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Steven Rogers-Dial, An Individual v. Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians; Bo Mazzetti; Stephanie Spencer

July 1, 2011

STEVEN ROGERS-DIAL, AN INDIVIDUAL;
SUZANNE ROGERS-DIAL, AN INDIVIDUAL; AND AUTOMOTIVE SPECIALISTS, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
RINCON BAND OF LUISENO INDIANS; BO MAZZETTI; STEPHANIE SPENCER; CHARLES KOLB; STEVE STALLINGS; KENNY KOLB; AND DOES 6-25, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge:

ORDER

The matters before the Court are the Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint filed by Defendants (ECF No. 25), and the Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by Plaintiffs (ECF No. 18).

I. Background

On December 23, 2010, Plaintiffs initiated this action by filing a Complaint. (ECF No. 1).

On February 7, 2011, Plaintiffs filed the First Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 11).

A. Allegations of the First Amended Complaint

Plaintiffs Steven Rogers-Dial and Suzanne Rogers-Dial "reside in their home on non-tribal-owned land, located at 33777 Valley Center Road, Valley Center, California," and "maintain and operate business on this Property, known as S & S Dump Truck Service, Inc." Id. ¶ 5. Plaintiff Automotive Specialists, LLC is a California limited liability company "doing business on non-tribal-owned land located at 33777 Valley Center Road, Valley Center, California." Id. ¶ 6. "Plaintiffs are each tenants residing in and/or doing business on the Property ... pursuant to rental agreements with Marvin Donius ..., the Plaintiffs' landlord, who is ... the owner in fee-simple of the Property." Id. ¶ 7.

"Defendant Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians ... is a 'sovereign nation' recognized as such by the United States Congress and under other applicable federal legislative and adjudicative law." Id. ¶ 8. The remaining Defendants are tribal council members of Defendant Rincon. "Defendants have placed concrete barriers in front of the Rogers-Dial residence to block these Plaintiffs from driving their vehicles in and out of their Property." Id. ¶ 15. "Defendants have been, and continue to, engage in an unlawful effort to force Plaintiffs off the Property, notwithstanding their lawful and binding leases with Donius.... Defendants have acquired the purported jurisdiction of The Intertribal Court of Southern California--Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians ..., and has caused a Preliminary Injunction ... to be issued by that Tribal Court." Id. ¶ 17. "To acquire its Injunction, Defendants asserted false allegations relating to claim of a supposed environmental hazard." Id. ¶ 20. "[T]he Plaintiffs have not been parties in any previous judicial action relating to the dispute...." Id. ¶ 27.

"Plaintiffs contend that any prospective or future actual or attempted enforcement against Plaintiffs by Defendants should be found, declared and adjudged facially unconstitutional, unconstitutional as applied, and/or illegal pursuant to applicable provisions of federal and California law." Id. ¶ 46. "Plaintiffs further contend that the Defendants do not presently have, nor will they in the future have, as a matter of law, any regulatory or adjudicatory authority as to these Plaintiffs and their leasehold interests in the Property." Id. ¶ 47.

The First Amended Complaint alleges two causes of action. The first cause of action seeks declaratory relief and the second cause of action seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief. Plaintiffs seek an "injunction requiring and ordering Defendants to desist and refrain from any further actual or attempted enforcement, prospectively and in the future, of any and all purported regulatory or adjudicative authority over these Plaintiffs and their leasehold interests...." Id. Plaintiffs seek "a declaration that the Defendants are not constitutionally or legally entitled to exercise regulatory or adjudicative authority or jurisdiction." (ECF No. 11-1 at 9).

B. Motion for Preliminary Injunction

On March 17, 2011, Plaintiffs filed the Motion for Preliminary Injunction in this Court. (ECF No. 18). Plaintiffs contend that "unless this Court issues a preliminary injunction preventing Defendants or permanent injunction requiring and ordering Defendants to desist and refrain from any further actual or attempted enforcement, prospectively and in the future, of any and all purported regulatory or adjudicative authority over these Plaintiffs and their leasehold interests, these Plaintiffs will suffer serious and irreparable injury and other damages that are no compensable in money damages or by monetary relief of any nature." (ECF No. 18-1 at 6).

On April 4, 2011, Defendants filed an opposition to the Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (ECF No. 19). Defendants contend:

Because they cannot assert a right independent from the landowners, current Plaintiffs cannot establish standing to challenge the Tribe's governmental authority, and their motion should be denied. Alternatively, the Motion should be denied because Plaintiffs cannot establish the requisite likelihood of success on the merits of their claims, which distill down to identical claims previously disposed of by this Court in RMCA v. Mazzetti and Donius v. Mazzetti. (See, 09cv2330 and 10cv0591, respectively). Consistent with this Court's rulings in those cases, Plaintiffs first must exhaust their tribal remedies before seeking Federal Court review of their broad challenges to the Tribe's jurisdiction.

Id. at 15. Defendants contend that "[t]he public interest in having sanitary drinking water and fire safety clearly outweighs Plaintiffs' alleged private right to engage in land use activities that threaten those core interests." Id. at 21.

On April 18, 2011, Defendants filed a supplement to their opposition to the Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (ECF No. 23). Defendants submitted a declaration from Randy Durham and other evidence which Defendants contend "demonstrates that Mr. Donius (Plaintiffs' 'alleged' landlord) does not own the Home where the Plaintiffs reside.... The Durham Declaration reveals that Plaintiffs Rogers-Dials have no legal right to reside in the Home located on the Subject Property and consequently have no standing to litigate claims regarding whether the Tribe has the authority to regulate their residential land use activities." Id. at 2. Defendants contend Durham's company, Metro Housing Development, own the title to the manufactured home in which Plaintiffs reside.

On April 29, 2011, Plaintiff submitted a response to Defendants' supplemental opposition to the Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (ECF No. 29). Plaintiffs contend that the supplemental evidence is "irrelevant and inadmissible" and "of no significance to this lawsuit." Id. at 6. Plaintiffs contend that "[a]lthough there may be a dispute between Donius and Durham, ... the issues are unrelated to the Plaintiffs' lawsuit against Defendants, and clearly are unrelated to the fundamental legal ...


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