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Schiff v. City and County of San Francisco

United States District Court, N.D. California

January 8, 2020

Frederick Schiff, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
City and County of San Francisco, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS CERTAIN CLAIMS; SETTING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE DKT. NO. 15

          YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         The motion of defendants City and County of San Francisco et al., to dismiss certain claims from plaintiff's First Amended Complaint is Granted on the grounds stated, with leave to amend limited as stated herein.

         Plaintiffs are twelve white, male San Francisco Police Department officers and one white, female officer who allege they were passed over for promotions in favor of lower-scoring minority and female candidates in a biased promotional process employing a version of “banding.”[1] (First Amended Complaint, “FAC” ¶ 1.) Plaintiffs allege seven claims against various combinations of defendants, only some of which defendants now move to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).[2]

         I. Discussion

         A. Claims Against Defendants Breed, Farrell, Suhr, and Scott in Their Official Capacities

         Defendants argue that plaintiffs' claims against Breed, Farrell, Suhr, and Scott in their official capacities are duplicative of their claims against the City. Moreover, the “official capacity” claims brought against defendants Suhr and Farrell, the former police chief and mayor respectively, should be dismissed because as former City officials they no longer have “official capacity” status. Plaintiffs respond only that official capacity claims are authorized under Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978).

         Official-capacity claims pursuant to section 1983 “generally represent only another way of pleading an action against an entity of which an officer is an agent.” Id. at 690 n.55. “As long as the government entity receives notice and an opportunity to respond, an official-capacity suit is, in all respects other than name, to be treated as a suit against the entity.” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985). “When both a municipal officer and a local government entity are named, and the officer is named only in an official capacity, the court may dismiss the officer as a redundant defendant.” Ctr for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. Los Angeles Cty. Sheriff Dep't, 533 F.3d 780, 799 (9th Cir. 2008).

         Here, each claim brought against Breed, Farrell, Suhr, and Scott in their official capacities is also brought against the City. Therefore, the motion to dismiss Breed, Farrell, Suhr, and Scott in their official capacities is Granted Without Leave To Amend.

         B. All Claims Against Entities Other Than the City

         In response to the motion to dismiss, plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss their claims against . Second Cause of Action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants Scott and Suhr in their all entities named in the FAC other than the City and County of San Francisco.

         C. Claims Under Sections 1981 and 1983 (First and Second Causes of Action) Against Defendant City and Against Defendants Breed and Farrell in their Individual Capacities

         In response to the motion to dismiss, plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss their claims under 42 U.S.C. section 1981 and 1983 against individual defendants Breed and Farrell.

         D. Claim Under Section 1985 (Third Cause of Action) Against All Defendants

         In response to the motion to dismiss, plaintiffs agree that they must amend the ...


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