Worley v. City of Vancouver et al

Filing 16

ORDER granting 12 Defendants Motion for Partial Dismissal for Failure to State a Claim; Plaintiff's second, fourth, sixth, and eighth claims are DISMISSED with prejudice; Plaintiff is also precluded from pursuing injunctive relief on his federal claims; signed by Judge Ronald B. Leighton.(DN)

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1 HONORABLE RONALD B. LEIGHTON 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 7 8 MACK WORLEY, CASE NO. C16-5572-RBL 9 Plaintiff, 10 v. ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR PARTIAL DISMISSAL 11 CITY OF VANCOUVER, et al., DKT. #12 12 Defendants. 13 14 THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendants’ Partial Motion for Dismissal [Dkt. 15 #12]. Plaintiff Mack Worley recorded himself walking through the streets of Vancouver with his 16 rifle slung over his shoulder. Defendant police officers stopped him to inspect the rifle and 17 arrested him, which he claims violated his right to be free from unreasonable seizures. He asks 18 for injunctive relief against the officers and Vancouver. Defendants ask the Court to dismiss 19 Worley’s claims for injunctive relief because he cannot establish that an actual controversy exists. 20 Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) may be based on the lack of a cognizable legal theory. See 21 Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).“[A] plaintiff’s obligation to 22 provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief’ requires more than labels and conclusions, and a 23 formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be 24 ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR PARTIAL DISMISSAL - 1 1 enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. ” 2 544, 555 (2007) (citations and footnotes omitted). This requires a plaintiff to plead“more than an 3 unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me-accusation. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (citing ” 4 Twombly). A court may deny leave to amend if the facts are not in dispute, and the sole issue is 5 whether there is liability as a matter of substantive law. See Albrecht v. Lund, 845 F.2d 193, 195 – 6 96 (9th Cir. 1988). 7 To satisfy Article III’s case and controversy requirements on a claim for equitable relief, a 8 plaintiff must show a real or immediate threat he will be wronged again. See City of Los Angeles 9 v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 111, 103 S. Ct. 1660 (1983) (citing O’Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 502, 10 94 S. Ct. 669 (1974)). Past exposure to illegal conduct does not in itself show a present case or 11 controversy regarding injunctive relief. See id. at 105. Without such showing, the federal courts 12 lack jurisdiction to entertain a claim for injunctive relief. 13 Worley has failed to demonstrate a case or controversy with Defendants that would 14 justify the equitable relief he seeks. His standing on these claims depends on whether there is a 15 likely threat of Defendants again seizing him to examine his rifle and arresting him. That Worley 16 might have been improperly seized and arrested once for unlawfully displaying a weapon does 17 nothing to establish that he will be again. His move to Kansas makes any threat of future harm 18 by Defendants that much more unlikely and that much more indistinguishable from any other 19 citizen’s potential claim. Because there is no real or immediate threat to Worley that Defendants 20 will unconstitutionally seize and arrest him, the Court lacks Article III jurisdiction to grant him 21 injunctive relief. 22 23 24 DKT. #12 - 2 1 Worley argues Lyons does not foreclose him relief because case law relaxes the standing 2 requirements for class actions. Even if this distinction were true, it is inapposite. Worley only 3 asserts claims on his own behalf. He cannot proceed without standing. 4 The Court lacks jurisdiction over Worley’s claims for equitable relief. Defendant’s Motion 5 for Partial Dismissal [Dkt. #12] is GRANTED. Worley’s claims for injunctive relief alleging 6 Defendants violated his right to be free from unreasonable seizures and arrests under the 7 Washington State Constitution (his second, fourth, sixth, and eighth claims) are DISMISSED 8 with prejudice. He is also precluded from pursuing injunctive relief on his federal claims. 9 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated this 10th day of January, 2017. 12 A 13 Ronald B. Leighton (as auth/dn) United States District Judge 11 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 DKT. #12 - 3

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