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Fabricius v. Tulare County

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 19, 2017

WILLIAM FABRICIUS, Plaintiff,
v.
TULARE COUNTY, et al, Defendant.

          ORDER DISMISSING SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND THIRTY DAY DEADLING TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 71)

         On May 1, 2017, pro se and in forma pauperis Plaintiff William Fabricius (hereinafter, “Plaintiff”) filed a Second Amended Complaint (“2AC”) (ECF No. 71), which is now before the Court for screening. Plaintiff's 2AC is 56 pages long, names as defendants “Tulare County of: All Principals Agents and Employees, ” and describes a myriad of complaints stemming from the seizure of dogs from his property.

         For the reasons described below, this Court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint within 30 days limited to twenty pages total and must name specific individuals as defendants and contain a short and plan statement showing that Plaintiff is entitled to relief. If Plaintiff fails to either file an amended complaint or comply with the order regarding such a statement, the Court will dismiss his case.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On November 24, 2015, Plaintiffs Wendy Jones, William Fabricius and Brian Jones filed their original complaint in this case. (ECF No. 1) Although Plaintiffs were represented by an attorney, Christine Louise Garcia, they moved to proceed in forma pauperis, which was granted. (ECF No. 8). A First Amended Complaint was filed on May 13, 2016. (ECF No. 17.) After Plaintiff Brian Jones was voluntarily dismissed on May 16, 2016 (ECF No. 18), Wendy Jones and William Fabricius remained as Plaintiffs.

         On July, 5, 2016, Defendants responded to the First Amended Complaint by filing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF No. 34.) The Court held a motion hearing on October 7, 2016. (ECF No. 50.) Defendants were represented by counsel, and Plaintiffs Wendy Jones and William Fabricius personally appeared with their counsel.

         Defendants' motion to dismiss was granted on December 1, 2016. (ECF No. 58.) The Court found that it was without jurisdiction to hear Plaintiff Wendy Jones' claims in the First Amended Complaint because it was apparent that she was challenging the outcome of adverse state court decisions on the California state trial and appellate court level, and under the Rooker-Feld man doctrine, only the Supreme Court of the United States could possibly have jurisdiction to hear an appeal from an adverse state court decision. (ECF No. 58, pp. 14-15.) Plaintiff Wendy Jones' claims were dismissed without leave to amend. (Id. at 19.)

         The motion to dismiss was also granted as to Plaintiff William Fabricius, but with leave to amend. (Id. at 15-17.) Although there were facts suggesting that Fabricius litigated similar issues in state court, it was not entirely clear whether Rooker-Feldman also eliminated this Court's jurisdiction to hear Fabricius' claims in the First Amended Complaint. (Id.) Regarding Plaintiff Fabricius' claims, the Court examined the extensive state court record in which Plaintiff challenged seizure of his dogs, including a complaint in County Superior Court and appeal from an administrative hearing. It appeared that an appeal had ultimately been granted in Plaintiff's favor, finding that his dogs were not in fact dangerous, but that “evidence was provided which raised serious concerns over Mr. Fabricius and his ability to care for, handle and maintain the animals.” It appeared from the Court records that Mr. Fabricius was permitted to receive his dogs back so long as he complied with health and safety codes. The state court's opinion concluded by explaining that “judicial review of a decision of the Director of Administrative Services made after a hearing pursuant of this section shall be pursuant to section 1094.6 of the California Code of Civil Procedure . . . .” Additionally, the Court noted that the Superior Court of California case covering these issues appeared to be pending. The Court thus dismissed the case with leave to amend because it appeared that Mr. Fabricius was raising claims that were the subject of state court proceedings, but the Court could not adequately determine the issue due in part of confusion regarding what exactly Plaintiff was seeking and how it related to those proceedings. (ECF No. 58, pp. 8-9.)

         Ultimately, the Court concluded that the First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), as structured, was too unorganized and vague for it to reach a firm conclusion as to whether Plaintiff Fabricius, like Wendy Jones, was bringing an impermissible appeal of an adverse state court decision to the federal district court. The Court concluded:

This confusion is compounded by the fact that the legal allegations in the FAC are nearly incomprehensible. . . . The Court is unable to decipher which allegations pertain only to Mr. Frabricius and what exactly those allegations are. Thus, the allegations in the FAC, as presently structured, do not comport with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2); see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. at 1964, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (“Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only ‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, ' Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957).”)

For all of these reasons, the Court will dismiss the FAC as to Mr. Fabricius with leave to amend, and permit him thirty days in which to file a Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiff Fabricius' Second Amended Complaint, if he chooses to file one, shall omit all allegations as to Ms. Jones and further comport with the guidance in this order. It shall include a description of why he did not receive his animals following the appellate administrative proceeding, and shall describe with particularity what rights were violated by which specific defendants, as well as what relief he now seeks.

(ECF No. 58, pp. 15-16.)

         II. Plaintiff Fabricius' Second Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff filed his second amended complaint, after multiple extensions of time, on May 1, 2017. (ECF No. 71). It is 59 pages long. It lists as defendants: “Tulare County of: All Principals, Agents and Employees.” It appears to have 13 causes of action. Some claims have labels and some do not. Almost all of the counts appear to assert violations of the criminal code, such as “First Dog Taken, violation of Title 18-Crimes and Criminal Procedure Sec. 241. Conspiracy against rights and/or 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law.”

         The 2AC contains a number of factual assertions that appear to relate primarily to a seizure of Plaintiff's animals and an arrest that occurred while the animals were being seized. Plaintiff also repeatedly complains about post-seizure events related to the administrative hearings concerning his animals and requests for records from local officials. Plaintiff's 2AC contains the following introduction:

William's [Plaintiff] Fundamental federal questions is; Whether a District of Columbia political subdivision of the government of the United States that receives federal funding from the District of Columbia passing through the corporate State of California and ending with corporate Tulare County Of: is subject to 100% compliance with laws of the United States and the established court cases of the federal government, United States Supreme Court, and/or Courts of Appeals with respect to the federal requirements to adhere to the following federal questions in accordance with the First Amendment unalienable due process right of notice and opportunity to be heard under federal law. Since the political subdivisions receive federal funding; receipt of federal funding requires and mandates the political subdivisions to 100% adherence to federal requirements especially in the following issues and question;
William raises the issue(s) in this case by federal questions. There are several federal questions that Williams raises. These deal with:
a. ONE; Certified audiotapes and certified transcripts
b. TWO: Trespassing on federally protected land patented private land;
c. THREE: Unlawful/no warrants without sworn affidavits; Miranda Rights;
d. FOUR: Miranda rights upon arrest; Due Process [part of Bp
e. /THREE]/Fraud voids/No sheriff present.
f. FIVE: Freedom of Information Act [FOIA]:/ Political subdivisions subject to federal FOIA ...

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