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Maurice Peter Eunice v. United States of America Et. Al

February 26, 2013

MAURICE PETER EUNICE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ET. AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Gonzalo P. Curiel United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS [Dkt. Nos. 17, 21.]

On June 29, 2012, Plaintiff Maurice Peter Eunice filed a complaint against Defendants. On October 1, 2012, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint ("FAC") against Defendants United States of America; Patrick Kelly; Patrick Ryan; Mike Mervos; Bethany Watrous; Steve M. Kingkade; Jeff Davis; City of El Cajon; and City of La Mesa. (Dkt. No. 10.)

On October 16, 2012, Defendant United States of America filed a motion to dismiss. (Dkt. No. 17.) On November 30, 2012, the Court granted Plaintiff's ex parte motion dismissing United States of America, Patrick Ryan, Patrick Kelly, Mike Mervos, Steve Kingkade and Bethany Waltrous ("Federal Defendants") from the third, fourth, fifth and sixth causes of action without prejudice. (Dkt. No. 25.) On December 3, 2012, Plaintiff filed an opposition to Defendant's motion. (Dkt. No. 27.) In the opposition, Plaintiff states it has dismissed the United States as a Defendant in the first amended complaint. (Id.) Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Federal Defendants' motion to dismiss.

On October 31, 2012, Defendants City of El Cajon and Jeff Davis filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 21.) Plaintiff filed an opposition on December 3, 2012. (Dkt. No. 26.) Defendants filed a reply on December 17, 2012. (Dkt. No. 28.)

The motion is submitted on the papers without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). After a review of the briefs, supporting documentation, and applicable law, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss.

Background

According to the first amended complaint, Plaintiff has owned the commercial properties at 419/421/423 El Cajon Boulevard in El Cajon, CA since 1995. (Dkt. No. 10, FAC ¶ 26.) He initially leased the property to a taco shop that eventually expanded and moved out. (Id. ¶ 27.) In 1996, Plaintiff began leasing the properties to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club as a clubhouse. (Id. ¶ 28.) On August 2, 2011, Defendant Patrick Ryan of the Drug Enforcement Agency ("DEA") obtained a search warrant for the properties. (Id. ¶ 29.) The DEA agents went to the properties with El Cajon and La Mesa police officers. (Id. ¶ 30.) Defendants knew that Plaintiff owned the properties, knew Plaintiff's contact information and knew how to obtain the keys to the properties. (Id. ¶ 31.) Instead of calling Plaintiff, Defendants blew up the doors and windows using explosives. (Id. ¶ 32.) Plaintiff contends that Defendants had no reasons to blow up Plaintiff's property but acted out of malice in order to intimidate Plaintiff for leasing properties to Hells Angels as Defendants held ill will towards members of that group. (Id. ¶ 33-34.)

Defendants caused extensive damage to the frame and foundation of the buildings and the water pipes that ran beneath the properties. (Id. ¶ 36.) In addition, a three year old dog, Molly, was in the courtyard of the properties and after the explosion, Defendants let Molly out of the property and out into the traffic street. (Id. ¶¶ 37, 38.) Once Defendants gained entry into the properties, they continued their destruction by smashing windows and throwing photographs off of the walls and stepped on the faces of the people depicted in the photographs. (Id. ¶ 39.)

As to Jeff Davis and the City of El Cajon, Plaintiff asserts a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim alleging a violation of the Fourth Amendment for an unreasonable seizure, and alleges state law causes of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, conversion and violation of California Civil Code section 52.1.

Discussion

Defendants Jeff Davis and the City of El Cajon move to dismiss, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), all claims against them. Plaintiff opposes.

A. Legal Standard for Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits dismissal for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate where the complaint lacks a cognizable legal theory or sufficient facts to support a cognizable legal theory. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). A complaint may survive a motion to dismiss only if, taking all well-pleaded factual allegations as true, it contains enough facts to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. "In sum, for a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the non-conclusory factual content, and reasonable inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief." Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009) (quotations omitted). In reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court accepts as true all facts alleged in the complaint, and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. al-Kidd v. Ashcroft, 580 F.3d 949, 956 (9th Cir. 2009).

B. Second Cause of Action as to Defendants City of El Cajon*fn1 and Jeff Davis - 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 Defendant Davis argues that Plaintiff has failed to state a plausible claim for relief against him based on supervisor liability. In his opposition, Plaintiff contends that the first amended complaint states that Davis supervised and directly participated in the destruction of property, ...


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