United States District Court, D. Oregon
Allen Rautio, pro se.
L. Warren and Nicholas J. Naumes, Of Attorneys for
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael H. Simon United States District Judge
Bryce Allen Rautio has sued Deputy John Frey, Sergeant Mike
Redding, Sergeant Richard Bittick, and Sergeant Laura
Westfall (collectively, “Defendants”), alleging
that Defendants imprisoned him pursuant to an allegedly
invalid commitment order issued by a municipal court judge in
Dallas, OR. Plaintiff also claims that Defendants asked the
judge to illegally amend the sentence and refused to release
him after he proved his innocence. Before the Court is
Defendants' motion to dismiss. For the reasons that
follow, the motion to dismiss is granted.
complaint filed in forma pauperis may be dismissed
at any time, including before service of process, if the
Court determines that the action is: (1) “frivolous or
malicious”; (2) “fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted”; or (3) “seeks monetary
relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). A complaint is
frivolous “where it lacks an arguable basis either in
law or fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989); see also Martin v. Sias, 88 F.3d
774, 775 (9th Cir. 1996). The term “frivolous, ”
when used to describe a complaint, “embraces not only
the inarguable legal conclusion, but also the fanciful
factual allegation.” Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325.
complaint fails to state a claim when there is no cognizable
legal theory or the factual allegations are insufficient to
support a claim for relief. Shroyer v. New Cingular
Wireless Servs., Inc., 622 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir.
2010). In evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint's
factual allegations, the court must accept as true all
well-pleaded material facts alleged in the complaint and draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.
Wilson v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 668 F.3d 1136, 1140
(9th Cir. 2012); Daniels-Hall v. Nat'l Educ.
Ass'n, 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010). But to be
entitled to a presumption of truth, the complaint must do
more than simply allege legal conclusions couched as factual
allegations. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79
(2009). The plaintiff “may not simply recite the
elements of a cause of action, but must [provide] sufficient
allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to
enable the opposing party to defend itself
effectively.” Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202,
1216 (9th Cir. 2011). The underlying factual allegations must
“plausibly suggest an entitlement to
relief.” Baca, 652 F.3d at 1216 (emphasis
added). “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 678 (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 556 (2007)).
se plaintiffs receive special dispensation. A court must
liberally construe the filings of a pro se plaintiff
and afford the plaintiff the benefit of any reasonable doubt.
Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010).
“‘Unless it is absolutely clear that no amendment
can cure the defect, . . . a pro se litigant is entitled to
notice of the complaint's deficiencies and an opportunity
to amend prior to dismissal of the action.'”
Garity v. APWU Nat'l Labor Org., 828 F.3d 848,
854 (9th Cir. 2016) (alteration in original) (quoting
Lucas v. Dep't of Corrections, 66 F.3d 245, 248
(9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam)). But even a pro se
plaintiff must offer more than “‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action.'” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
brings claims against Defendants, all officers at the Polk
County Jail, for violations of his constitutional rights
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On March 26, 2015, Judge
Jonathan Clark, City of Dallas Municipal Court, sentenced
Plaintiff to 84 days in the Polk County Jail after Plaintiff
was convicted of driving under the influence. ECF 2-1 at
17-19. Judge Clark's original commitment order indicates
that Plaintiff received credit for time served. Judge Clark
also issued an amended commitment order and a second amended
commitment order, each imposing a sentence of 84 days in jail
and giving Plaintiff credit for time served. ECF 2-1 at
was allegedly delivered to the custody of the Polk County
Jail on March 26, 2015, to serve his sentence. Plaintiff
alleges that Deputy Frey requested the two amended commitment
orders from Judge Clark ex parte after Plaintiff had
already arrived at the Jail. Deputy Frey allegedly received
the support of his “superiors.” ECF 2-1 at 4.
Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants, all officers at
the Polk County Jail, refused to release him after he proved
his innocence. ECF 2 at 5.
alleges that the sentence imposed by Judge Clark was for a
probation violation. Because Judge Clark's jurisdiction
to sentence him for a probation violation ended in 2012,
Plaintiff claims, Judge Clark had no authority to sentence
Plaintiff. Thus, Plaintiff claims that Defendants imprisoned
him wrongfully. Plaintiff seeks $100, 000 in compensatory
damages, $3 million in punitive damages, and a “clean
criminal record.” ECF 2 at 6.
Court has reviewed Plaintiff's Complaint and the
documents attached thereto. Liberally construed, Plaintiff
has five legal claims: (1) Judge Clark's original
commitment order was invalid because Judge Clark had no
jurisdiction to sentence Plaintiff; (2) with the support of
his “superiors, ” Deputy Frey had an improper
ex parte contact with Judge Clark in which Deputy
Frey asked Judge Clark to amend Plaintiff's sentence; (3)
the two amended commitment orders were invalid because Judge
Clark entered them outside Plaintiff's presence; (4)
Defendants wrongfully imprisoned Plaintiff pursuant to an