United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' RULE 12(c) MOTION FOR
JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
S. LASNIK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on defendants' motion for
partial judgment on the pleadings (Dkt. #13). Plaintiff
Bradley Johansen filed a state-court complaint alleging
negligence and civil rights claims against defendants Officer
A.J. Cox and the City of Kent. Defendants removed the case
and moved for judgment on the pleadings on all claims except
for the excessive force claim against Officer Cox.
reasons set forth below, the Court grants defendants'
17, 2014, plaintiff was in custody at the City of Kent
Correctional Facility (CKCF). That morning, Officer Cox
inspected plaintiffs cell. As a result of the inspection,
Officer Cox informed plaintiff he would be placed in a
72-hour lockdown. Plaintiff did not move from his seated
position in a top bunk. Officer Cox grabbed plaintiff's
arm and leg and pulled. When plaintiff landed on the floor,
he broke his ankle. In February 2016, plaintiff filed a
complaint in King County Superior Court alleging negligence
by both defendants and that Officer Cox used excessive force
in violation of plaintiff's constitutional rights.
Plaintiff also claimed the City of Kent negligently
trained and supervised Cox and that the City's failure to
train, supervise, and discipline police officers amounts to a
civil rights violation. Dkt. #1 at 7, ¶¶ 4.1-4.4.
Defendant removed the action (Dkt. #1) and answered (Dkt.
#3). This motion followed.
complaint has been answered, any party may move for judgment
on the pleadings so long as the motion does not delay trial.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). Judgment on the pleadings is proper
“when, accepting all factual allegations in the
complaint as true, there is no issue of material fact in
dispute, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Chavez v. U.S., 683 F.3d 1102,
1108 (9th Cir. 2012) (internal brackets omitted). When, as
here, the moving party asserts the defense that the complaint
fails to state a claim, the Rule 12(c) analysis is
substantially identical to that under Rule 12(b)(6) where
“a court must assess whether the complaint contains
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Chavez, 683 F.3d at 1108 (internal quotation marks
and brackets omitted); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 673 (2009).
Court's review under Rule 12(c) is generally limited to
the pleadings. See United States v. Corinthian
Colleges, 655 F.3d 984, 998-99 (9th Cir. 2011). If
matters outside the pleadings are considered, the motion is
converted into one for summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d).
However, Ninth Circuit authority indicates the Court can
consider three types of extrinsic evidence without converting
a 12(c) motion into a motion for summary judgment. See
Corinthian Colleges, 655 F.3d at 999. First, the Court
may take judicial notice of evidence when it is “not
subject to reasonable dispute” because it is
“generally known” or “capable of accurate
and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy
cannot be reasonably questioned.” Fed.R.Evid. 201(b);
Corinthian Colleges, 655 F.3d at 999. A second
exception allows for consideration of documents attached to
the complaint. See Corinthian Colleges, 655 F.3d at
999. The third exception includes “evidence on which
the complaint ‘necessarily relies' if: (1) the
complaint refers to the document; (2) the document is central
to the plaintiff's claim; and (3) no party questions the
authenticity of the document.” Id.
describes additional evidence from the discovery process in
his response. Response (Dkt. #14) at 3-5. None of the
exceptions apply to the personnel records he discusses. He
also provides excerpts from a deposition of Officer Cox (Dkt.
#15-1) which does not fall into any of the exceptions.
Plaintiff also provides representations of “Use of
Physical Force Policy KCF F.06.01” (Dkt. #15-2) and
“Restraints Policy KCF F.06.02” (Dkt. #15-3) and
discusses those policies in his response. Plaintiff provides
insufficient evidence to justify judicial notice of the
policies. Defendants do not address the policies in their
reply, but the source, publication status, and context of the
policies is not clear from the response or declaration of
plaintiff's counsel. Plaintiff did not refer to the
policies in his complaint and did not attach them. Therefore,
the policies do not fall into any exception. The Court
declines to convert this motion into one for summary judgment
and limits its consideration of defendants' motion to the
Claim of Both Defendants' Negligence
contend that plaintiff “has not adequately pleaded
either the existence of a duty under state law or facts from
which it could be reasonably inferred that [either] breached
any such duty.” Motion (Dkt. #13) at 3. Defendants also
argue, citing Brutsche v. City of Kent, 164 Wn.2d
664 (2008), that plaintiff cannot state a claim for
negligence when the conduct in question is
intentional. Dkt. #13 at 3-4.
cites Gregoire v. City of Oak Harbor, 170 Wn.2d 628
(2010), for the proposition that jails “have an active,
affirmative and nondelegable duty to protect the well-being
of inmates, which includes a duty to refrain from
affirmatively injuring them.” Dkt. #14 at 6. In
addition, plaintiff argues that a failure to exercise
ordinary care includes intentional and reckless conduct.
Id. at 8. Plaintiff ...