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Nickerson-Malpher v. United States Federal Corporation

United States District Court, District of Columbia

May 1, 2015

Margaret Kathleen Nickerson-Malpher, Plaintiff,
v.
United States Federal Corporation, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

AMIT P. MEHTA, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis and her pro se civil complaint. The application will be granted, and the complaint will be dismissed.

The Court is mindful that complaints filed by pro se litigants are held to less stringent standards than those applied to formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Even pro se litigants, however, 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 that a complaint contain a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the Court's jurisdiction depends, a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). The purpose of the minimum standard of Rule 8 is to give fair notice to the defendants of the claim being asserted, sufficient to prepare a responsive answer, to prepare an adequate defense and to determine whether the doctrine of res judicata applies. Brown v. Califano, 75 F.R.D. 497, 498 (D.D.C. 1977).

Plaintiff's allegations appear to be related to the seizure of animals from plaintiff's property in 2006 by officials of the State of Maine without a valid warrant and subsequent proceedings in the Maine courts. The Court carefully has reviewed plaintiff's complaint and concludes that it fails to set forth a short and plain statement of a claim showing that plaintiff is entitled to the relief she demands. As drafted, the complaint does not comply with Rule 8(a), and it therefore will be dismissed. An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is issued separately.


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