United States District Court, D. Arizona
William A. Graven, Plaintiff,
State of Arizona, Defendant.
Honorable Steven P. Logan United States District Judge
before the Court is Defendant State of Arizona's Motion
to Dismiss (Doc. 11). For the following reasons, the motion
will be granted.
brought this cause of action against the State of Arizona for
monetary damages based on the failure to indict Snell &
Wilmer, a local law firm, and some of its partners for
alleged criminal acts.
has moved to dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6). Defendant argues the First Amended Complaint is
barred by the Eleventh Amendment, res judicata, Arizona's
Notice of Claim Statute, and the applicable statute of
limitations. Defendant further argues that Plaintiff lacks
standing and fails to state a valid claim for relief.
the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3); Augustine v. United States,
704 F.2d 1074, 1077 (9th Cir. 1983) (“The defense of
lack of subject matter jurisdiction cannot be waived, and the
court is under a continuing duty to dismiss an action
whenever it appears that the court lacks
A Rule 12(b)(1) jurisdictional attack may be facial or
factual. In a facial attack, the challenger asserts that the
allegations contained in the complaint are insufficient on
their face to invoke federal jurisdiction. By contrast, in a
factual attack, the challenger disputes the truth of the
allegations that, by themselves, would otherwise invoke
Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039
(9th Cir. 2004). A jurisdictional challenge based on Eleventh
Amendment immunity is properly raised in a 12(b)(1) motion to
dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See In
re Jackson, 184 F.3d 1046, 1048 (9th Cir. 1999)
(“Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity limits the
jurisdiction of the federal courts and can be raised by a
party at any time during judicial proceedings or by the court
sua sponte.”); see also Halstead v. Motorcycle
Safety Found., Inc., 71 F.Supp.2d 464, 468 n.1 (E.D.
Penn. 1999) (“The Eleventh Amendment is a
jurisdictional bar which deprives federal courts of subject
matter jurisdiction and therefore a motion raising Eleventh
Amendment immunity may properly be considered a motion to
dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).”). In resolving such a
facial attack, the Court accepts the well-pleaded factual
allegations as true and construes them in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. DaVinci Aircraft, Inc.
v. United States, 926 F.3d 1117, 1122 (9th Cir. 2019).
Eleventh Amendment states that “[t]he judicial power of
the United States shall not be construed to extend to any
suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of
the United States by Citizens of another State, or by
Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.” U.S.
Const., Amend. XI. Accordingly, absent waiver, consent, or an
express abrogation of sovereign immunity by Congress, a state
is immune from federal court suits brought by their own
citizens or those of another state. Lindsey v.
Matayoshi, 950 F.Supp.2d 1159, 1165 (D. Haw. 2013).
Here, because Plaintiff brings a claim for monetary damages
against the State itself, and because Plaintiff has failed to
argue that the claims fall within any legitimate exception,
the Court finds that Plaintiffs entire First Amended
Complaint is barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Plaintiff has
not provided the Court with any basis to find
otherwise. See Comm. to Protect our Agric. Water
v. Occidental Oil & Gas Co., 235 F.Supp.3d 1132,
1161 (E.D. Cal. 2017) (“An entity invoking Eleventh
Amendment immunity generally bears the burden of asserting
and ultimately proving those matters necessary to establish
its defense. However, once a defendant meets this burden, the
burden shifts to plaintiff to demonstrate that an exception
to Eleventh Amendment immunity applies.” (internal
IT IS ORDERED that Defendant State of
Arizona's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 11) is
granted and this action is dismissed
in its entirety.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall
terminate this action and ...