United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT HMS GLOBAL MARITIME,
LLC'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT DISMISSING
J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant HMS Global
Maritime, LLC's (“HMS Global”) Motion for
Summary Judgment Dismissing Plaintiff's Claims. Dkt. 110.
The Court is familiar with the motion, all materials filed in
support of and in opposition to the motion, and the remainder
of the record herein, and it is fully advised. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court should grant HMS
Global's Motion for Summary Judgment.
BACKGROUND & PROCEDURAL HISTORY
case arises from allegedly unlawful searches conducted by
Defendant HMS Ferries, Inc.'s (“HMS Ferry”)
personnel against Plaintiff when he attempted to board a
ferry in his car. Dkt. 83. Pierce County contracts with HMS
Ferries to operate Pierce County's ferry system. Dkt. 46,
at 2. HMS Global is the parent corporate entity and sole
shareholder of HMS Ferries. Dkts. 110; and 111. HMS Global is
a Delaware corporation; it has no employees or agents in
Washington. Dkts. 110; and 111. HMS Ferries manages its own
books and accounts and is in the business of managing ferry
systems throughout the United States. Dkts. 110; and 111.
Global filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt.
110. Plaintiff filed a response brief. Dkt. 143. HMS Global
filed a reply brief. Dkt. 147.
PRO SE STANDARDS
plaintiff proceeds pro se, a district court is required to
afford plaintiff the benefit of any doubt in ascertaining
what claims plaintiff raised in the complaint and argued to
the district court. Alvarez v. Hill, 518 F.3d 1152,
1158 (9th Cir. 2008), (citing Morrison v. Hall, 261
F.3d 896, 899 n.2 (9th Cir. 2001)); see also Karim-Panahi
v. Los Angeles Police Dept., 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir.
1988) (pleadings of pro se civil rights plaintiff to be
construed liberally, affording plaintiff benefit of any
Plaintiff filed this complaint pro se, the court has
construed the pleadings liberally and has afforded Plaintiff
the benefit of any doubt. See Karim-Panahi, 839 F.2d
at 623. However, “[p]ro se litigants in the ordinary
civil case should not be treated more favorably than parties
with attorneys of record." Jacobsen v. Filler,
790 F.2d 1362, 1364 (9th Cir. 1986).
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
judgment is proper only if the pleadings, the discovery and
disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that
there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a
sufficient showing on an essential element of a claim in the
case on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1985).
There is no genuine issue of fact for trial where the record,
taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to
find for the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)
(nonmoving party must present specific, significant probative
evidence, not simply “some metaphysical doubt.”).
See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(d). Conversely, a
genuine dispute over a material fact exists if there is
sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute,
requiring a judge or jury to resolve the differing versions
of the truth. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 253 (1986); T.W. Elec. Service Inc. v. Pacific
Electrical Contractors Association, 809 F.2d 626, 630
(9th Cir. 1987).
determination of the existence of a material fact is often a
close question. The court must consider the substantive
evidentiary burden that the nonmoving party must meet at
trial - e.g., a preponderance of the evidence in most civil
cases. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 254, T.W. Elect.
Service Inc., 809 F.2d at 630. The court must resolve
any factual issues of controversy in favor of the nonmoving
party only when the facts specifically attested by that party
contradict facts specifically attested by the moving party.
The nonmoving party may not merely state that it will
discredit the moving party's evidence at trial, in the
hopes that evidence can be developed at trial to support the
claim. T.W. Elect. Service Inc., 809 F.2d at 630
(relying on Anderson, supra). Conclusory,
non-specific statements in affidavits are not sufficient, and
“missing facts” will not be
“presumed.” Lujan v. National Wildlife
Federation, 497 U.S. 871, 888-89 (1990).
PIERCING THE CORPORATE VEIL
parent corporation (so-called because of control through
ownership of another corporation's stock) is not liable
for the acts of its subsidiaries.” United States v.
Bestfoods,524 U.S. 51, 61 (1998). “The corporate
veil may be pierced and the shareholder held liable for the
corporation's conduct when, inter alia, the corporate
form would otherwise be misused to accomplish certain
wrongful purposes, most notably fraud, on the
shareholder's behalf.” Id. at 62. State
corporate law and common law principles ...