United States District Court, D. New Mexico
EARL R. MAYFIELD, Plaintiff,
CRAIG COLE, CHRIS ARAGON, and CAMERON J. GEMOE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL
MATTER is before the Court sua sponte under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) and 12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C. §
1915(d)(2)(B) on the civil rights complaint filed by Earl R.
Mayfield on March 9, 2017 (Doc. 1), the Amended Prisoner
Civil Rights Complaint filed by Earl R. Mayfield on March 14,
2017 (Doc. 2), and on multiple amendments, letters, and
motions to amend the Complaint. The Court will dismiss
Mayfield's complaint without prejudice for failure to
state a claim for relief, strike his Amended Complaint and
deny his motions to amend for failure to meet the
requirements of Rule 8(a), and grant Mayfield leave to file a
single, comprehensive, and factually specific amended
complaint. Also before the Court are Mayfield's two
motions to consolidate this case with Earl R. Mayfield v.
Main Warden John Doe, et al., No. CV 17-00237 RJ/CG.
(Doc. 7, 12). The Court will also deny the motions to
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Mayfield is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis.
He has filed five cases in this Court: Earl R. Mayfield
v. Joe Garcia, et al., No. CV 16-00805 JB/WPL; Earl
Mayfield v. Tom Ruiz, No. CV 17-00193 JCH/LAM; Earl
R. Mayfield v. Main Warden John Doe, et al., No. CV
17-00237 RJ/CG; Earl R. Mayfield v. Craig Cole, et
al., No. CV 17-00332 WJ/KK and Earl R. Mayfield v.
Presbyterian Hospital Administration, No. CV 17-00398
MCA/KRS. Each of the lawsuits involves different claims for
relief against different defendants and correctional
facilities. The Court has received multiple, largely
incomprehensible, filings from Plaintiff Mayfield, which he
often requests be filed in multiple pending cases regardless
of whether the filings are relevant to all or even any of the
originally filed this proceeding as a letter to “Fed
Dist Judges” on March 9, 2017. (Doc. 1). However, his
initial pleading alleges vague complaints relating to
conditions of incarceration at Central New Mexico
Correctional Facility, ranging from the prison grievance
system to failure to provide clothing to not allowing him in
the “ED Building”. (Doc. 1 at 1). His request for
relief states “Please help me with these civil right
violation I feel I need some Court Order.” (Doc. 1 at
2). Based on the nature of the allegations and the relief he
requests, the Court construes his filing as a civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 499-500 (1973); Rael v.
Williams, 223 F.3d 1153, 1154 (10th Cir. 2000). His
filing indicates he wants to name, as Defendants, Craig Cole,
Sgt Aragon, and Cameron J. Gemoe. (Doc. 1 at 1-2).
Mayfield's March 9, 2017 letter complaint appears to
arise out of an inmate misconduct report of February 21,
2017. Sergeant Chris Aragon reported that, while waiting in
the medical area, Plaintiff entered a restricted education
area without authorization and was searching for debit memos.
When asked for his identification card, Mayfield did not have
the card with him, in violation of published rules and
regulations. Mayfield was asked by a medical officer to
remain in the medical waiting area and was then escorted back
to unit 5B without incident. (Doc. 1 at 6). Disciplinary
Officer Cameron J. Gemoe investigated the misconduct report
and recommended the minor offense charges of (i) presence in
unauthorized or restricted area, (ii) disobeying a lawful
order, and (iii) failure to display identification be
referred for a minor level hearing. (Doc. 1 at 3-4).
subsequently filed a letter directed to the Clerk of the
Court on March 14, 2017. Attached to the letter are (1) an
Amended 1983 Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint asking to
add Lt Cameron J. Gemoe and Sgt Daniel Gront as Defendants
and (2) a New Mexico state court Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus. (Doc. 2 at 3-11). Mayfield's March 14, 2017
filings claim that Lt Gemoe and Sgt Gront are friends of APD
officers, other attorneys, and officials, and are involved in
some type of conspiracy. (Doc. 2 at 1-2). The attachments to
his letter contain wide-ranging and largely incomprehensible
allegations of disability discrimination, inadequate medical
care, and lock-down limitations. (Doc. 2 at 3-11). Since the
filing of his March 14, 2017 letter, Mayfield has submitted
six motions apparently seeking to amend his complaint. (Doc.
3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 15). The Court has also received letters
from Mayfield containing additional allegations and argument.
(Doc. 5, 10). Although continuing to claim violation of his
constitutional rights, the March 17, 2017 letter, motions to
amend, and additional letters set out conclusory allegations
involving facilities, events, and officials different from
those identified in the March 6, 2017 letter. See,
e.g., Doc. 16, 10, 11.
Mayfield has filed two motions seeking to consolidate this
case with Earl R. Mayfield v. Main Warden John Doe, et
al., No. CV 17-0000237 RJ/CG. (Doc. 7, 12). Mayfield
argues that the two cases involve the same ongoing claims.
However, the allegations in CV 17-00237 relate to a different
factual events and different officials than those involved in
this case. (See CV 17-00237 Doc. 1). The Court notes
that similar motions to consolidate have already been denied
in case no. CV 17-00237. See CV 17-00237 Doc. 18.
STANDARDS AND ANALYSIS OF PLAINTIFF'S
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint and Motions to Amend Do
Not Meet Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) Pleading
decision to strike a pleading or to dismiss an action without
prejudice for failure to comply with Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 is within
the sound discretion of the district court. 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). In order 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).
pro se complaint may be stricken or dismissed under
Rule 8(a) if it is “incomprehensible.” See
Carpenter v. Williams, 86 F.3d 1015, 1016 (10th
Cir.1996); Olguin v. Atherton, 215 F.3d 1337 (10th
Cir. 2000). 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. 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
utility of the complaint and violate that purpose of Rule 8.
See Knox v. First Security Bank of Utah, 196 F.2d
112, 117 (10th Cir. 1952). Rambling and
incomprehensible filings bury material allegations in
“a morass of irrelevancies” and do not meet Rule
8(a)'s pleading requirement of a “short and plain
statement.” Mann, 477 F.3d at 1148;
Ausherman v. Stump, 643 F.2d 715, 716 (10th
a plaintiff may not seek to amend a complaint in a manner
that turns the complaint into a “moving target.”
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. Minter v. Prime Equipment Co., 451 F.3d
1196, 1206 (10th Cir.2006).
rambling, incomprehensible filings do not comply with the
requirements of Rule 8. Plaintiff's filings bury any
material allegations in “a morass of
irrelevancies” and do not meet Rule 8(a)'s
“short and plain statement” pleading requirement.
Mann, 477 F.3d at 1148; Ausherman, 643 F.2d
at 716. Further, his motions seeking leave to amend his
complaint, in addition to being difficult to follow, turn the
proceeding into a constantly moving target. Minter,
451 F.3d at 1206.
Court will strike Plaintiff's March 17, 2017 letter and
its attachments (Doc. 2) and Plaintiff's additional
letter filings (Doc. 5, 10) on the grounds that they violate
the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). The Court will also
deny Plaintiff's motions to amend the complaint (Doc. 3,
6, 9, 11, 14, 15) because the proposed amendments ...