United States District Court, D. Utah, Southern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION
B. PEAD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
District Court referred this matter on September 20, 2018
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). (ECF No. 5.)
Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF
No. 9) as well as Plaintiffs' Motion to Sever and Remand.
(ECF No. 10.) The Court heard oral argument on the Motion to
Dismiss on January 28, 2019. (ECF No. 23.) Stephen Mabey
appeared pro se on behalf of Plaintiffs Stephen and Tatyana
Mabey, and Michael J. Teter, Assistant Utah Attorney General,
appeared on behalf of Defendants Superintendent Sam Ray and
North Sanpete School District (“Defendants”).
Court, having carefully considered the parties' memoranda
and arguments, and for the reasons set forth below,
DENIES Plaintiffs' Motion to Sever and
Remand. The Court further RECOMMENDS that
the District Court GRANT Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss in part, but DENY the
motion as to Plaintiffs' equal protection claim against
North Sanpete School District.
law requires a school district to provide free public
transportation to any elementary school student who lives at
least one-and-a-half miles from the school. Utah Code §
53F-2-403(1)(a). State law also provides that, “[a]
student is responsible for the student's own
transportation to bus stops up to one and one-half miles from
home.” Utah Admin. Code R277-600-6(6)(a). State
regulations further require that, “a bus route shall:
(a) traverse the most direct public route; (b) be reasonably
cost-effective in comparison to other feasible alternatives;
(c) provide adequate safety for students; (d) traverse roads
that are constructed and maintained in a manner that does not
cause property damage; and (e) include an economically
appropriate number of students.” Utah Admin. Code
qualify for bus transportation for their child to attend
Spring City Elementary. The North Sanpete School District
established a bus stop six-tenths of a mile from
Plaintiffs' home. Based on concerns about having their
child walk alone to the bus stop, Plaintiffs presented to the
North Sanpete School District Board at a public meeting and
requested that the School District instead establish the bus
stop at Plaintiffs' home. As an accommodation during Mrs.
Mabey's pregnancy, the School Board did that for the
2017-2018 school year. In the fall of 2018, Plaintiffs again
appeared before the School Board and requested a permanent
change to the bus route so that the stop for their son would
be in front of their house. By a vote of 3-2, the Board
denied the request.
have withheld their child from school and filed this action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Superintendent Ray and
the North Sanpete School District, alleging that Defendants
violated Plaintiffs' rights under the Fourteenth
Amendment's due process and equal protection clauses.
Plaintiffs also asserted claims that Defendants violated Utah
Code § 53F-2-403(1)(a) and Utah Admin. Code
R277-600-6(3), as well as breached the implied covenant of
good faith and fair dealing.
move to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). In reviewing a 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss, the court assumes the truth of well-pleaded facts
and draws reasonable inference in a light most favorable to
the plaintiff. See, e.g., Leverington v. City of
Colo. Springs, 643 F.3d 719, 723 (10th Cir. 2011). But a
claim survives if “there is plausibility in the
complaint.” Hall v. Witteman, 584 F.3d 859,
863 (10th Cir. 2009) (citations and quotations omitted).
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. (quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). Threadbare recitals of
elements, facts “merely consistent” with
liability, “labels and conclusions, ” or
“unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed me
accusation[s]” are insufficient. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678; Leverington, 643 F.3d at 723 (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)); Gee v. Pacheco, 627 F.3d 1178, 1184-85
(10th Cir. 2010) (citations and quotations omitted);
Hall, 584 F.3d at 863 (citations and quotations
reviewing a motion to dismiss, the court may rely on the
facts as alleged in the complaint, but may also rely on all
documents adopted by reference in the complaint, documents
attached to the complaint, or facts that may be judicially
noticed. SeeFed. R. Civ. P. 10(c); Tellabs, Inc.
v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322-23
(2007); Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1112 (10th
Motion to Sever and Remand
filed their Complaint in the Sixth Judicial District of Utah.
(ECF No. 4-1.) The Complaint states five causes of action. On
the face, each cause of action states a claim under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, though later pleadings suggest that Plaintiffs
only intended two of the claims to arise under the U.S.