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Jimenez v. Dtrs St. Francis, LLC

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

November 8, 2013




On December 18, 2012, Plaintiff Andres Jimenez ("Plaintiff') commenced the instant action against various Defendants alleging both federal and state law claims arising out of his arrest following an altercation with Michael Judge ("Judge") at The Westin Saint Francis hotel in San Francisco, California. Dkt. 1. The parties are presently before the Court on Defendants'[1] motion to dismiss the second amended complaint ("SAC").[2] Dkt. 32. Plaintiff opposes the motion with respect to his federal claim but does not oppose the motion with respect to his state law claims. Dkt. 34. Having read and considered the papers filed in connection with this matter and being fully informed, the Court hereby GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss, for the reasons stated below. The Court, in its discretion, finds this matter suitable for resolution without oral argument. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b); N.D. Cal. Civ. L.R. 7-1(b).


Plaintiff is a Mexican-American male. SAC 3. He resides in Oakland, California. Id . Defendants are Delaware corporations that operate The Westin St. Francis hotel located at 335 Powell Street, San Francisco, California. Id . ¶¶ 4-5.

Plaintiff alleges that on or about March 17, 2012, he and his guest were harassed by Judge and falsely accused of "inappropriate behavior" while dining at the Bourbon Steak restaurant.[3] SAC ¶ 8. Following this incident, Plaintiff formally complained about Judge's conduct to the management of Bourbon Steak and The Westin St. Francis. Id.

Plaintiff further alleges that on the evening of May 25, 2012, [4] he was verbally taunted by Judge as he was passing through the lobby of The Westin St. Francis. SAC ¶ 9. Later that same evening, Judge allegedly taunted Plaintiff again as he was leaving the hotel. Id . In response, Plaintiff approached Judge and "verbally responded while touching his neck tie."[5] Id . (emphasis added).

As he was exiting the hotel, Plaintiff alleges that he was "tackled to the ground by two hotel security guards" who "violently ripped off [his] glasses and [his] conference I.D. badge (identifying him as Mexican-American) and handcuffed him causing bodily injury." SAC 10. Plaintiff asserts that he was "civilly arrested for the purpose of attempting to justify the unlawful use of force (assault and battery)." Id . Plaintiff was subsequently taken into custody by San Francisco Police officers and held overnight at the County Jail. Id.

On the morning of May 26, 2012, Plaintiff was released from custody and issued a citation "notifying him he was arrested for misdemeanor battery." SAC ¶ 10. However, criminal charges were not filed against Plaintiff See id.

On or about May 27, 2012, Plaintiff contacted "agents" of The Westin Saint Francis and complained about his treatment and arrest on May 25, 2012. SAC 12. Plaintiff was informed by the "agents" that his complaint would be investigated. Id . Plaintiff has "information and believes that his complaint was investigated and Defendants ratified the conduct of the two security guards." Id.


Pleadings in federal court are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), which requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief" Rule 12(b)(6) "tests the legal sufficiency of a claim." Navarro v. Block , 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). "Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is proper when the complaint either (1) lacks a cognizable legal theory or (2) fails to allege sufficient facts to support a cognizable legal theory." Somers v. Apple, Inc., 729 F.3d 953, 959 (9th Cir. 2013).

Although a complaint "does not need detailed factual allegations" to survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must provide "more than mere labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders "naked assertion[s]" devoid of "further factual enhancement." Id. at 557. A complaint must contain factual allegations sufficient to rise above the "speculative level." Id . It "must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). 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 . "Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief" Id . (quotation marks omitted).

In determining whether a complaint states a claim for relief, the court "accept[s] all factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe[s] the pleadings in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party." Outdoor Media Group, Inc. v. City of Beaumont , 506 F.3d 895, 900 (9th Cir. 2007). However, a court is not required "to accept as true allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences." In re Gilead Sciences Securities Litig. , 536 F.3d 1049, 1055 (9th Cir. 2008). In addition, "the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678. Where a complaint or claim is dismissed, ...

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