Hubbard v. County of Sonoma et al

Filing 19

ORDER by Judge Hamilton granting 12 Motion to Dismiss (pjhlc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/6/2013)

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1 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 3 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 5 6 KEAREAN HUBBARD, 7 8 9 v. No. C 12-6380 PJH ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS WITH LEAVE TO AMEND COUNTY OF SONOMA, et al., Defendants. _______________________________/ 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 Plaintiff, 12 Defendants County of Sonoma and Steve Freitas’s (“the County defendants”) motion 13 to dismiss the first three causes of action of plaintiff’s first amended complaint came on for 14 hearing before this court on March 6, 2013. Plaintiff Kearean Hubbard (“plaintiff”) appeared 15 through her counsel, Charles Applegate and Michael Scott. The County defendants 16 appeared through their counsel, Terry Sterling. Having read the papers filed in conjunction 17 with the motion and carefully considered the arguments and the relevant legal authority, 18 and good cause appearing, the court hereby GRANTS the County defendants’ motion, for 19 the reasons stated at the hearing, and summarized as follows. 20 In their motion, the County defendants argued that, in order to assert a section 1983 21 claim against a public entity (such as the County of Sonoma), plaintiff is required to allege 22 that the constitutional violation was the result of the government’s established policy or 23 practice. Monell v. Dept. of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978). And in order to 24 assert a section 1983 claim against an individual government employee, plaintiff is required 25 to allege that the employee participated in or directed the violations, or knew of the 26 violations and failed to act to prevent them. See, e.g., Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 27 (9th Cir. 1989). Plaintiff did not file an opposition to the motion. The court agrees that 28 plaintiff’s section 1983 claims (the first, second, and third causes of action in the first 1 amended complaint) do not meet the relevant pleading standards, and hereby DISMISSES 2 them with leave to amend. 3 While plaintiff did not oppose the motion, she did file an amended complaint, styled 4 as the “second amended complaint,” on March 5, 2013 (i.e., the day before the scheduled 5 hearing on the County defendants’ motion). Plaintiff was not entitled to file this second 6 amended complaint under the federal rules, which allow a party to “amend its pleading 7 once as a matter of course.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(1) (emphasis added). Plaintiff had 8 already filed a first amended complaint (which was the subject of this motion) on January 9 23, 2013. Thus, the second amended complaint (Dkt. 16) is hereby STRICKEN. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint (which shall be styled as the “revised 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 second amended complaint”) in accordance with this order by April 3, 2013. No new 12 claims or parties may be added without leave of court or agreement of the parties. 13 Defendants shall have until April 24, 2013 to answer or otherwise respond to the 14 complaint. Plaintiff is further cautioned that, if she wishes to assert section 1983 claims 15 against the County or its employees, she must comply with the relevant pleading standards 16 for those claims. She may not simply include those defendants as “Doe” defendants in an 17 effort to evade the applicable pleading standards. 18 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: March 6, 2013 ______________________________ PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON United States District Judge 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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