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Telford v. Montana Land Exchange

United States District Court, D. Montana, Butte Division

January 8, 2019

HOLLI TELFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
MONTANA LAND EXCHANGE, M. STOSICH, DOES REALTORS OF MONTANA LAND EXCHANGE, STAR VALLEY RANCH TOWN, DOES EMPLOYEES OF TOWN, and U.S. BANK, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Jeremiah C. Lynch United States Magistrate Judge

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Holli Telford, proceeding pro se, filed an application requesting leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Teleford submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Because it appears she lacks sufficient funds to prosecute this action IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Telford's application is GRANTED. This action may proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, and the Clerk of Court is directed to file Telford's lodged complaint as of the filing date of her request to proceed in forma pauperis.

         The federal statute under which leave to proceed in forma pauperis is permitted - 28 U.S.C. § 1915 - also requires the Court to conduct a preliminary screening of the allegations set forth in the litigant's pleading. The applicable provisions of section 1915(e)(2) state as follows:

         (2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that-

         (A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or

         (B) the action or appeal-

         (i) is frivolous or malicious;

         (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

         (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

         The Court will review Telford's pleading to consider whether this action can survive dismissal under the provisions of section 1915(e)(2), or any other provision of law. See Huftile v. Miccio-Fonseca, 410 F.3d 1136, 1138, 1142 (9th Cir. 2005).

         II. Background

         Telford filed a complaint which provides very limited factual information. She references a real estate transaction in which she was involved in 2006, and two different criminal prosecutions against her in 2006 and 2007 accusing her of allegedly forging notary signatures apparently during the course of the real estate transaction. And she references numerous laws allegedly violated including five different federal laws, and seven different causes of action asserted under Montana common law. But Telford's allegations do not describe specific acts or omissions of any specific Defendant that she believes directly violated any of the laws she lists in her complaint. Thus, her pleading fails to allege any specific claim for relief against any Defendant identified in her pleading.

         III. Discussion

         Because Telford is proceeding pro se the Court must construe her pleading liberally, and the pleading is held “to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers[.]” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). See also Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 330 n.9 (1989). Although the Court has authority to dismiss a defective pleading pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2),

a district court should grant leave to amend even if no request to amend the pleading was made, unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.

Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting Doe v. United States, 58 F.3d 494, 497 (9th Cir. 1995)).

         Even with liberal construction of Telford's allegations, the Court concludes her allegations fail to expressly state any claim for relief. As presently pled, Telford's allegations do not ...


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