United States District Court, D. Oregon
E. MCCART PRESERVE LEGAL SOLUTIONS, P.C. ATTORNEYS FOR
ALLISON C. BIZZANO MATTHEW A. GOLDBERG ATTORNEYS FOR
OPINION AND ORDER
J. BROWN UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the Motion (#9) to Dismiss
with Prejudice filed by Defendants Mary E. Wagner, Richard
Wagner, Steven R. Wagner, and Yamhill Naturals, LLC.
Court concludes the record is sufficiently developed, and,
therefore, oral argument is not necessary to resolve
reasons that follow, the Court DENIES
April 2, 2019, Plaintiff Momtazi Family, LLC, filed a
Complaint against Defendants for violation of the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C.
§ 1962. The following facts are taken from
Plaintiff's Complaint and the pleadings filed by the
is an Oregon limited liability company that operated the
Momtazi Vineyard, a certified biodynamic vineyard, on
property in McMinnville, Oregon (the Momtazi property). From
2016 through 2018 Plaintiff grew grapes on the property and
sold the grapes to other wine producers including Maysara
Winery, which Plaintiff also owns. On August 1, 2018,
Plaintiff began leasing the Momtazi property to Maysara,
which now operates the vineyard.
December 19, 2016, Defendants Mary and Steven Wagner, husband
and wife, purchased real property adjacent to the Momtazi
property. In January 2017 Defendant Richard Wagner, the son
of Mary and Steven, moved onto the Wagner property.
alleges Defendants invested in the development of the Wagner
property to produce and to process marijuana, built
structures and installed fixtures for the production of
marijuana, and moved large amounts of soil to the Wagner
property to form terraces in order to increase the size of
the outdoor marijuana-grow area. Plaintiff alleges Defendants
market or intend to market the marijuana grown on their
property under the brand name "Yamhill Naturals."
Although Richard Wagner directs the operations of Defendant
Yamhill Naturals, Plaintiff alleges each Defendant will
receive a portion of the proceeds of the marijuana operation.
to Plaintiff, one of its customers cancelled an order for six
tons of grapes grown on Plaintiff's property because of
the marijuana operation on Defendants' property.
Plaintiff alleges the customer cancelled the order because it
contained grapes grown on the section of the Momtazi property
adjacent to Defendants' property. The customer believed
the smell created by the marijuana contaminated the grapes
and would affect the wine made from those grapes. Plaintiff
alleges it now is unable to sell grapes grown on its property
next to Defendants' property.
also alleges the terracing on Defendants' property caused
large amounts of dirt to flow downhill into one of the
fish-stocked reservoirs located on Plaintiff's property.
Plaintiff contends this created a hazard to the fish and
wildlife that form "an essential part of Plaintiff's
biodynamic operation." Plaintiff also contends
Defendants or their agents trespassed onto Plaintiff's
property, killed a calf, and amputated part of another
summary, Plaintiff alleges the marijuana operation on
Defendants' property has "directly and materially
diminished the Momtazi property's fair market
value," decreased the "marketability of grapes
grown on that vineyard property," and decreased the
rental income of the property.
Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject-Matter Jurisdiction
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)
courts are limited to deciding ‘cases' and
‘controversies.'” Bova v. City of
Medford, 564 F.3d 1093, 1095 (9th Cir. 2009)(quoting
United States Const. Art. III, § 2). “Two
components of the Article III case or controversy requirement
are standing and ripeness.” Id. at 1096
(citing Colwell v. Dep't of Health & Human
Servs., 558 F.3d 1112, 1121 (9th Cir. 2009)). A motion
to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) tests the subject-matter jurisdiction of a federal
satisfy the standing requirement of Article III, a plaintiff
must show “‘an injury in fact'; ‘a
causal connection between the injury and the conduct
complained of' and a conclusion that it is
‘likely,' as opposed to merely
‘speculative,' that the injury will be
‘redressed by a favorable decision.'”
Arizona Christian Sch. Tuition Org'n v. Winn,
131 S.Ct. 1426, 1437 (2011)(quoting Lujan v. Defenders of
Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992)). See also
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016).
“The party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the
burden of establishing these elements.” Lujan v.
Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992). See
also Renee v. Duncan, 623 F.3d 787, 801 (9th Cir. 2010).
plaintiff must also establish standing for each form of
relief sought. Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw
Envt'l Servs., Inc. (TOC), 528 U.S. 167, 185 (2000).
See also Mayfield v. U.S., 599 F.3d 964, 969 (9th
Cir. 2010). The “elements of standing must be supported
in the same way as any other matter for which a plaintiff
bears the burden of proof, i.e., with the manner and
degree of evidence required at the successive stages of the
litigation.” Gest v. Bradbury, 433 F.3d 1177,
1181 (9th Cir. 2006). General factual allegations of injury
resulting from the alleged wrongful conduct may suffice at
the pleading stage. Id.
Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim Pursuant to