United States District Court, E.D. California
JUSTIN GREEN, individually and doing business as GREEN SOLUTIONS, Plaintiff,
COUNTY OF YUBA; JEREMY STRANG, individually and in his official capacity; JOHN JACENICH, individually and in his official capacity; MELANIE MARQUEZ, individually and in her official capacity; and DOES 1-10 inclusive, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
A. MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case arises from the abatement of an alleged public nuisance
related to unpermitted structures and marijuana cultivation
on property owned by Justin Green (“Green” or
“Plaintiff”). Second Am. Compl.
(“SAC”), ECF No. 14. Green sued Yuba County (the
“County”) and several Yuba County employees
(collectively, “Defendants”) alleging the
unlawful seizure and destruction of property. Id.
Defendants move to dismiss for a second time. Mot., ECF No.
17. For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
recitation of the factual allegations in this case can be
found in a prior order issued by the Court. See Green v.
Cty. of Yuba, No. 2:18-CV-02234-JAM-AC, 2019 WL 827638,
at *1-2 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 21, 2019). The Court will not repeat
the factual allegations in this order.
prior order, the Court dismissed Green's First, Fifth,
Sixth, and Seventh Causes of Action and granted him leave to
amend his Monell claims against the County. Id. at
*8. Green then amended his complaint with additional
allegations. See SAC. Defendants now move to dismiss
Green's amended Fourth Amendment Monell claim and his
reference to suing the individual Defendants in their
official capacities. See Mot. Green has filed an opposition,
Opp'n, ECF No. 18, to which Defendants have replied,
Reply, ECF No. 19.
ask this Court to take judicial notice of four state court
actions and one federal court actions. RJN, ECF No. 17-2. The
SAC references these cases as factual evidence in support of
Green's Monell claim. See SAC at 9-10. Green does not
oppose and joins in the request. Opp'n at 2. Accordingly,
the Court grants Defendants' Request for Judicial Notice
of the relevant state and federal court actions.
Official Capacity Claims
Opposition, Green concedes that it is redundant to name an
individual defendant in his or her official capacity while
simultaneously suing the public entity. Opp'n at 7.
Green, however, also argues that the Court may only dismiss
redundant claims like this if the defendant is named only in
an official capacity. See Id. (citing Ctr. for
Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. Los Angeles Cty. Sheriff
Dep't, 533 F.3d 780, 799 (9th Cir. 2008)). The Court
does not agree with Green's contorted reading of Center
for Bio-Ethical Reform and will dismiss the official capacity
claims as redundant. See Kentucky v. Graham, 473
U.S. 159, 166 (1985) (“[A]n official-capacity suit is,
in all respects other than name, to be treated as a suit
against the entity.”). Green's individual capacity
Fourth Amendment Monell Claims
names the County as a defendant in each of his constitutional
claims. SAC at 10-12. The County moves to dismiss Green's
Fourth Amendment Monell claim for failure to allege a
municipal custom or practice. Mot. Mem. at 4-5.
may be held liable under Section 1983 for constitutional
injuries inflicted through a municipal policy or custom.
Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of New
York, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978). To establish municipal
liability under Section 1983, a plaintiff must show that (1)
he was deprived of a constitutional right; (2) the
municipality had a policy; (3) the policy amounted to a
deliberate indifference to his constitutional right; and (4)
the policy was the moving force behind the constitutional
violation. Anderson v. Warner, 451 F.3d 1063, 1070
(9th Cir. 2006) (internal citations and quotations omitted).
To properly state a Monell claim, allegations in a complaint
“may not simply recite the elements of a cause of
action, but must contain sufficient allegations of underlying
facts to give fair notice and to enable the opposing party to
defend itself effectively.” AE ex rel. Hernandez v.
Cty. of Tulare, 666 F.3d 631, 637 (9th Cir. 2012)
(quoting Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th
SAC, Green asserts that the harm he suffered was not an
isolated instance for several reasons. SAC at 9. First, he
cites to the number of nuisance notices and orders issued by
the County (280 between 2015 and 2018), and the number
appealed (35). Id. Second, he alleges that 221 of
those 280 notices and orders have resulted in executed
inspection and abatement warrants and that there have been
five post-deprivation hearing since 2015. Id. Third,
he asserts that the four state court lawsuits against the
County for illegal assessment of fines, penalties, and
abatement actions are evidence of a custom, policy, or