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Smith v. Department of Justice

United States District Court, District of Columbia

October 8, 2014

Matthew Alan Smith, Plaintiff,
v.
The Department of Justice, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

AMY BERMAN JACKSON, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on its initial review of plaintiff's pro se complaint and application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court will grant the in forma pauperis application and dismiss the case because the complaint fails to meet the minimal pleading requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Pro se litigants must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Jarrell v. Tisch, 656 F.Supp. 237, 239 (D.D.C. 1987). Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires complaints to contain "(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction [and] (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a); see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009); Ciralsky v. CIA, 355 F.3d 661, 668-71 (D.C. Cir. 2004). The Rule 8 standard ensures that defendants receive fair notice of the claim being asserted so that they can prepare a responsive answer and an adequate defense and determine whether the doctrine of res judicata applies. Brown v. Califano, 75 F.R.D. 497, 498 (D.D.C. 1977).

Plaintiff is a resident of Lakewood, Colorado, suing the United States for monetary damages. See Compl. at 2, 9. In what is probably the most coherent sentence in the prolix complaint, plaintiff states that he "was not granted a simple change of judge or venue, " which "is disturbing and improper when procedures get out of hand especially when the plaintiff obviously wins summary judgment in some instances." Id. at 2. Plaintiff seeks to reopen cases that seem to have no connection to this judicial district and over which this Court would have no jurisdiction. See id. at 5 & Attachment. Regardless, the complaint fails to provide any notice of a discernible claim. A separate Order of dismissal accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.


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