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Richfield v. Fish Food Banks of Pierce County

United States District Court, Western District of Washington, Tacoma

January 22, 2015

STEVEN E. RICHFIELD and CAROLYN TRUMBULL, Plaintiffs,
v.
FISH FOOD BANKS OF PIERCE COUNTY, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTIONS AND GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, United States District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs Steven Richfield and Carolyn Trumbull’s (“Plaintiffs”) motion for immediate pretrial settlement conference (Dkt. 22), Defendant FISH Food Banks of Pierce County’s (“Food Bank”) motion to dismiss (Dkt. 31), and Plaintiffs’ motion to convert motion (Dkt. 33). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby denies Plaintiffs’ motions and grants Defendant’s motion for the reasons stated herein.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On June 27, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a complaint against the Food Bank alleging numerous causes of action. Dkt. 1. Plaintiffs later clarified their claims as (1) a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), (2) slander, and (3) a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). Dkt. 8 at 2–3.

On July 31, 2014, the Food Bank filed a motion to dismiss. Dkt. 7. On September 3, 2013, the Court granted the motion. Dkt. 11. On September 5, 2014, the Clerk entered judgment against Plaintiffs. Dkt. 12.

On September 24, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a motion to vacate the judgment arguing that they were not given an opportunity to amend their complaint to correct the deficiencies the Court found in the previous complaint. Dkt. 14. On October 21, 2014, the Court granted the motion and allowed Plaintiffs an opportunity to file an amended complaint. Dkt. 20.

On November 6, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a motion for immediate pretrial settlement conference (Dkt. 22) and a third revised complaint (Dkt. 23). On November 7, 2014, the Food Bank responded to Plaintiffs’ motion. Dkt. 25. On November 12, 2014, Plaintiffs replied. Dkt. 26.

On November 18, 2014, the Food Bank filed a motion to dismiss. Dkt. 31. On November 28, 2014, Plaintiffs responded (Dkt. 32) and filed a motion to convert the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 33). On December 12, 2014, the Food Bank replied (Dkt. 36) and filed a response to Plaintiffs’ motion (Dkt. 37).

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs’ suit arises out of the Food Bank banning Plaintiffs from the premises. Plaintiffs allege that they have been shopping at the Food Bank for approximately three years. Dkt. 1 at 10. On a visit in February 2014, Plaintiffs allege that the Food Bank coordinator Kate Wright asked Ms. Trumbull about alleged threats made by Food Bank volunteer Angela toward Ms. Trumbull on a prior visit. Id. Ms. Trumbull informed Mr. Richfield of the inquiry, and Mr. Richfield proceeded to Ms. Wright’s office, speaking “harshly to [Ms.] Wright . . . .” Id. Plaintiffs did not go to the Food Bank for several weeks after this incident. Id. at 11.

When they did return, they allege that Ms. Wright permanently banned them from the Food Bank. Id. They allege that Ms. Wright said that she felt threatened by Plaintiffs in front of a crowd of Food Bank customers. Id.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Settlement Conference

In their motion, Plaintiffs request an early settlement conference to possibly end this case and conserve resources. Dkt. 22. The Food Bank opposes the motion. Dkt. 25. The Court finds that there is not good cause at this point to order the Food Bank to attend a settlement conference. The parties, however, are free to exchange settlement offers ...


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