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Scoyni v. United States District Court of Idaho 9th Circuit

United States District Court, D. Idaho

October 29, 2019



          David C. Nye Chief U.S. District Court Judge.

         Pending before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 5). Having reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court finds that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will decide the motion without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(1)(B). For reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.


         On November 14, 2018, Nicolas Scoyni (“Scoyni”) sued Salvador, et al. in United States District Court for the District Court of Idaho in case No. 1:18-cv-00506-BLW. On June 21, 2019, Scoyni filed the present suit against Defendants “United States district court of Idaho 9th circuit, ” and a “[j]udge, magistrate, law clerk, [and] clerk of court” (collectively “Defendants”) for actions Defendants allegedly took in Scoyni v. Salvador, et al. Dkt. 1, at 3. On August 29, 2019, Defendants, by and through Joanne P. Rodriguez, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Idaho, filed the pending motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).


         Under Rule 12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss based on the failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court must take all allegations of material fact as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, although “conclusory allegations of law and unwarranted inferences are insufficient to avoid a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal.” Cousins v. Lockyer, 568 F.3d 1063, 1067 (9th Cir. 2009). A Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal “may be based on either a ‘lack of a cognizable legal theory' or ‘the absence of sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory.'” Johnson v. Riverside Healthcare Sys., LP, 534 F.3d 1116, 1121 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990)). 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).

         A pro se complaint is “to be liberally construed” and “however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” See Erikson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) and citing the Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(f)'s, now 8(e)'s, mandate to construe pleadings so as to do justice). A court is obligated, “where the petitioner is pro se, particularly in civil rights cases, to construe the pleadings liberally and to afford the petitioner the benefit of any doubt.'” Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Bretz v. Kelman, 773 F.2d 1026, 1027 n.1 (9th Cir. 1985) (en banc)).


         Scoyni asserts a Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), cause of action against Defendants for violating his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Scoyni contends that Defendants violated his constitutional rights when they entered, or failed to enter, certain judicial orders and displayed “overwhelming obvious favoritism of the defendants of a civil lawsuit.” Dkt. 1 at 5-7. In sum, Scoyni is suing Defendants for their handling of his case.

         Defendants move to dismiss Scoyni's Complaint for failure to state a claim for essentially two reasons: (1) no Bivens remedy exists on the facts alleged; and (2) even if a Bivens remedy did exist, Defendants are entitled to either absolute or quasi-judicial immunity.

         1. No. Bivens Remedy Exists for the Alleged Conduct

         a. A Bivens Claim Must Be Asserted Against Federal Officers in Their Individual Capacities

         A Bivens claim is a private action against federal officials in their individual capacities for alleged violations of a plaintiff's constitutional rights, but the right to pursue such an action is qualified and not absolute. Adams v. Johnson, 355 F.3d 1179, 1183 (9th Cir. 2004). A plaintiff may not assert a Bivens claim against federal officials or agencies in their official capacities unless the United States waives its sovereign immunity. Ibrahim v. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 538 F.3d 1250, 1257 (9th Cir. 2008) (“But no Bivens-like cause of action is available against federal agencies or federal agents sued in their official capacities.”) (citing FDIC v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 485-86 (1994); Nurse v. United States, 226 F.3d 996, 1004 (9th Cir. 2000)).

         Here Scoyni sues the “United States district court of Idaho 9th circuit, ” a federal agency. He may not assert a Bivens claim against the district court because the United States has not waived its sovereign immunity. Scoyni also fails to name and or sue the Defendants in their individual capacities in his Complaint. However, this Court will construe his pro-se ...

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