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Gratia v. Stafford

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

January 23, 2015

AUBREE REGINA DEI GRATIA, Plaintiff,
v.
RODNEY JAY STAFFORD, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO DISMISS AND DENYING MOTION TO CHANGE VENUE Re: Dkt. Nos. 28, 31, 205

LUCY H. KOH, District Judge.

Plaintiff Aubree Regina Dei Gratia, also known as Rosalie Guancione ("Plaintiff"), brings this action against Rodney J. Stafford, Judge of the Santa Clara County Superior Court, Jeffrey Rosen, District Attorney of the County of Santa Clara, and Alexis Causey, Deputy District Attorney of the County of Santa Clara (collectively, "Defendants"). Before the Court are two motions to dismiss, one filed by Judge Stafford ("Mot. 1"), the second filed by Defendants Causey and Rosen ("Mot. 2"). ECF Nos. 28 & 31. Also before the Court is Plaintiff's "Motion for Mandatory Change of Venue." ECF No. 205. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds this matter appropriate for resolution without oral argument and hereby VACATES the hearing scheduled for January 29, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. The Court also VACATES the case management conference in this matter, also scheduled for January 29, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. Having considered the parties' submissions, the record in this case, and the applicable law, the Court GRANTS the Defendants' motions to dismiss with prejudice and DENIES Plaintiff's motion for mandatory change of venue as moot, for the reasons stated below.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

The following factual background is drawn from the statement of facts in Plaintiff's Complaint, the documents attached to the Defendants' request for judicial notice, and the Defendants' motions to dismiss.

Plaintiff is a resident of San Jose, California. ECF No. 1 ("Compl.") ¶ 10. On December 24, 2010, Santa Clara Police issued Plaintiff a traffic ticket. Id. ¶ 85; Mot. 2 at 2. On March 13, 2011, Plaintiff received a second traffic ticket. Id. ¶ 89. On or about December 6, 2013, Plaintiff sought to remove her traffic ticket cases to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of California. Id. ¶¶ 45, 50-51. On February 4, 2014, the Bankruptcy Court dismissed Plaintiff's action because it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over a state court criminal action. ECF No. 69-2 (Defendants Causey and Rosen's request for judicial notice of U.S. Bankruptcy Court order dismissing Plaintiff's case).

Judge Stafford presided over the subsequent misdemeanor trial of Plaintiff's two traffic tickets. ECF No. 32-1 (Defendants Causey and Rosen's request for judicial notice of superior court trail minutes). Defendant Causey was the deputy district attorney prosecuting the trial. ECF No. 32-1. The trial lasted from September 3 to September 5, 2014, after which the jury returned a guilty verdict. Id.; Compl. ¶ 114.

B. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed the Complaint in the instant action on September 4, 2014. See Compl. The thrust of Plaintiff's allegations is that her two traffic tickets were prosecuted "in the complete absence of jurisdiction, " apparently because Plaintiff believed she removed her traffic ticket cases to U.S. Bankruptcy Court, where the action was subsequently dismissed. Id. ¶¶ 44, 54-55. Plaintiff also alleges that the statute of limitations to prosecute her for her traffic tickets had run before her trial. Id. ¶¶ 86, 90. Plaintiff further alleges that the prosecutions resulted in a "double jeopardy violation" due to the "impaneling of a jury in two traffic ticket cases." Id. ¶ 42. In addition, Plaintiff appears to believe that pursuant to "common law copyright" she owns the rights to her name, "Rosalie Aubree Guancione, " as well as her alias, "HI&RH Empress Aubree Regina Dei Gratia." Id. ¶¶ 10; 70. Accordingly, Plaintiff alleges that each time Defendants used her name in a court document, they infringed "on the copyright of Plaintiff." Id. ¶ 109. Finally, Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants are "responsible for setting custom and policy for the SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA, in the conduct of prosecution of violations of rights, including civil rights." Id. at 4 (capitalization in original). Plaintiff asserts twelve causes of action: one claim of fraud in connection with the prosecution of her traffic tickets in spite of the alleged "lack of jurisdiction"; seven claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivation of her Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, also in connection with the prosecution of her traffic tickets; one claim of conspiracy pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1985 for "supporting letters of Office of State Attorney General and Office of City Attorney"; one claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1986 for "Double Jeopardy" and "Failure to Enforce and Protect a Civil Right"; and two claims of copyright violations. Id. at 22-23. Plaintiff seeks $1.5 million in compensatory damages, $1.5 million in punitive damages, and $8 million for the alleged violations of her common law copyright. Id. at 23.

On September 25, 2014, Defendants filed the instant motions to dismiss. Mot. 1 & Mot. 2. Defendants Rosen and Causey also filed a request for judicial notice. ECF No. 32. Plaintiff did not file a timely opposition to either motion to dismiss pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-3(a). However, on October 14, 2014, Plaintiff filed a "Motion to Strike... Defendant Rosen's and Causey's Motion to Dismiss." ECF No. 56. Plaintiff also filed an "Objection to Defendant Rosen's and Causey's Motion to Dismiss" on October 14, 2014. ECF No. 60. Similarly on October 20, 2014, Plaintiff filed a "Motion to Strike... Defendant Stafford's Motion to Dismiss."[1] ECF No. 64. Defendants Rosen and Causey filed a reply on October 23, 2014, as well as a supplemental request for judicial notice. ECF Nos. 68 & 69. Judge Stafford filed a reply on November 3, 2014. ECF No. 204.

On October 31, 2014, Plaintiff filed a "Motion for Mandatory Change of Venue." ECF No. 205. Defendants Rosen and Causey filed an opposition to Plaintiff's motion on November 12, 2014. ECF No. 207. Judge Stafford joined the opposition of Defendants Rosen and Causey on November 13, 2014. ECF No. 215. Plaintiff did not file any reply in support of her motion.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Motion to Dismiss

A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint. To withstand a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must "plead enough facts to state a claim that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "[A] formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. A court must determine whether the facts in a complaint "plausibly give rise to an entitlement of relief." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.662, 678 (2009). For purposes of ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court "accept[s] factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe[s] the pleadings in the light most favorable to the non-moving party." Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir. 2008). "[A] court may generally consider only allegations contained in the pleadings, exhibits attached to the complaint, and matters properly subject to judicial notice." Swartz v. KPMG LLP, 476 F.3d 756, 763 (9th Cir. 2007). In addition, a court need not accept as true conclusory allegations, unreasonable inferences, legal characterizations, or ...


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