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Mendenhall v. Christensen

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 3, 2017

JANICE MENDENHALL, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DIANA CHRISTENSEN, et al., Defendants.

          AMENDED ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          CHARLES R. BREYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The Court issued an order in this case on December 2, 2016. See Order (dkt. 18). It appears, however, that the order was not served on Plaintiffs. The Court therefore issues this amended order DISMISSING Plaintiffs' first amended complaint (“FAC”) with leave to amend within 30 days from the issuance of this amended order.

         Plaintiffs Janice Mendenhall and Mark Cato, proceeding pro se, bring this action against Diana Christensen, Ana Oseguda, Ivan Morales, and Joseph Quartell. Plaintiffs have been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. See IFP Order (dkt. 6). Pursuant to 26 U.S.C. section 1915, the Court dismissed the original complaint. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint which, for the reasons to follow, is DISMISSED with leave to amend.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The nature of Plaintiffs' action is unclear. As before, the FAC is entitled: “Complaint for Civil Rights Violation of Decisions of Commissioner of Social Services Appeals Unit of San Francisco, California” and appears to complain about the denial of state-subsidized public benefits for families like CalWorks and food stamps. See FAC (dkt. 17) at 1-5. The Plaintiff's allege a “deprivation of our [First] Amendment Right” to petition “for a governmental redress of grievances, ” which they take to mean a right to “make an official complaint to any government body without the fear of that body arresting you or sanctioning you in any way.” FAC at 2. They also allege a deprivation of their Seventh Amendment rights, which they maintain guards against the “establishment of arbitrary courts of justice, where the decision of the judges is subject to the whims and control of the government. Id. They then make the following allegations against each of the four named defendants - all of which they assert violated their civil rights:

         A. Allegations Against Defendant Diana Christensen

         Christensen refused to release “[i]information [r]elated to eligibility” for state benefits and hung up on Plaintiffs after telling them “I am not supposed to talk to you, if you want to get your money and see your case you must take us to court!” Id. She also made “numer[o]us error” and “intentionally typed [them] into the system.” Id.

         B. Allegations Against Defendant Ana Oseguda

         Oseguda “collaborated” with Christensen in not releasing eligibility information and “stopping access” to their state case. Id. She also participated in “misleading” them during state court proceedings by “stating that these our [sic] Judges when they are retired attorneys for the County.” Id. at 2-3. Finally, she “continue[s] to harass” their family. Id. at 3.

         C. Allegations Against Defendant Ivan Morales

         Morales “slander[ed] [Plaintiffs'] family name within the department of Human Services by label[ing] [their] case a hard case and putting out a statement that Mr. Cato was running from the law without any proof.” Id. He also “abuse[d] his power by doing whatever he wanted” with Plaintiffs' case in “retaliation” for an undisclosed exercise of First Amendment rights. Id. He did not provide adequate notice or explanation about why their request for retroactive public assistance was denied. Id. These actions, Plaintiffs allege, also violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act along with various state laws, which they take to not only prohibit discrimination but also require that people “be treated with courtesy, consideration, and respect.” Id.

         D. Allegations Against Defendant Joseph Quartell

         Quartell, a state collection agent, “incorrectly collected funds” from Plaintiffs “without sending an adequate notice to the family.” Id. at 4. Failure to correct these alleged errors caused Plaintiffs “pain and suffering.” Id.

         II. ...


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