Gould et al v. Las Animas, Colorado County Court et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER granting 8 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Signed by Judge B. Lynn Winmill. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (cjm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHO
RUSSELL JAY GOULD, et al.,
Case No. 1:12-cv-00221-BLW
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND
LAS ANIMAS, COLORADO COUNTY
COURT, et al.,
The Court has before it Defendant Andrew M. Hall’s Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 8).
The Court has determined that oral argument will not assist the Court in resolving the
motion, and the Court issues the following decision.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,” in order to “give the defendant
fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964 (2007). While a complaint
attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss “does not need detailed factual
allegations,” it must set forth “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. at 555. To survive a
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 1
motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Id. at 556.
The plausibility standard is not akin to a “probability requirement,” but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Id. Where a complaint
pleads facts that are “merely consistent with” a defendant's liability, it “stops short of the
line between possibility and plausibility of ‘entitlement to relief.’” Id. at 557.
In a more recent case, the Supreme Court identified two “working principles” that
underlie Twombly. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). First, the tenet
that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is
inapplicable to legal conclusions. Id. “Rule 8 marks a notable and generous departure
from the hyper-technical, code-pleading regime of a prior era, but it does not unlock the
doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions.” Id. at 1950.
Second, only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to
dismiss. Id. “Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will . . .
be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id.
Providing too much in the complaint may also be fatal to a plaintiff. Dismissal may
be appropriate when the plaintiff has included sufficient allegations disclosing some
absolute defense or bar to recovery. See Weisbuch v. County of L.A., 119 F.3d 778, 783,
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n. 1 (9th Cir. 1997) (stating that “[i]f the pleadings establish facts compelling a decision
one way, that is as good as if depositions and other . . . evidence on summary judgment
establishes the identical facts”).
A dismissal without leave to amend is improper unless it is beyond doubt that the
complaint “could not be saved by any amendment.” Harris v. Amgen, Inc., 573 F.3d 728,
737 (9th Cir. 2009)(issued 2 months after Iqbal).1 The Ninth Circuit has held that “in
dismissals for failure to state a claim, a district court should grant leave to amend even if
no request to amend the pleading was made, unless it determines that the pleading could
not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.” Cook, Perkiss and Liehe, Inc. v.
Northern California Collection Service, Inc., 911 F.2d 242, 247 (9th Cir. 1990). The
issue is not whether plaintiff will prevail but whether he “is entitled to offer evidence to
support the claims.” Diaz v. Int'l Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 13, 474 F.3d
1202, 1205 (9th Cir. 2007)(citations omitted).
Under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court may consider matters that are subject to judicial
notice. Mullis v. United States Bank, 828 F.2d 1385, 1388 (9th Cir. 1987). The Court
may take judicial notice “of the records of state agencies and other undisputed matters of
public record” without transforming the motions to dismiss into motions for summary
judgment. Disabled Rights Action Comm. v. Las Vegas Events, Inc., 375 F.3d 861, 866
(9th Cir. 2004). The Court may also examine documents referred to in the complaint,
although not attached thereto, without transforming the motion to dismiss into a motion
for summary judgment. See Knievel v. ESPN, 393 F.3d 1068, 1076 (9th Cir. 2005).
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 3
Hall’s Motion to Dismiss
Hall asks the Court to dismiss the complaint against him based upon several
grounds, including failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). The plaintiffs have failed to respond to the motion, and the deadline for
responding has passed. Moreover, the plaintiffs’ Complaint and Amended Complaint are
completely incomprehensible. In fact, had they not been denominated and filed as
complaints in the Court’s CM/ECF system, there would be no reason to perceive them as
constituting civil complaints. It is a challenge to comprehend even one sentence in either
Under these circumstances, the complaint against Hall must be dismissed. Neither
complaint comes close to giving Hall “fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955,
1964 (2007). Moreover, the complaint must be dismissed without leave to amend because
it cannot be saved by any amendment. Harris v. Amgen, Inc., 573 F.3d 728, 737 (9th Cir.
2009). The Court can envision no way the plaintiffs can cure their complaint by the
allegation of other facts. Cook, Perkiss and Liehe, Inc. v. Northern California Collection
Service, Inc., 911 F.2d 242, 247 (9th Cir. 1990).
Dismissal of Complaint Against Remaining Defendants.
The Court will also dismiss the complaint against the remaining defendants. A
district court may dismiss a complaint pursuant Rule 12(b)(6) on its own motion. Velasco
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 4
v. Security Nat. Mortg. Co., 823 F.Supp.2d 1061, 1067 (D.Hawaii 2011) (citing Omar v.
Sea–Land Serv., Inc., 813 F.2d 986, 991 (9th Cir.1987). Even “a paid complaint that is
‘obviously frivolous’ does not confer federal subject matter jurisdiction and may be
dismissed sua sponte before service of process.” Id. (citing Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d
1221, 1227 n. 6 (9th Cir.1984). The Court may also dismiss sua sponte a complaint for
failure to comply with Rule 8. Id. “A complaint that is so confusing that its “true
substance, if any, is well disguised” may be dismissed sua sponte for failure to satisfy
Rule 8. Id. (citing Hearns v. San Bernardino Police Dep’t, 530 F.3d 1124, 1131 (9th
Cir.2008) (additional citations omitted). As explained above, the plaintiff’s complaint is
incomprehensible. Accordingly, the Court will dismiss the complaint against all
IT IS ORDERED:
Defendant Andrew M. Hall’s Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 8) is GRANTED.
This case shall be dismissed against all defendants.
The Court will enter a separate judgment in accordance with F. R. C. P. 58.
DATED: August 13, 2012
Honorable B. Lynn Winmill
Chief U. S. District Judge
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 5
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