United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO DISMISS
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Seattle Police
Department (“SPD”)'s Motion to Dismiss, Dkt.
#6, and Defendants Uwajimaya, Inc., Uwajimaya Village, LLC,
Uwajimaya Village Owners Association, Uwajimaya Village, LLC,
Uwajimaya Real Properties, LLC, and EQR-Uwajimaya Village,
LLC (“collectively “Uwajimaya
Defendants”)'s Motion to Dismiss, Dkt. #13.
Plaintiff Barbara Stuart Robinson opposes these Motions.
Dkts. #16 and #17.
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that “on July 10, 2017 at
8:00PM Uwajimayaknowingly held the Plaintiff in there [sic]
building after a alein [sic] came into there [sic] building
with a complaint the Uwajimaya held the plaintiff and called
the Seattle Police Department causing injury to the
Plaintiffs [sic] rights.” Plaintiff goes on to state
“on July 10, 2017, the Seattle Police Department
appearing to the call to the building at Uwajimaya . . . and
Uwajimaya tresspassed [sic] the plaintiff in result of the
Seattle Police Department recklessly disregarding the
Plaintiffs complaint of alien has come to, entered, or
remained in the united states.” Complaint at Dkt. #1-2,
¶ 3. Plaintiff further alleges, “because Seattle
Police Department and Uwajimaya refused to give the Plaintiff
proof of the person she was video taping as a united states
citizen, the Defendants abridged the Plaintiffs contitutional
[sic] rights under the 14th amendment of equal protections of
the law 8 USC 1324.” Id. at ¶ 5.
Plaintiff then alleges that SPD “negligently”
abridged her constitutional rights in violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and that SPD violated her constitutional rights
when she was trespassed in “the pursuit of her
constitutional rights.” Id.
accompanying declaration, Plaintiff alleges that on July 10,
2017, Uwajimaya held her against her will after receiving a
complaint “from a alien person” that Plaintiff
was videotaping her.” Dkt. #1-3 at ¶ 2. Uwajimaya
allegedly called SPD and SPD “let the alien leave the
building and did not provide the Plaintiff . . . proof of
citizenship of the alien” that Plaintiff was
videotaping and “was detained and asked to surrender
her license to the Seattle Police Officers.”
Id. Plaintiff alleges that SPD “detained the
Plaintiff in the Uwajimaya security and let the alien leave
the building without providing the Plaintiff any proof,
” depriving Plaintiff of her rights. Id. at
¶ 5. Plaintiff attaches to her declaration two pictures
of the alleged “alien” crossing the street at two
different crosswalks. Id. at 4-7.
making a 12(b)(6) assessment, the court accepts all facts
alleged in the complaint as true, and makes all inferences in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Baker
v. Riverside County Office of Educ., 584 F.3d 821, 824
(9th Cir. 2009) (internal citations omitted). However, the
court is not required to accept as true a “legal
conclusion couched as a factual allegation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). The complaint “must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 678. This
requirement is met when the plaintiff “pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. The complaint need not include
detailed allegations, but it must have “more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Absent facial
plausibility, a plaintiff's claims must be dismissed.
Id. at 570.
City of Seattle on behalf of the SPD argues that this case
should be dismissed because “Plaintiff has not pled any
claim amounting to a violation of her equal protection
rights” and because “Plaintiff claims to have an
equal protection right to be told the name and citizenship
status of a stranger” but “[s]he does not.”
Dkt. #6 at 5. The City argues that Plaintiff cannot plead a
negligence claim under § 1983. Id. at 6 (citing
Hummasti v. Buckmaster, No. 06-251-MO, 2006 WL
2548412 (D. Or., August 30, 2006); Wood v.
Ostrander, 879 F.2d 583, 587 (9th Cir.1989)). The City
argues that Plaintiff cannot plead a negligence claim even
outside of a § 1983 claim, because she cannot establish
that a legal duty existed here. Id. The City argues
that Plaintiff has not and cannot allege unlawful detention,
citing United States v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119, 123
(2000), for the standard for an investigatory stop.
Id. SPD also argues that this Court should hold
Plaintiff to the vexatious litigant requirements established
for Ms. Robinson in Barbara Stuart Robinson v. Tacoma
Community College, No. C11-5151BHS, 2011 WL 6096295
(Dec. 7, 2011) for any future attempts at amendment.
Id. at 2. In that case, Judge Settle declared
Plaintiff a vexatious litigant, holding:
Barbara Stuart Robinson is hereinafter declared a vexatious
litigant in this district and may not file any claim in the
Western District of Washington against any government agency,
or its employees when acting in their official capacity,
without leave of court. When seeking leave of Court, Robinson
must submit a separate document that (1) states why the
claims are not frivolous and (2) certifies that the claims
she wishes to present are new claims never before raised and
disposed of on the merits by any federal court. Upon failure
to certify or upon a false certification, petitioner may be
found in contempt of court and punished accordingly.
Id. at *4.
Response, Plaintiff cites to legal authority for the standard
of pleading and the standard for bringing an equal protection
claim, however her briefing is highly repetitive and jumbled
to the point of being nearly incomprehensible by the Court.
See Dkt. #17. More importantly, Plaintiff fails to
adequately address the City's arguments above or discuss
the facts of this case.
Uwajimaya Defendants also move to dismiss, arguing, inter
alia, that a § 1983 claim cannot be brought against
them because Plaintiff did not plead that they acted under
the color of state law and because they are private entities,
not state actors. Dkt. #13 at 1. Plaintiff's Response to
that Motion suffers from the same problems as her other
Response. See Dkt. #16.
Court agrees with Defendants. Plaintiff has no equal
protection right to be told the name and citizenship status
of a stranger. Plaintiff has apparently traveled to
Seattle's International District/Chinatown neighborhood
to videotape and harass a person only because she appears
Asian. Plaintiff's demand to have the police stop this
person and obtain proof of her citizenship, based solely on
her appearance, is offensive. Even if Plaintiff had some
further basis for questioning this person's citizenship
status, SPD's actions in detaining Plaintiff to
investigate what happened and requesting to see her
driver's license do not constitute a basis for a §
1983 claim, a negligence claim, or any other claim given the
facts pled. The Uwajimaya Defendants are also correct that
they cannot be sued under § 1983 as they are private
entities not acting under color of state law. Plaintiff has
thus failed to state a claim upon which relief can be
complaint is dismissed for failure to state a claim,
“leave to amend should be granted unless the court
determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with
the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the
deficiency.” Schreiber Distrib. Co. v. Serv-Well
Furniture Co., 806 F.2d 1393, 1401 (9th Cir.
1986). The Court finds that Plaintiff cannot allege
different facts, consistent with the challenged pleading,
which could survive dismissal and that therefore leave to
amend will not be granted. Dismissal with prejudice is
warranted given the above and Ms. Robinson's history as a
the Court hereby finds and ORDERS:
Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (Dkts. #6 and ...