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Fred Gutierrez v. Timothy Atkins et al

April 25, 2013

FRED GUTIERREZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TIMOTHY ATKINS ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert C. Jones United States District Judge

ORDER

This civil rights action arises out of a state court conviction. Pending before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 5). For the reasons given herein, the Court grants the motion.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 15, 2012, a non-party police officer pulled Plaintiff Fred Gutierrez over on Casino Boulevard in Laughlin, Nevada while Plaintiff was driving a van registered in Arizona to a non-party. (Compl. ¶ 1, Feb. 14, 2013, ECF No. 1). The officer issued citations to Plaintiff for without a license and for being in possession of a certificate of registration, license plate, title, or other document knowing it to have been fictitious, cancelled, revoked, altered. (Id. ¶ 3). On August 9, 2012, Plaintiff appeared for arraignment before Defendant Justice of the Peace Timothy Atkins in the Laughlin Justice Court. (Id. ¶ 4). Plaintiff refused to enter a plea, challenging the jurisdiction of the court. (See id. ¶¶ 5--6). Plaintiff appeared again on October 11, 2012, and his jurisdictional challenge was again denied. (See id. ¶ 7). Plaintiff continued to challenge jurisdiction throughout the trial, and the judge found him at the conclusion of the trial. (See id. ¶¶ 8--20).

Plaintiff sued Atkins and Prosecutor Nicholas Graham in this Court on two counts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983: (1) bad faith prosecution; and (2) due process violations. Defendants have moved to dismiss.

LEGAL STANDARDS

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." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) mandates that a court dismiss a cause of action that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the complaint's sufficiency. See N. Star Int'l v. Ariz. Corp. Comm'n, 720 F.2d 578, 581 (9th Cir. 1983). When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for to state a claim, dismissal is appropriate only when the complaint does not give the defendant fair notice of a legally cognizable claim and the grounds on which it rests. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). In considering whether the complaint is sufficient to state a claim, the court will take all material allegations as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See NL Indus., Inc. v. Kaplan, 792 F.2d 896, 898 (9th Cir. 1986). The court, however, is not required to accept as true allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences. See Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001). A formulaic recitation of a cause of action with conclusory allegations is not sufficient; a plaintiff must plead facts showing that a violation is plausible, not just possible. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

"Generally, a district court may not consider any material beyond the pleadings in ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. However, material which is properly submitted as part of the complaint may be considered on a motion to dismiss." Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner

, 896 F.2d 1542, 1555 n.19 (9th Cir. 1990) (citation omitted). Similarly, "documents whose contents are alleged in a complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but which not physically attached to the pleading, may be considered in ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss" without converting the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary

Branch v. Tunnell, 14 F.3d 449, 454 (9th Cir. 1994). Moreover, under Federal Rule of Evidence 201, a court may take judicial notice of "matters of public record." Mack v. S. Bay

., Inc., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir. 1986). Otherwise, if the district court considers materials outside of the pleadings, the motion to dismiss is converted into a motion for

judgment. See Arpin v. Santa Clara Valley Transp. Agency, 261 F.3d 912, 925 (9th Cir.

ANALYSIS

The Court grants the motion to dismiss for two reasons. First, no action is permitted under ยง 1983 if a verdict in favor of the plaintiff ...


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