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Enquist v. Conger

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

June 1, 2017

GERALD D. ENQUIST, Plaintiff,
v.
ANDRIA SHAW CONGER, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND GRANTING PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO AMEND

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Andria Shaw Conger, Paul Pastor, and Pierce County Sheriff's Department's (“Defendants”) motion to dismiss (Dkt. 15). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby grants the motion for the reasons stated herein.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On February 7, 2017, Plaintiff Gerald Enquist (“Enquist”) filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis and a proposed complaint. Id. Enquist alleges that, as a result of a 1976 arrest and conviction, he must register with the Pierce County Sex/Kidnapping Offender Registration Unit (“SKORU”). Id. He claims that he must report on a weekly basis because he is a transient, while similarly situated individuals with a fixed address must only contact SKORU once or if they move to a new address. Id. Enquist asserts that RCW 9A.44.130 violates his constitutional right to travel, due process rights, and equal protection rights. Id.

         On April 11, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. Dkt. 15. On April 26, 2017, Enquist responded. Dkt. 17. On May 5, 2017, Defendants replied. Dkt. 21-1.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On August 1, 2016, Enquist contacted SKORU requesting permission to travel outside of Pierce County. Although not clearly alleged in his complaint, Enquist has provided additional information alleging that Defendant Conger told Enquist that, before he could travel outside of Pierce County, Enquist must provide the dates and addresses of where he would be staying in advance and that traveling without providing this information would result in a felony warrant for his arrest. Dkt. 17 at 4.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard

         Motions to dismiss brought under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) may be based on either the lack of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient facts alleged under such a theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). Material allegations are taken as admitted and the complaint is construed in the plaintiff's favor. Keniston v. Roberts, 717 F.2d 1295, 1301 (9th Cir. 1983). To survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint does not require detailed factual allegations but must provide the grounds for entitlement to relief and not merely a “formulaic recitation” of the elements of a cause of action. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.

         B. Facial Challenge

         Defendants argue they are not the proper parties to defend a facial challenge to RCW § 9A.44.130(b)(6). Dkt. 15 at 5. The Court agrees to the extent that Enquist alleges any enforcement of the statute is unconstitutional. Thus, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 5.1(a), the attorney general must be notified of this matter. If Enquist asserts a facial challenge in an amended complaint, the Court will direct the Clerk to notify the Washington attorney general.

         C. Pierce County Sheriff's Department

         Defendants argue that the Pierce County Sheriff's Department is not an entity capable of being sued. Dkt. 15 at 9. The Court agrees and grants Enquist leave to amend to remove the ...


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