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Richardson v. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 2, 2014

CRAIG JEREMY RICHARDSON, Plaintiff(s),
v.
LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendant(s)

ORDER

JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

Presently before the court is defendant Jeremy Jacobitz's motion to dismiss. (Doc. #13). Plaintiff Craig Richardson has responded (doc. #20) and defendant has replied (doc. #23).

I. Background

This matter stems from plaintiff's arrest on September 4, 2012. Acting pro se, plaintiff's complaint initially contained allegations of violations of his First, Fourth, Fifth, and Thirteenth Amendment rights by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department ("LVMPD") and individual LVMPD officers Jacobitz and Kvam. The court screened the complaint and dismissed plaintiff's Fifth and Thirteenth Amendment allegations.

Defendant Jacobitz has filed the instant motion seeking dismissal of the claims against him in his official capacity as redundant.

II. Legal Standard

A court may dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6). A properly pled complaint must provide "[a] short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it demands "more than labels and conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citation omitted). "Factual allegations must be enough to rise above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citation omitted).

In Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply when considering motions to dismiss. First, the court must accept as true all well-pled factual allegations in the complaint; however, legal conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 1950. Mere recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory statements, do not suffice. Id. at 1949. Second, the court must consider whether the factual allegations in the complaint allege a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 1950. A claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff's complaint alleges facts that allows the court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Id. at 1949.

Where the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has "alleged - but not shown - that the pleader is entitled to relief." Id. (internal quotations omitted). When the allegations in a complaint have not crossed the line from conceivable to plausible, plaintiff's claim must be dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

III. Discussion

As an initial matter, the court acknowledges that the complaint was filed pro se and is therefore held to less stringent standards. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ("A document filed pro se is to be liberally construed, and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.") (internal quotations and citations omitted). However, " pro se litigants in the ordinary civil case should not be treated more favorably than parties with attorneys of record." Jacobsen v. Filler, 790 F.2d 1362, 1364 (9th Cir.1986).

The complaint indicates that plaintiff is suing Jacobitz in both his individual and official capacities. However, claims against an individual in their official capacity are the functional equivalent of a suit against the entity of which he is an agent. Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159 (1985). Thus, the official capacity claims against Jacobitz are duplicative and are hereby dismissed as redundant. See Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. Los Angeles Cnty Sheriff Dept., 533 F.3d 780, 799 (9th Cir. 2008).

Accordingly,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that defendant's motion to dismiss (doc. #13) be, and the same hereby is, GRANTED.


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