United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
S. ZILLY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on defendant City of
Seattle's motion to dismiss, docket no. 11. Having
reviewed the briefs filed in support of, and in opposition to,
the motion, the Court enters the following order.
Mane Faletogo is the father of Iosia Faletogo, who was shot
by defendant Seattle Police Officer Jared Keller.
See Compl. at ¶¶ 1 & 10 (docket no.
1). Plaintiff is not the personal representative of the
Estate of Iosia Faletogo, and he brings no claims on behalf
of the Estate or any of its beneficiaries. See id.
at ¶ 16. Plaintiff asserts solely a Fourteenth Amendment
substantive due process claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, for deprivation of his liberty interest in the
companionship and society of his son, against both Officer
Keller and City of Seattle. Id. at ¶¶
Seattle has moved to dismiss any Fourth Amendment claim
alleging excessive use of force on the ground that plaintiff
lacks standing. Plaintiff, however, has not pleaded a Fourth
Amendment claim, and City of Seattle's motion to dismiss
such claim is therefore STRICKEN as moot. With regard to
plaintiff's substantive due process claim under the
Fourteenth Amendment, City of Seattle has moved to dismiss on
the ground that plaintiff has not included within his
complaint “sufficient factual matter” to
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face,
” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
570 (2007)), in light of the doctrines set forth in
Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of N.Y.C., 436
U.S. 658 (1978), and its progeny. The Court agrees with City
has asserted merely that “[t]his claim also includes a
cause of action for a pattern, practice, and failure of
training on the part of the City of Seattle leading up to
this wrongful death, ” and that “[i]t is well
documented that the City of Seattle has a pattern and
practice of the use of excessive force.” Compl. at
¶ 16. The first statement indicates only what claim
plaintiff brings, and the second sentence is conclusory.
Plaintiff simply has not met the standards for pleading a
plausible Monell-based substantive due process claim
against City of Seattle. See City of Canton v.
Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 388-92 (1989) (an alleged failure
to train must reflect “deliberate indifference”
to constitutional rights to yield municipal liability);
Monell, 436 U.S. at 694 (a governmental entity is
responsible under § 1983 when execution of its
“policy or custom” by “those who edicts or
acts may fairly be said to represent official policy”
inflicts or is the “moving force” behind the
constitutional violation). Plaintiff will be given an
opportunity to cure the deficiencies of his complaint.
foregoing reasons, the Court ORDERS:
(1) Defendant City of Seattle's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss, docket no. 11, is STRICKEN in part as moot and
GRANTED in part. Plaintiff's claim against City of
Seattle is DISMISSED without prejudice and with leave to
amend. This ruling does not affect plaintiff's claim
against defendant Seattle Police Officer Jared Keller.
(2) Any amended complaint shall be electronically filed
within twenty-one (21) days of the date of this Order. Such
amended complaint may not alter the claim alleged against
Officer Keller, who has already answered the original
complaint, and who need not file any further responsive
pleading or motion.
(3) The deadline for the parties to exchange initial
disclosures pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
26(a)(1) and to submit a Combined Joint Status Report and
Discovery Plan is EXTENDED from April 29, 2019, to May 31,
(4) The Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Order to all
counsel of record.