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Edwards v. State

United States District Court, D. Nevada

November 30, 2017

ROBERT EDWARDS, Plaintiff(s),
v.
STATE OF NEVADA, et al., Defendant(s).

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendant State of Nevada's motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 15). Plaintiff filed a response (ECF No. 17). Defendant has not replied, and the time for doing so has since passed.

         Also before the court is defendant City of Las Vegas' motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 9). Plaintiff filed a response (ECF No. 17). Defendant has not replied, and the time for doing so has since passed.

         Also before the court is defendants Krista Barrie, County of Clark, Sandra Digiacomo, Stephen L. George, and Christopher Pandelis' motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff Robert Ambrose Edwards filed a response (ECF No. 17), to which defendants replied (ECF No. 19).

         I. Facts

         Plaintiff filed the underlying action pro se on March 2, 2017, against the above-named defendants. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff alleges that he was charged in Henderson Justice Court with working without proper licenses. Id. at 4. On March 23, 2016, plaintiff made a special appearance to challenge the court's jurisdiction. Id. at 5. Following an hour-long recess for lunch, plaintiff asserts that he did not return to court because he was ill. Id. at 6. Subsequently, a bench warrant for plaintiff's arrest was issued and executed. Id. Plaintiff's civil suit stems from the arrest and alleges several causes of action. Id. at 6-12.

         II. Legal Standard

         i. Process and service of process

         “A federal court does not have jurisdiction over a defendant unless the defendant has been served properly under [Rule] 4.” Direct Mail Specialists v. Eclat Computerized Techs., Inc., 840 F.2d 685, 688 (9th Cir. 1988); see also Murphy Bros., Inc. v. Mitchell Pipe Stringing, Inc., 526 U.S. 344, 350 (1999) (“Service of process, under longstanding tradition in our system of justice, is fundamental to any procedural imposition on a named defendant.”). Where the validity of service is contested, the burden is on the party claiming proper service to establish its validity. Cranford v. United States, 359 F.Supp.2d 981, 984 (E.D.Cal. 2005) (citing Grand Entm't Grp., Ltd. v. Star Media Sales, Inc., 988 F .2d 476, 488 (3d Cir. 1993)). Assuming insufficiency of process or insufficiency of service of process, the court has discretion to dismiss an action or simply quash service. See e.g., SHJ v. Issaquah Sch. Dist. No. 411, 470 F.3d 1288, 1293 (9th Cir. 2006) citing Stevens v. Security Pac. Nat'l Bank, 538 F.2d 1387, 1389 (9th Cir.1976) (“the choice between dismissal and quashing service of process is in the district court's discretion.”).

         Service on a state government must be made “in the manner prescribed by that state's law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(j)(2)(b). In Nevada, any action against the state “must be brought in the name of the State of Nevada on relation of the particular department, commission, board or other agency of the State whose actions are the basis for the suit” and served upon both the Attorney General and “[t]he person serving in the office of administrative head of the named agency.” N.R.S. 41.031(2).

         ii. Failure to state a claim

         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 Atl. 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 ...


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