United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT SISKIYOU COUNTY'S MOTION
A. MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Siskiyou County (“the County”) moves to dismiss
Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”).
ECF No. 59.Plaintiffs oppose the motion. ECF No. 61.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the
County's motion to dismiss.
Court takes the facts alleged by Plaintiffs-several Hmong
individuals who own property in the County-as true for
purposes of this motion.
an increase in the County's Hmong population, the County
“launched an attack” against Plaintiffs. SAC
¶ 5. The Board of Supervisors passed two ordinances
placing restrictions on growing medical marijuana. SAC ¶
6. The County discriminatorily enforced these ordinances
against Asian individuals. SAC ¶ 11.
early 2016, Plaintiffs “began registering to vote in
Siskiyou County, using the County-assigned parcel numbers of
their legally owned property as their residential
address.” SAC ¶ 18. The County Clerk flagged these
voter registration forms for possible voter fraud. SAC ¶
days in June 2016, County officers visited Plaintiffs'
properties, and at least one officer carried an assault rifle
with him. SAC ¶ 32. These visits scared at least five
plaintiffs out of voting in the June or November 2016
elections. SAC ¶¶ 54, 70, 82, 88, 108.
restrictions on marijuana cultivation passed as Measures T
and U in the June election. SAC ¶ 36. Since then,
“notices of nuisance violations have been issued
overwhelmingly to Asian property owners as opposed to white
property owners.” Id.
September 2016, the County “executed a series of search
warrants” on at least some Plaintiffs' properties.
SAC ¶ 42. The searching officers “handcuffed and
held at gunpoint” individuals who were present during
the searches and “ransacked” the properties of
those who were not present. SAC ¶ 43.
bring four claims against the County in their SAC: (1)
unreasonable search and seizure, (2) violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment, (3) municipal liability on a
failure-to-train theory, and (4) employer liability. SAC at
Court dismissed Plaintiffs' fourth claim for
“employer liability” against the County with
prejudice in its January 13, 2017 Order (“1/13/17
Order”). 1/13/17 Order at 7. Accordingly, the Court
strikes the fourth claim from the SAC.
First Cause of Action: § 1983 Unlawful Search and
government cannot be held liable pursuant to § 1983
under a theory of “respondeat superior.”
Christie v. Iopa, 176 F.3d 1231, 1234-35 (9th Cir.
1999). Instead, municipalities are liable only when action
pursuant to official municipal policy causes a constitutional
violation. Id. at 1235. The “official
policy” requirement “distinguishe[s] acts of the
municipality from acts of employees of the