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Henderson v. Los Angeles County

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

April 17, 2014

GLENN HENDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY; LOS ANGELES COUNTY DA'S OFFICE; PETER GLICK; STEVE COOLEY; CLINTON & CLINTON; DAVID CLINTON; ESIS ACE USA; LAPD; COLLEEN R. SMITH; SANDRA BARRIENTO; OPEIU NY; CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Defendants.

ORDER

LOUISE W. FLANAGAN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the court on the motion to dismiss filed by defendants County of Los Angeles ("LA County"), Los Angeles County DA's Office ("LA DA"), Steve Cooley ("Cooley") and Peter Glick ("Glick") (collectively, "the Los Angeles defendants"), made pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1), (2), and (6) (DE 119). Also before the court is the motion to dismiss filed by defendants Sandra Barrientos ("Barrientos") and the State of California, acting by and through its Department of Justice ("California AG"), made pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and (6) (DE 101).[1] For reasons that follow, the court will GRANT these motions.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

The court refers to, and incorporates by reference, the statement of the case contained in its order entered November 6, 2013. As noted therein, the United States (subsequently dismissed as a party) removed the instant action to this court on September 4, 2013, substituting itself for four defendant federal judges. That same day, it filed its motion to dismiss, asserting that this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims against it. This motion was granted by order entered November 18, 2013. Numerous other defendants also filed motions to dismiss, which the court granted by orders entered November 6, 18, 19, and 20, 2013.

On November 15, 2013, defendants Barrientos and California AG filed their motion to dismiss. Therein, defendants Barrientos and California AG assert that they lack the minimum contacts with North Carolina required for this court to assert personal jurisdiction over them. They also maintain the plaintiffs' claims against them are barred by sovereign immunity and that plaintiff fails to articulate a claim against them.

The Los Angeles defendants later filed their motion to dismiss (DE 119), contending that this court lacks personal jurisdiction over them. The Los Angeles defendants also maintain that the court has no subject matter jurisdiction where plaintiff's claims are barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, and the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, that plaintiff fails to state a claim against them, and that plaintiff lacks standing to bring his claims against them.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Plaintiff's complaint contains no factual claims against defendant Barrientos, and only one brief allegation against defendant California AG. More specifically, plaintiff asserts that "[t]he LA DA's office, CA DOJ, and USDOJ would not help me with my problems with Sony." Compl. ¶ 2.

With respect to the Los Angeles defendants, plaintiff appears to allege that he was harassed by employees of defendant LA County. See id. ¶ 12 ("I was harassed by state employees and county employees."). Plaintiff's allegations with respect to defendant LA DA are as follows: "[t]he LA DA's office, CA DOJ, and USDOJ would not help me with my problems with Sony." Id . ¶ 2. It also did not respond to written correspondence he sent regarding whether an email he sent to the CEO of Sony was "okay and free speech." Id . ¶ 3(10). Plaintiff also sent emails to defendant LA DA about "incidents" after the last case he filed in California to which it did not respond. Id . ¶ 6. Regarding defendant Glick, plaintiff alleges that he had California Code of Civil Procedure § 391 applied to him. Id . ¶¶ 3(17), 8. Plaintiff does not mention defendant Cooley in his complaint. In his response in opposition to the Los Angeles defendants' motion, however, plaintiff asserts that defendant Cooley worked at LA DA, where he supervised defendant Glick, who also worked there. Pl.'s Resp. Opp'n to Los Angeles Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss 2.[2]

COURT'S DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

Where the court addresses a Rule 12(b)(2) motion without the benefit of evidentiary hearing, but rather relies only on the motions papers, supporting memoranda, affidavits, and pleadings, the plaintiff's burden is to make a prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction. Carefirst of Maryland Inc. v. Carefirst Pregnancy Ctrs., Inc. , 334 F.3d 390, 396 (4th Cir. 2003). Ultimately, the burden of proof on the plaintiff is one of preponderance of the evidence. New Wellington Fin. Corp. v. Flagship Resort Dev. Corp. , 416 F.3d 290, 294 (4th Cir. 2005). In this context, the court construes the allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, assumes credibility, and draws the most favorable inferences for the existence of jurisdiction. Carefirst , 334 F.3d at 396. To make out a prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction a plaintiff must make allegations that such jurisdiction exists. Clark v. Remark, No. 92-1682, 1993 WL 134616, at *2 (4th Cir. Apr. 29, 1993).

The plaintiff may not rest on mere jurisdictional allegations where a defendant has countered those allegations with evidence that jurisdiction does not exist. Id . (citing Barclays Leasing v. Nat'l Bus. Sys. , 750 F.Supp. 184, 186 (W.D. N.C. 1990)). Rather, plaintiff must come forward with affidavits or other evidence to counter defendant's arguments, and once both parties have presented evidence, factual conflicts are resolved in favor of the party asserting jurisdiction. Id . In construing the pleadings, affidavits, and other supporting documents in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the court does not "credit conclusory ...


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