United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
BILLY D. LYONS, Plaintiff,
PACIFIC COUNTY CLERK; ERIC SCHMIDT, Court of Appeals Commissioner; and ERIN L. LENNON, Supreme Court Clerk, Defendant.
B. LEIGHTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on State Judicial Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss [Dkt. #11]. For the following reasons, the
motion is GRANTED and Lyons' claims
against these defendants are DISMISSED WITH
the third lawsuit Lyons has filed in federal district
regarding the same subject matter. See Lyons v. Pacific
County, et al., Cause No. 16-cv-5256RBL, and Lyons
v. Pacific County, et al., Cause No. 17-5335RBL. All
three cases arise out of a lawsuit Lyons originally filed in
Pacific County Superior Court in 2006 against his former
business partner. Dkt. 1 at 1-2, No. C16-5256RBL (Apr. 5,
2017)), at 1. In all three cases, Lyons appears to be
complaining about the judicial assignment made in his
underlying state court lawsuit from 2006.
to Lyons, his 2006 state court lawsuit was originally
assigned to one judge, but later reassigned to another. Dkt.
1 at 1. Lyons appears to fault the Pacific County Clerk for
this action. Id.
subsequently filed two different actions in this Court
seeking to challenge the judicial assignment in the state
court case. Dkt. 10 at 1-2 (citing Lyons v. Pacific
County, et al., Cause No. 16-cv-5256RBL, and Lyons
v. Pacific County, et al., Cause No. 17-5335RBL). In
both cases, Lyons' claims were dismissed as frivolous and
barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.
alleges that he sought discretionary review of the trial
court's judicial assignment decision to the Washington
State Court of Appeals, and that the Court of Appeals
Commissioner denied review based on what Lyons considers to
be “misleading untrue allegations.” Dkt. 1 at 1.
In fact, the Court of Appeals Commissioner disposed of
Lyons' appeal of the 2006 case because it was untimely.
When Lyons later tried to appeal the same trial court issue
under a new cause number, the Court of Appeals Commissioner
noted that he “cannot challenge any of the decisions in
the 2006 case under this new cause number, ” and
further that Lyons had not “identified any act of the
trial court under this new cause number.”
further alleges that he appealed the Court of Appeals
Commissioner's ruling to Supreme Court Deputy Clerk Erin
Lennon, who told Lyons he must include a copy of the superior
court decision he is seeking to challenge with his appeal.
Dkt. 1 at 1-2. Ultimately, Lyons' Supreme Court filings
did not go anywhere because it became apparent he was
improperly trying to seek Supreme Court review of a decision
by a Court of Appeals Commissioner.
with the result of his attempted appeals, Lyons filed this
lawsuit against the Court of Appeals Commissioner, the
Supreme Court Deputy Clerk, and the Pacific County Clerk.
Standard for Dismissal Under Rules 12(b)(1), 12(b)(6), and
question of subject matter jurisdiction is properly raised by
a party through a motion under Rule 12(b)(1), but, may be
considered by the Court at any time pursuant to Rule
12(h)(3). United States v. Moreno-Morillo, 334 F.3d
819, 830 (9th Cir. 2003). Once raised, “[t]he party
asserting federal jurisdiction has the burden of establishing
it.” Miguel v. Country Funding Corp., 309 F.3d
1161, 1164 (9th Cir. 2002).
addition, a complaint must contain a “short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
677-78 (2009) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 8). When a pleading does
not meet that standard, it may be dismissed as failing to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). This pleading standard “demands
more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation. A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked
assertions devoid of further factual enhancement.”
Id. (citations omitted). A claim must be
“plausible on its face, ” and the Court should
not “necessarily assume the truth of legal conclusions
merely because they are cast in the form of factual
allegations.” Coto Settlement v. Eisenberg,
593 F.3d 1031, 1034 (9th Cir. 2010). The Court's review
can be viewed as a two-prong inquiry: “[a] complaint
may be dismissed as a matter of law for one of two reasons:
(1) lack of a cognizable legal theory or (2) insufficient
facts under a cognizable legal claim.” Robertson v.
Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 749 F.2d 530 (9th Cir.
motions on the pleadings under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12, the Court may
look not only to those events and circumstances as alleged in
the Complaint, but “a court may take judicial notice of
facts outside the pleadings.” Mack v. S. Bay Beer
Distribs. Inc., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir. 1986),
abrogated on other grounds by Astoria Fed. Sav. and Loan
Ass'n v. Solimino, 501 U.S. 104, 107-08 (1991);
see also Holder v. Holder, 305 F.3d 854, 866 (9th
Cir. 2002). The Court's consideration of documents
outside the pleadings does not convert a Rule 12 motion to
dismiss into a motion for summary judgment “when the