Nixon et al v. Arizona Association Manufactured Home Owners Incorporated

Filing 23

ORDER granting 14 Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The Court concludes that Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiffs may file an amended complaint on or before February 24, 2012. Signed by Judge David G Campbell on 2/9/12.(DMT)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Patrick E. Nixon and Jean-Marie Nixon, 10 Plaintiffs, 11 Arizona Association Home Owners, Inc., ORDER vs. 12 No. CV-11-1514-PHX-DGC 13 of Manufactured Defendant. 14 15 16 Plaintiffs Patrick Nixon and Jean-Marie Nixon filed a complaint as pro-se litigants 17 on August 3, 2011. Doc. 1. Defendant Arizona Association of Manufactured Home 18 Owners, Inc. (“AAMHO”), also as pro-se litigant, filed an answer on October 4, 2011, 19 requesting that the action be dismissed. Doc. 5 at 4. Defendant then secured counsel. 20 Doc. 11. 21 pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). Doc. 14. Plaintiffs filed a 22 response on December 5, 2011 (Doc. 16), and Defendant replied on December 16, 2011 23 (Doc. 20). In their response, Plaintiffs attached numerous exhibits and provided factual 24 details not included in the original complaint. Doc. 16. 25 I. On November 21, 2011, Defendant filed a motion for judgment on the Legal Standards. 26 A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) is assessed under the 27 same standard as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. See 28 Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1093 (9th Cir. 1980). A complaint must plead “enough 1 facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 2 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “The plausibility standard . . . asks for more than a sheer 3 possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully,” demanding instead sufficient factual 4 allegations to allow “the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is 5 liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). 6 “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere 7 possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged – but it has not ‘show[n]’ – ‘that the 8 pleader is entitled to relief.’” Id. at 1950 (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)). 9 In considering a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the Court cannot consider 10 evidence outside the pleadings unless the Court treats the motion as a motion for 11 summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d). This Court will not treat 12 the motion as one for summary judgment, and will not consider any material in Plaintiffs’ 13 response not provided in the original complaint. 14 Plaintiff’s complaint does not satisfy the pleading requirements set forth in 15 Twombly and Iqbal. The only factual material provided in the complaint is Plaintiffs’ and 16 Defendant’s addresses (Doc. 1 at ¶ 6, 9), that “Plaintiff, Patrick E. Nixon, is a male 17 veteran with a disability” (id. at ¶ 7), and that “Plaintiff, Jean-Marie Nixon, is a Hispanic 18 female with a disability” (id. at ¶ 8). 19 disabilities. The rest of the complaint includes conclusory allegations that the Defendant 20 engaged in conduct that violates a laundry list of laws without providing any factual 21 detail about what happened. The Court therefore will dismiss Plaintiffs’ complaint for 22 failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 23 II. The complaint does not allege the type of Leave to Amend. 24 In the Ninth Circuit, pro se litigants are “entitled to notice of the complaint’s 25 deficiencies and an opportunity to amend prior to dismissal of the action.” Lucas v. 26 Dep’t of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995); see Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 27 1106 (9th Cir. 1995) (same); see also Flowers v. First Hawaiian Bank, 295 F.3d 966, 976 28 (9th Cir. 2002) (“We are very cautious in approving a district court’s decision to deny -2- 1 pro se litigants leave to amend.”) (citing Lucas, 66 F.3d at 248-49); Waters v. Young, 2 100 F.3d 1437, 1441 (9th Cir. 1996) (“As a general matter, this court has long sought to 3 ensure that pro se litigants do not unwittingly fall victim to procedural requirements that 4 they may, with some assistance from the court, be able to satisfy.”). Although the 5 deadline for amending pleadings established in the Court’s Case Management Order has 6 passed, the Court will grant Plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint. 7 The Court is required to give guidance to a pro se plaintiff regarding the 8 deficiencies of dismissed claims in a complaint. Karim-Panahi v. L.A. Police Dep’t, 839 9 F.2d 621, 625 (9th Cir. 1988) (“We do not . . . require the district court to act as legal 10 advisor to the plaintiff. . . . However, the court must do more than simply advise the pro 11 se plaintiff that his complaint needs to [comply with Rule 8]. . . . The district court is 12 required to draft ‘a few sentences explaining the deficiencies.’”) (citations omitted). 13 For purposes of the amended complaint, Plaintiffs are directed to Rule 8 of the 14 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8(a) provides that a complaint “shall contain (1) a 15 short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court’s jurisdiction depends, . . . 16 (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, 17 and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). 18 These pleading requirements shall be set forth in separate and discrete paragraphs 19 numbered in consecutive order. Each paragraph must be “simple, concise, and direct.” 20 Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(d)(1). 21 Plaintiff is advised that vague references to discrimination are insufficient to 22 satisfy the pleading requirements of Rule 8. The amended complaint must provide the 23 factual basis for each claim and give Defendant “fair notice of what [Plaintiff’s] claim is 24 and the grounds upon which it is based.” Holgate v. Baldwin, 425 F.3d 671, 676 (9th Cir. 25 2005). This includes the specific legal theory supporting the claim. “Threadbare recitals 26 of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not 27 suffice.” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. The complaint must also show that Plaintiffs have 28 complied with all required administrative proceedings. -3- 1 2 3 IT IS ORDERED: 1. Defendants motion (Doc. 14) is granted. The Court concludes that Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 4 2. Plaintiffs may file an amended complaint on or before February 24, 2012. 5 Dated this 9th day of February, 2012. 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -4-

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