United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
MICHAEL S. BENT, Plaintiff,
PATRICIA LASHWAY, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT, DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT, AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the following motions:
1. Plaintiff Michael Bent's ("Plaintiff) motion for
default or summary judgment against Defendants Greg Kimsey
("Kimsey") and Mark McCauley ("McCauley")
(collectively "County Defendants") (Dkt. 68);
2. Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment against
Defendant Patricia Lashway ("Lashway") (Dkt. 58);
3. The cross-motion for summary judgment of Defendants Kimsey
and McCauley (collectively "County Defendants")
(Dkt. 76); and
4. Lashway's cross-motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 82).
Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in
opposition to these motions and the remainder of the file and
hereby grants the cross-motions for summary judgment in favor
of Lashway and the County Defendants for the reasons stated
October 31, 2016, Plaintiff filed his original complaint in
this action against Lashway in her official capacity as
Acting Secretary of the Washington Department of Social and
Health Services ("DSHS"); the Assistant Secretary
for the Administration for Children and Families under the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (the
"Secretary"); McCauley, in his official capacity as
Manager and CEO of Clark County; and Kimsey, in his official
capacity as Clark County Auditor. Dkt. 1. Plaintiff asserted
numerous claims based on the theory that "Lashway
inappropriately steers Federal Incentive grant awards to the
County with intention to bias custodial arrangement in
fragmented families." Id.
October 31, 2016, Plaintiff moved for the recusal of any
judge that was a member of the Washington State Bar
Association, on the basis that membership in the same state
bar association as Lashway would undermine the impartiality
of the Court. Dkt. 3. Plaintiff's motion for recusal was
denied. Dkts. 17, 18.
January 3, 2017, Lashway filed a motion for a more definite
statement (Dkt. 24) and the Secretary filed a motion to
dismiss (Dkt. 25). On February 22, 2017, the Court granted
the Secretary's motion and dismissed Plaintiff's
claims against the Secretary with prejudice. Dkt. 35. The
Court also granted Lashway's motion for a more definite
statement, giving Plaintiff leave to amend his claims against
Lashway only. Dkt. 35. On February 27, 2017, Plaintiff
appealed. Dkt. 38.
March 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. Dkt. 40.
On March 14, 2017, the Ninth Circuit dismissed
Plaintiff's appeal for lack of jurisdiction because the
Court's order did not dispose of all claims against all
parties. Dkt. 44.
March 17, 2017, both the Secretary and Lashway again moved to
dismiss the amended complaint. Dkts. 45, 46. On May 23, 2017,
the Court entered an order granting the Secretary's
motion to dismiss and denying Lashway's motion to
dismiss. Dkt. 54.
6, 2017, Lashway filed her answer to the amended complaint.
Dkt. 55. On July 27, 2016, the County Defendants filed their