United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS RE:
DKT. NOS. 4, 7
HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are two motions to dismiss: one filed by the
State of California by and through the California Department
of Justice (“California DOJ”) (collectively,
“State Defendants”), Dkt. No. 4
(“State's Mot.”), and the other filed by six
special agents employed by the California DOJ
(“Agents”), Dkt. No. 7 (“Agents'
Mot.”). Both motions seek dismissal of the first
amended complaint, Dkt. No. 1, Ex. A (“FAC”),
filed by twenty patients (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) who received medical treatment from
the Bay Area Consortium for Quality Healthcare
(“BAC”), id. ¶ 1. Plaintiffs filed
a single opposition to both motions, Dkt. No. 9
(“Opp.”),  and Defendants filed a single reply, Dkt.
No. 10 (“Reply”). The Court finds that this
matter is appropriate for disposition without oral argument
and the matter is deemed submitted. See Civil L.R.
7-1(b). Having carefully considered the arguments made by the
parties, the Court hereby GRANTS the State Defendants'
motion to dismiss as to all causes of action and GRANTS the
Agents' motion to dismiss as to Plaintiffs' cause of
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court does not reach
the merits of Plaintiffs' state law claims against the
Agents, as it would decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over them absent a viable federal claim.
REQUESTS FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE
Court first addresses Defendants' requests for judicial
notice because they are relevant to the facts of the case.
Each of the motions to dismiss is accompanied by a
substantively identical request for judicial notice.
See Dkt. Nos. 5, 8 (collectively,
“RJNs”). Each RJN attaches the same March 6, 2015
search warrant issued by the California Superior Court,
County of Alameda, ordering the search and seizure of
evidence of felony criminal activity located at 405
14th Street, Suite 300, Oakland, California
(“Premises”), and other locations. See
RJNs, Ex. A (“Warrant”).
may take judicial notice of facts outside the pleadings on a
motion to dismiss. Mack v. S. Bay Beer Distribs.,
798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir. 1986), abrogated on other
grounds by Astoria Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n v.
Solimino, 501 U.S. 104 (1991). “The court may
judicially notice a fact that is not subject to reasonable
dispute because it . . . can be accurately and readily
determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be
questioned.” Fed.R.Evid. 201(b). Under Federal Rule of
Evidence 201(b), a court may judicially notice “matters
of public record.” Lee v. City of Los Angeles,
250 F.3d 668, 689 (9th Cir. 2001), overruled on other
grounds by Galbraith v. County of Santa Clara, 307 F.3d
1119, 1125-26 (9th Cir. 2002). Courts regularly find that
search warrants are public records properly subject to
judicial notice. See, e.g., Bennett v. County of
Shasta, No. 2:15-cv-01764-MCE-CMK, 2016 WL 3743151, at
*1 (E.D. Cal. July 13, 2016); Assali v. City of Simi
Valley, No. CV 13-09201-R (VBK), 2014 WL 3818062, at
*4-5 (C.D. Cal. July 31, 2014). Here, Plaintiffs do not
dispute the existence or the authenticity of the search
warrant. The Court GRANTS the RJNs because
the search warrant is not subject to reasonable dispute and
is a matter of public record.
March 11, 2015, the Agents executed a search warrant at the
Premises, which included not only BAC's medical offices
but also a law office. FAC ¶¶ 10-15. See
generally Warrant. The target of the search warrant was
BAC, a medical services corporation under investigation for
criminal activity. See generally id. Among other
property, the search warrant authorized the seizure of
medical records. Id. ¶ 25. The Agents searched
the entire premises. FAC ¶ 10. Agents took boxes of
Plaintiffs' original medical records that BAC's
health care professionals maintained for treating Plaintiffs.
Id. ¶¶ 14-15. The firm's principal
partner and at least one other staff member were present
during the search. Id. ¶¶ 11, 13. However,
the FAC does not plead that Plaintiffs were present during
the search. At some time after the search was complete,
Plaintiffs requested that Defendants return their original
medical records. Id. ¶ 16. As of November 15,
2016, Defendants still had not returned Plaintiffs'
original medical records. Id. ¶ 16.
Consequently, Plaintiffs have been forced to receive
treatment from new medical providers without those providers
having access to Plaintiffs' medical history.
Id. ¶ 16.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief[.]” A
defendant may move to dismiss a complaint for failing to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). “Dismissal under Rule
12(b)(6) is appropriate only where the complaint lacks a
cognizable legal theory or sufficient facts to support a
cognizable legal theory.” Mendiondo v. Centinela
Hosp. Med. Ctr., 521 F.3d 1097, 1104 (9th Cir. 2008). To
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is facially
plausible when a plaintiff pleads “factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
reviewing the plausibility of a complaint, courts
“accept factual allegations in the complaint as true
and construe the pleadings in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party.” Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire &
Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir. 2008).
Nonetheless, courts do not “accept as true allegations
that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact,
or unreasonable inferences.” In re Gilead Scis.
Secs. Litig., 536 F.3d 1049, 1055 (9th Cir. 2008)
(internal quotation marks omitted). If dismissal is
appropriate under Rule 12(b)(6), a court “should grant
leave to amend even if no request to amend the pleading was
made, unless it determines that the pleading could not
possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.”
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
Court first addresses the motion to dismiss filed by the
State Defendants, followed by the motion to dismiss filed by
Court first considers Plaintiffs' cause of action against
the State Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Next, the
Court assesses how the disposition of that federal cause of
action impacts Plaintiffs' remaining causes of action