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Mohammad v. King City Police Department

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

June 16, 2017

KHALID MOHAMMAD, Plaintiff,
v.
THE KING CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND; DENYING DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE [Re: ECF 18]

          BETH LABSON FREEMAN, United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Khalid Mohammad, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis (“IFP”), brings this civil rights action against the King City Police Department (“KCPD”). See generally First Am. Compl. (“FAC”), ECF 11. Plaintiff alleges that a KCPD officer, “KCPD-DOE, ” acting in his official capacity, arrested him on November 16, 2004, in King City, California. Id. ¶ 4. He further alleges that he was incarcerated in California from that date until December 4, 2011, “without prosecution, without a sentence, without a court order, without an underlying conviction, without a verdict of guilty, without a plea of guilty, without a finding of guilt[ ], without any admission(s) of guilt [ ], and/or without any consent from the plaintiff[.]” Id. For this conduct, Plaintiff brings claims under California Government Code §§ 815-818.92 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id. ¶ 12. As to the latter, Plaintiff seeks to hold KCPD liable “under the standard established by the United States Supreme Court in Monell v. Department of Social Services, ” 436 U.S. 658 (1978), and for unlawful imprisonment in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id.

         KCPD seeks to dismiss Mohammad's FAC without leave to amend pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). See Mot., ECF 18. Plaintiff did not file an opposition to Defendant's motion, and Defendant filed a notice of no opposition. ECF 20. For the reasons stated herein, KCPD's motion to dismiss the FAC is GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND. Defendant has also filed a request for judicial notice, which the Court DENIES. ECF 19.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges the following facts in his First Amended Complaint: KCPD-DOE arrested and incarcerated Mr. Mohammad from November 16, 2004 through December 4, 2011, “without prosecution, without a sentence, without a court order, without an underlying conviction, without a verdict of guilty, without a plea of guilty, without a finding of guilty, without any admission(s) of guilt by the plaintiff, and/or without any consent from the plaintiff[.]” FAC ¶ 4. Mohammad avers that he is actually innocent and informed KCPD-DOE of his innocence, and yet, KCPD-DOE ignored his claims and proceeded with the unlawful imprisonment. Id. ¶ 8. Mohammad further claims that after his release, he filed multiple Petitions for a Writ of Habeas Corpus in state court to establish his innocence, all of which were denied on procedural grounds. Id. ¶ 10.

         Mohammad brings claims under California Government Code §§ 815-818.92 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id. ¶ 12. Specifically, he alleges that KCPD and KCPD-DOE engaged in a scheme to detain, arrest, and incarcerate him without cause or authority to do so. Id. ¶¶ 12-13. He further alleges that he suffered irreversible harm as a result of this scheme: loss of liberty, loss of income, and loss of his mortgage. Id. ¶ 13.

         This is the third time Mr. Mohammad has filed a claim arising out of his arrest and subsequent incarceration. See Mohammad v. Cal. Dep't of Corrs. (Mohammad I), No. 14-cv-03837 (N.D. Cal. filed Aug. 25, 2014); Mohammad v. King City Police Dep't (Mohammad II), No. 16-cv-02903 (N.D. Cal. filed May. 31, 2016). In Mohammad I, Plaintiff brought suit against the California Department of Corrections (“CDCR”) and four Doe defendants. See generally Compl., Mohammad I, ECF 1. The Court dismissed the claims against the CDCR, finding them barred by the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Order Granting Def. CDCR's Mot. Dismiss 1, Mohammad I, ECF 16. Thus, only the claims against the four Doe defendants remained. Id. Because Mohammad failed to attend the initial case management conference and then further failed to respond to the order to show cause, this Court dismissed the action. Order Dismissing Case, Mohammad I, ECF 21.

         In Mohammad II, Plaintiff's complaint contained substantially the same allegations and defects as the FAC currently before the Court. Compl., Mohammad II, ECF 1. Because of these defects, defendant brought motions to dismiss and to quash. This Court granted defendant's motion with leave to amend because it found that Mohammad had not properly served the defendant and had not sufficiently alleged facts to show an entitlement to tolling of the limitations period. Order Granting Mot. to Dismiss & Mot. to Quash, Mohammad II, ECF 22. Instead of filing an amended pleading, Plaintiff filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit, which was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Order Dismissing Appeal, Mohammad v. King City Police Dep't, No. 16-17175 (9th Cir. Dec. 13, 2016), ECF 25. This Court subsequently extended the deadline for Mohammad to file an amended complaint. Because Plaintiff failed to file an amended complaint within the deadline set by the Court, the Court dismissed the action. Order Dismissing Case, Mohammad II, ECF 30. Plaintiff then filed the instant action.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         “A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted ‘tests the legal sufficiency of a claim.'” Conservation Force v. Salazar, 646 F.3d 1240, 1241-42 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001)). When determining whether a claim has been stated, the Court accepts as true all well-pled factual allegations and construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Reese v. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., 643 F.3d 681, 690 (9th Cir. 2011). However, the Court need not “accept as true allegations that contradict matters properly subject to judicial notice” or “allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences.” In re Gilead Scis. Sec. Litig., 536 F.3d 1049, 1055 (9th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). While a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, it “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible when it “allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.

         III. JUDICIAL NOTICE

         Before addressing Plaintiff's claims, the Court considers Defendant's request for judicial notice. Req. Judicial Notice (“RJN”), ECF 19. While the scope of review on a motion to dismiss is generally limited to the contents of the complaint, under Fed.R.Evid. 201(b), courts may take judicial notice of facts that are “not subject to reasonable dispute.” See Mack v. S. Bay Beer Distribs., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir. 1986) (permitting a court to take judicial notice of “matters of public record”). Here, KCPD requests that the Court take judicial notice of two documents: (1) the Court's prior order granting Mohammed leave to proceed IFP and (2) the District Attorney's record of Plaintiff's plea of guilty to his charge under California Penal Code § 646.9(a). See generally RJN 2. As to the former, because the Court can consider documents on the docket without taking judicial notice thereof, the Court DENIES KCPD's request. The Court also DENIES Defendant's request to take judicial notice of the District Attorney's record of Plaintiff's plea of guilty because it is not a “public record, ” but rather hearsay notes of a deputy district attorney. Further, there is no need to consider it.

         IV. DISCUSSION

         KCPD makes two arguments in support of its motion to dismiss. First, KCPD contends that it is not a proper defendant pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Second, KCPD argues that Mohammad's claims have no merit and, in any event, are barred by the statute ...


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