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Barnett v. Espace Labs LLC

United States District Court, D. Oregon

July 10, 2018

KELLY A. BARNETT, Plaintiff,
v.
ESPACE LABS LLC., at al, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL MCSHANE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Defendant E:Space Labs, LLC moves to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff Ms. Barnett, proceeding pro se, alleges fourteen claims based on (1) an alleged theft of Plaintiff's computers and portable devices by an unknown person or persons not party to this suit, and (2) an alleged attempt to illicitly learn Plaintiff's trade secrets by one of the individually named defendants. Because the amended complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, this Court GRANTS the defendants' motions to dismiss.

         BACKGROUND

         A. Parties

         E:Space Labs is a membership-based technology incubator dedicated to the advancement of the high tech electronic hardware device industry in Central Oregon. Compl. ¶ 5. To use their facilities, companies or individuals may contract directly with E:Space Labs, or apply to become an E:Space member. In addition, the Company has offered classes and workshops in the past as part of their goal to facilitate development of the electronic hardware industry. Id.; Def.'s Mot. 2-3, ECF No. 13.

         E:Space Lab's physical offices and facilities are located within a business complex known as “The Bridge” in Bend, Oregon. Compl. ¶ 5. E:Space Labs does not own The Bridge, but is one of several tenants. Id. ¶¶ 32, 36, 37 and 42. E:Space Labs leases office space over which they have exclusive access and control. Additionally, The Bridge also provides common spaces, such as a lounge and conference rooms, that are accessible to all tenants in the building. Compl. at pg. 15 (Section “IV. Relief, ” ¶ 3).

         The plaintiff, Ms. Barnett, had been permitted to utilize E:Space Labs facilities for about three year until E:Space Labs revoked her access in December of 2017. Compl. ¶¶ 30, 35. E:Space Labs revoked Plaintiff's access after receiving complaints from other tenants of The Bridge that Plaintiff was making them feel uncomfortable and unsafe, and had been carrying a weapon on the premises. Id. ¶¶ 39, 57.

         In January 2018, Plaintiff filed a complaint with Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). BOLI dismissed the complaint on March 1, 2018, citing lack of evidence. This lawsuit subsequent ensued.

         B. Complaint

         Plaintiff's pro se complaint generally brings five types of claims: (1) negligence claims; (2) public accommodation claims; (3) misappropriation claims; (4) defamation claims; and finally (5) miscellaneous claims. These claims contain several causes of action located throughout the complaint:

Type of claim

Purported Causes of Action (used in Plaintiff's Complaint)

Location in Complaint

The “Negligence Claims”

Theft by Negligence

Failure to Defend Trade Secrets

Page 4

Page 4

The “Public Accommodation Claims

Public Accommodation

Civil Rights

Unequal Treatment

Discrimination

Page 8

Page 8

Page 12

Page 12

The “Misappropriation Claims”

Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

Failure to Defend Trade Secrets2

Page 4

Page 4

The “Defamation Claim”

Defamation

Page 12

The “Miscellaneous Claims”

Conspiracy

US Constitution First Amendment

Oregon Constitution “free expression

Oregon Constitution “victims' rights”

Retaliation

Page 4

Page 8

Page 8 (see also ¶46)

Page 8 (see also ¶46)

Page 8

         Factually, the complaint alleges that on March 10, 2016, Plaintiff brought into E:Space Labs her two laptops and other portable drives for back-up and system upgrades. Compl. ¶ 10. The next day, at the request of Defendant David Robson, Plaintiff moved her computers and portable drives to a conference room that is one of The Bridge's common spaces. Id. ¶ 11. Plaintiff left the computers and portable devices in the conference room overnight unattended. Id. ¶ 12. The following morning, she discovered “a physical loss of her computers, back-up drives, written patent drafts and handwritten continuation patent claim set.” Id. ¶ 15. The computers contained data from clinical trials, survivability case studies and animal care and use records along with personal records. Id. Plaintiff contacted the Bend Police Department who arrived and conducted an investigation. Id.

         21 months later, on December 13, 2017, Plaintiff obtained a stalking order against another E:Space Labs member, defendant Joshua Hill. Plaintiff accuses Mr. Hill of attempting to illicitly learn Plaintiff's trade secrets from September 2017 through December 11, 2017, and that Mr. Hill had been “caught trespassing, invading personal space, stealing farm equipment for joy rides causing nuisance and damage, harrying research animals leading to injury to the Plaintiff and searching the Plaintiff's premise on more than one occasion.” Compl. ¶ 17.

         On December 14, 2017 Plaintiff presented a copy of the stalking order to defendant David Robson, a manager of E:Space Labs. Compl. ¶ 26. Three days later, on December 17, Mr. Robson emailed Ms. Barnett asking her to turn in her building key. Id. 30. On December 19, Plaintiff received notification that she was not to enter The Bridge, to include the parking lot and all businesses located in the complex. Id. ΒΆΒΆ 34-35. ...


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