United States District Court, E.D. California
G.M., individually and as co-successor-in-interest to Decedent CHRISTOPHER MURPHY, by and through his Guardian-Ad-Litem KRISTINA COMPHER; C.M., individually and as co-successor-in-interest to Decedent CHRISTOPHER MURPHY, by and through his Guardian-Ad-Litem KRISTINA COMPHER; and A.M., individually and as co-successor-in-interest to Decedent CHRISTOPHER MURPHY, by and through her Guardian-Ad-Litem KRISTINA COMPHER, individually, Plaintiffs,
ADAM POOLE, individually; MICHAEL SIMPSON, individually; and DOES 1-25, inclusive, individually, jointly and severally, Defendants.
GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS WITH LEAVE
L. NUNLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court pursuant to Defendant Adam Pool
and Michael Simpson's (“Defendants”) Motion
to Dismiss. (ECF No. 8.) Plaintiffs G.M, C.M., and A.M.
(“Plaintiffs”) oppose Defendants' motion.
(ECF No. 12.) The Court has carefully considered the
arguments raised by both parties. For the reasons set forth
below, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs'
Complaint is hereby GRANTED with leave to amend.
allege the following facts: Plaintiffs are three children of
Decedent Christopher Murphy (“Murphy”) bringing
suit against Defendant arising out of Murphy's death on
December 8, 2016. (ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 1-2.) Murphy was
involved in a fiery car accident on Interstate 5 North, in
Sacramento, California. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 15.) Murphy managed
to escape the wreckage of the accident. (ECF No. 1 ¶
16.) California Highway Patrol Officers, two of whom are
Defendants, arrived at the scene of the accident and found
Murphy wandering on the freeway. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 16.)
Plaintiffs allege Murphy was physically injured, disoriented,
and wandering along the side of the roadway. (See
ECF No. 1 ¶ 16.) Rather than provide medical care,
Plaintiffs claim the officers, including Defendants, placed
Murphy in a choke hold, handcuffed, hog-tied, and tased
Murphy multiple times. (See ECF No. 1 ¶ 17.)
They further allege that Defendants used unknown and
excessive force on Murphy in a manner that interfered with
his ability to breathe. (See ECF No. 1 ¶ 17.)
Plaintiffs allege Murphy died as a result of Defendants'
force. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 18.)
are three out of Murphy's five surviving children. (ECF
No. 1 ¶¶ 3, 6, 7, 8.) They bring two federal and
three state causes of action against Defendants as
co-successors-in-interest to Murphy. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiffs
argue Defendants' conduct violated the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments, California Civil Code § 52.1,
state wrongful death law, and state assault and battery
statutes. (ECF No. 1.) In reference to the state causes of
action related to federal claims, Plaintiffs allege they
timely filed a Government Tort Claim with the State of
California in compliance with California's administrative
claim requirements. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 13.)
Motion to Dismiss for Failure to Join a Party
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(7) provides a defense to a
claim for relief based on failure to join a party under Rule
19. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(7);
Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Cmty. v. City of
Los Angeles, 637 F.3d 993, 1002 (9th Cir. 2011).
imposes a three-step inquiry: “(1) Is the absent party
necessary (i.e., required to be joined if feasible) under
Rule 19(a)? (2) If so, is it feasible to order that the
absent party be joined? (3) If joinder is not feasible, can
the case proceed without the absent party, or is the absent
party indispensable such that the action must be
dismissed?” Salt River Project Agric. Improvement
& Power Dist. v. Lee, 672 F.3d 1176, 1179 (9th Cir.
the first step, a party may be “necessary” if:
(A) in that person's absence, the court cannot accord
relief among the existing parties; or (B) that person claims
an interest relating to the subject of the action and is so
situated that disposing of the action in the person's
absence may: (i) as a practical matter impair or impede the
person's ability to protect the interest; or (ii) leave
an existing party subject to substantial risk of incurring
double, multiple, or inconsistent obligations because of the
Fed. R. Civ. P. 19(a)(1); Salt River, 672 F.3d at
1179. If joinder of a necessary party is not feasible, a
plaintiff must nevertheless allege the name of the necessary
party and the reasons for not joining that person.
third step of the Rule 19 inquiry is one of “equity and
good conscience” that requires a “practical
examination of the circumstances” and consideration of
at least four interests: (1) the plaintiff's interest in
having a forum; (2) the defendant's interest in not
proceeding without the required party; (3) the interest of
the non-moving party by examining the extent to which the
judgment may, as a practical matter, impair or impede its
ability to protect its interest in the matter; and (4) the
interests of the courts and the public in complete,
consistent, and efficient settlement of controversies.
Paiute-Shoshone, 637 F.3d at 997-1000.
Motion to Dismiss for ...