United States District Court, S.D. California
KIRK MATTHEW CARMICHAEL, ROBERT E. BASKIN on behalf of STARS IN THE SKY TRUST, Plaintiffs,
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, PETER ESTES, SUMMER STEPHAN, MICHAEL HOLMES, JOHN STALEY, AUTONATION DBA BMW OF ENCINITAS, TOYOTA OF ESCONDIDO, AND DOES 1-10 inclusive, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO DISMISS WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
ECF NOS. 4, 6, 10
Gonzalo P. Curiel, United States District Judge.
Kirk Matthew Carmichael (“Plaintiff”) and Robert
E. Baskin (“Trustee”) (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”), on behalf of the Stars in the Sky
Trust (“Trust”), have filed a complaint alleging
a wide variety of constitutional and statutory violations
against the Defendants County of San Diego, Peters Esters,
Summer Stephan, Michael Holmes, John Staley, AutoNation DBA
BMW of Encinitas, Toyota of Escondido, and multiple Doe
individuals. ECF No. 1. Three of these Defendants - John
Staley, Michael Holmes, and the County of San Diego
(“County”) - have filed motions to dismiss
Plaintiffs' complaint for failure to state a claim. ECF
No. 4, 6, 10. Plaintiffs filed responses to each motion, ECF
Nos. 12, 13, 14, and Defendants filed their replies. ECF Nos.
16, 17, 18. Both the County, ECF No. 10-2, and Plaintiffs,
ECF No. 15, filed requests for judicial notice.
Court now faces two questions. First, because Plaintiffs'
claim arises out of an ongoing prosecution in California
state court, the Court must determine whether the
Younger doctrine precludes review of Plaintiffs'
claims. Second, the Court must decide whether Plaintiffs'
scattershot complaint - which incorporates over two dozen
statutes and constitutional provisions as well as 756 pages
of attachments - comports with the Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure (“Rule”) 8 and with the pleading
standards established by Twombly and
Iqball. The Court finds for Defendants as to both
questions and dismisses the complaint.
October 12, 2018, Plaintiff arrived at BMW of Encinitas to
purchase a car at about 7 p.m. (ECF No. 1 at 3.)
Plaintiff's application triggered a “fraud
alert.” (Id.; ECF No. 1 at 21-25, Carmichael
Affidavit (“CA”) at ¶ 5-8.) A police officer
arrived and spoke to Plaintiff “in an hour long
questioning.” (ECF No. 1 at 3.) The officer then
arrested Plaintiff, first placing him in the back of a police
car and then reading Plaintiff his Miranda
rights. (Id.; CA at ¶ 2.) The
officer next searched Plaintiff, and then took him to Vista
County jail. (ECF No. 1 at 3.) Plaintiff was released at 9
a.m. the next morning after he posted a $50, 000 bond.
(Id.; CA at ¶ 12.) Plaintiff obtained the funds
to post bond after contacting Mr. Robert E. Baskin,
co-trustee of the Living Water Trust, who authorized him to
“use trust assets from a Checkbook to post a Bond of
$50, 000.” (Id. at ¶ 4-6.)
February 5, 2019, Plaintiff presented himself for arraignment
on the charges resulting from his October 12, 2018 arrest.
(ECF No. 1 at 3.) At the hearing, Plaintiff was arrested on
other charges and remanded to the state's custody
pursuant to California Penal Code (“CPC”) §
1275.1. (Id. 3-4; ECF No. 1-3, Ex. 8 at 11.)
Plaintiff was not permitted to review the bail order. (ECF
No. 1 at 4.) Plaintiff was searched without being
Mirandized and then taken to a holding cell.
public defender assigned by the Court next waived the reading
of the complaint and entered a plea of not guilty in both
cases. (Id.; ECF No. 1-3, Ex. 8 at 7-8; CA at
¶¶ 16, 22, 38.) Plaintiff objected to entering a
plea. (ECF No. 1 at 4.; CA at ¶¶ 17-21.) Plaintiff
was held in County jail for about 21 days until February 25,
2019 when the state court held a hearing on the CPC §
1275.1 hold. (ECF No. 1 at 4; CA at ¶ 39.)
this period of incarceration, on February 17, 2019, Plaintiff
hired Mr. John Staley to represent him on the bond for $2,
500. (ECF No. 1 at 6; CA at ¶ 40.) Two days later, on
February 19, 2019, Mr. Staley informed Plaintiff that he
could not represent him because the public defender's
office was already his attorney of record. (ECF No. 1 at 9;
CA at ¶ 41.). Then, on February 23, 2019, Plaintiff
hired Mr. Michael Holmes, a second private attorney,
“to coordinate the release from incarceration at the
February 25, 2019 hearing” for $25, 000. (ECF No. 1 at
6; CA at ¶ 46.) Mr. Holmes was later relived as counsel
on August 12, 2019 due to a conflict of interest. (ECF No.
1-4, Ex. 10 at 1-2; CA at ¶¶ 48-49.)
The Complaint's Allegations
complaint contains a multitude of allegations that are
difficult to parse for lack of specificity and direction.
First, based on these facts, Plaintiff makes the broad claim
that the “municipality” is engaged in a
“cottage operation in the obstruction of justice”
which consists of “abuse of legal process, abuse of
discretion, Malconduct by attorney of record, Malice in law,
Malice in fact, and disruption of public safety and peace in
which such acts does not comport with constitutional Due
Process of law.” (ECF No. 1 at 4.)
Plaintiff alleges that all Defendants are guilty of violating
various constitutional provisions, including the First,
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Eleventh and Fourteenth
Amendments. (Id. at 7-8.) Plaintiff also contends
that Defendants' conduct likewise violates three federal
statutes: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI § 601
(i.e. 40 U.S. Code § 14702), the Highway Safety
Act of 1966, and the National Drivers Act of 1982.
(Id. at 6-7.)
Plaintiff's complaint adds four “Counts”
directed at the Honorable James E. Simmons, Jr. of the
Superior Court of San Diego County (the “Judge”),
the judge who presides over Plaintiff's criminal case.
Under Count 1, Plaintiff alleges that the Judge is guilty of
perjury. (Id. at 8-9 (citing 18 U.S.C. §
1621.)) Under Counts 2 and 3, Plaintiff alleges that the
Judge is liable for several criminal offenses, including
treason and seditious conspiracy. (Id. at 9-10
(citing 18 U.S.C. §§ 3, 4, 2381, 2382, 2383, 2384);
id. at 11-12 (citing 18 U.S.C. §§ 241,
242.)) Lastly, under Count 4, Plaintiff alleges that the
Judge “willfully and knowingly violate[d]”
Plaintiff's constitutional rights and “created a
public debt from said” unlawful conduct. (Id.
at 12-18 (citing 31 U.S.C. § 3729; 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1834, 1957; 42 U.S.C. 2000d-7.))
complaint must provide a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that [the Plaintiff] is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). That statement must
“give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted tests the legal sufficiency of the
claims in the complaint. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555. “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
“Determining whether a complaint states ...