United States District Court, D. Nevada
R. HICKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
State of Nevada on relation of the Private Investigators
Licensing Board (“Board”), Kevin Ingram, Lori
Irizarry, and Jason Woodruff move to dismiss plaintiffs
Mahmoud Hendi and ESI Security, Inc.'s complaint. ECF No.
4. The plaintiffs opposed the motion, and the defendants
filed a reply. ECF Nos. 8, 12. The court now grants the
motion to dismiss, finding the complaint fails to
meaningfully distinguish between the multiple defendants in
regards to the five claims for relief and the multiple
plaintiffs in regards to the alleged damages.
owns ESI Security, which provides private security services
for businesses, individuals, and special events. ECF. No. 1,
Ex. 2. Because ESI Security offers services including private
patrol officers, it is regulated by the Board. Id.
Ingram serves as the Board's executive director, and
Irizarry serves as the Board's deputy executive director.
Id. Woodruff works as an investigator for the Board.
and ESI Security sues the Board, Ingram, Irizarry, and
Woodruff, alleging five causes of actions: (1) intentional
interference with contractual relations, (2) interference
with prospective business advantage, (3) violation of 42
U.S.C. § 1983 based on the Privileges and Immunities
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, (4) injunctive relief,
and (5) defamation per se. Id.
claims stem from occurrences related to an administrative
proceeding held by the Board. See Id. ESI Security
accrued several notices of violations from the Board,
prompting it to enter into a settlement agreement to resolve
the notices. Id. Under the settlement agreement, ESI
Security agreed to pay certain fines and attorney fees
according to a schedule outlined in the agreement.
Id. It also agreed to an eighteen-month probationary
period, during which ESI Security agreed to surrender its
license if it were found guilty upon any new notices of
violations by way of a hearing in front of the Board.
months later, ESI Security received a new notice of
violations because its sister company failed to register an
employee with the Board. Id. ESI Security sought a
hearing before the Board. Id. A complaint was then
served on ESI Security, alleging that ESI Security failed to
make timely payments under the settlement agreement and
requesting that ESI Security's license be revoked.
thereafter, the defendants allegedly contacted ESI
Security's existing and prospective customers.
Id. The defendants allegedly communicated to the
customers that ESI Security: (1) was going to lose its
license; (2) was using non-registered employees, (3) was
overcharging for its services, and (4) was understaffing in
violation of a contract. Id. The defendants then
allegedly advised ESI Security's customers to seek a
different company for security services. Id.
Board then conducted a hearing on both the notice of
violations and the allegedly late payments. Id. It
eventually found ESI Security guilty of the new violations
but declined to revoke ESI Security's license.
Id. The Board also found that ESI Security did not
make untimely payments. Id. The Board ultimately
ordered ESI Security to pay a fine and reasonable attorney
fees. Id. ESI Security has appealed the decision.
the matter initially being filed in state court, Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) governs this matter. See
Faulkner v. ADT Sec. Servs., Inc., 706 F.3d 1017, 1021
(9th Cir. 2013) (citing Kearns v. Ford Motor Co.,
567 F.3d 1120, 1125 (9th Cir. 2009)).
may seek the dismissal of a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) for
failure to state a legally cognizable cause of action.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) (stating that a party
may file a motion to dismiss for “failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted[.]”). To survive
a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a complaint
must satisfy the notice pleading standard of Federal Rule
8(a)(2). See Mendiondo v. Centinela Hosp. Med. Ctr.,
521 F.3d 1097, 1103 (9th Cir. 2008). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 8(a)(2) does not
require detailed factual allegations; however, a pleading
that offers only “‘labels and conclusions' or
‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action'” is insufficient and fails to meet this
broad pleading standard. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
sufficiently allege a claim under Rule 8(a)(2), viewed within
the context of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint
must “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570). A claim has facial plausibility when the
pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference, based on the court's judicial
experience and common sense, that the defendant is liable for
the alleged misconduct. See Id. at 678-679 (stating
that “[t]he plausibility standard is not akin to a
probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a
complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a
defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of entitlement to
relief.”) (internal quotation marks and citations
in reviewing a motion to dismiss, the court accepts the
factual allegations in the complaint as true. Id.
However, bare assertions in a complaint amounting “to
nothing more than a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
. . . claim . . . are not entitled to an assumption of
truth.” Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d
962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
698) (internal quotation marks omitted). The court discounts
these allegations because “they do nothing more than
state a legal conclusion-even if that conclusion is cast in
the form of a factual allegation.” Id.
“In sum, for a complaint to survive a motion to