Collup v. City of Reno Police Department, No. 3:2007cv00353 - Document 30 (D. Nev. 2009)

Court Description: ORDER granting 28 Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff's request for leave to amend is granted; amended complaint due within 15 days. Signed by Judge Brian E. Sandoval on 07/31/09. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - LG)
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FN E ILTEE DRED rtv 1 FlE s ïh r lE lïdhr l vï:lON ysgyj urqyjësg;j qgggj j; 2 Itll- 2 1 2009 V 3 4 CLEEr l fq t î1:;IIIE S' (r ) J' JI RT ' ( a: rU l :i ( )I rR 1I . .' .. ' .G p,l ,t r PY2 ..- - .. s.. - prpl'yia. IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT CO U RT DISTRICT O F NEVA DA 8 9 RAYMO ND CO LLUP, 10 3:O7-CV-O0353-BES (RAM) Plaintiffs, VS. 12 O RDER CITY O F RENO ,ex rel.its 13 RENO POLICE DEPARTM ENT, Do Es I-V,RO E CORPORATIO NS I-V, 14 15 inclusive, Defendants. l6 17 Collup v. City of Reno Police Department 18 Presently before the Courtis DefendantCi ty ofReno's ('sDefendanf')Motion to Doc. 30 19 Dismiss PlaintifrsAmended Complaint(#28),filed August8,2008. PlaintiffRaymond 20 Collup (ddplaintiff') filed an Opposition (#29)to this Motion on November1O,2008,and 21 alternatively asks the CourtforIeave to am end. 22 Plaintiff's OriginalCom plaintwas filed in the Second JudicialDistrictCourtofthe 23 State ofNevada (No.CVO7 01460)on July 13,2007. OnAugust8,2007,Defendant 24 timelyremovedthecasetothisCourt.(Pet.forRemoval(#1)1).On September18,2008, 25 the MagistrateJudgeissuedanOrder(#26)grantingPlaintiffleavetoamendhisComplaint 26 to rem ove a claim of negligence,butdenying Plaintiff,on grounds of futility, Ieave to Dockets.Justia.com substitute nam ed partiesforJohn Doe defendants.On Septem ber30,2008,Plaintifffiled hisAmended Complaint(#27),which Defendantnow movesto dismiss. 1. BACKG RO UND 4 The Am ended Com plaintprovides no factualdescription ofthe incidentgiving rise 5 to this action, m aking it unclear w hat Plaintil specifically alleges to have occurred. 6 Although it is notentirely clearfrom the face ofthe Com plaint,it appears thatPlaintiff allegesthatofficers ofthe Reno Police Department('RPD'')violated hisrights underthe 8 Foudh Am endm entthrough use ofexcessive force,and now bringsan action fordam ages 9 under42 U.S.C.j 1983. 10 PlaintigallegesthattheCi tyofReno (.Ci ty''),actingthroughthe RPD,wasnegligent ll in hiring officers who ''had a reputation forfailure to protectthe civilrights ofpersons in 12 custodyand use ofexcessive force onthose persons.''(Am .Compl.(#27)$6). Plainti f'f 13 furtherallegesthatthese negligently hired officers then subjected Plaintiffto ''unlawful, 14 unjusti fied,excessive,and damaging force.''Ld-uat$7. As a resultofthisforce,Plaintil 15 alleges physicaland mentaldamage ''in excess of$10,000,*aswellas furthermedical l6 damages''inanamountnotpresentlyknown.''Ld...atW 8-9.Plaintiffoffersnofurtherfactual 17 details in his Am ended Com plaint. Defendantnow brings this M otion to Dism iss and 18 arguesthatPlaintiff'sAm ended Com plaintfailsto com plywith the requirem entsofFed.R. l9 Civ.P.8,and failsto statea claim uponwhich reliefcan be granted underRule 12(b)(6). 20 II. LEGAL STANDARD 2l Rule 8(a)(2)requires thata pleading contain .1 a shortand plain statementofthe 22 claim showingthatthe pleaderisentitled to relief.''Com plaintsthatare vague,conclusory, 23 general,and don'tsetforth any m aterialfacts are properly dism issed. North StarInt'lv. 24 Ariz.Coro.Comm'n,72O F.2d 578,583 (9thCir.1983). Pleadingsm ustcontain enough facts to state a claim thatis plausible on its face,ratherthan m erely conceivable.BellAtl. Coro.v.Twom blv,55O U.S.544,570 (2007). A Iiberalinterpretation of a civilrights 1 com plaintm ay notsupply essentialelementsofthe claim thatwere notinitially pled. Ivev 2 v.Bd.of Renents of Univ.ofAla.,673 F.2d 266,268 (9th Cir.1982). Vague and 3 conclusory allegations ofofficialparticipation in civilrights violations are notsufficientto 4 w ithstand a m otion to dism iss. $..The plai nti ffmustddallege with atleastsome degree of . 5 padicularityovertacts which defendantengaged in''thatsupports Plaintiff's claim .Jones 6 v.Cmtv.RedeveloDmentAaencv,733 F.2d 646,650-51(9th Cir.1984). The complaint 7 mustddgive fairnotice and state the elementsofthe claim plainly and succinctly.''Ld=. 8 9 111. DISCUSSION 10 A.Motion to dism iss underFed.R.Civ.P.8(a)(2) 11 Defendant argues that Plaintifrs Am ended Com plaintfails to m eetthe m inim al 12 notice pleading requirements prescribed by Rule 8(a)(1-2) because the Amended 13 Com plaint''provides no factualallegations' 'and 'contains only allegations made in the 14 abstractwithoutreferenceto anyspecific facts involvingthe plaintiE ''(Mot'n to Dismiss 15 (#28)2). Defendantarguesthatbecause the Amended Complaintcontains no specific 16 factualallegations,itprovides insufficientnotice to prepare a defense. In orderto satisfy the notice requirem entin a civilrights case,the plaintiffm ust S sallege with atIeastsom e degree ofparticularity overtacts which defendantengaged in,'' Jones,733 F.2d at650-51.Com plaints thatare vague,conclusory,general,and don'tset forth any m aterialfacts are properly dism issed. North Star,720 F.2d at583. Vague and conclusory allegations ofoficialpadicipation in civilrights vioiations are notsufficientto 22 withstand a m otion to dism iss,Ivev,673 F.2d at268. 23 Plaintiff's Am ended Com plaintstates two distinctclaims. Plaintil alleges thatthe 24 City and RPD hired police officers with a reputation forfailng to protectthe civilrights of 25 suspects in custody. Plaintiffnextalleges thatthese officers acted with recklessness, 26 negligence,and excessiveforce,resultingininjuriesto Plaintif.The Amended Complaint does not identify the officers. Itdoes notprovide any specific detailaboutthe officers reputations other than the conclusory Iegal statem ent that their reputation was for 3 excessive force. Itdoes notdescribe the officers'treatm entofplaintil in any detail,other 4 than to claim thatitwas ddunlawful,unjustified,excessive,and damaging,''resulting in 5 tlsevere,painful,permanentand disabling injuries'to plainti ff'snbodyand psyche.' (Am. 6 Compl.(//27)2). Plaintifrsfailure to describe with any particulari tythe overtacts in which Defendant 8 engaged deprives Defendantofm eaningfulnotice. The com plaintis vague,conclusory, 9 general, and doesn't set forth any materialfacts. Conclusory allegations of official 10 participation in civilrights violations are notsulicientto withstand a m otion to dism iss. Consequently,the Am ended Com plaintfailsto provide the notice required by Rule 8,and 12 issubjectto dismissal. 13 Defendantsalso m ove to dism iss Plainti ff'sAm ended Com plaintforfailure to state 14 a claim upon which reliefcan be granted underFed.R.Civ.P.12(b)(6). Because the 15 Courtfinds the pleadings insufficientunderRule 8,itis unnecessaryto address the Rule 16 12(b)(6)argumentsatthistime. 17 B. RequestforIeave to am end the com plaint. 18 Plaintiff presents additionalfactual details in his O pposition not found in the 19 complaint,and states,'Eslhould the Eq ourtfind thatthe com plaintis in anyway Iacking, 20 Plaintiffrequests thathe be allowed to am end his com plaintto correctany deficiencies.'' 21 (Opp'n (#29)6). 22 23 This Court has indeed found the Am ended Com plaint Iacking in factualdetail sufficientto provide m eaningfulnoticeto defendants.Plainti ff'srequestforleaveto am end 24 the com plaintw illconsequently be considered. 25 26 Leavetoamend''shallbefreelygivenwhenjusticesorequires.''Fed,R.Civ.P.15(a). UnderRule 15(a),Ieave to amend shouid be granted freely untilthe defendantfiles a 1 responsive pleading. After that point, Ieave to am end should be granted unless 2 amendment(1)would cause prejudicetotheopposing pady,(2)issoughtinbadfaith,(3) 3 is futile,or(4)creates undue delay. Uni ted States ex.rel.Lee v.SmithKline Beecham. 4 Inc.,245F.3d 1048,1052 (9thCir.2001).Thesefactorsareofunequalweight,anddelay, 5 byitself,isinsufficienttojustifyIeavetoamend.DCD Proarams.Ltd.v.Leiahton,833F.2d 6 183,186 (9thCir.1987).Futilityofamendmentcan,byitself,justifythedenialofa motion 7 forIeave to amend. Bonin v.Calderon,59 F.3d 815,845 (9th Cir.1995). A proposed 8 am endm ent is futile ifno setoffacts can be proved underthe amendm entthatwould 9 constitute a valid claim ordefense. See M illerv.Rvkoff-sexton.Inc.,845 F.2d 209,214 10 (9th Cir.1988). '' Anotherfactoroccasionally considered when reviewing the denailofa 11 m otion forIeave to am end iswhetherthe plaintif'fhas previously am ended hercom plaint.' 12 DCD Proaram s,833 F.2d at183 n3.The padyopposingthe am endm entbearsthe burden 13 ofshowing why am endm entshould notbe granted. In applying this rule,the Ninth Circuit 14 has stated that''Rule 15's policy offavoring amendm entsto pleadings should be applied l5 with 'extreme liberality.'''DCD Proarams.Ltd.v.Leiahton,833 F.2d 183,186 (9th Cir. 16 1987). 17 Since Fed.R.Civ.P.15(a)istobeconstruedwith''extremeIiberality,''theCourtwill 18 grantPlaintiffIeave to am end his com plaintin orderto include suficientspecific factual 19 details to satisfy Rules 8(a)(2)and 12(b)(6). The Courtis mindfulthat Plaintiff has 2O am ended his com plaintonce already. However,Plainti ff's defecthere is Iargely form al, 21 since greaterfactualdetails have been alleged in docum ents otherthan the Com plaint. 22 23 Furtherm ore,Defendanthas notopposed this second m otion forIeave to amend. The second amended com plaintshould containfactualdescriptionsofthe incident, 24 including specific descriptions ofthe alleged police m isconduct,ratherthan the general 25 Iegalconclusionspresented inthisAmendedCom plaint(//27).Plaintiffshallrem ainbound 26 by the orderofthe M agistrate Judge w ith respectto the substitution ofparties as nam ed 1 defendants. 2 Considering the facts Plainti ff presented in his O pposition and in the facts 3 referenced by the M agistrate Judge's previous ruling on a m otion to am end,itdoes not 4 appearthatam endm entto this com plaintwould be futile,northatitis soughtin bad faith. 5 Since Defendanthas already once perm itted Plaintil to am end his claim ,a 15-day delay 6 willnotprejudice Defendant,norcause undue delay. 7 IV. CO NCLUSIO N 8 Forthe foregoing reasons,IT IS HEARBY ORDERED thatCityofReno's M otion to 9 Dismiss(#28)is GRANTED. 10 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED tIAatPlaintiff'srequestforleaveto am end isGRANTED. 11 Plaintil shallfile hisamended complaintwithin fifteen(15)daysofthisOrder. 12 DATED:This 31stday ofJuly,2009. l3 14 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDG E l9 2O 22 26