (10th Cir. 1989). Imprecise pleadings undermine the complaint's utility and violate rule 8's purpose. See Knox v. First Security Bank of Utah, 196 F.2d 112, 117 (10th Cir. 1952). Rambling and incomprehensible filings that bury material allegations in “a morass of irrelevancies” do not meet rule 8(a)'s pleading requirement of a “short and plain statement.” Mann v. Boatright, 477 F.3d at 1148. See Ausherman v. Stump, 643 F.2d 715, 716 (10th Cir. 1981)(describing a sixty-three-page complaint as “prolix” and concluding that it violated rule 8(a)'s “short and plain” statement requirement).

         Moreover, courts should deny leave to amend when it appears that the plaintiff is attempting “to make the complaint ‘a moving target[.]'” Minter v. Prime Equipment Co., 451 F.3d 1196, 1206 (10th Cir. 2006)(quoting Viernow v. Euripides Dev. Corp., 157 F.3d 785, 800 (10th Cir. 1998)). It is unreasonable to expect the Court or the defendants continually to have to adapt as the plaintiff develops new theories or locates new defendants. There comes a point when even a pro se plaintiff has had sufficient time to investigate and to properly frame his claims against specific defendants. See Minter v. Prime Equipment Co., 451 F.3d at 1206.

         LAW REGARDING DISMISSAL FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM

         Mayfield is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. The Court has discretion to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint sua sponte for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted either under rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Under rule 12(b)(6), the Court must accept all well-pled factual allegations, but not conclusory, unsupported allegations, and may not consider matters outside the pleading. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1190 (10th Cir. 1989). The court may dismiss a complaint under rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim if “it is ‘patently obvious' that the plaintiff could not prevail on the facts alleged.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991)(quoting McKinney v. Oklahoma Dep't of Human Services, 925 F.2d 363, 365 (10th Cir. 1991)). A plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. A claim should be dismissed where it is legally or factually insufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         Under § 1915(e)(2)(B), a court may dismiss a complaint at any time if it determines that the complaint fails to state a claim for relief, or that it is frivolous or malicious. See 28 U.S.C. § 915(e)(2)(B)(2). The authority granted by § 1915 permits the court the unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989). See also Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d at 1109. The authority to “pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations” means that a court is not bound, as it usually is when making a determination based solely on the pleadings, to accept without question the truth of the plaintiff's allegations. See Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992). The court is not required to accept the truth ...


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