United States District Court, D. Arizona
Donna L. Stypeck, Plaintiff,
City of Clarkdale et al., Defendants.
G. CAMPBELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint,
asserting claims against Defendant Kathy Parker under 42
U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985. Doc. 54. Defendant Parker
moves for judgment on the pleadings. Doc. 62. The issues are
fully briefed, Docs. 67-68, and no party has requested oral
argument. The Court will grant the motion.
2015, Plaintiff’s dog was involved in an altercation
with Richard Calvert’s horse. Doc. 1. Calvert told the
authorities that Plaintiff’s dog bit his horse and that
veterinary treatment was required. Id. In August
2015, Defendant Parker sent a letter to Plaintiff asking to
interview her about the incident. Doc. 54, ¶ 4. The
letter was signed by Jonathan Millet, an attorney with the
firm Boyle, Pecharich, Cline, Whittington, & Stallings,
P.L.L.C. (“Boyle PLLC”). Id. at 12.
Boyle PPLC has contracted with the Town of Clarksdale to
serve as its town prosecutor. Doc. 21 at 18-22.
Plaintiff called Parker, Parker allegedly told Plaintiff:
“And here’s how it goes. If you don’t pay
the vet bill [for Calvert’s horse], then charges will
be filed.” Doc. 54, ¶ 4. Plaintiff agreed to pay
the vet bill. Parker sent a follow-up letter, signed by
Millet, confirming this agreement and stating that Millet
would “reconsider [his] decision not to file
charges” if she did not pay the vet bill as agreed.
Id., ¶ 5, and p. 13.
filed claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985
against Millett and Parker, asserting that they violated the
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Doc.
1. Defendants filed a Rule 12(c) motion. The Court dismissed
the claims against Millet, finding that his conduct was
protected by absolute prosecutorial immunity. Doc. 40 at 2-3.
The Court held that Parker was not entitled to absolute
immunity because she performed only an administrative role
and was not “‘responsible for the decision to
initiate or continue a proceeding.’” Id.
at 4 (quoting Butz v. Economou, 438 U.S. 478, 515
(1978)). The Court further found that Plaintiff had not
adequately pleaded any claim against Parker. Id. at
5. The Court therefore dismissed the claims against Parker,
but granted Plaintiff leave to amend her complaint.
Id. at 6. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint which
asserts that Parker violated the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and
Fourteenth Amendments, and is therefore liable under 42
U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985. Doc. 54.
12(c) dismissal is proper when “the moving party
clearly establishes on the face of the pleadings that no
material issue of fact remains to be resolved.” Hal
Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., Inc.,
896 F.2d 1542, 1550 (9th Cir. 1989). The Court applies the
“same standard of review” in ruling on a 12(c)
motion as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Dworkin v. Hustler
Magazine, Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1192 (9th Cir. 1989).
Dismissal is appropriate if the complaint does not contain
“sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (citation omitted).
argues that she enjoys absolute or qualified immunity, and
that Plaintiff fails to state a claim. Doc. 62.
dismissing Plaintiff’s original complaint, the Court
concluded that Parker was not entitled to absolute immunity
because she performed only an administrative role and was not
“‘responsible for the decision to initiate or
continue a proceeding.’” Id. at 4
(quoting Butz, 438 U.S. at 515). Defendant disagrees
with this ruling, and offers new reasons why she believes
absolute immunity applies. Doc. 62 at 5-8. If Defendant
disagreed with an aspect of the Court’s prior ruling,
however, she should have filed a motion for reconsideration.
The deadline for filing such a motion has long since passed,
LRCiv 7.2(g)(2), and Defendant fails to identify any good
cause for her delay. Even if the Court were inclined to
reconsider its prior ruling, Defendant has not shown that the
ruling rested on manifest error or is undermined by new facts
or legal authority. LRCiv. 7.2(g)(1). The Court will not
depart from its prior ruling.
the doctrine of qualified immunity, government officials are
protected from civil damages liability “insofar as
their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory
or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would
have known.” Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S.
223, 231 (2009) (citation and quotation marks omitted). To
overcome this immunity, a plaintiff must plead facts showing
“(1) that the official violated a statutory or
constitutional right, and (2) that the right was clearly