December 26, 2013—SAN DIEGO CA—Tuesday United States District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo granted and denied motions in the racketeering lawsuit brought by families against San Diego Superior Court judges and the California Commission on Judicial Performance. The District Court’s ruling denied the Family Court judges’ request to sanction parents for filing the lawsuit, and denied their motion to dismiss the case entirely, giving Plaintiff permission to amend the Complaint to address the Family Court judges’ criticism of how the Complaint was pled. From the December 23, 2013 Order:
The motions to dismiss of the Superior Court and Commission on Judicial Performance defendants [Doc. Nos. 16, 22] are granted in part and denied in part. The complaint is dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff Stuart has leave to file an amended complaint no later than Thursday, January 9, 2014.
The District Court also granted in part and denied in part a second motion brought by the California Commission on Judicial Performance seeking to dismiss the Commission and its employees from the lawsuit. The District Court found that the claims against individual Commission employees Brad Battson and Lawrence Simi may go forward, but the Commission claims could not because the Commission is deemed to be an “arm of the State” and therefore immune from lawsuits in federal court.
The District Court instructed California Coalition’s President Colbern Stuart to provide a more streamlined complaint to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 8(a)(2) which requires a “short, plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” The District Court commented that the California Coalition’s complaint “lacks focus,” and “is unmanageable for the Court.” The Coalition’s complaint totaled 175 pages and included 48 Defendants, primarily San Diego divorce lawyers, Family Court judges, and “forensic psychologists” whom the Coalition accuses of defrauding San Diego Family Court litigants. The District Court also removed all other pending motions from calendar until the amended complaint is filed.
“We will of course comply with and appreciate the Court’s guidance.” Says California Coalition’s President, Colbern Stuart.
The amended complaint is due to be filed January 9, 2014.