Natal v. Arizona Department of Agriculture
ORDER, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 19 is granted with prejudice; the Clerk shall enter judgment accordingly and close this case. Signed by Senior Judge James A Teilborg on 1/21/14.(REW)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Arizona Department of Agriculture,
Pending before the Court is defendant Arizona Department of Agriculture’s
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 19). Plaintiff has not filed a Response. (See CM/ECF Docket
Defendant initially argues (Doc. 19 at 2) that it “is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law because it is a non-jural entity and cannot be sued.” (Id. (citing Fed. R. Civ. P.
17(b)(3)). The capacity of a party that is not an individual or corporation to be sued is
governed “by the law of the state where the court is located.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 17(b)(3).
“Under Arizona law, ‘[g]overnment entities have no inherent power and possess only
those powers and duties delegated to them by their enabling statutes.
governmental entity may be sued only if the legislature has so provided.’ ” United States
v. Maricopa County, Ariz., 915 F. Supp. 2d 1073, 1077 (D. Ariz. 2012) (quoting
Braillard v. Maricopa County, 232 P.3d 1263, 1269, ¶ 12 (Ariz. App. 2010) (citations
Defendant Arizona Department of Agriculture is an agency of the State of Arizona
created entirely by state law with organic provisions found in Title 3, Article 1 of the
Arizona Revised Statutes.
Agriculture’s organic statute does not confer the power to sue or be sued upon Defendant.
Contrast ibid. with A.R.S. §§ 3-414, 468.02, 526.02, 584, 1083, 1233 (conferring the
power to “[s]ue and be sued” upon five councils and one marketing commission
established by the Arizona Department of Agriculture pursuant to State organic statutes).
Nor does Plaintiff point to another provision of the Arizona Revised Statutes that would
allow Defendant to be sued. (See Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint, Doc. 8). Because no
Arizona statute confers on the Arizona Department of Agriculture the right to sue and be
sued, it cannot be sued as a separate legal entity. Thus, the Arizona Department of
Agriculture is an unauthorized Defendant under federal and state law and must be
A.R.S. §§ 3-101–109.02.
The Arizona Department of
IT IS ORDERED that Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 19) is GRANTED
with prejudice. The Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment accordingly and close this
Dated this 21st day of January, 2014.
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