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Shaw v. County of San Diego

August 16, 2007

WALTER M. SHAW, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO; ALPINE SANITATION DISTRICT; SAN DIEGO FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT; AND DOES [DOC. NO. 14] 1--100, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge

ORDER: 1) GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS; and 2) DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

Presently before the court is a motion to dismiss filed by the County of San Diego ("County"), the Alpine Sanitation District, and the San Diego Flood Control District (collectively "defendants"). (Doc. No. 14.) For the following reasons, the court grants defendants' motion in part and denies defendants' motion in part.

BACKGROUND

This case involves approximately 14 acres of land ("property") in San Diego county that Walter M. Shaw ("plaintiff") once owned. (Amended Complaint ("AC") ¶ 8.) According to plaintiff, defendants conspired with one another over the course of 16 years to illegally utilize plaintiff's land. (Complaint ("Compl.") at ¶¶ 2-4, 6-8, 34.)

At some point in the 1980's, developers began building a subdivision called Crown Hills adjacent to plaintiff's property. (Id. ¶ 30.) Construction of the Crown Hills development necessitated connecting an existing main sewer line to the subdivision site. (Id. ¶ 31.) Plaintiff alleges that rather than constructing a pump and a connecting sewer line, defendants created a fraudulent map showing a pre-existing sewer line running through plaintiff's property, which could be used to connect the main sewer line to the subdivision. According to plaintiff, no such sewer line ever existed on his property. (Id. ¶ 33.)

The complaint does not clearly state the time line for subsequent events, but at some point after the fraudulent map was created, plaintiff began creating a site preparation map for his property. (Id. ¶ 42.) Plaintiff needed the approval of the County for this site preparation map. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that the County required him to grant an easement through his property for the sewer line needed for the Crown Hills development before it would approve his site preparation map. (Id. ¶¶ 34, 37, 40.) In 1986, plaintiff granted the easement to Alpine Sanitation District and San Diego Flood Control District.*fn1 (Id. ¶¶ 34, 43.) According to plaintiff, defendants used the 1985 fraudulent map and the easement plaintiff granted in 1986 to gain approval of the Crown Hills development plan in 1987. (Id. ¶ 37, 40.) Plaintiff alleges a lien was placed on his property in 1989 to finance the construction of the sewer line. Plaintiff claims the lien was improper because defendant had responsibility for financing and maintaining the sewer line. (Id. ¶¶ 42, 43.) Sometime in 2001, plaintiff became aware of the fraudulent map and also lost title to the property. (Id. at ¶ 39.)

On December 27, 2001, plaintiff filed a tort claim against the County with the Claims Division of the County of San Diego. (Id. ¶ 9.) On August 1, 2002, plaintiff filed a three-count complaint against the County in Superior Court alleging violation of a mandatory duty, negligence, and inverse condemnation. (Id. ¶10.) The state trial court granted the County's motion for summary judgment on November 3, 2003 and entered judgment on January 29, 2004. (Id. ¶ 11.)

On December 23, 2003, plaintiff filed an appeal of the state trial court's grant of summary judgment. (Id. ¶12.) The California Court of Appeal affirmed the state trial court's decision on July 15, 2005. (Id. ¶16.) Plaintiff moved for rehearing, which the California Court of Appeal denied on August 8, 2005. (Id. ¶ 17.) Plaintiff then appealed to the California Supreme Court, which denied plaintiff's petition for review on October 12, 2005. (Id. ¶18.)

After having exhausted the review available in the state courts, plaintiff filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on April 17, 2006. (Id. ¶ 19.) Plaintiff also filed a petition for rehearing. The Supreme Court denied plaintiff's petition on July 31, 2006. (Id. ¶20.)

Procedural Background

On December 8, 2006, plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a three-count complaint against defendants asserting: 1) use of a fraudulent map in violation of the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause; 2) use of a fraudulent map in violation of the California Subdivision Map Act; 3) Fraudulent Concealment of a mandatory duty; and 4) taking of property in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process. (Doc. No. 1.) Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, (Doc. No. 6), which the court granted on February 27, 2007. (Doc. No. 10.)

Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on April 27, 2007. (Doc. No. 13.) Defendants filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's amended complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) on May 7, 2007.*fn2 Plaintiff filed an opposition on July 19, 2007, (Doc. No. 17), and defendants filed their reply on July 30, 2007. (Doc. No. 18.) The matter is now fully briefed, and the court finds it appropriate for disposition without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1).

DISCUSSION

Legal ...


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