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Milton Gerard Esquibel, Citizens of Idaho (U1777 v. State of Idaho

April 23, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: B. Lynn Winmill Chief Judge United States District Court



Before the Court are Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike (Dkt. 21) and Motion for Sanctions (Dkt. 22). Also before the Court are Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (Dkt. 23, 24, and 27). The Court has determined that oral argument would not significantly assist the determination of the issue, and will therefore decide the motions without a hearing. Being familiar with the record and for the reasons expressed below, the Court will grant Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 23, 24, and 27), deny as moot Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike (Dkt. 21), and deny Plaintiffs' Motion for Sanctions (Dkt. 22).


Milton Gerard Esquibel comes to this Court for troubles that began years ago with the divorce of Esquibel's mother, Gladys Esquibel, from Esquibel's father, Augustin Esquibel. First Am. Compl., Dkt 20-21. Around the time the divorce was filed, in early 2008, Esquibel became worried about how Gladys was acting, and met with his father to discuss his concerns. Id. ¶¶ 17-18. Esquibel was convinced that Gladys was mismedicating his father, stealing from him, and attempting to acquire Esquibel's inheritance. Id. ¶¶ 11-13, 19-23.

Over the next few months Esquibel became progressively more volatile in voicing his concerns about his mother's conduct: reporting his concerns to the police, id. ¶¶ 30-32; sending letters to the state attorney general and governor, id. ¶ 33; and sending "proof" to local and state newspapers and TV stations, id. ¶ 34. Esquibel's efforts later became confrontational when he sought out Attorney General Wasden at the Association of Counties Conference and questioned him about "what to do when corrupt officials such as the sheriff and prosecutor would not prosecute." Id. ¶¶ 59, 61-63. Following the disturbance, Esquibel was asked to leave. Id. ¶¶ 62-63.

Esquibel's actions took another dramatic turn in August 2009 while he was attending a hearing for his parents' divorce case. See id. ¶¶ 93, 95. Esquibel wanted to present Judge Hodges with certain evidence, which in Esquibel's mind was conclusive evidence of the fraud Gladys was perpetrating on his father. Id. ¶¶ 93-94. However, because Esquibel was not a party to the case-and presumably because the evidence was not pertinent to the proceedings-Judge Hodges declined to entertain such evidence. See id. ¶¶ 96. Precisely what happened next is unclear from the complaint; however, it is known that Esquibel was ultimately escorted from the courthouse and criminal charges were filed against him because of his conduct. Id. ¶¶ 99-108.

Esquibel objected to the ensuing criminal trial. See id. ¶¶ 105-201. Esquibel contends that the criminal complaint and supporting affidavit were perjured, id. ¶¶ 107-08, that he was never properly brought before the court, id. ¶¶ 110-117, 125-29, 137-39, that the court therefore lacked jurisdiction, id. ¶¶ 135-36, 142-143, and that the ensuing litigation was fundamentally flawed, id. ¶¶ 138-202. Paramount among the perceived flaws was Esquibel's inability to bring his chosen defense. Id. ¶¶ 147, 202. Although Esquibel sought to justify his conduct by providing evidence of the alleged fraud, id. ¶¶ 120-121, the judge "continued pettifogging with denials," calling "such defense frivolous." Id. ¶¶ 147, 202. Esquibel claims these flaws "constitute[d] fraud .perpetrated upon the court." Id.¶ 109.

At the conclusion of the allegedly flawed trial, a jury found Esquibel guilty. Id. ¶ 390. A decision Esquibel appealed. Id. ¶¶ 203-219. When Esquibel's appeal was dismissed, he concluded that "all Justices of the SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF IDAHO failed in their supervisory" role. Id. ¶ 219.

The final stage of Esquibel's tale begins with his arrest by Ada County some months later. See id. ¶ 220. Esquibel first alleges that the underlying warrants-one from Ada County and one from Cassia County-were invalid, but he fails to describe the errors in detail. Id. ¶¶ 215-22. The warrants' problems, while nebulous, were allegedly enough to makes the associated arrest and imprisonment invalid. Id.

During the arrest and the ensuing imprisonment, Esquibel allegedly suffered a great amount of physical pain and suffering, because various actions aggravated his prior back injuries. See id. ¶¶ 222-24. First at his arrest, when his "back was twisted and compressed while being placed in the back seat" of the car, and later when he was "forced to sit on hard concrete," Esquibel claims the officers knowingly aggravated his pre-existing injuries. Id. ¶¶ 224, 254.

Esquibel continues that, despite his complaints regarding his medical condition and his daily requests for a physical examination, he was not provided adequate facilities-i.e. a disability toilet, rails for the toilet and shower, and an extra mattress for comfort. Id. ¶¶ 263, 273, 276, and 300. While complaining that he was not provided adequate facilities, Esquibel admits that one deputy did give him an extra mattress for his back, and another explained how to file a medical request. Id. ¶¶ 266-270. In addition, Esquibel states that he filed a medical request on October 19, 2011, and an appointment was set. Id. ¶ 271. He attended the appointment on October 25, 2011, and was prescribed ice and anti-inflammatories three times a day. Id. ¶ 310.

Esquiel complains, however, that "on numerous occasions [he] was not given ice as prescribed." Id. ¶ 311. On one occasion, according to Esquibel, he asked for ice; but instead of getting ice, he was taken to a small holding cell in a wheelchair, his wheelchair was tipped by a deputy, and he was made to sit on the concrete floor causing additional pain. After waiting in the holding cell for two hours, he was taken back to his cell "with ice," and told not to cause any further problems. Id. ¶¶ 365-73. Esquibel was also given a walking cane "days later." Id. ¶ 380. Esquibel continued to request medical treatment from the deputies, but they all told him to "put in a medical request." Id. ¶ 381.

Esquibel now comes before this Court as a pro se plaintiff, alleging that multiple state and private actors have either failed in their legal duties or actively sought to deny Esquibel's constitutional rights -- including his right to due process of law. Id. ¶ 149-212, 393-452. Esquibel named numerous state and local entities for their ties to the alleged wrongdoing, and went through a list of individuals who are allegedly individually responsible. Id. ¶¶ 417, 420. Among those allegedly responsible are Prosecutor Al Barrus, Attorney General Wasden, Sheriff Randy Kidd, Judge Hodges, and Judge Robinson, to name a few. Although "[e]ach of the said Defendant are being sued in the personal-capacity (individual-capacity),"id. ¶ 417, none was provided service of process or captioned as a defendant.


Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief," in order to "give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964 (2007). While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss "does not need detailed factual allegations," it must set forth "more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. at 555. To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570. 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. Id. at 556. The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement," but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Id. Where a complaint pleads facts that are "merely consistent with" a defendant's liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of 'entitlement to relief.' " Id. at 557.

In a more recent case, the Supreme Court identified two "working principles" that underlie Twombly. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). First, the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Id. "Rule 8 marks a notable and generous departure from the hyper-technical, code-pleading regime of a prior era, but it does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions." Id. at 1950. Second, only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss. Id. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will . . . be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.

Providing too much in the complaint may also be fatal to a plaintiff. Dismissal may be appropriate when the plaintiff has included sufficient allegations disclosing some absolute defense or bar to recovery. See Weisbuch v. County of L.A., 119 F.3d 778, 783, n. 1 (9th Cir. 1997) (stating that "[i]f the pleadings establish facts compelling a decision one way, that is as good as if depositions and other . . . evidence on summary judgment establishes the identical facts").

A dismissal without leave to amend is improper unless it is beyond doubt that the complaint "could not be saved by any amendment." Harris v. Amgen, Inc., 573 F.3d 728, 737 (9th Cir. 2009)(issued 2 months after Iqbal).*fn1 The Ninth Circuit has held that "in dismissals for failure to state a claim, a district court should grant leave to amend even if no request to amend the pleading was made, unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts." Cook, Perkiss and Liehe, Inc. v. Northern California Collection Service, Inc., 911 F.2d 242, 247 (9th Cir. 1990). The issue is not whether plaintiff will prevail but whether he "is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims." Diaz v. Int'l Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 13, 474 F.3d 1202, 1205 (9th Cir. 2007)(citations omitted).

Under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court may consider matters that are subject to judicial notice. Mullis v. United States Bank, 828 F.2d 1385, 1388 (9th Cir. 1987). The Court may take judicial notice "of the records of state agencies and other undisputed matters of public record" without transforming the motions to dismiss into motions for summary judgment. Disabled Rights Action Comm. v. Las Vegas Events, Inc., 375 F.3d 861, 866 (9th Cir. 2004). The Court may also examine documents referred to in the complaint, although not attached thereto, without transforming the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment. See Knievel v. ESPN, 393 F.3d 1068, 1076 (9th Cir. 2005).


1. Review of State Court Action & the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

The Court starts its analysis by noting that in order to adequately consider Esquibel's claims it must first consider limitations on its authority to scrutinize state court actions. A federal district court has no jurisdiction "over challenges to state-court decisions, in particular cases arising out of judicial proceedings, even if those challenges allege that the state court's action was unconstitutional." District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462, 486 (1983); see also Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923). "This rule applies even though . . . the challenge is anchored to alleged deprivations of federally protected due process and equal protection rights." Id. at 486 (internal citation omitted). Instead, under 28 U.S.C. ยง 1257, "the proper ...

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