United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Honorable Candy W. Dale United States Magistrate Judge
Clerk of Court conditionally filed pro se Plaintiff John
Edwards' complaint as a result of his in forma pauperis
request. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the Court may
review Edwards' in forma pauperis complaint to determine
whether it may be summarily dismissed. Edwards, the only
party appearing in this action, consented to the jurisdiction
of a United States Magistrate Judge. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c); Fed.R.Civ.P. 73. The Court now reviews
Edwards' complaint to determine whether it, or any of the
claims therein, should be summarily dismissed under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2). Having reviewed the record, and otherwise
being fully informed, the Court enters the following Order.
Edwards filed a pro se complaint requesting in forma pauperis
status on March 21, 2017, against Defendants Joshua Mills and
Vinton Howell. Edwards' complaint alleges Defendants
“falsified and re-wrote the Idaho statute code §
18-7008(8) for their own personal notice of trespass, ”
and restricted his liberty interests for one year without
authority. Edwards alleges also that Defendants
“replaced the above law with their own trespass notice,
” and “made up vicious offensive mean lies”
to take away his liberty.
complaint indicates there was a case before Judge Nye, whom
Edwards contends ruled in error against him. Edwards
indicates he appealed the ruling to the Idaho Supreme Court,
which affirmed Judge Nye's ruling.
to the complaint is a letter to Edwards dated June 29, 2015,
authored by Vinton Howell, the Caldwell City Recreation
Superintendent. The letter states that, pursuant to Idaho
Code § 18-7008(8), Edwards is notified that he is
“trespassed from Rotary Ponds and Memorial Park in
Caldwell, Idaho for a period of one (1) year following the
date” of service of the notice. The reason for the
notice was Edwards' interference “with the attempts
of animal control to contain cats within Rotary Ponds.”
The letter directed Edwards to contact Joshua Mills at the
Caldwell City Attorney's Office if he had any questions.
Howell and Mills are the defendants in this action.
to the facts set forth in the unpublished opinion of the
Court of Appeals of the State of Idaho in Edwards v.
Mills, Opinion No. 370, the Animal Control Department of
the city of Caldwell had ongoing issues with Edwards due to
his conduct in city parks. Edwards apparently interfered with
animal control officers attempting to trap cats, and
threatened park visitors by driving dangerously. The city of
Caldwell recreation superintendent served a notice on
Edwards, presumably the same notice dated June 29, 2015, and
attached to Edwards' complaint here, notifying him he was
no longer welcome in city parks.
questioned the validity of the trespass notice, prompting the
Caldwell city prosecutor, Joshua Mills, to write a letter of
explanation. In response, Edwards filed a complaint against
Mills. The district court explained to Edwards that, if he
disregarded the notice, he would be charged with trespass.
The district court then granted Mills' motion to dismiss
the suit with prejudice. Edwards appealed, contending the
district court erred in dismissing his complaint against
Mills because Mills violated Edwards' due process rights.
The court of appeals, in a detailed written opinion, affirmed
the district court's order of dismissal. The court
explained Edwards had not identified a constitutionally
protected liberty or property interest necessary for a due
process violation, and that the letter was lawfully issued.
The court awarded costs and attorney fees to Mills on appeal.
Standard of Review
complaint has been conditionally filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915, the Court may conduct an initial review of the
complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The
Court must dismiss a complaint or any portion of it if it:
(1) is frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted; or (3) seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i-iii).
Edwards is proceeding pro se, the complaint must be liberally
construed, and Edwards must be given the benefit of any
doubt. See Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th
Cir. 2000). Additionally, if the complaint can be saved by
amendment, Edwards should be notified of the deficiencies and
provided an opportunity to amend. See Jackson v.
Carey, 353 F.3d 750, 758 (9th Cir. 2003). A dismissal
without leave to amend is improper unless it is beyond doubt
that the complaint “could not be saved by any
amendment.” Harris v. Amgen, Inc., 573 F.3d
728, 737 (9th Cir. 2009).