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Hunt v. City of Boulder City

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 10, 2017

JOHN HUNT, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE CITY OF BOULDER CITY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendant Boulder City Police Department's (“BCPD”) motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 9). Plaintiff John Hunt has not filed a response, and the period to do so has since passed.[1]

         I. Facts

         This a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 arising from an arrest that occurred during a pedestrian crosswalk enforcement sting in Boulder City on June 8, 2016. (ECF No. 1).

         Plaintiff alleges that defendant sergeant John Glenn, a BCPD officer, violated his First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights by wrongfully arresting and charging plaintiff with violations of NRS 484B.283 and 199.280.3. (ECF No. 1).

         On May 30, 2017, plaintiff filed the underlying complaint against defendants Boulder City, BCPD, and Glenn, alleging sixteen causes of action: (1) violation of free speech and due process against Glenn; (2) search and seizure violation against Glenn; (3) excessive force against Glenn; violation of Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments against Glenn; (5) violation of due process against Glenn; (6) violation of Article I, Sections 1 and 9 of the Nevada Constitution against Glenn; (7) malicious prosecution against all defendants; (8) abuse of process against all defendants; (9) false arrest and imprisonment against all defendants; (10) excessive force against all defendants; (11) assault and battery against all defendants; (12) intentional infliction of emotional distress against all defendants; (13) negligent infliction of emotional distress against all defendants; (14) negligence against all defendants; (15) respondeat superior liability of Boulder City for state law violations; and (16) negligent hiring and supervision against Boulder City and BCPD. (ECF No. 1).

         In the instant motion, BCPD moves for dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing that BCPD does not have the power to sue or be sued in its own name. (ECF No. 9).

         II. Legal Standard

         A court may dismiss a 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) (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, 556 U.S. at 678 (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 678-79. Mere recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory statements, do not suffice. Id. at 678.

         Second, the 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 the 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. (internal quotation marks 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.

         The Ninth Circuit addressed post-Iqbal pleading standards in Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). The Starr court stated, in relevant part:

First, to be entitled to the presumption of truth, allegations in a complaint or counterclaim may not simply recite the elements of a cause of action, but must contain sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable the opposing party to defend itself effectively. Second, the factual allegations that are taken as true must plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such that it is not ...

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