Gibbs 111 v. San Diego Child Support Services et al

Filing 87

ORDER Granting 80 Motion to Dismiss. Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted without leave to amend. This case is dismissed in its entirety with prejudice. Signed by Judge Dana M. Sabraw on 1/12/2018. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(aef)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 Case No. 14-cv-2541 DMS (BLM) SAMUEL W. GIBBS III, 11 ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS Plaintiff, 12 v. 13 SAN DIEGO COUNTY, 14 Defendant. 15 16 17 18 Pending before the Court is Defendant County of San Diego’s motion to 19 dismiss. Plaintiff Samuel W. Gibbs III filed an opposition,1 and Defendant filed a 20 reply. For the reasons stated below, Defendant’s motion is granted. 21 I. 22 BACKGROUND 23 On October 24, 2014, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, initially filed a Complaint 24 against the San Diego Child Support Services and Shari Kugler. After a series of 25 motions and hearings, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) against 26 San Diego County on May 2, 2017, alleging civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. 27 28 1 Plaintiff has also filed a surreply, which the Court considered in resolving the present motion. –1– 14-cv-2541 DMS (BLM) 1 §§ 1981 & 1985. On September 20, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the 2 FAC for failure to state a claim, which the Court granted with leave to amend. On 3 November 28, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”). 4 Defendant filed the present motion to dismiss the SAC on December 11, 2017. 5 II. 6 DISCUSSION 7 Defendant moves to dismiss the SAC on grounds that Plaintiff has failed to 8 allege a short and plain statement showing he is entitled to relief under Federal Rule 9 of Civil Procedure 8(a), has failed to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil 10 Procedure 12(b)(6), and has failed to file a timely claim under California 11 Government Code § 945.4. 12 A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the 13 claims asserted in the complaint. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). 14 Rule 12(b)(6) is read in conjunction with Rule 8(a), which requires only “a short and 15 plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief[.]” Fed. R. 16 Civ. P. 8(a)(2). While Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, at a 17 minimum, a complaint must allege enough specific facts to provide “fair notice” of 18 both the particular claim being asserted and “the grounds upon which [that claim] 19 rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 & n.3 (2007) (citation and 20 quotation marks omitted); see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (Rule 8 pleading standard 21 “demands 22 accusation”) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me 23 In deciding a motion to dismiss, all material factual allegations of the 24 complaint are accepted as true, as well as all reasonable inferences to be drawn from 25 them. Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336, 338 (9th Cir. 1996). A court, 26 however, need not accept all conclusory allegations as true. 27 “examine whether conclusory allegations follow from the description of facts as 28 alleged by the plaintiff.” Holden v. Hagopian, 978 F.2d 1115, 1121 (9th Cir. 1992) –2– Rather, it must 14-cv-2541 DMS (BLM) 1 (citation omitted); see Benson v. Ariz. St. Bd. of Dental Exam’rs, 673 F.2d 272, 275– 2 76 (9th Cir. 1982) (court need not accept conclusory legal assertions). A motion to 3 dismiss should be granted if a plaintiff’s complaint fails to contain “enough facts to 4 state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “A 5 claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the 6 court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct 7 alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). 8 Pro se complaints are held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings 9 by lawyers. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A pro se plaintiff’s 10 complaint must be construed liberally to determine whether a claim has been stated. 11 See Zichko v. Idaho, 247 F.3d 1015, 1020 (9th Cir. 2001). However, a pro se 12 litigant’s pleadings still must meet some minimum threshold in providing the 13 defendant with notice of what it is that it allegedly did wrong. See Brazil v. U.S. 14 Dep't of Navy, 66 F.3d 193, 199 (9th Cir. 1995); see also Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 15 52, 54 (9th Cir. 1995) (“Although we construe pleadings liberally in their favor, pro 16 se litigants are bound by the rules of procedure.”). 17 The Court previously advised Plaintiff as to the deficiencies in the FAC and 18 has liberally granted leave to amend. Nevertheless, Plaintiff’s SAC fails to cure the 19 noted deficiencies. For example, like the FAC, the SAC does not satisfy the minimal 20 notice pleading requirements of Rule 8 as it fails to give Defendant a short and plain 21 statement as to Plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff has also failed to sufficiently state a 22 legally cognizable claim upon which relief could be granted as the SAC is almost 23 entirely devoid of factual allegations. Moreover, although the SAC purports to assert 24 civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 & 1985, the factual allegations 25 pertain to a prior child support order issued by the Superior Court of California, 26 County of San Diego in 1996. The Court, however, informed Plaintiff in the prior 27 order granting Defendant’s motion to dismiss the FAC that to the extent Plaintiff 28 seeks to challenge the prior state-court judgment, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars –3– 14-cv-2541 DMS (BLM) 1 such action. See Bianchi v. Rylaarsdam, 334 F.3d 895, 901 (9th Cir. 2003) 2 (“Rooker–Feldman bars any suit that seeks to disrupt or ‘undo’ a prior state-court 3 judgment, regardless of whether the state-court proceeding afforded the federal- 4 court plaintiff a full and fair opportunity to litigate her claims.”). 5 The Court has cautioned Plaintiff that if the SAC does not cure the pleading 6 deficiencies, his claims will be dismissed with prejudice and without further leave 7 to amend. Because Plaintiff has not been able to provide a short and plain statements 8 of the claims or to state a claim, the Court finds that any amendment would be futile. 9 Accordingly, Defendant’s motion is granted without leave to amend. See, e.g., 10 Chaset v. Fleer/Skybox Int’l, 300 F.3d 1083, 1088 (9th Cir. 2002) (no need to 11 prolong the litigation by permitting further amendment where the “basic flaw” in the 12 underlying facts as alleged cannot be cured by amendment); Lipton v. Pathogenesis 13 Corp., 284 F.3d 1027, 1039 (9th Cir. 2002) (“Because any amendment would be 14 futile, there was no need to prolong the litigation by permitting further 15 amendment.”). 16 III. 17 CONCLUSION 18 19 20 21 For the foregoing reasons, Defendant’s motion to dismiss is granted without leave to amend. This case is dismissed in its entirety with prejudice. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 12, 2018 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 –4– 14-cv-2541 DMS (BLM)

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