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Auman v. State

United States District Court, D. Kansas

January 29, 2018

KEN AUMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF KANSAS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Daniel D. Crabtree United States District Judge

         On February 3, 2017, pro se[1] plaintiff Ken Auman filed this action against four groups of defendants: (1) State of Kansas; (2) City of Overland Park, Kansas; City of Overland Park, Kansas Police Department; City of Overland Park, Kansas Police Officers John Does 1-3; and City of Overland Park, Kansas Court Clerk Jane Doe (collectively, the “Overland Park defendants”); (3) “Kansas Judge Franklin;” and (4) the Johnson County Sheriff's Department and Johnson County Jail Personnel John and Jane Does 1-5 (collectively, the “Johnson County defendants”). Plaintiff brings claims against these defendants under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, and 1989; and 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202. He alleges that defendants have violated his First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments rights. Doc. 1 at 1-2.

         The State of Kansas and the Overland Park defendants have moved to dismiss the claims in their entirety. Docs. 13 & 18. The State of Kansas asserts that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claims against it. Docs. 13 & 14. The Overland Park defendants moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Docs. 18 & 19. They argue that the statute of limitations bars plaintiff's claims and then, alternatively, that each of the claims in the Complaint fails to state a claim.

         Following these motions to dismiss, plaintiff filed four motions of his own: a “Motion for Leave of Court to File the Following Amended Petition” (Doc. 39) and three motions asking the court to take judicial notice (Docs. 33-35).

         The court addresses defendants' motions first and then, plaintiff's motions. For reasons discussed below, the court grants defendants' motions and denies plaintiff's motions.

         I. Factual Background

         The following facts are taken from plaintiff's Complaint. The court accepts the facts asserted in the Complaint as true and views them in the light most favorable to plaintiff. Burnett v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 706 F.3d 1231, 1235 (10th Cir. 2013) (citing Smith v. United States, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009)).

         In his Complaint, plaintiff alleges that between February 2 and 23, 2012, defendants falsely incarcerated him for 21 days, without-what he calls-“a proper 4th Amendment set of documents.” Doc. 1 at 2 ¶ 6. During this 21-day period, plaintiff alleges that he asked to see those documents and defendants failed to provide them. Although, plaintiff asserts a “supervisor jailer” produced a copy of a “vague document which did not come close to a 4th amendment set of warrant documents.” Id. at 2 ¶ 10.

         Plaintiff also alleges that he was told at some point-but not right away-that he was being held on a contempt charge. But plaintiff asserts that defendants never provided a reason for a contempt charge. Indeed, plaintiff's Complaint alleges that during his 21-day incarceration he was never charged or given a bond hearing. He concedes that the court set a bond hearing at some point, but later cancelled it.

         Plaintiff's Complaint also alleges that jail personnel refused to provide him a toothbrush, pen, or pencil for eight days. When he finally received paper and pen, plaintiff wrote three motions for delivery to the court. But jail personnel refused to deliver them and would not allow plaintiff to deliver them. Plaintiff alleges that he finally got stamps and an envelope to mail a motion for early release. Later, when he later checked the “record, ” the motion for early release was the only motion filed with the court.

         Plaintiff also alleges that a supervisor threatened to inject him with a needle and feed him intravenously because he refused to eat or drink. Finally, plaintiff alleges that he was forced to provide a urine sample to medical personnel. The urine test showed that he had a liver problem. Plaintiff demanded the urine sample and any documentation about it.

         The Complaint never links these factual allegations to a specific claim. Instead, “[p]laintiff includes all statements” under each claim he asserts. See Doc. 1 at 3-5. Each claim requests a different form of relief.

         II. Defendants' Motions

         The State of Kansas moves for dismissal under Rule 12(b)(1) and the Overland Park Defendants move for dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6).

         In its motion to dismiss, the State of Kansas asserts that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims because Eleventh Amendment immunity makes it immune from suit in federal court. Docs. 13 & 14. The Overland Park defendants moves for dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6). Docs. 18 & 19. The Overland Park defendants argue, first, that the statute of limitations bars plaintiff's claims. Alternatively, they argue that each of the claims in the Complaint fails to state a claim.

         A. Rule 12(b)(1) Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction by the State of Kansas

         1. Legal Standard

         “Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and, as such, must have a statutory basis to exercise jurisdiction.” Montoya v. Chao, 296 F.3d 952, 955 (10th Cir. 2002) (citation omitted). Federal district courts have original jurisdiction over all civil actions arising under the constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States or where diversity of citizenship exists. 28 U.S.C. § 1331; 28 U.S.C. § 1332. “A court lacking jurisdiction cannot render judgment but must dismiss the cause at any stage of the proceedings in which it becomes apparent that jurisdiction is lacking.” Basso v. Utah Power & Light Co., 495 F.2d 906, 909 (10th Cir. 1974) (citation omitted). Since federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, there is a presumption against jurisdiction, and the party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden to prove it exists. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994).

         When defendants attack the Complaint's allegations of subject matter jurisdiction, the court “must accept the allegations in the complaint as true.” Holt v. United States, 46 F.3d 1000, 1002 (10th Cir. 1995) (citing Ohio Nat'l Life Ins. Co. v. United States, 922 F.2d 320, 325 (6th Cir. 1990)). But, conclusory allegations about jurisdiction are not sufficient. Penteco Corp. Ltd. P'ship-1985A v. Union Gas Sys., Inc., 929 F.2d 1519, 1521 (10th Cir. 1991); Matthews v. YMCA, No. 05-4033-SAC, 2005 WL 2663218, at *2 (D. Kan. Oct. 19, 2005).

         2. Analysis

         In its motion to dismiss, the State of Kansas asserts that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claims asserted against it because of the immunity established by the Eleventh Amendment. The Eleventh Amendment “accord[s] states the respect owed them as joint sovereigns, ” by granting immunity to nonconsenting states to suits in federal court. Steadfast Ins. Co. v. Agric. Ins. Co., 507 F.3d 1250, 1252 (10th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted). Eleventh Amendment immunity “applies . . . whether a plaintiff seeks declaratory or injunctive relief, or money damages.” Id. (citations omitted). Eleventh Amendment immunity bars suits against a state “unless the state waives immunity or Congress has validly abrogated immunity.” Nelson v. Geringer, 295 F.3d 1082, 1096 (10th Cir. 2002) (citing Seminole Tribe v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 54-55 (1996)). Neither exception applies here.

         Kansas has not waived its immunity, and Congress did not abrogate state sovereign immunity when it enacted 42 U.S.C. §§ 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, or 1989.[2] See Alyshah v. Georgia, 239 F. App'x 473, 474 (11th Cir. 2007) (holding that Eleventh Amendment immunity barred plaintiff's claims against the state which alleged violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 1986, and 1988); Ellis v. Univ. of Kan. Med. Ctr., 163 F.3d 1186, 1195-96 (10th Cir. 1998) (holding that Eleventh Amendment immunity barred plaintiffs' §§ 1981, 1983, and 1985 claims “against Kansas and its state agencies in the federal courts”); Gilbert v. Kansas, No. 02-4163-JAR, 2002 WL 31863840, at *1 n.8 (D. Kan. Dec. 16, 2002) (holding that “42 U.S.C. § 1982 does not abrogate the states' Eleventh Amendment immunity”).

         In short, Eleventh Amendment immunity bars plaintiffs' §§ 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, and 1989 claims against the State of Kansas. This requires the court to dismiss them without prejudice. See Rural Water Sewer & Solid Waste Mgmt. v. Guthrie, 654 F.3d 1058, 1069 n.9 (10th Cir. 2011) (“[A] dismissal on [Eleventh Amendment] sovereign immunity grounds . . . must be without prejudice.”).

         B. Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim by the Overland Park Defendants

         1. ...


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