Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nissen v. Lindquist

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

January 18, 2018

GLENDA NISSEN, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK LINDQUIST, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Mark Lindquist (“Lindquist”), Mark and Chelsea Lindquist, and Pierce County's (“County”) (collectively “Defendants”) motion to dismiss. Dkt. 56. 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 in part and denies in part the motion for the reasons stated herein.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On February 1, 2016, Plaintiff Glenda Nissen (“Nissen”) filed a complaint against Defendants in Pierce County Superior Court for the State of Washington. Dkt. 1, Ex. A. Nissen asserted causes of action for violations of her constitutional rights, abuse of process, invasion of privacy, constructive discharge, outrage, violations of Washington Law Against Discrimination, RCW Chapter 49.60 (“WLAD”), and breach of contract. Id.

         On February 5, 2016, Defendants removed the matter to this Court. Dkt. 1.

         On February 22, 2016, Defendants moved to dismiss. Dkt. 9. On April 20, 2016, the Court granted the motion and granted Nissen leave to amend. Dkt. 18.

         On April 28, 2016, Nissen filed an amended complaint. Dkt. 20. On May 12, 2016, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. Dkt. 25. On August 11, 2016, the Court granted the motion in part and requested supplemental briefing. Dkt. 30. On January 3, 2017, the Court granted the motion in part and requested supplemental briefing. Dkt. 37.

         On January 20, 2017, Nissen filed a motion to amend. Dkt. 39. On March 13, 2017, the Court granted the remainder of Defendants' motion and granted Nissen's motion. Dkt. 44.

         On March 17, 2017, Nissen filed a second amended complaint (“SAC”). Dkt. 45. On September 7, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the SAC. Dkt. 56. On September 25. 2017, Nissen responded and filed an appendix for the convenience of the Court. Dkt. 57. On September 29, 2017, Defendants replied and moved to strike the appendix. Dkt. 58.[1]

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Nissen was a police officer with the County. Nissen allegedly spoke out against Lindquist as a prosecutor. Nissen also filed public record act requests that subsequently turned into state court cases seeking to obtain records that Lindquist refused to produce. Nissen alleges that she experienced retaliation for her actions, which led to a settlement agreement between her and the County. Nissen, however, alleges that the County and its employees failed to honor the agreement and continued to retaliate against her. Eventually, Nissen resigned alleging a constructive discharge.

         III. DISCUSSION

         Instead of attacking the complaint as a whole, Defendants attack specific allegations and arguments as being implausible. Nissen has definitely provided ample irrelevant and implausible material. Nissen, however, must only assert one plausible allegation for each element of a claim to survive a motion to dismiss.[2] As discussed below, Nissen has met this minimal burden on all but one of her claims.

         A. Standard

         Motions to dismiss brought under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 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 Department, 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. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1965. Plaintiffs must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 1974.

         B. First Amendment Retaliation

         “In order to state a claim against a government employer for violation of the First Amendment, an employee must show (1) that he or she engaged in protected speech; (2) that the employer took adverse employment action; and (3) that his or her speech was a substantial or motivating factor for the adverse employment action.” C ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.