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Olagues v. Marin District Attorney

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 23, 2014

John A. Olagues, Plaintiff,
Marin District Attorney, et al., Defendants.


JEFFREY S. WHITE, District Judge.

Now before the Court are the motions to dismiss filed by defendants Edward S. Berberian, the Marin County District Attorney, and Leon Kousharian, a Marin County Deputy District Attorney (collectively, the "Marin Defendants"), by Kamala D. Harris, the Attorney General of California ("California AG"), and by Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick ("Jefferson Parish DA") and the motion by the Marin Defendants regarding future filings.[1] The Court finds that these matters are appropriate for disposition without oral argument and are deemed submitted. See N.D. Cal. Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). Accordingly, the hearing set for August 1, 2014 is hereby VACATED. Having carefully reviewed the parties' papers, considered their arguments and the relevant legal authority, the Court hereby grants Defendants' motions to dismiss and the Marin Defendants' motion regarding future filings.[2]


This is yet another lawsuit by Olagues is challenging events that first occurred in 2003. This Court heard a civil action filed by Olagues filed in 2004 and a habeas petition filed by Olagues in 2007 to challenge his conviction related to the events alleged in the 2004 civil action. None of Olagues' claims raised in these prior lawsuits have been found meritorious by a court. In this instant action, Olagues seeks a declaration from the Court that he was never convicted of a crime, that it should be determined that it is as if he was never prosecuted, that he was not a fugitive because he did not commit any crime in California, that he was never sentenced, and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") should declare that all of his rights related to any criminal conviction have been restored. Olagues initially sought declarations regarding the custody of his children, but later "withdrew" those requests. (Docket No. 60.)

The Court will address additional facts as necessary in the remainder of this Order.


A. Applicable Legal Standards.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) governs dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction. It is the plaintiff's burden to establish the court's personal jurisdiction over a defendant. Menken v. Emm, 503 F.3d 1050, 1056 (9th Cir. 2007). Courts may consider evidence presented in affidavits to assist in its determination and may order discovery on jurisdictional issues. Data Disc, Inc. v. Systems Technology Assoc., Inc., 557 F.2d 1280, 1285 (9th Cir. 1977). However, when "a district court acts on a defendant's motion to dismiss without holding an evidentiary hearing, the plaintiff need make only a prima facie showing of jurisdictional facts to withstand the motion to dismiss... That is, the plaintiff need only demonstrate facts that if true would support jurisdiction over the defendant." Ballard v. Savage, 65 F.3d 1495, 1498 (9th Cir. 1995) (citations omitted); see also AT&T v. Compagnie Bruxelles Lambert, 94 F.3d 586, 588 (9th Cir. 1996) (holding that where the trial court ruled on jurisdictional issue based on affidavits and without holding an evidentiary hearing, plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing). Where the facts are not directly controverted, plaintiff's version of the facts is taken as true. See AT&T, 94 F.3d at 588. Likewise, conflicts between the facts contained in the parties' affidavits must be resolved in a plaintiff's favor for purposes of deciding whether a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction exists. Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004).

"Personal jurisdiction over a defendant is proper if it is permitted by a long-arm statute and if the exercise of that jurisdiction does not violate federal due process." Pebble Beach Co. v. Caddy, 453 F.3d 1151, 1154 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. Nat'l Bank of Cooperatives, 103 F.3d 888, 893 (9th Cir. 1996)). Because California's long arm statute is co-extensive with federal due process requirements, the jurisdictional analyses under California law and federal due process are the same. See Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 801.

Due process precludes a court from asserting jurisdiction over a defendant unless the defendant has certain minimum contacts with the forum state. See International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 320 (1945). The defendant's "conduct and connection with the forum State" must be such that the defendant "should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there." World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297 (1980). Lastly, the maintenance of an action in the forum must not offend traditional conceptions of fair play and substantial justice. See International Shoe, 326 U.S. at 320.

Whether a party's contacts with the forum are sufficient to permit the state to exercise jurisdiction depends upon the particular facts of each case. Thos P. Gonzalez Corp. v. Consejo Nacional de Produccion de Costa Rica, 614 F.2d 1247, 1251 (9th Cir. 1980). For specific jurisdiction, "the issue of whether jurisdiction will lie turns on an evaluation of the nature and quality of the defendant's contacts in relation to the cause of action." Data Disc, 557 F.2d at 1287; see also Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 788 (1984) ("In judging minimum contacts, a court properly focuses on the relationship among the defendant, the forum, and the litigation.") (internal quotations and citation omitted).

Specific jurisdiction over a defendant exists where: (1) the defendant has purposefully directed his or her activities at residents of the forum state or in the forum state itself; (2) the plaintiff's claim arises out of or relates to those activities; and (3) the assertion of personal jurisdiction is reasonable and fair. Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 802; see also Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472-77 (1985). "The plaintiff bears the burden of satisfying the first two prongs of the test. If the plaintiff fails to satisfy either of these prongs, personal jurisdiction is not established in the forum state." Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 802 (internal citation omitted). "On the other hand, if the plaintiff succeeds in satisfying both of the first two prongs, the burden then shifts to the defendant to present a compelling case that the exercise of jurisdiction would not be reasonable." Menken, 503 F.3d at 1057 (internal quotations and citations omitted).

When a defendant moves to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the court has jurisdiction to decide the claim. Thornhill Publ'n Co. v. Gen. Tel. & Elecs. Corp., 594 F.2d 730, 733 (9th Cir. 1979). Federal courts can only adjudicate cases which the Constitution or Congress authorize them to adjudicate: cases involving diversity of citizenship, or those cases involving a federal question, or where the United States is a party. See, e.g., Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994).

A motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1) may be "facial or factual." Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004). Where an attack on jurisdiction is a "facial" attack on the allegations of the complaint, as is the case here, the factual allegations of the complaint are taken as true and the non-moving party is entitled to have those facts construed in the light most favorable to him or her. Federation of African Am. Contractors v. City of Oakland, 96 F.3d 1204, 1207 (9th Cir. 1996).

A motion to dismiss is proper under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) where the pleadings fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Court construes the allegations in the complaint in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all material allegations in the complaint are taken to be true. Sanders v. Kennedy, 794 F.2d 478, 481 (9th Cir. 1986). However, even under the liberal pleading standard of Rule 8(a)(2), "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the ...

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