United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STAY; [Doc.
No. 190] DENYING DEFENDANTS WILKINS AND HOBBS' MOTION TO
DISMISS [Doc. No. 189]
Michael M. Anello United States District Judge
James Soler brings this civil rights action pursuant to Title
42, United States Code, section 1983, and California state
law, against the County of San Diego, and various
individually named defendants. Defendants Lisa Wilkins and
Ray Hobbs move to stay the action. See Doc. No. 190.
Defendants Ernesto Banuelos and County of San Diego
(“County Defendants”) join the motion.
See Doc. No. 191. In addition, Defendants Wilkins
and Hobbs move to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against
them. See Doc. No. 189. Plaintiff filed responses
opposing both motions, to which Defendants replied.
See Doc. Nos. 192-195. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court DENIES Defendants'
motion to stay and DENIES Defendants Wilkins
and Hobbs' motion to dismiss.
move to stay this action pending resolution by the United
States Supreme Court of County Defendants' petition for a
writ of certiorari. This is the only ground asserted in
support of the requested stay. On November 18, 2019, the
Supreme Court denied the petition. See S.Ct. Case
No. 19-289. Accordingly, the Court DENIES
Defendants' motion. The Court declines to rule on the
parties' competing case management proposals. The Court
has referred case management matters to the assigned
Wilkins and Hobbs move to dismiss Plaintiff's claims
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or in
the alternative, on various immunity grounds. Plaintiff
opposes the motion, arguing, inter alia, that
Defendants are precluded from asserting certain arguments due
to parallel litigation in the Eastern District of Arkansas.
action arises out of events involving a case of mistaken
identity and Plaintiff's arrest for a thirty-year old
crime he did not commit. At the time in question, Defendant
Lisa Wilkins was an attorney employed by the Arkansas
Department of Corrections, and Defendant Ray Hobbs was the
Director of the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
See Third Amended Complaint, Doc. No. 60 ¶ 16.
Wilkins prepared an affidavit for Hobbs' signature to
support a judicial finding of probable cause to conclude that
Plaintiff was a wanted escapee from Arkansas prison, Steven
Dishman. Id. The affidavit stated, “I have new
and reasonably believe it to be accurate information as to
[Mr. Dishman's] current residence at [Mr. Soler's
street address], Alpine, California, and is living under the
alias of James DeWolfe Soler.” Id. In turn,
Hobbs presented the affidavit to an Arkansas judge, who
issued an Affidavit of Probable Cause to support the
extradition of “Steven Dishman, a/k/a James DeWolfe
Soler” from California to Arkansas. Id. These
events culminated in Plaintiff's arrest and detention by
San Diego County Defendants, and ultimately this action
Court previously held that it lacked personal jurisdiction
over Defendants Wilkins and Hobbs. See Doc. Nos.
125, 141. Plaintiff appealed to the United States Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, see Doc. No. 162, and
filed suit against Defendants Wilkins and Hobbs in the
Eastern District of Arkansas. See E.D. AR. Case No.
4:17-cv-00018-BRW. The Arkansas court denied Defendants'
motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claims, and later stayed
the action pending resolution of Plaintiff's appeal.
See id, Doc. Nos. 18, 26. Thereafter, the Ninth
Circuit reversed this Court's determination that it
lacked personal jurisdiction over Defendants Wilkins and
Hobbs, and remanded the action accordingly. See Soler v.
Cty. of San Diego, 762 Fed.Appx. 383 (9th Cir. 2019).
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint. See
Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). A
plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
570 (2007). The plausibility standard thus demands more than
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action,
or naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Instead, the complaint “must contain allegations of
underlying facts sufficient to give fair notice and to enable
the opposing party to defend itself effectively.”
Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011).
In reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), courts
must accept as true all material allegations in the complaint
and must construe the complaint in the light most favorable
to the plaintiff. See Cholla Ready Mix, Inc. v.
Civish, 382 F.3d 969, 973 (9th Cir. 2004) (citing
Karam v. City of Burbank, 352 F.3d 1188, 1192 (9th
Plaintiff's Federal Claims
threshold matter, Plaintiff argues that Defendants Wilkins
and Hobbs are collaterally estopped from relitigating certain
issues raised in their pending motion to dismiss with respect
to Plaintiff's federal civil rights claims. Specifically,
Plaintiff argues that the court in the Eastern District of
Arkansas previously considered and rejected Defendants'
motion to dismiss Plaintiff's federal claims, as well as
Defendants' assertions of qualified immunity from suit
over those claims.
judicata encompasses two subsidiary doctrines, claim
preclusion and issue preclusion.” Americana
Fabrics, Inc. v. L & L Textiles, Inc., 754 F.2d
1524, 1529 (9th Cir. 1985). “[I]ssue preclusion, or
collateral estoppel, bars relitigation, even in an action on
a different claim, of all ‘issues of fact or law that
were actually litigated and necessarily decided' in the
prior proceeding.” Id. (quoting Segal v.
American Tel. & Tel. Co., 606 F.2d 842, 845 (9th
Cir. 1979)). As such, “[w]hen the same claim or issue
is litigated in two courts, the second court to reach
judgment should give ...