Davis v. San Diego District Attorney et al

Filing 31

ORDER granting 5 6 Motions to Dismiss. Plaintiff shall file an amended complaint, if any, on or before thirty (30) days of the date on which this order is electronically docketed. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 7/12/2017. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(fth)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 GAVIN B. DAVIS, Case No.: 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS) Plaintiff, 12 13 14 ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO DISMISS v. SAN DIEGO DISTRICT ATTORNEY; MR. LEONARD TRINH; SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT; JOHN DOES, 15 16 (ECF Nos. 5, 6) Defendants. 17 18 19 Presently before the Court are Defendants San Diego District Attorney and Leonard 20 Trinh’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint for Failure to Allege a Short, Plain Statement and 21 for Failure to State a Claim, (“MTD 1,” ECF No. 5), and Defendant City of San Diego’s 22 Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint, (“MTD 2,” ECF No. 6). Also before the Court 23 are Plaintiff Gavin B. Davis’s response in opposition to one of these motions, (“MTD 2 24 Opp’n,” ECF No. 7), and Defendant City of San Diego’s reply in support of its motion, 25 (“MTD 2 Reply,” ECF No. 20). The Court vacated the hearing on the motions and took 26 them under submission without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). (ECF 27 No. 21.) After considering the parties’ arguments and the law, the Court GRANTS 28 Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss (ECF Nos. 5, 6). 1 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS) 1 LEGAL STANDARD 2 All complaints must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that 3 the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not 4 required, but “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere 5 conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing 6 Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007)). “[D]etermining whether a complaint 7 states a plausible claim is context-specific, requiring the reviewing court to draw on its 8 experience and common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663–64 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 9 556). 10 “When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their 11 veracity, and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement of relief.” 12 Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. “[W]hen determining whether a complaint states a claim, a court 13 must accept as true all allegations of material fact and must construe those facts in the light 14 most favorable to the plaintiff.” Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000). 15 “While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not.” Hoagland 16 v. Astrue, No. 1:12-cv-00973-SMS, 2012 WL 2521753, at *3 (E.D. Cal. June 28, 2012) 17 (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Courts cannot accept legal conclusions set forth in a 18 complaint if the plaintiff has not supported her contentions with facts. Id. (citing Iqbal, 556 19 U.S. at 679). Additionally, while the court “ha[s] an obligation where the petitioner is pro 20 se, particularly in civil rights cases, to construe the pleadings liberally and to afford the 21 petitioner the benefit of any doubt,” Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 & n.7 (9th Cir. 22 2010) (citing Bretz v. Kelman, 773 F.2d 1026, 1027 n.1 (9th Cir. 1985)), it may not “supply 23 essential elements of claims that were not initially pled.” Ivey v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ. 24 of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 2 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS) 1 ANALYSIS 2 Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint for failure to meet the 3 requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). (See generally MTD 1, MTD 2.) The 4 Court agrees. 5 On March 31, 2017, Plaintiff filed a meandering forty-four-page Complaint that 6 discusses various wrongs Plaintiff believes he has suffered. (See Compl., ECF No. 1.) 7 Plaintiff generally describes two “incidents” which purportedly give rise to claims for relief 8 against Defendants. In the first, Plaintiff appears to describe a restraining order that was 9 enforced against him by his ex-wife and the San Diego Police Department. (See id. at 10– 10 15.1) In the second, Plaintiff discusses his arrest inside superior court for what appears to 11 be contempt of court. (See id. at 15–20.) Then Plaintiff describes events under the title of 12 “other attempts at illegal pre-trial detention and custody of the plaintiff,” (id. at 21–39), 13 which are even more disjointed and difficult to comprehend than his previous two 14 “incidents.” After assessing Plaintiff’s Complaint, the Court cannot discern the outlines of 15 any particular claim for relief and thus agrees with Defendants that Plaintiff has failed to 16 give them fair notice of the claims against them. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS 17 Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss. See, e.g., Davis v. Unruh, No. 16-56306, 2017 WL 18 695206, at *1 (9th Cir. Feb. 22, 2017) (affirming the court’s dismissal of this Plaintiff’s 19 complaint for failure to satisfy Rule 8); Cafasso, United States ex rel. v. Gen. Dynamics 20 C4 Sys., Inc., 637 F.3d 1047, 1058–59 (9th Cir. 2011) (collecting cases upholding Rule 8 21 dismissals where pleadings were “verbose,” “confusing,” “distracting, ambiguous, and 22 unintelligible,” “highly repetitious,” and comprised of “incomprehensible rambling”); 23 United States ex rel. Garst v. Lockheed-Martin Corp., 328 F.3d 374, 378 (7th Cir. 2003) 24 (“Rule 8(a) requires parties to make their pleadings straightforward, so that judges and 25 adverse parties need not try to fish a gold coin from a bucket of mud.”). 26 27 28 1 Pin citations to docketed material refer to the CM/ECF numbers electronically stamped at the top of each page. 3 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS) 1 The Court will grant Plaintiff an opportunity to amend his Complaint to address the 2 deficiencies set forth above and as outlined by Defendants in their motions. In the amended 3 complaint, Plaintiff must succinctly specify who did what, when the events occurred, and 4 how Plaintiff was harmed by the alleged conduct. 5 CONCLUSION 6 For the reasons stated above, the Court GRANTS Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss 7 (ECF Nos. 5, 6). Accordingly, the Court DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE 8 Plaintiff’s Complaint (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff SHALL FILE an amended complaint, if any, 9 on or before thirty (30) days of the date on which this order is electronically docketed. 10 Failure to file an amended complaint within this time period may result in this case being 11 dismissed with prejudice. 12 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 12, 2017 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS)

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