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Nation v. Trump

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 18, 2019

EMMA NATION, Plaintiff,
v.
DONALD J. TRUMP, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS RE: DKT. NO. 29

          HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge.

         Pending before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. See Dkt. No. 29 (“Mot.”). For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss without leave to amend.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff Emma Nation is a resident of Humboldt County, California. First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), Dkt. No. 12 ¶ 7. On August 10, 2011, Plaintiff began renting an apartment from Humboldt Bay Housing Development Corporation (“HBHDC”), which is a private corporation that receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). Id. ¶ 47. According to Plaintiff, HUD mandates that any recipient of its funds must maintain a zero-tolerance policy and evict or deny servicing any tenants who use controlled substances, including medical cannabis. Id. ¶ 23. In March 2016, HBHDC served Plaintiff with a sixty-day notice of tenancy termination based on a report that she possessed medical marijuana in her apartment. Id. ¶ 49; see also Id. Ex. 10 (notice of termination). On July 10, 2018, Plaintiff was removed, along with her daughter, from her apartment; she remains homeless. Id. ¶ 52.

         B. Procedural Background

         On July 2, 2018, Plaintiff commenced this action, naming as Defendants Donald Trump in his official capacity as President of the United States, the Office of the President of the United States, the United States of America, the Department of Justice, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III[1] in his official capacity as Attorney General, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), Scott Gottlieb[2] in his official capacity as Commissioner of the FDA, HUD, Ben Carson in his official capacity as Secretary of HUD, and HBHDC acting as an agent for HUD. Dkt. No. 1. On August 9, 2018, Plaintiff, along with Rose Myers and Jane Roe, filed the FAC. See FAC. Myers and Roe, Dkt. No. 41, and HBHDC, Dkt. No. 28, were all eventually dismissed from the action without prejudice.

         Plaintiff asserts six causes of action: (1) violation of the Ninth Amendment, (2) violation of the Fifth Amendment, (3) violation of the Fourth Amendment, (4) violation of the First Amendment, (5) violation of the Public Trust Doctrine, and (6) violation of the Tenth Amendment. FAC ¶¶ 55-83. Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief as to the unconstitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act regarding medical marijuana as well as an injunction against further violations of the Constitution. Id. at 31-32 (Prayer for Relief).

         On December 21, 2018, Defendants moved to dismiss the FAC. See Mot. Plaintiff opposed, Dkt. No. 32 (“Opp.”), and Defendants replied, Dkt. No. 33 (“Reply”). The Court held a hearing on March 28, 2019. See Dkt. No. 40.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(1) allows a party to move to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1).

         The plaintiff has the burden to establish that subject matter jurisdiction is proper. Ass'n of Am. Med. Colls. v. United States, 217 F.3d 770, 778-79 (9th Cir. 2000); see also Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 378 (1994) (noting that “[i]t is to be presumed that a cause lies outside . . . [a federal court's] jurisdiction, and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction”) (citations omitted). To meet this burden, the pleading party must show “affirmatively and distinctly the existence of whatever is essential to federal jurisdiction.” Tosco Corp. v. Cmtys. for a Better Env't, 236 F.3d 495, 499 (9th Cir. 2001).

         A Rule 12(b)(1) motion may be either facial, where the inquiry is confined to the allegations in the complaint, or factual, where the court is permitted to look beyond the complaint to extrinsic evidence. Wolfe v. Strankman, 392 F.3d 358, 362 (9th Cir. 2004); Savage v. Glendale Union High School Dist. No. 205, 343 F.3d 1036, 1040 n. 2 (9th Cir. 2003). A facial challenge “asserts that the allegations contained in a complaint are insufficient on their face to invoke federal jurisdiction.” Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004).

         If a plaintiff fails to establish subject matter jurisdiction, “the court, on having the defect called to its attention or on discovering the same, must dismiss the case, unless the defect be corrected by amendment.” Tosco Corp., 236 F.3d at 499 (quoting Smith v. McCullough, 270 U.S. 456, 459 (1926)). Where the plaintiff cannot cure a jurisdictional defect by amendment, the court may dismiss the complaint without leave to amend. Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003).

         III. ...


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