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Novac v. County of Sacramento

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 21, 2019

Filip Novac; Iudita Novac; A.N., a minor by and through his guardian ad litem; et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
County of Sacramento, a public entity; et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS; AND SUA SPONTE ORDER DECLINING SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICTION

          JOHN A. MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On August 15, 2018 Plaintiffs filed a civil rights action against the County of Sacramento and four social workers for the Sacramento Department of Health & Human Services (“DHHS”)-Chandra Stewart, Catherine Bryant, Sonya Howell, and Tong Vang (collectively “Social Worker Defendants”). Compl., ECF No. 1. Plaintiffs Filip Novac, Iudita Novac, and their minor children levy serious allegations against Defendants, contending they interfered with Filip and Iudita's parental rights, improperly removed the children from their homes, and allowed those children to stay with abusive foster families despite repeated complaints.

         Defendants filed a motion to dismiss this complaint for, among other reasons, failure to comply with Rule 12(b)(6). See February 2019 Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 19. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, but it was virtually identical to the original pleading. See First Amended Complaint, ECF No. 20. This led Defendants to file a second motion to dismiss. March 2019 Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 22. The Court granted their motion, dismissing four of Plaintiffs' claims with prejudice:

1. Section 1983 claims based on “discrete acts” that occurred before August 15, 2016;
2. All Article I, section 13 claims;
3. All common law tort claims against the County; and
4. Section 1983 claims against the Social Worker

         Defendants that challenge quasi-prosecutorial conduct. Order Granting Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss (“Order”) at 11, ECF No. 26. The Court also dismissed the following claims without prejudice:

1. Section 1983 claim against the County;
2. All Unruh Civil Rights Act claims;
3. All Bane Act claims;
4. Section 1983 claims against the Social Worker Defendants that did not challenge quasi-prosecutorial conduct; and
5. All common law tort claims against the Social Worker Defendants.

Id. at 11-12.

         Attempting to cure the deficiencies in their complaint, Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”). ECF No. 28. In form, this complaint differs from the two previous complaints. But in substance, it continues to disregard the requirements of Bell Atlantic v. Twombley, 550 U.S. 544 (2009); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009); and the line of binding cases that follow. For this reason, and those discussed below, the Court GRANTS IN PART Defendants' most recent motion to dismiss.[1] See Mot. to Dismiss (“Mot.”), ECF No. 33. Specifically, the Court DISMISSES Plaintiffs' Section 1983 claims against the County and the Social Worker Defendants WITH PREJUDICE.

         Untethered to any federal law claims, Plaintiffs' state law claims are better suited for review in state court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). The Court therefore declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's Bane Act, Unruh Civil Rights Act, and common law tort claims which now must be pursued in an appropriate state court.

         I. OPINION

         A. ...


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