Arenas v. Inslee et al

Filing 54

ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEADLINES, granting 43 Motion to Dismiss; denying as moot 46 Motion to Compel; denying as moot 47 Motion to Appoint Counsel; denying as moot 53 Motion. Signed by Judge Robert J. Bryan. Paper copy sent to plaintiff at Mount Vernon address. (JL)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 SILVERIO ARENAS, JR., Plaintiff, v. JAY INSLEE, et al., CASE NO. 3:19-cv-05339-RJB ORDER ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEADLINES Defendants. 15 16 This matter comes before the Court on Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and for Relief 17 from Deadlines (Dkt. 43). The Court has considered documents filed in support of and in 18 opposition to the motion, the remaining file, and the file in Western District of Washington 19 Bankruptcy Court Adversary Case No. 19-01134-MLB. The Court is fully informed. 20 In the pending motion, Defendants move to dismiss or consider this matter resolved 21 because it has already been adjudicated by the Bankruptcy Court and on appeal. For the reasons 22 set forth in this Order, Defendants’ motion should be granted, all remaining pending motions 23 should be denied as moot, and this case should be dismissed. 24 ORDER ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEADLINES - 1 I. 1 BACKGROUND 2 The relevant facts are detailed in the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel’s 3 (“BAP”) Memorandum on the parties’ motions for summary judgment, Case No. 21-1056, Dkt. 4 18. Dkt. 44 at 40; see Western District of Washington Bankruptcy Case No. 19-01134-MLB, 5 Dkt. 105. The relevant procedural history is recited below. 6 Plaintiff proceeding pro se, Dr. Silvio Arenas, Jr., filed his original complaint on April 7 26, 2019, and an amended complaint on July 26, 2019. Dkts. 3 and 9. On October 13, 2019, the 8 Court reassigned Dr. Arenas’ case to the Western District of Washington Bankruptcy Court as 9 Adversary Case No. 19-01134-MLB because Plaintiff had a pending Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 10 proceeding, Case No. 17-10940-MLB. Dkt. 36. In a notice of trial and order setting deadlines, 11 the bankruptcy court notified the parties that, as set forth in Western District of Washington 12 Local Bankruptcy Rule 7012-1(c), “failure by a party to file a Notice Regarding Final 13 Adjudication and Consent . . . shall constitute that party’s consent to entry of final orders or 14 judgments by the bankruptcy judge.” Dkt. 44, Exh. 2. On February 6, 2020, plaintiff and 15 defendants each filed separate Notices of Regarding Final Adjudication and Consent, in which 16 they expressly consented to the entry of final orders and judgment by the bankruptcy court. Id., 17 Exhs. 3 at 4. 18 Defendants moved for summary judgment before the bankruptcy court, arguing that 19 dismissal was appropriate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), because Dr. Arenas 20 failed to plead necessary facts to establish or provide any evidence to support his claims, and 21 because Eleventh Amendment immunity precluded claims against the state officials in their 22 official capacities. Dkt. 44 at 45. The bankruptcy court considered Defendants’ motion and 23 heard oral argument. Id. Though Dr. Arenas did not respond in opposition to Defendants’ 24 ORDER ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEADLINES - 2 1 motion for summary judgment, the bankruptcy court permitted him to speak at oral argument. 2 Id. The bankruptcy court noted that the claims were difficult to analyze because there were so 3 many and because Dr. Arenas did not tie his asserted facts to the relevant claims. Id. at 46. 4 Nonetheless, the bankruptcy court ruled that summary judgment was appropriate because Dr. 5 Arenas failed to contest evidence provided by Defendants and that certain claims should be 6 dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) because Dr. Arenas failed to state a claim for which relief could 7 be granted. Id. The court entered judgment in Defendants’ favor. Id. 8 Dr. Arenas moved for reconsideration of the bankruptcy court’s order granting summary 9 judgment and, before the court entered its order denying reconsideration, appealed to the BAP. 10 Id. The BAP affirmed the bankruptcy court’s order granting Defendants’ motion for summary 11 judgment and dismissing Dr. Arenas’ claims. Id. at 53. Dr. Arenas is currently appealing the 12 BAP decision to the Ninth Circuit, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Case No. 13 21-60062. Dkt. 44, Exh. 7. II. 14 15 16 17 DISCUSSION Defendants’ motion to dismiss should be granted because Dr. Arenas’ claims have already been litigated in the bankruptcy court. Under 28 U.S.C. § 158(c)(1), appeal of a final judgment entered by bankruptcy court 18 “shall be heard by a 3-judge paned of the bankruptcy appellate panel service . . . unless . . . the 19 appellant elects at the time of filing the appeal . . . to have such appeal heard by the district 20 court.” See also Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8005, Election to Have an Appeal Heard by the District Court 21 Instead of the BAP. 22 As outlined above, Dr. Arenas litigated his claims in the Bankruptcy Court. He had the 23 option of appealing that judgment to district court under 28 U.S.C. § 158(c)(1), but he appealed 24 ORDER ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEADLINES - 3 1 to the BAP instead. The BAP heard his appeal and affirmed the Bankruptcy Court’s order. 2 Therefore, this matter has been resolved and the Court does not have jurisdiction to further 3 litigate Dr. Arenas’ claims. Other than a notice of appeal, further pleadings filed in this case will 4 be filed by the clerk of the court but no further action will be taken. III. 5 6 7 ORDER Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED that:  8 Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and for Relief from Deadlines (Dkt. 43) IS GRANTED; 9  This case IS CLOSED; 10  All other pending motions (Dkts. 46, 47, 53) ARE DENIED as moot; 11  Other than a notice of appeal, further pleadings filed in this case will be filed by 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 the clerk of the court but no further action will be taken. The Clerk is directed to send uncertified copies of this Order to all counsel of record and to any party appearing pro se at said party’s last known address. Dated this 29th day of July, 2022. A ROBERT J. BRYAN United States District Judge 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEADLINES - 4

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