United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable John J. Tuchi, United States District Judge.
issue is Defendants the Arizona Department of Education
(“ADE”), the Arizona Office of Administrative
Hearings (“OAH”), and Tammy L. Eigenheer's
(collectively, the “State Defendants”) Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 14, Mot.), to which Plaintiff Matthew Oskowis
filed a Response (Doc. 24, Resp.), and the State Defendants
filed a Reply (Doc. 26, Reply). No. party requested oral
argument, and the Court finds the Motion appropriate for
resolution without such argument. See LRCiv 7.2(f).
Accordingly, the Court will grant the Motion and dismiss
Plaintiff's claims against the State Defendants.
is the father of a 13-year-old boy, E.O., who attends the
West Sedona School in the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School
District #9 (the “District”). In 2006, E.O was
diagnosed with classical infantile autism.
3, 2016, Plaintiff filed a due process complaint, pursuant to
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(“IDEA”), with the ADE alleging that the District
failed to deliver E.O. a free and appropriate public
education (“FAPE”) by incorrectly implementing
E.O.'s August 2013 individual education plan
(“IEP”). Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff filed two
additional complaints, and the ADE consolidated the three
matters to be heard by Eigenheer, an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) with the OAH. Eigenheer held a
preliminary prehearing conference on June 15, 2016, and later
issued a briefing schedule for the matter, which was to
conclude with the filing of Plaintiff's reply brief on
August 1, 2016. Eigenheer's Order extended the due date
for her decision in the matter until September 2, 2016. This
date, however, passed without Eigenheer issuing any ruling.
Over the next year, both Plaintiff and the District filed a
series of requests for a ruling by Eigenheer and for a status
conference, each of which went without a response. On
September 21, 2017, Eigenheer issued her final ruling in the
days later, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit individually and on
behalf of E.O. In the Complaint, Plaintiff brings suit
against the State Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
violations of the IDEA and the Due Process Clause of the
prayer for relief encompasses all forms, including
compensatory, injunctive, and declaratory relief. In
particular, Plaintiff requests that this Court
“[a]ssume jurisdiction over” his administrative
complaint and “issue an order . . . granting relief
requested” in that complaint. (Compl. at 18.) Further,
Plaintiff seeks injunctions to: (1) temporarily enjoin
Eigenheer from acting as an ALJ in any future matter filed by
Plaintiff and (2) permanently enjoin the State Defendants
from issuing decisions beyond those deadlines imposed by
federal regulation. (Compl. at 18-19.) Next, Plaintiff
requests that the Court issue orders to show cause to the
State Defendants so that they might demonstrate why they
purportedly exceeded the decision deadlines mandated by
federal regulation. (Compl. at 19.) And, finally, Plaintiff
seeks both a declaration that the State Defendants violated
his civil rights and punitive and compensatory damages
totaling $140, 000. (Compl. at 19-20.)
State Defendants now move to dismiss the Complaint pursuant
to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and
motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
under Rule 12(b)(1) may attack either the allegations of the
complaint as insufficient to confer upon the court subject
matter jurisdiction, or the existence of subject matter
jurisdiction in fact.” Renteria v. United
States, 452 F.Supp.2d 910, 919 (D. Ariz. 2006) (citing
Thornhill Publ'g Co. v. Gen. Tel. & Elecs.
Corp., 594 F.2d 730, 733 (9th Cir. 1979)). “Where
the jurisdictional issue is separable from the merits of the
case, the [court] may consider the evidence presented with
respect to the jurisdictional issue and rule on that issue,
resolving factual disputes if necessary.”
Thornhill, 594 F.2d at 733; see also Autery v.
United States, 424 F.3d 944, 956 (9th Cir. 2005)
(“With a 12(b)(1) motion, a court may weigh the
evidence to determine whether it has jurisdiction.”).
The burden of proof is on the party asserting jurisdiction to
show that the court has subject matter jurisdiction. See
Indus. Tectonics, Inc. v. Aero Alloy, 912 F.2d 1090,
1092 (9th Cir. 1990).
analyzing a complaint for failure to state a claim for relief
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the well-pled factual
allegations are taken as true and construed in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Cousins v.
Lockyer, 568 F.3d 1063, 1067 (9th Cir. 2009). A
plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Legal
conclusions couched as factual allegations are not entitled
to the assumption of truth, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 680 (2009), and therefore are insufficient to
defeat a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
In re Cutera Sec. Litig., 610 F.3d 1103, 1108 (9th
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges a single cause of action under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. However, Plaintiff's bases this
cause of action on the denial of separate and distinct
federal rights, which are derived both from the Constitution
and federal statutes. The Court first addresses
Plaintiff's statutory basis for his § 1983 claim
before moving to his constitutional basis.