United States District Court, E.D. California
Scott Jones, the Sacramento County Sheriff, submitted a trial
brief asserting plaintiff Nabil Samaan lacks standing to seek
injunctive relief in this action in the form of a court order
mandating defendant issue him a permit to carry a concealed
weapon (“CCW permit”). Trial Br., ECF No. 79.
Plaintiff opposes, Opp'n, ECF No. 87, and defendant has
replied, Reply, ECF No. 88. The court has considered the
parties' briefing and, as explained below, finds
plaintiff lacks standing to seek injunctive relief. The court
therefore DISMISSES the sole remaining claim in this case.
First Amendment retaliation case arises from defendant's
revocation of plaintiff's CCW permit in March 2016.
See First Am. Compl., ECF No. 17, at 2-4; Summ. J.
Order, ECF No. 69, at 1-7. Plaintiff contends defendant, in
his official capacity as the Sacramento County Sheriff,
wrongfully revoked his permit in retaliation for
plaintiff's exercising his First Amendment right to free
speech; specifically, in retaliation for emails plaintiff
sent to County officials during previous disputes.
See Summ. J. Order at 1-7. This is the only claim
proceeding to trial in this matter. See Id. at 22
(granting defendants summary judgment on all claims other
than First Amendment retaliation claim against defendant
Jones arising from emails). Plaintiff seeks only injunctive
relief in the form of a court order mandating defendant issue
him a CCW permit. Parties' Joint Pretrial Statement
(“JPTS”), ECF No. 70, at 5. Since initiating this
case, in or about September 2018, plaintiff moved from
Sacramento County to his current residence in Placer County;
plaintiff certified in the parties' October 25, 2018
Joint Pretrial Statement he “is no longer a resident
of, nor does he have a principal place of business in, the
County of Sacramento.” Id. at 3.
submitted his trial brief contesting plaintiff's standing
on March 18, 2019, Trial Br., and plaintiff responded on June
21, 2019, Opp'n, after the court ordered him to do so,
ECF No. 86. Defendant then filed his reply, representing for
the first time that plaintiff now has obtained a CCW permit
from Placer County. ECF No. 88. Defendant submitted along
with his reply brief a copy of a CCW permit issued to
plaintiff by the Placer County Sheriff on February 13, 2019.
Placer County CCW Permit, ECF No. 88-1. In light of
defendant's new assertions, the court ordered plaintiff
to show cause why this case should not be dismissed. Order to
Show Cause (“OSC”), ECF No. 89. Plaintiff
responded and continued to assert he has standing. OSC Resp,
ECF No. 92. Defendant then filed a reply to the OSC. OSC
Reply, ECF No. 97.
argues plaintiff lacks standing to seek injunctive relief
because plaintiff cannot demonstrate any real or immediate
threat of repeated injury. Trial Br. at 3; Reply at 3.
Specifically, defendant contends that by moving out of
Sacramento County and obtaining a CCW permit from Placer
County, plaintiff mooted his claim for injunctive relief.
Reply at 3. Defendant further contends his revocation of
plaintiff's CCW permit did not preclude plaintiff from
reapplying for or being reissued a CCW permit in Sacramento
County. Trial Br. at 3. Plaintiff asserts he still has
standing to proceed in this action. Opp'n at 2; OSC Resp.
Legal Standard: Standing
is an “essential component” of the case or
controversy requirement of Article III, § 2 of the
United States Constitution. Carroll v. Nakatani, 342
F.3d 934, 940 (9th Cir. 2003). To satisfy Article III's
standing requirements, a plaintiff must show (1) he has
suffered an “injury in fact” that is concrete and
particularized and actual or imminent, not conjectural or
hypothetical; (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the
challenged action of the defendant; and (3) it is likely, not
merely speculative, that a favorable decision would redress
the injury. Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Envtl.
Servs. (TOC), Inc., 528 U.S. 167, 180-81 (2000) (citing
Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61
(1992)). A plaintiff must demonstrate standing “with
respect to each form of relief sought, whether it be
injunctive relief, damages, or civil penalties.”
Bates v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 511 F.3d 974,
985 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Laidlaw, 528 U.S. at
plaintiff seeking injunctive relief, as here, “must
demonstrate that he has suffered or is threatened with a
‘concrete and particularized' legal harm, coupled
with ‘a sufficient likelihood that he will again be
wronged in a similar way.'” Id. (internal
citation omitted) (quoting first Lujan, 504 U.S. at
560, and then City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S.
95, 111 (1983)). The latter inquiry turns on whether the
plaintiff has a “real and immediate threat of repeated
injury.” Id. (internal quotations omitted)
(quoting O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 496
(1974)). The threat of future injury cannot be
“conjectural or hypothetical” but must be
“certainly impending” to constitute an injury in
fact for injunctive relief purposes. Davidson v.
Kimberly-Clark Corp., 889 F.3d 956, 967 (9th Cir. 2018)
(emphasis omitted). “In addition, the claimed threat of
injury must be likely to be redressed by the prospective
injunctive relief.” Bates, 511 F.3d at 985-86
(citing Graham v. Fed. Emergency Mgmt. Agency, 149
F.3d 997, 1003 (9th Cir. 1998), abrogated on other
grounds by Levin v. Commerce Energy, Inc., 560 U.S. 413
contends he no longer has authority to issue plaintiff a CCW
permit because plaintiff no longer resides in Sacramento
County. Reply at 3. Defendant further argues even if
plaintiff's move out of Sacramento County does not moot
plaintiff's claim, by obtaining a CCW permit from Placer
County plaintiff has already obtained the relief he seeks in
this lawsuit. Id. Plaintiff opposes both arguments.
Opp'n at 3; OSC Resp. at 1-2.
federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction when the
controversy before it becomes moot. In re Burrell,
415 F.3d 994, 998 (9th Cir. 2005). “[A] case is moot
when the issues presented are no longer ‘live' or
the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the
outcome.” Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486,
496 (1969). A case becomes moot when there is no reasonable
expectation that the alleged violation will recur and
“interim relief or events have completely and
irrevocably eradicated the effects of the alleged
violation.” Los Angeles County v. Davis, 440
U.S. 625, 631 (1979); see also Scott v. Pasadena Unified
Sch. Dist., 306 F.3d 646, 656 (9th Cir. 2002) (“An
action will be moot only if ‘[a] determination . . . of
the legal issues tendered by the parties is no longer
necessary to compel . . . and could not serve to prevent'
the action from which one party seeks relief.”
(alteration in original) (quoting DeFunis v.
Odegaard, 416 U.S. 312, 317 (1974))). Thus, “[t]he
basic question in determining mootness is whether there is a
present controversy as to which effective relief can be
granted.” Nw. Envtl. Def. Ctr. v. Gordon, 849
F.2d 1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 1988) (citing United States v.
Geophysical Corp. of Alaska, 732 F.3d 693, 698 (9th Cir.
argues regardless of whether plaintiff's Placer County
CCW permit affects his standing, plaintiff's move out of
Sacramento County moots his claim for injunctive relief
because defendant no longer has jurisdiction to issue
plaintiff a CCW permit. Trial Br. at 3; Reply at 4; OSC Reply
at 3-4. California Penal Code section 26150 permits the
sheriff of a county to issue a CCW permit to a person upon
proof of four criteria. Cal. Penal Code §
26150(a)(1)-(4). One of these criteria is that: “The
applicant is a resident of the county or a city within the
county, or the applicant's principal place of employment
or business is in the county or a city within the county and
the applicant spends a substantial period of time in that
place of employment or business.” Id. ...