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Edwards v. Court

United States District Court, D. Arizona

November 18, 2014

Corey Darnell Edwards, Plaintiff,
v.
Mesa Municipal Court, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

DAVID G. CAMPBELL, District Judge.

Defendant City of Mesa has filed a motion for a more definite statement. Doc. 4. The Court will grant the motion. Defendants Maricopa County Sheriff's Office ("MCSO") and Sheriff Arpaio have filed a motion to dismiss. Doc. 5. The Court will grant the motion. Plaintiff has filed two motions for judgment and for a court date (Docs. 9, 10), which the Court will deny as moot.

I. Background.

Plaintiff filed a pro se complaint on June 12, 2014, in Maricopa County Superior Court against Mesa Municipal Court, Chandler Police, Mesa Police, MCSO, and Sheriff Arpaio. Doc. 1-1 at 5. Plaintiff alleges false imprisonment and civil rights violations. Doc. 1-1 at 3. The complaint does not specify any legal authority for the claims, but the Court construes the false imprisonment claim as a state law claim and the civil rights claim as a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim. Defendants MCSO and Sheriff Arpaio removed the case to this Court on July 25, 2014. Doc. 1.

II. Motion for a More Definite Statement.

Defendant City of Mesa moves for a more definite statement. Doc. 4. Under Rule 12(e), if a complaint is so vague or ambiguous that a party cannot reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading, the defendant may move for an order requiring a more definite statement by pointing out the defects complained of and the details desired. Bautista v. Cnty. of L.A., 216 F.3d 837, 843, n. 1 (9th Cir. 2000). The Citys motion identifies the complaint's defects and the details desired. Plaintiff's complaint fails to allege whether each legal claim applies to each defendant. Plaintiff vaguely states that his "civil rights have been taken in every way, " and lists various arrests and run-ins with Mesa Municipal Court, Mesa Police Department, Chandler Police Department, MCSO, and Sheriff Arpaio. Doc. 1-1 at 3.

In light of the City's motion and the clear deficiencies in Plaintiff's complaint, the Court will require Plaintiff to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff's response to the motion describes the events leading to his claims (Doc. 7), but these factual allegations should be included in the amended complaint. Plaintiff's response also continues to allege vague, abstract claims such as "they have made up false document [sic] and stripped me of my ciliv [sic] rights, " without specifying to which Defendant the Plaintiff refers or the nature of the legal claim asserted. Doc. 7 at 3. In drafting the amended complaint, Plaintiff should follow the guidance provided in Sections III.B and IV of this order. Plaintiff shall have until December 22, 2014 to file a first amended complaint.

III. Motion to Dismiss.

A. State Law Claims.

Defendants MCSO and Sheriff Arpaio (the "County Defendants") have filed a motion to dismiss. Doc. 5. Plaintiff has failed to respond and the time for responding has now expired. See LRCiv 7.2(c).

The County Defendants assert that Plaintiff's state law claims are barred by the notice of claim requirements in A.R.S. § 12-821.01. Doc. 5 at 1. Plaintiff has not responded to the County Defendants' assertion that no notice of claim was served.

Section 12-821.01 provides:

Persons who have claims against a public entity or a public employee shall file claims with the person or persons authorized to accept service for the public entity or public employee as set forth in the Arizona rules of civil procedure within one hundred eighty days after the cause of action accrues. The claim shall contain facts sufficient to permit the public entity or public employee to understand the basis on which liability is claimed. The claim shall also contain a specific amount for which the claim can be settled and the facts supporting that amount. Any claim which is not filed within one hundred eighty days after the cause of action accrues is barred and no action may be maintained thereon.

A.R.S. § 12-821.01(A). Because Plaintiff has not disputed that he failed to serve a notice of claim on the County Defendants, the Court will grant ...


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