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Schaefer v. Andover Park Apartments

United States District Court, D. Oregon

February 5, 2019

JASON PAUL SCHAEFER, Plaintiff,
v.
ANDOVER PARK APARTMENTS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER TO DISMISS

          Michael H. Simon, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff, an inmate at the Multnomah County Inverness Jail, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In a separate Order, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis. However, for the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff brings this suit against his former apartment complex in Beaverton, as well as its manager, maintenance worker, leasing agents, and parent corporation. He raises First and Fourth Amendment claims pertaining to a dispute he had with the property manager over his use of his assigned garage and whether Plaintiff was improperly running a business out of the garage. Plaintiff claims that Defendants invaded his privacy, causing him fear and anxiety in his own home as well as property loss. He seeks damages totaling at least $80, 000, 000.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Basis for Jurisdiction

         Plaintiff seeks to establish jurisdiction in federal court via both diversity of citizenship and by posing federal constitutional questions. District courts have diversity subject matter jurisdiction with respect to all "civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interests and cost," and the action is "between citizens of different States." 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). A person is deemed to be a citizen of the state in which he is domiciled, and domicile is determined by "physical presence at a given location and an intent to remain there indefinitely." Lew v. Moss, 797 F.2d 747, 749-52 (9th Cir. 1986).

         In this case, Plaintiff alleges that all Defendants are Oregon citizens, and that he is a citizen of New York "living in Oregon on an extended holiday." While Plaintiff may be a New York citizen despite his extended presence in Oregon, the Court need not resolve the question of Plaintiff s citizenship because federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 is clear where Plaintiff raises both First And Fourteenth Amendment claims.

         II. Federal Questions

         A. Standards

         Dismissal is appropriate if Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b) (6) . The Complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim, however, unless it appears beyond doubt that Plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. Terracom v. Valley Nat'1 Bank, 49 F.3d 555, 558 (9th Cir. 1995).

         Dismissal for failure to state a claim is a ruling on a question of law. Parks School of Business, Inc., v. Symington, 51 F.3d 1480, 1483 (9th Cir. 1995). Review is limited to the contents of the Complaint and any attached exhibits. Id. at 1484. Allegations of fact in the Complaint must be taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Id. From the facts alleged, the court also must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Usher v. City of Los Angeles, 828 F.2d 556, 561 (9th Cir. 1987). But conclusory allegations, without more, are insufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. McGlinchy v. Shell Chemical Co., 845 F.2d 802, 810 (9th Cir. 1988).

         B. Discussion

         Plaintiff asserts First and Fourth Amendment claims pertaining to the Defendants' alleged invasion of his privacy and improper search and seizure of his apartment and its belongings. The Court liberally construes these claims as arising under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. A plaintiff wishing to bring a cause of action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 must .demonstrate compliance with the following factors: (1) a violation of rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal statute; (2) proximately caused; (3) by conduct of a person; (4) acting under color of state law. Crumpton v. Gates,947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. ...


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