United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS RE:
DKT. NOS. 19, 29
J. DAVILA United States District Judge.
Jardine Byrne (“Plaintiff”) brings this action
against Santa Cruz County (“County”), the County
of Santa Cruz Board of Law Library Trustees, and individuals
library employees Renee Fleming and Julia Hill
(“Library Defendants”), alleging various
violations of her federal and state constitutional rights
arising from the suspension of her after-hours access to the
Santa Cruz County Law Library. See Dkt. No. 1
(“Compl.”) at ¶¶ 1-8. Plaintiff asserts
six causes of action that she identifies as follows:
1. “Petition for Writ of Mandate, C.C.P.
2. “Violation of Constitutional Rights Title 42 Section
1983 Retaliation for Exercise of First and Fourteenth
Amendment Right to Petition Government for Redress of
3. “Violation of Substantive and Procedural Due Process
Due Process Clause of Fourteenth Amendment to U.S.
Constitution Violation of Brown Act and Bagley-Keene
4. “Denial of Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection
Title 42 Section 1983;”
5. “Violation of State Constitutiona1 Rights Bane Act
CCP 52.1 (b);” and
6. “Preliminary and Permanent Injunction Relief”
See Compl. at ¶¶ 33, 37, 46, 52, 55.
Presently before the court are separate motions to dismiss
brought by the County and the Library Defendants. Dkt. Nos.
jurisdiction arises pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 28
U.S.C. § 1367. These matters are suitable for decision
without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b).
Accordingly, the hearing scheduled for March 23, 2017, is
VACATED. After carefully considering Plaintiff's
allegations and the papers submitted by both parties in this
matter, the court finds the defendants' motions
well-taken. Accordingly, the court will grant dismissal for
the reasons explained below.
is a resident of Santa Cruz County who had been granted
after-hours access to the Santa Cruz County Law Library (the
“Library”) since 2007. Comp. at ¶ 19.
However, Plaintiff's after-hours access was suspended by
Library employees on March 21, 2016. Id. at ¶
10. Though the pleading lack clarity, as the court
understands the allegations, the incident that resulted in
Plaintiff's suspension is as follows.
evening of March 17, 2016, Plaintiff brought a personal
“office instrument” - a scanner - into the
Library. Id. at ¶¶ 13-14. Plaintiff
contends that this was the first time she had ever brought
such an instrument to the Library, and that she did so for
safekeeping so that it would not get stolen from her vehicle.
Id. at 14. An unnamed Library employee then reported
that Plaintiff used the scanner at the Library that night.
Id. at ¶ 13. Defendant Renee Fleming
(“Fleming”), the librarian at the Law Library,
then suspended Plaintiff's after-hours access, explaining
that Plaintiff's alleged use of a personal scanner in the
Library “boke library rules.” Id. at
¶¶ 4, 10, 16. Plaintiff maintains that she never
used the scanner while at the Library. Id. at ¶
13. Fleming left Plaintiff a voicemail informing her of the
suspension of her after-hours access on March 21, 2016.
Id. at 10.
regular access to the Library during daytime hours was
unaffected by the suspension. However, Plaintiff asserts that
daytime hours are “not conducive to a pro se” due
to increased demand for resources, high volume of patrons,
and increased noise and interruptions. Id. at ¶
19. She contends that this is inconvenient for her as a pro
se litigant because she has numerous pending cases, the legal
demands of which require after-hours access to the Library.
then requested and/or indicated her desire to appeal her
suspension to the Santa Cruz Board of Law Library Trustees
(the “Trustee Board”). Id. at ¶ 22.
Although Plaintiff alleges she did not receive “notice
nor agenda” of the Board Meeting, on April 29, 2016,
Plaintiff appeared at the Meeting to contest the suspension
of her after after-hours library privileges. See id.
at ¶¶ 24, 25, 26, 31, 33, 34, 40. The Board denied
Plaintiff's appeal and informed Plaintiff of the decision
by mail on June 4, 2016. Id. at ¶ 31. Plaintiff
filed the instant action on June 13, 2016. See Dkt.