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US v Colo Cty 1

US v Colo Cty 1

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Published by Howard Friedman

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Published by: Howard Friedman on Jan 07, 2013
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01/07/2013

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONAUNITED STATES OF AMERICA,))Plaintiff, ))vs.))TOWN OF COLORADO CITY, ARIZONA; )CITY OF HILDALE, UTAH; )TWIN CITY POWER; and )TWIN CITY WATER AUTHORITY, INC., ) No. 3:12-cv-8123-HRH) (Prescott Division)Defendants. ) ___________________________________)O R D E RMotions to Dismiss
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Defendants City of Hildale, Utah, Twin City Power, and TwinCity Water Authority, Inc. (collectively the “Hildale Defendants”),move to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint or, in the alternative, fora more definite statement. The motion is opposed. Oral argumenthas been requested but is not deemed necessary.Plaintiff asserts three causes of action against the HildaleDefendants: (1) a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 14141(a), the ViolentCrime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994; (2) a violation of42 U.S.C. § 3614(a), the Fair Housing Act; and (3) a violation of42 U.S.C. § 2000b, Title III of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. TheHildale Defendants seek the dismissal of all three causes of action
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Docket No. 21.Order Motions to Dismiss - 1 -
Case 3:12-cv-08123-HRH Document 38 Filed 11/29/12 Page 1 of 7
 
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or fora more definite statement pursuant to Rule 12(e), Federal Rules ofCivil Procedure.Rule 12(b)(6) motions are governed by Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662 (2009). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaintmust contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘statea claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Iqbal at 678(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).This application of Iqbal is summarized by the Ninth Circuit courtin Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011).First, to be entitled to the presumption oftruth, allegations in a complaint ... may notsimply recite the elements of a cause ofaction, but must contain sufficient allega-tions of underlying facts to give fair noticeand to enable the opposing party to defenditself effectively. Second, the factualallegations that are taken as true mustplausibly suggest an entitlement to relief....Plaintiff’s § 14141(a) claim, the first cause of action,focuses upon the conduct of law enforcement officers who serve theCity of Hildale. Plaintiff’s first cause of action does not simplyrely upon labels or conclusions or a bare recitation of the ele-ments of the § 14141(a) claim. Rather, the “allegations” portionof the complaint — and more particularly, the “unconstitutionalpolicing” paragraphs (16 through 35) — contain allegations ofunderlying facts which the court takes as true for purposes of thismotion and which serve to put Hildale on notice and enable itsdefense. In arguing that the plaintiff’s first claim sets forthnothing but conclusions, Hildale recites that, for example, theOrder Motions to Dismiss - 2 -
Case 3:12-cv-08123-HRH Document 38 Filed 11/29/12 Page 2 of 7
 
complaint in paragraph 16 simply alleges that the law enforcementpersonnel failed to provide policing services on the basis of indi-viduals’ religion. Hildale divorces this bald statement from itsfactual surroundings. Similarly in other arguments, Hildale stripsfrom plaintiff’s pleading the central factual context. For exam-ple, with respect to paragraph 32, Hildale ignores the stated fac-tual allegations surrounding a due process allegation.Finally, Hildale argues that § 14141(a) applies only to theconduct of authorities involved in the administration of juvenilejustice. Hildale misreads the statute. It applies in the disjunc-tive to governmental law enforcement officers or city employeesinvolved in the administration of juvenile justice.Reading plaintiff’s first cause of action together with thefactual predicate set forth in the complaint under the allega-tions/unconstitutional policing headings, plaintiff has stated aplausible cause of action for violation of 42 U.S.C. § 14141(a).Hildale seeks the dismissal of plaintiff’s second cause ofaction which alleges that the Fair Housing Act was violated.Hildale’s arguments parallel those discussed above as to the firstcause of action, and the analysis of the failure to state a claimcontention is the same.Plaintiff’s complaint does not merely recite the elements ofa cause of action under § 3614(a) of the Fair Housing Act. Thecomplaint contains — under the “allegations/housing discrimination”paragraphs (36 through 41) — a factual statement sufficient to giveHildale fair notice of the alleged violations of the act. ReadingOrder Motions to Dismiss - 3 -
Case 3:12-cv-08123-HRH Document 38 Filed 11/29/12 Page 3 of 7

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