United States District Court, D. Nevada
ARA V. MARUTYAN; ARTHUR MARUTYAN; and DIANA MARUTYAN, individuals, Plaintiffs,
LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, DOES 1 through 10; and ROE ENTITIES 1 through 10, Defendants.
ORDER (DEF.'S MOTION TO DISMISS - ECF NO.
MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
proceeding pro se, filed this suit against the Las Vegas
Metropolitan Police Department (“LVMPD”) and
unnamed defendants, alleging a number of constitutional
violations. LVMPD filed a Motion to Dismiss
(“Motion”). (ECF No. 6.) Plaintiffs responded to
the Motion (ECF No. 11) and LVMPD replied (ECF No. 14.) For
the reasons discussed below, the Motion is granted in part
and denied in part.
following facts are taken from the Complaint. (ECF No. 1.)
Ara, Arthur, and Diana Marutyan (collectively
“Plaintiffs”) allege that LVMPD violated their
constitutional due process rights, and a number of other
rights, when police officers seized personal property during
searches of their home and Diana Marutyan's dorm room.
allege that LVMPD officers executed search warrants at their
home on several occasions starting on February 13, 2014, and
ending on March 27, 2014. (Id. at 2). During these
searches, the officers seized more than 100 items including
firearms, cell phones, computers, passports, social security
cards, birth certifications, and other
documents. (Id.) Later, on April 3, 2014,
LVMPD executed a search warrant on the dorm room of Diana
Marutyan and seized a cell phone. (Id. at 2-3.)
allege that they were never charged with a crime, and LVMPD
never commenced any civil forfeiture proceedings for the
seized property. (Id. at 3-4.) Plaintiffs further
allege that they have contacted LVMPD over 100 times in an
attempt to recover their property, but have been
unsuccessful. (Id. at 3.)
April 15, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in Clark County
District Court (“State Suit”). (Id. at
5.) The State Suit seeks return of the property, compensatory
damages, and attorney fees. (ECF No. 6-1 at 5.) An
intervener, represented by counsel, entered the State Suit
and moved for return of the items based on NRS §
179.085, a state law which allows a party to recover items
seized by police if “[r]etention of the property by law
enforcement is not reasonable under the totality of
circumstances.” (ECF No. 6-2 at 19 (citing NRS
179.085(1)(e)).) The Court takes judicial notice that a
notice of appeal was filed in the state court case on March
6, 2017. Marutyan v. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Department, Case. No. A-15-716800-C (Clark Co. Dist.
Ct., Mar. 6, 2017).
than a year after filing the State Suit, Plaintiffs initiated
this action, alleging LVMPD's behavior violated the
Second, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S.
Constitution. (ECF No. 1.) LVMPD moves to dismiss
Plaintiffs' Complaint for failure to state a claim under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 6.)
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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Papasan v.
Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). “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, 556
U.S. at 678 (internal citation omitted).
Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step
approach district courts are to apply when considering
motions to dismiss. First, a district court must accept as
true all well-pled factual allegations in the complaint;
however, legal conclusions are not entitled to the assumption
of truth. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Mere recitals of
the elements of a cause of action, supported only by
conclusory statements, do not suffice. Id. at 678.
Second, a district court must consider whether the factual
allegations in the complaint allege a plausible claim for
relief. Id. at 679. A claim is facially plausible
when the plaintiff's complaint alleges facts that allow a
court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the alleged misconduct. Id. at 678. 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. at 679 (internal quotation marks
omitted). When the claims in a complaint have not crossed the
line from conceivable to plausible, the complaint must be
dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
complaint must contain either direct or inferential
allegations concerning “all the material elements
necessary to sustain recovery under some viable
legal theory.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 562
(quoting Car Carriers, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 745
F.2d 1101, 1106 (7th Cir. 1989) (emphasis in original)).
in pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, and must be
liberally construed. See Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5,
9 (1980); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21
(1972) (per curiam); see also Hamilton v. Brown, 630
F.3d 889, 893 (9th Cir.2011); Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.1990).
Though pro se pleadings are to be liberally construed, a
plaintiff must still ...