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Ryan v. Lopez

United States District Court, D. Oregon

May 23, 2014

JOHN NORMAN RYAN, Plaintiff,
v.
STEPHANIE LOPEZ, M.D., Defendant.

JOHN NORMAN RYAN, Portland, OR, Plaintiff Pro Se.

ELLEN F. ROSENBLUM, Attorney General, ANDREW HALLMAN, SAMUEL A. KUBERNICK, Assistant Attorneys General, Department of Justice, Salem, OR, Attorneys for Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

OWEN M. PANNER, District Judge.

Plaintiff brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 prose. Currently before the court are Defendant's Request for Judicial Notice (#51) and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (#49). For the reasons that follow, the court GRANTS both.

BACKGROUND

Beginning in May 2008, plaintiff was a patient at the Oregon State Hospital ("OSH") for approximately eight months for purposes of an "aid and assist" evaluation. In his Second Amended Complaint, plaintiff alleges claims against defendant Stephanie Lopez based on the treatment he received while at OSH.[1]

Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint is not a model of clarity. In his briefing on the current motions, however, plaintiff himself describes his claims as follows:

Pro se plaintiff brings claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendant Stephanie Lopez M.D. for acting in collusion with a third party, Dr. Ryan, to knowingly and purposefully deny plaintiff's constitutional rights due process of law [Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments], effective assistance of counsel [Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments] and his First Amendment interests in avoiding involuntary antipsychotic medication, see Sell v. United States, 539 U.S. 166 (2003).

Amended Memorandum in Opposition to Motion for Judgment on Pleadings, Docket Entry #72, p. 2. By way of remedy, plaintiff seeks: (1) "referral" to the United States Attorney for investigation into violations of federal law by OSH; (2) reversal of plaintiff's stalking convictions; (3) injunctive relief preventing involuntary medication from being administered to plaintiff; and (4) money damages.

Defendant Lopez moves for judgment on the pleadings under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) because the relief sought by plaintiff is not available in a § 1983 proceeding, because the Second Amended Complaint does not state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and because Defendant Lopez is entitled to qualified immunity. In support of her motion for judgment on the pleadings, defendant requests the court to take judicial notice of four documents: (1) the Oregon Court of Appeals' decision in VanBuskirk v. Ryan, 233 Or.App. 170, 225 P.3d. 118 (2010); (2) the Oregon Supreme Court's decision in State v. Ryan, 350 Or. 670, 261 P.3d 1189 (2011); (3) the Final Order in The Matter of Appellant John Ryan, Oregon Office of Administrative Hearings Case No. 20112492 (served on January 3, 2012); and (4) the Oregon Judicial Information Network ("OJIN") case register for State of Oregon v. John Norman Ryan II, Multnomah County Circuit Court Case No. XXXXXXXXX.

LEGAL STANDARDS

A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 12 (c) is "functionally identical" to a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 12 (b) (6);therefore, the same legal standard applies to both motions. Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1192 (9th Cir. 1989). Dismissal of a complaint for failure to state a claim is improper where a plaintiff has alleged "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 697 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The issue is not whether the plaintiff will prevail in the action, but whether the plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence in support of the claim. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974), overruled on other grounds by Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 (1982).

When evaluating a Rule 12(b) (6) motion, the court must accept as true all allegations of material facts that are in the complaint, and must construe all inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Moyo v. Gomez, 32 F.3d 1382, 1384 (9th Cir. 1994). Judgment on the pleadings is therefore appropriate only "when the moving party clearly establishes on the face of the pleadings that no material issue of fact remains to be resolved and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Enron Oil Trading & Transp. Co. v. Walbrook Ins. Co., 132 F.3d 526, 529 (9th Cir. 1997) (citation omitted).

Generally, as with Rule 12(b) (6) motions, if matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the court, a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings is converted into a Rule 56 summary judgment motion. Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., Inc., 896 F.2d 1542, 1550 (9th Cir. 1990). However, similar to a Rule 12(b) (6) motion, the court may consider a document on a motion for judgment on the pleadings if the plaintiff refers extensively to the document or the document is integral to plaintiff's claim. U.S. v. Ritchie, 342 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2003); see also Coto Settlement v. Eisenberg, 593 F.3d 1031, 1038 (9th Cir. 2010) (on a ...


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