Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jardine-Byrne v. Santa Cruz County

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

November 17, 2017

ANTOINETTE JARDINE-BYRNE, Plaintiff,
v.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS; VACATING TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE RE: DKT. NO. 55

          EDWARD J. DAVILA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Antoinette Jardine Byrne (“Plaintiff”) brings this action against the County of Santa Cruz Board of Law Library Trustees, and individual library employees Renee Fleming (“Fleming”) and Julia Hill, Esq. (“Hill”), alleging various violations of her federal and state constitutional rights arising from the suspension of her after-hours access to the Santa Cruz County Law Library. Plaintiff asserts nine causes of action that she identifies as follows: “Petition for Writ of Mandate, C.C.P. §1085”; a second claim for “Petition for Writ of Mandate, C.C.P. §1085”; “Administrative Mandamus C.C.P. [§]1094.5”; two claims for “Violation of Civil Rights, 42 U.S.C. §1983”; “Violation of Equal Protection under 14th Amendment”; “Violation of Due Process (California Constitution Article 1, §7)”; violation of the Brown Act; and violation of California Govt. Code Section 815.6. Presently before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss the First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). The Court finds it appropriate to take the motion under submission for decision without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b). Accordingly, the hearing scheduled for November 30, 2017, is VACATED. Based upon all pleadings filed to date, Defendants' motion to dismiss is granted.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is a resident of Santa Cruz County who had been granted after-hours access to the Santa Cruz County Law Library (the “Library”) since 2007. However, Plaintiff's after-hours access was suspended on March 21, 2016 as a result of events that occurred on the evening of March 17, 2016. On that evening, Plaintiff brought a personal “office equipment” - a scanner - into the Library. FAC at ¶16. Plaintiff alleges that an off-duty “alarm security guard” helped her “with her office equipment to her vehicle.” Id. at ¶17. Fleming thereafter allegedly accused Plaintiff of “abuse” of the security service and suspended Plaintiff's after-hours access because Plaintiff had “broken library rules” by using a scanner in the Library. Id. at ¶¶16, 20-21; see also Plaintiff's Complaint at ¶¶4, 10, 16. Although Plaintiff acknowledges she brought a scanner into the Library, she denies using the scanner in the Library.

         Plaintiff alleges that she did not receive notice or an agenda for Board meetings and that she “happened upon a meeting of Defendants.” Id. at ¶¶23-24.[1] At the meeting, Fleming allegedly had no witness or documentation to support her allegations against Plaintiff. Id. at ¶27. Plaintiff further alleges that she told the Defendants that she had not received notice, a hearing, or an appeal hearing. Id.[2]

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires a plaintiff to plead each claim with sufficient specificity to “give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal quotations omitted). The factual allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level” such that the claim “is plausible on its face.” Id. at 556-57. A complaint which falls short of the Rule 8(a) standard may be dismissed if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 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).

         When deciding whether to grant a motion to dismiss, the court must generally accept as true all “well-pleaded factual allegations.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 664 (2009). The court must also construe the alleged facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Love v. United States, 915 F.2d 1242, 1245 (9th Cir. 1988). However, “courts are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         Also, the court generally does not consider any material beyond the pleadings for a Rule 12(b)(6) analysis. Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., 896 F.2d 1542, 1555 n. 19 (9th Cir. 1990). Exceptions to this rule include material submitted as part of the complaint or relied upon in the complaint, and material subject to judicial notice. See Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 688-69 (9th Cir. 2001).[3]

         Where, as here, the pleading at issue is filed by a plaintiff proceeding pro se, it must be construed liberally. Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000). In doing so, the court “need not give a plaintiff the benefit of every conceivable doubt” but “is required only to draw every reasonable or warranted factual inference in the plaintiff's favor.” McKinney v. De Bord, 507 F.2d 501, 504 (9th Cir. 1974). The court “should use common sense in interpreting the frequently diffuse pleadings of pro se complainants.” Id. A pro se complaint should not be dismissed unless the court finds it “beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521 (1972).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         A. Federal Claims

         Plaintiff asserts federal claims for civil rights violations. In the fourth cause of action, Plaintiff alleges that “[t]his cause of action arises under the Fifth through Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and is brought pursuant to 42. U.S.C. §1983.” FAC at ¶ 48. In particular, Plaintiff alleges that she was denied her constitutional right to due process and equal protection. Id. Plaintiff also references the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Id. at ¶50. In the fifth cause of action, Plaintiff alleges that “[t]his cause of action arises under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution” and makes reference to procedural and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.