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Justice v. County of Yuba

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


October 22, 2010

TOMEKA JUSTICE, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR ACQUCER HILL, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COUNTY OF YUBA AND THOMAS OAKES, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Frank C. Damrell, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter is before the court on defendants County of Yuba (the "County") and Thomas Oakes' ("Oakes") (collectively "defendants") motion to strike plaintiffs' request for punitive damages against defendant County and defendant Oakes in his official capacity pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f). Plaintiffs Tomeka Justice, individually and as Guardian ad Litem for Acqucer Hill, ("plaintiffs") do not oppose the motion. Accordingly, defendants' motion to strike is GRANTED.

Defendants also move to dismiss plaintiffs' claims against the County for (1) law false arrest, imprisonment, and prosecution; (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED"); and (3) negligent infliction of emotional distress ("NIED") on the grounds that public entities are immune from common law claims. Plaintiffs oppose the motion, clarifying that they are not asserting any claims for direct liability against the County, but only vicarious liability based upon the conduct of its employees.

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), a pleading must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). Under notice pleading in federal court, the complaint must "give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal quotations omitted). "This simplified notice pleading standard relies on liberal discovery rules and summary judgment motions to define disputed facts and issues and to dispose of unmeritorious claims." Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002).

While plaintiffs clarify in their opposition that their common law claims against the County are based solely on vicarious liability, the complaint fails to set forth any allegations that would give defendants notice of this theory. Accordingly, defendants' motion to dismiss is GRANTED with leave to amend.

Plaintiffs shall file a second amended complaint in accordance with this order within ten (10) days of the date of this order. Defendants shall have twenty (20) days after service thereof to file a response.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20101022

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