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Holloway v. Mason

United States District Court, C.D. California

February 22, 2018

DARIELLE MASON, et al., Defendants.


          KENLY KIYA KATO United States Magistrate Judge


         Plaintiff Robert F. Holloway (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a civil rights complaint (“Complaint”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983”) against defendants Darielle Mason, Virginia Angulo, and Lorrayne Green (collectively, “Defendants”). ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”) 1. As discussed below, the Court dismisses the Complaint with leave to amend.


         On January 26, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendants asserting his “civil rights have been violated without cause, without process and without proof.” Dkt. 1, Compl. at 1-3. In the Complaint, Plaintiff challenges actions taken in relation to a Child Support Enforcement Action, BZ177598, in which he is named as the obligor. Id. at 1-7; see also id. at 10, Ex. A, Income Withholding for Support Order (“IWO”); id. at 11, Ex. C, Amended IWO. While the Complaint acknowledges “numerous letters” stating Plaintiff owes amounts for child support, Plaintiff asserts there is no “proof of the underlying order” and “[n]o such order exists.” Id. at 3.

         Plaintiff alleges on February 10, 2016, a County of Los Angeles Child Support Services Division (“CSSD”) officer, defendant Angulo, sent a copy of the IWO to Plaintiff's employer. Id. at 2-3. Plaintiff claims his income was withheld pursuant to the IWO. Id. at 3. Plaintiff further alleges he attempted to reach defendant Angulo “to request [the] underlying order” and also sent his employer a cease and desist letter in an attempt to prevent the income withholding. Id.

         Plaintiff also alleges he spoke with defendant Mason, a child support representative, who “threatened the suspension of [his] license, [1] which is [Plaintiff's] sole means of earning wages.” Id.

         Plaintiff also alleges CSSD officer, defendant Green, fraudulently placed a lien on Plaintiff's workers compensation case. Id. at 2-3; see also id. at 9, Ex. D.

         Based on these allegations, Plaintiff claims violations of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizures because Defendants conspired to deprive Plaintiff “of property under the color of law”; violations of his Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments due process rights because Defendants did “not provid[e] proof of [an] underlying order”; and violation of the Fourth Amendment because Defendants “depri[]ve[d] Plaintiff of property without obtaining a proper writ/tort.” Id. at 4-6.

         Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, dismissal of “Case #BZ177598, ” and an order for “[a]ll liens removed and property returned.” Id. at 7.


         As Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court must screen the Complaint and is required to dismiss the case at any time if it concludes the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998).

         In determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim for screening purposes, the Court applies the same pleading standard as it would when evaluating a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012). In addition, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), a complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).

         A complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim “where there is no cognizable legal theory or an absence of sufficient facts alleged to support a cognizable legal theory.” Zamani v. Carnes, 491 F.3d 990, 996 (9th Cir. 2007). In considering whether a complaint states a claim, a court must accept as true all of the material factual allegations in it. Hamilton v. Brown, 630 F.3d 889, 892-93 (9th Cir. 2011). However, the court need not accept as true “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). Although a complaint need not include detailed factual allegations, it “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Cook v. Brewer, 637 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)). A claim is facially plausible when it “allows the court to draw the reasonable inference ...

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