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Wilson v. Golden Valley Electric Association

United States District Court, D. Alaska

June 26, 2018

ALLEN WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
GOLDEN VALLEY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, Defendant.

          ORDER RE MOTION TO DISMISS

          SHARON L. GLEASON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court at Docket 8 is Defendant Golden Valley Electric Association's (“GVEA”) Motion to Dismiss. At Docket 11, Plaintiff Allen Wilson filed an opposition to the motion. No. reply was filed. Oral argument was not requested and was not necessary to the Court's determination of the motion.

         GVEA seeks dismissal under both Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), asserting that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear this case, and under Rule 12(b)(6), asserting that Mr. Wilson's complaint fails to state a claim for which relief can be granted.

         LEGAL STANDARDS

         I. Dismissal Under Rule 12(b)(1)

         “A Rule 12(b)(1) jurisdictional attack may be facial or factual.”[1] In this case, GVEA makes a fact-based challenge. In order to survive such a challenge, a plaintiff must establish and prove jurisdiction.[2] “In reviewing an order dismissing an action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, we must accept all of the plaintiff's factual allegations as true.”[3]However, “unlike a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a Rule 12(b)(1) motion can attack the substance of a complaint's jurisdictional allegations despite their formal sufficiency, and in so doing rely on affidavits or any other evidence properly before the court.”[4]

         II. Dismissal Under Rule 12(b)(6)

         When reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court considers only the pleadings and documents incorporated into the pleadings by reference, as well as matters on which a court may take judicial notice.[5] “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.'”[6] A claim is plausible on its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”[7] Thus, there must be “more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”[8] A court “accept[s] factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe[s] the pleadings in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.”[9] When a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is granted, a court “should freely give leave when justice so requires.”[10] But leave to amend is properly denied as to those claims for which amendment would be futile.[11]

         DISCUSSION

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Allen Wilson initiated this action on April 6, 2018.[12] He alleges that on or about July 11, 1966, power lines were installed across his property without his consent. He seeks “either . . . equitable compensation for the right of way or the lines removed from my property.”[13] He also seeks compensation for a 1977 right of way, or, again, removal of the power lines.[14] It is undisputed that Mr. Wilson received a Land Patent from the United States government for the property in 1972.[15]

         The Court takes judicial notice of the following: GVEA's last right-of-way permit on the property expired in July 2016. Prior to the expiration, GVEA filed an eminent domain action in the Alaska Superior Court.[16] On December 18, 2017, the Superior Court entered a Final Judgment Determining Compensation, which award Mr. Wilson the sum of $5, 240; that same day, the Superior Court also entered a Final Order of Condemnation, which accorded to GVEA a right-of-way easement across the property.[17]

         II. ...


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