United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
CRAIG G. JOHNSON Plaintiff,
CITY OF CAMBRIDGE et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A O'TOOLE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons stated below, plaintiff's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis is allowed. He shall file an
amended complaint within 21 days that complies with the
pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil
December 6, 2016, pro se plaintiff Craig Johnson
filed a self-prepared form civil rights complaint. The form
complaint incorporates by reference three hand written pages
of summary, disjointed, and confusing allegations.
Essentially, plaintiff appears to allege that various law
enforcement agencies have historically, and are currently,
harassing him. Specifically, he claims the Middlesex County
House of Corrections, Stoughton Police Department, Cambridge
Police Department and City of Cambridge have committed civil
rights violations. Along with his complaint, plaintiff filed
a motion proceed in forma pauperis.
Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis is
Court has reviewed the plaintiff's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis, finds that it is meritorious, and
it is hereby ALLOWED. Because plaintiff is
proceeding pro se, his complaint is subject to
screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), and
must be dismissed if the court finds that any portion of the
complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. In
connection with this preliminary screening, plaintiff's
pro se complaint is construed generously. Hughes
v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Instituto de
Educacion Universal Corp. v. U.S. Dept. of
Education, 209 F.3d 18, 23 (1st Cir. 2000).
Plaintiff Must Amend his Complaint to Comply with the Basic
Pleading Requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil
form complaint and accompanying materials fails to comply
with the basic pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Before the case can proceed, the plaintiff
must file an amended complaint that complies the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure within 21 days of the date of this
Memorandum and Order. The amended complaint must include,
among other things, “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This statement must “give the
defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is
and the grounds upon which it rests, " Rivera v.
Rhode Island, 402 F.3d 27, 33 (1st Cir. 2005)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)),
such that the defendant is afforded a "meaningful
opportunity to mount a defense." Díaz-Rivera
v. Rivera-Rodríguez, 377 F.3d 119, 123
(1st Cir. 2004) (quoting Rodríguez v.
Doral Mortgage Corp., 57 F.3d 1168, 1172 (1st
Cir. 1995)). "In a civil rights action . . ., the
complaint should at least set forth minimal facts as to who
did what to whom, when, where, and why…."
Educadores PuertorriqueZos en Acción v.
Hernandez, 367 F.3d 61, 68 (1st Cir. 2004).
Although “the requirements of Rule 8(a)(2) are minimal.
. .‘minimal requirements are not tantamount to
nonexistent requirements.'” Id. (quoting
Gooley v. Mobil Oil Corp., 851 F.2d 513, 514
(1st Cir. 1988)). The amended complaint must
clearly identify the claims and relief the plaintiff seeks
and provide sufficient factual basis for each of the elements
of the claims that he asserts. While a pleading may include
exhibits that are relevant to the claims, see
Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c), use of exhibits does not relieve
plaintiff of his responsibility to clearly set forth the
relevant allegations in the body of the complaint. The Court
also notes the “[t]he title of the complaint must name
all the parties.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(a). And the claims in
the amended complaint must be set forth “in numbered
paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single
set of circumstances.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b).
an amended complaint generally completely supersedes the
original complaint, plaintiff should repeat in his amended
complaint any allegations in the original complaint that he
wishes to be part of the operative complaint. See
Connectu LLC v. Zuckerberg, 522 F.3d 82, 91 (1st Cir.
2008); but see Steele v. Turner Broadcasting System,
Inc., 746 F.Supp.2d 231, 235 (D. Mass. 2010) (Gorton,
J.)(pro se original complaint and amended complaint
construed together, but only with permission of the court).
The amended complaint should stand alone on its own merits.
Plaintiff may not, for example, incorporate by reference
allegations from prior complaint into the amended complaint.
Conclusion and Order
on the foregoing, it is hereby Ordered that:
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
is hereby ALLOWED.
Plaintiff shall within 21 days of the date of entry this
Order file an amended complaint that complies with ...