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Patterson v. Miller

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 11, 2017

Lorraine Patterson, Plaintiff,
v.
Carla Miller; Patty Nelson-McCall; Lindsey Romero; JoAnne Mathlin; Karen Youngman; John and Jane Does 1-50, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Neil V. Wake Senior United States District Judge

         Before the court is the State Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 88) jointly filed by Defendants Carla Miller, Patty Nelson-McCall, Lindsey Romero, JoAnne Mathlin, and Karen Youngman (collectively, “Defendants”). For the following reasons, the Motion will be granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Lorraine Patterson (“Patterson”) alleges that Defendants violated her constitutional rights in an Arizona state dependency proceeding by “suppressing exculpatory evidence, submitting lies in reports to the courts[, ] . . . and/or [ ] fabricating evidence.” (Doc. 89 at ¶ 4.) She seeks damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants move to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

         Despite numerous court orders, Patterson's fourth Amended Complaint still frequently meanders and confuses. Cf. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a); McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177-78 (9th Cir. 1996) (explaining that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require pleadings be “simple, concise, and direct”). (The Court also notes that Patterson, in redacting the complaint that Defendants moved to dismiss, added information without leave of court.) Although dismissal on Rule 8 grounds alone would be appropriate, the Court attempts to discern what claims Patterson makes.

         A. Carla Miller

         Patterson's fourth Amended Complaint alleges that Miller:

         1. Failed to offer “corrections” or investigate certain recordings. (Doc. 89 at ¶ 54.)

         2. “[S]ubmitted and/or supported untruths in reports to the court used to detain children from parents.” (Id. at ¶ 125.)

         B. Patty Nelson-McCall

         Patterson alleges that Nelson-McCall:

         1. Submitted to the state court a report with false claims that Patterson was neglecting her child due to substance abuse and/or mental illness and that Patterson had an eating disorder. (Id. at ¶ 32.)

         2. Filed a second false dependency report with the state court that failed to include exculpatory evidence and included several lies, such as “Mother keeps changing her mind.” (Id. at ¶ 44-45, 47-48.)

         3. “[S]ubmitted and/or supported untruths in reports to the court used to detain children from parents.” (Id. at ¶ 125.)

         C. Lindsey Romero

         Patterson alleges that Romero:

         1. Submitted to the state court a report with false claims that Patterson was neglecting her child due to substance abuse and/or mental illness and that ...


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