United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [ECF
NOS. 5, 7, 8, 9, 11]
P. GORDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Kelvin Karl Blackman, Jr. filed this pro se action against
his employer, Paris Las Vegas Operating Company, LLC
(incorrectly named Caesar's Entertainment Inc.). Blackman
alleges Paris is violating his Fourth Amendment rights by
garnishing a portion of his wages pursuant to a child support
order issued in California. Paris moves to dismiss the
complaint, as frivolous and failing to meet minimal pleading
standards. It also argues that I should dismiss with
prejudice because amendment would be futile. I grant the
is employed by Paris. ECF No. 1-1 at 18. The Child Support
Enforcement Agency in Los Angeles issued an Income
Withholding Order (IWO) on April 8, 2019, requiring Paris to
deduct from Blackman's earnings $739 per month for
current child support and $184.75 per month for past-due
child support. Id. at 19. The IWO and attached
notice letter were issued by a child support representative
from the California Department of Child Support Services.
See Id. at 19-21, 25-26. On April 24, 2019,
Paris's payroll department informed Blackman that it is
obligated to comply with the IWO and attached a copy of the
order. Id. at 12. On May 23, 2019, Paris's
payroll department wrote to Blackman that it “cannot
stop your child support order without the Termination Order
sent from the Los Angeles Child Support Agency” and
directing Blackman to contact the agency with any questions.
Id. at 17. It is possible this letter was in
response to Blackman's request that Paris cease
garnishing his wages, though it is unclear when Blackman
wrote to his employer. Id. at 27 (“Notice
Demanding Employer to Cease and Desist Sending Personal
Property to Child Support Agency”).
alleges that his Fourth Amendment right to be free from
unreasonable search and seizure was violated when Paris
complied with the IWO because the order came from an agency
and is not a warrant issued by a court. Id. at 4,
27. Additionally, he alleges that the IWO has no legal force
because it does not have a judicial signature and it violates
the separation of powers doctrine. Id. at 6, 7.
considering a motion to dismiss, “all well-pleaded
allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed
in a light most favorable to the non-moving party.”
Wyler Summit P'ship v. Turner Broad. Sys., Inc.,
135 F.3d 658, 661 (9th Cir. 1998). However, I do not assume
the truth of legal conclusions merely because they are cast
in the form of factual allegations. See Clegg v. Cult
Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754-55 (9th Cir. 1994).
A plaintiff must make sufficient factual allegations to
establish a plausible entitlement to relief. Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007). Such
allegations must amount to “more than labels and
conclusions, [or] a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action.” Id. at 555.
complaints are construed liberally. Nordstrom v.
Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2014).
“Dismissal of a pro se complaint without leave to amend
is proper only if it is absolutely clear that the
deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by
amendment.” Schucker v. Rockwood, 846 F.2d
1202, 1203-04 (9th Cir. 1988) (quotation and citation
complaint fails because both federal and state law immunizes
employers from civil liability for complying with an IWO.
See 42 U.S.C. § 666(b) (“An employer who
complies with an income withholding notice that is regular on
its face shall not be subject to civil liability to any
individual or agency for conduct in compliance with the
notice.”); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 130.504 (“An
employer that complies with an income-withholding order
issued in another state in accordance with NRS 130.501 to
130.507, inclusive, is not subject to civil liability to a
natural person or agency with regard to the withholding of
child support by the employer from the income of the
does not allege that the IWO is not regular on its face. And
as Paris asserts in its motion, the IWO form that Blackman
attaches to his complaint is the federal OMB IWO form.
See ECF No. 1-1 at 19-21. Blackman alleges that the
form is invalid because it lacks a judicial signature, but
both statutes allow state agencies to enforce IWOs.
See 42 U.S.C. § 666(c)(1)(F) (stating that
state agencies can order income withholding); Nev. Rev. Stat.
§ 130.501 (“An income-withholding order issued in
another state may be sent by or on behalf of the obligee or
by a support-enforcement agency to the person defined as the
obligor's employer.”). To the extent Blackman is
challenging the constitutionality of the Uniform Interstate
Family Support Act, that action should be brought against the
state agency or official charged with enforcing the statute.
See generally Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971).
Paris is immune from civil liability under federal and Nevada
law for complying with an income withholding order, amendment
would be futile. Any issues Blackman has regarding the income
withholding order might be directed to the state agency
issuing the order or the court that ruled on the underlying
judgment for child support. I therefore grant Paris's
motion to dismiss with prejudice. I deny Blackman's
motions (ECF Nos. 7, 8, 9, 11) as moot.
THEREFORE ORDER that defendant Paris Las Vegas Operating
Company, LLC's motion to dismiss (ECF No. 5) is
GRANTED. The complaint is dismissed with prejudice.
The clerk of court is instructed to enter judgment in favor
of the defendant and against the plaintiff, and to close this
FURTHER ORDER that plaintiff Kelvin Karl Blackman Jr.'s
pending motions (ECF Nos. 7, 8, 9, 11) are DENIED as