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White v. Relay Resource

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

October 31, 2019

DEBRA VANESSA WHITE, Plaintiff,
v.
RELAY RESOURCES and GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, Defendants.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Relay Resources' motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 52). Having considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court STRIKES the claims against the Relay Resources' in Plaintiff's amended complaint (Dkt. No. 47) and DENIES Relay Resources' motion to dismiss as moot.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Court previously set forth the underlying facts of this case and will not repeat them here. (See Dkt. No. 40 at 1-3.) On July 9, 2019, the Court dismissed all but one of Plaintiff's claims against Relay Resources. (See Id. at 6-7.) In doing so, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to amend her breach of contract claim. (See Id. at 5-7.) Plaintiff subsequently filed an amended complaint, but she did not amend her breach of contract claim. (See generally Dkt. No. 47.) Instead, Plaintiff added several new defendants and asserted 10 new claims against Relay Resources. (See generally id.) Relay Resources now moves to dismiss all but one of Plaintiff's new claims on the grounds that (1) Plaintiff did not comply with the Court's July 9 order, (see Dkt. No. 52 at 2-3), and (2) the amended complaint fails to state claims for which relief can be granted, (see Id. at 4-11). In the alternative, Relay Resources asks the Court to direct Plaintiff to file a more definitive statement of her claims. (See Id. at 9.)

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiff's Compliance with the Court's Order

         As the Court previously set forth in a different order, Relay Resources incorrectly construes the Court's July 9 order as having barred Plaintiff from seeking to amend her complaint by adding new claims. (See Dkt. No. 80 at 2.) Because Plaintiff may still seek leave to amend her complaint but must request the Court's permission to do so in a motion, the Court will construe Plaintiff's amended complaint as a motion for leave to amend. (See Id. at 2-4) (citing Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 7(b)(1), 15(a)). Accordingly, the Court must analyze Plaintiff's implied “motion” under Rule 15(a) instead of Rule 12(b).

         Rule 15(a)(2) states that “[the] court should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires.” However, leave “need not be granted where the proposed amendment is futile.” Nordyke v. King, 644 F.3d 776, 788 n.12 (9th Cir. 2011). A proposed amendment is futile if it would be “subject to dismissal.” Steckman v. Hart Brewing, Inc., 143 F.3d 1293, 1298 (9th Cir. 1998). The test for whether a proposed amendment is futile is, therefore, identical to the test for whether a pleading survives a challenge under Rule 12(b)(1) or (6).[1] See Nordyke, 644 at 788 n.12 (citing Miller v. Rykoff-Sexton, Inc., 845 F.2d 209, 214 (9th Cir. 1988)). Accordingly, Plaintiff must establish that the Court has subject matter jurisdiction over each of her new claims. Stock West, Inc. v. Confederated Tribes, 873 F.2d 1221, 1225 (9th Cir. 1989). Plaintiff must also allege sufficient facts, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009). A claim has facial plausibility when a plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Id. at 678.

         B. The Merits of Plaintiff's New Claims

         Plaintiff proposes to add 10 claims against Relay Resources. For the reasons explained below, the Court finds that except for her sixth claim, all of Plaintiff's proposed claims are futile. The Court further finds that Plaintiff's sixth claim is redundant with claims in her original complaint.

         1. Count I

         In Count I, Plaintiff brings a claim under 18 U.S.C. § 371 for “Defrauding the United States.” (See Dkt. No. 47 at 8.) It is unclear, however, how Relay Resources allegedly defrauded the United States; Plaintiff's factual allegations relate only to her inability to “use the computer” or access other information. (See id.) More importantly, 18 U.S.C. § 371 “do[es] not provide for a private right of action.” Henry v. Universal Tech. Inst., 559 Fed. App'x 648, 650 (9th Cir. 2014). Count I therefore fails to state a claim.

         2. Count II

         For Count II, Plaintiff brings a claim under 18 U.S.C. Chapter 47. (See Dkt. No. 47 at 8- 9.) Chapter 47, like the rest of the United States Criminal Code, “provide[s] no basis for civil liability.” See Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d ...


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