United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING UNITED STATES’ MOTION TO
HONORABLE LARRY ALAN BURNS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case arises out of the death of Daniel Pedroza. Plaintiffs
allege that an officer with the Oceanside Police Department
shot Pedroza without probable cause. Plaintiffs have sued
three federal defendants-U.S. Internal Affairs, the U.S.
Department of Justice, and the White House. The United States
has moved to dismiss the claims against these three
defendants. (Docket no. 30.)
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) challenges a complaint’s
jurisdictional allegations. If the court determines at any
time that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the court
must dismiss the action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). The burden of
proof on a Rule 12(b)(1) motion is on the party asserting
jurisdiction. Sopcak v. N. Mountain Helicopter
Serv., 52 F.3d 817, 818 (9th Cir. 1995).
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state
a claim challenges the legal sufficiency of a complaint.
Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001).
The Court must accept all factual allegations as true and
construe them in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs.
Cedars Sinai Med. Ctr. v. Nat'l League of Postmasters
of U.S., 497 F.3d 972, 975 (9th Cir. 2007).
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
to Sue Federal Agencies Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
brings their first cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Section 1983 “impose[s] liability upon a
‘person, ’ and a federal agency is not a
‘person’ within the meaning of these
provisions.” Jachetta v. United States, 653
F.3d 898, 908 (9th Cir. 2011). Nor is the White House.
Cf. Lamb v. White House Staff, 2009 WL 2526442, at
*2 (D.S.C. July 22, 2009) (dismissing claim against
“White House Staff” because “a defendant in
a section 1983 action must qualify as a ‘person,
’” and White House Staff did not). Because the
federal defendants are not “persons, ” Plaintiffs
fail to state a § 1983 claim against them.
remainder of Plaintiffs’ claims arise under state tort
law. Alleged violations of state tort law by the federal
government can be maintained only in an action pursuant to
the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). FDIC v. Craft,
157 F.3d 697, 706 (9th Cir. 1988) (“The FTCA is the
exclusive remedy for tortious conduct by the United
States.”). The filing of an administrative claim with
the appropriate federal agency is a jurisdictional
prerequisite to filing an FTCA suit. Brady v. United
States, 211 F.3d 499, 502 (9th Cir. 2000). Plaintiffs
bear the burden of establishing jurisdiction under the FTCA
and must affirmatively allege compliance with the
FTCA’s administrative exhaustion requirement.
Gillespie v. Civiletti, 629 F.2d 637, 640 (9th Cir.
1980) (“The timely filing of an administrative claim is
a jurisdictional prerequisite to the bringing of a suit under
the FTCA, and, as such, should be affirmatively alleged in
the complaint” (internal citation omitted)). Plaintiffs
do not allege compliance with the FTCA’s exhaustion
requirement, so the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over their tort claims against the federal defendants.
to Allege Facts to State a Claim Against Federal
repeatedly refer to conduct performed by “Defendants,
” but never mention any acts specifically performed by
the federal defendants. Plaintiffs therefore fail to give the
federal defendants fair notice of a legally cognizable claim
against them. See Malletier v. The Flea Mkt, Inc.,
2009 WL 1625946, at *2 (N.D. Cal. June 10, 2009).
United States’ motion to dismiss (Docket no. 44) is
GRANTED. Plaintiffs’ claims against the federal
defendants are DISMISSED. If Plaintiffs think they can amend
their complaint to fix the problems identified in this order
and the United States’ ...