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Bent v. Lashway

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

October 30, 2017

MICHAEL S. BENT, Plaintiff,
v.
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 JUDGMENT

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This 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).

         The 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 herein.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On 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.

         Also on 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.

         On 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.

         On 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.

         On 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.

         On June 6, 2017, Lashway filed her answer to the amended complaint. Dkt. 55. On July 27, 2016, the County Defendants filed their ...


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