United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST FOR INJUNCTIONS
SUSAN OKI MOLLWAY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
This case arises out of an ongoing state-court foreclosure proceeding. Plaintiff Sarah Margaret Taylor appears to include as Defendants all persons and entities having anything to do with that proceeding. Although Taylor complains generally about being discriminated against and has clearly asserted that she was deprived of electricity in a way that jeopardized her health and well-being, the court cannot determine what she is claiming each Defendant did wrong. The court therefore dismisses the Complaint and denies as moot Taylor’s request for injunctions. The court gives Taylor leave to file an Amended Complaint. This means that this case is not yet over. Taylor may file a document bearing the title “Amended Complaint” that sets forth amended claims as described later in this order.
The court also gives Taylor permission to file documents via e-mail, as described later in this order.
II. BACKGROUND FACTS.
The court takes judicial notice of the proceeding and pleadings in the state-court foreclosure case. U.S. Bank National filed a complaint seeking foreclosure on Taylor’s mortgage. See 3CC 14-1-000289, ECF No. 7-3, PageID # 154; http://hoohiki1.courts.state.hi.us/jud/Hoohiki/JSAPM51F5.jsp?star tseq=1 (last visited December 4, 2015) (state-court docket indicating the foreclosure complaint was filed on July 31, 2014).
On January 16, 2015, Taylor removed the state foreclosure action to this court. See Notice of Removal, Civ. No. 15-00018 DKW/KSC. The removed action, which preceded the present action, was assigned to Judge Derrick Watson. According to the federal court docket in Judge Watson’s case, on February 25, 2015, Taylor sent the court a motion via fax or e-mail. Judge Watson told Taylor in a Minute Order:
Filings may not be made through chambers, and certainly not via email or fax. The Court forwarded the document to the clerk’s office for filing in this instance as a courtesy. However, in the future, no such courtesy will be extended. Defendant, like all other parties, must submit all documents she wishes to file directly to the clerk's office (over the counter or via mail). Local Rule 10.2(k) (“No document may be filed by faxing to the clerk’s office unless the filing party has first obtained leave to do so from the judge to whom the filing is addressed, or, if no judge has been assigned to a matter, from the clerk. Leave will [be] granted only for good cause.”). Although Defendant is proceeding pro se, she is nevertheless expected to comply with all rules and statutes. Local Rule 83.13.
Civ. No. 15-00018 DKW/KSC, ECF No. 14. The Minute Order denied the merits of Taylor’s motion, which asked for an extension of time to pay the applicable filing fee or to submit an amended In Forma Pauperis application. Judge Watson reasoned that the Magistrate Judge assigned to the case had already issued Findings and a Recommendation to remand the case to state court and that the deadline Taylor sought to extend had already been vacated. Id.
On March 10, 2015, Judge Watson adopted findings and a recommendation to remand the foreclosure proceedings to state court. Civ. No. 15-00018 DKW/KSC, ECF No. 15.
The state-court foreclosure proceedings are still ongoing. See 3CC 14-1-000289, ECF No. 7-3, PageID # 154; http://hoohiki1.courts.state.hi.us/jud/Hoohiki/JSAPM51F5.jsp?star tseq=1 (last visited December 4, 2015) (state-court docket).
On July 14, 2015, Taylor filed the present action, naming as Defendants the lender foreclosing on her mortgage in state court, the attorneys representing the lender, the State of Hawaii, the Third Circuit Court for the State of Hawaii, and this court. See ECF No. 1. In the Complaint’s caption, Taylor also listed “Assurant Specialty Property aka (WELLS) WELLS FARGO, NA AS STORM INSURER, ” as a party, but it is not clear from the Complaint whether Taylor is asserting a claim directly against Assurant or against Wells Fargo as Assurant’s designee or agent. Id.
Although the Complaint contains few factual allegations, it says in its caption that it is asserting claims of (1) disability discrimination; (2) torture; (3) conspiracy to torture to take home and employment through blocking civil rights; (4) violations of Hawaii rules of professional conduct relating to “candor”; (5) violation of foreclosure mediation laws; (6) deception of courts; (7) storm policy fraud; (8) failure of Hawaii courts, the State and the County of Hawaii, and the mayor to preserve federal ADAAA, FHA, EEOC, EECC rights and many federal and state laws; (9) failure to provide equal access to federal courts and protections by providing no avenue for timely filing; (10) violation of rights to rehabilitation and employment opportunities; (11) robotic loan servicing in violation of the ADAAA; (12) fraud on the bureau of conveyances; (13) deceptive lending, servicing accounting, and loan modification in violation of the U.S. Constitution; (14) failure to provide law enforcement relating to the bureau of conveyances; and (15) violation of the U.S. Constitution. Id.
III. RULE 12(b)(6) STANDARD.
Although the motions to dismiss and joinders therein raise jurisdictional issues, this court examines them under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because Taylor’s references to violations of federal law at least suggest federal question jurisdiction and because the court cannot begin to analyze any jurisdictional issue without first understanding Taylor’s claims.
Under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court’s review of the sufficiency of a complaint is generally limited to the contents of the complaint. Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001); Campanelli v. Bockrath, 100 F.3d 1476, 1479 (9th Cir. 1996). If matters outside the pleadings are considered, the Rule 12(b)(6) motion is treated as one for summary judgment. See Keams v. Tempe Tech. Inst., Inc., 110 F.3d 44, 46 (9th Cir. 1997); Anderson v. Angelone, 86 F.3d 932, 934 (9th Cir. 1996). However, courts may “consider certain materials--documents attached to the complaint, documents incorporated by reference in the complaint, or matters of judicial notice--without converting the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment.” United States v. Ritchie, 342 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2003). Documents whose contents are alleged in a complaint and whose authenticity is not questioned by any party may also be considered in ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. See Branch v. Tunnell, 14 F.3d 449, 453-54 (9th Cir. 1994). The court therefore cannot consider most of the documents belatedly submitted by Taylor with her Opposition of December 15, 2015.
On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, all allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Fed’n of African Am. Contractors v. City of Oakland, 96 F.3d 1204, 1207 (9th Cir. 1996). However, conclusory allegations of law, unwarranted deductions of fact, and unreasonable inferences are insufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss. Sprewell, 266 F.3d at 988; Syntex Corp. Sec. Litig., 95 F.3d 922, 926 (9th Cir. 1996). Additionally, the court need not accept as true allegations that contradict matters properly subject to judicial notice or allegations contradicting the exhibits attached to the complaint. Sprewell, 266 F.3d at 988.
Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) may be based on either: (1) lack of a cognizable legal theory, or (2) insufficient facts under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988) (citing Robertson v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 749 F.2d 530, 533-34 (9th Cir. 1984)).
“[T]o survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true even if doubtful in fact.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)) (internal quotation marks omitted); accord Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“the pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require ‘detailed factual allegations, ’ but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation”). “While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff’s obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitlement to relief’ requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The complaint must “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677.
A. This Judge Declines to Recuse Herself ...