United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS;
VACATING TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE RE: DKT. NO. 55
J. DAVILA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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.
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.
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. 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.
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).
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.
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).
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,
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