847 F.3d 646 (9th Cir. 2017), 14-17111, State ex rel. Koster v. Harris

Docket Nº:14-17111
Citation:847 F.3d 646
Opinion Judge:Susan P. Graber, Circuit Judge
Party Name:STATE OF MISSOURI EX REL. CHRIS KOSTER, Attorney General; STATE OF NEBRASKA EX REL. JON BRUNING, Attorney General; STATE OF OKLAHOMA EX REL. E. SCOTT PRUITT, Attorney General; STATE OF ALABAMA EX REL. LUTHER STRANGE, Attorney General; COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY EX REL. JACK CONWAY, Attorney General; TERRY E. BRANSTAD, Governor of State of Iowa, ...
Attorney:J. Andrew Hirth (argued), Deputy General Counsel, Office of the Missouri Attorney General, Jefferson City, Missouri, for Plaintiffs-Appellants. Paul Stein (argued) and Stephanie F. Zook, Deputy Attorneys General; Constance L. LeLouis, Supervising Deputy Attorney General; Douglas J. Woods, Senior ...
Judge Panel:Before: Susan P. Graber and Mary H. Murguia, Circuit Judges, and Raner C. Collins,[*] Chief District Judge.
Case Date:January 17, 2017
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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847 F.3d 646 (9th Cir. 2017)

STATE OF MISSOURI EX REL. CHRIS KOSTER, Attorney General; STATE OF NEBRASKA EX REL. JON BRUNING, Attorney General; STATE OF OKLAHOMA EX REL. E. SCOTT PRUITT, Attorney General; STATE OF ALABAMA EX REL. LUTHER STRANGE, Attorney General; COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY EX REL. JACK CONWAY, Attorney General; TERRY E. BRANSTAD, Governor of State of Iowa, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

KAMALA D. HARRIS, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California; KAREN ROSS, in her official capacity as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Defendants-Appellees, and HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES; ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA EGG FARMERS, Intervenor-Defendants-Appellees

No. 14-17111

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

January 17, 2017

Argued and Submitted October 19, 2016 , San Francisco, California

Petition for certiorari filed at, 02/15/2017

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. D.C. No. 2:14-cv-00341-KJM-KJN. Kimberly J. Mueller, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[**]

Civil Rights

The panel affirmed the district court's dismissal of an action for lack of parens patriae standing but remanded with instructions to dismiss without prejudice.

Plaintiffs are six states seeking to block enforcement of California laws and regulations prescribing standards for the conditions under which chickens must be kept in order for their eggs to be sold in the state. Plaintiffs sought to block the laws before they took effect. The panel held that the plaintiffs failed to establish parens patriae standing because: (1) they failed to articulate an interest apart from the interests of private egg producers, who could have filed an action on their own behalf; (2) the allegations about potential economic effects of the challenged laws, after implementation, were necessarily speculative; and (3) the allegations of discrimination were misplaced because the laws do not distinguish among eggs based on their state of origin. The panel further held that the district court did not err by denying leave to amend because plaintiffs would be unable to assert parens patriae standing in an amended complaint.

The panel held that because in theory, plaintiffs could allege post-effective-date facts that might support standing, the complaint should have been dismissed without prejudice.

J. Andrew Hirth (argued), Deputy General Counsel, Office of the Missouri Attorney General, Jefferson City, Missouri, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Paul Stein (argued) and Stephanie F. Zook, Deputy Attorneys General; Constance L. LeLouis, Supervising Deputy Attorney General; Douglas J. Woods, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General; Office of the Attorney General, San Francisco, California; for Defendants Appellees.

Bruce Wagman (argued), Schiff Hardin LLP, San Francisco, California; Rebecca Cary and Peter A. Brandt, Humane Society of the United States, Washington, D.C.; Jonathan Y. Ellis and J. Scott Ballenger, Latham & Watkins LLP, Washington, D.C.; for Intervenor-Defendant-Appellee Humane Society of the United States.

Carl Nichols (argued), Thomas G. Sprankling, Adam I. Klein, and Francesco Valenti, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, D.C.; Randall R. Lee, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Los Angeles, California; for Intervenor-Defendant-Appellee Association of California Egg Farmers.

Sean D. Reyes, Utah Attorney General; Parker Douglas, Utah Federal Solicitor; Utah Attorney General's Office, Salt Lake City, Utah; for Amicus Curiae State of Utah.

Timothy S. Bishop, Michael B. Kimberly, and James F. Tierney, Mayer Brown LLP, Washington, D.C.; Ellen B. Steen and Danielle Hallcom Quist, America Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, D.C.; for Amicus Curiae American Farm Bureau Federation.

Diane L. McGimsey, Edward E. Johnson, Janet Y. Galeria, and Jonathon D. Townsend, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Los Angeles, California, for Amici Curiae Animal Legal Defense Fund; Compassion Over Killing, Inc.; and Farm Sanctuary, Inc.

Before: Susan P. Graber and Mary H. Murguia, Circuit Judges, and Raner C. Collins,[*] Chief District Judge.

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AMENDED OPINION

Susan P. Graber, Circuit Judge

California enacted laws and regulations prescribing standards for the conditions under which chickens must be kept in order for their eggs to be sold in the state. Plaintiffs are six states, which sued to block enforcement of those laws and regulations before they took effect. We agree with the district court that Plaintiffs lacked standing to bring this case as parens patriae. We also hold that the district court did not err in denying Plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint. But because the action should have been dismissed without prejudice, we affirm but remand with instructions to dismiss the action without prejudice.

In the 2008 general election, California voters adopted Proposition 2, which enacted new standards beginning on January 1, 2015, for housing farm animals within California including, as relevant here, egg-laying hens. Cal. Health & Safety Code § § 25990-94. Under Proposition 2, hens may not be confined for the majority of any day " in a manner that prevents [them] from: (a) Lying down, standing up, and fully extending [their] limbs; and (b) Turning around freely." Id. § 25990. A violation of these standards is punishable by a $1,000 fine or imprisonment of 180 days in county jail, or both. Id. § 25993.

In 2010, California's legislature adopted Assembly Bill 1437 (" AB1437" ), which mandated, also beginning on January 1, 2015, that " a shelled egg shall not be sold or contracted for sale for human consumption in California if the seller knows or should have known that the egg is the product of an egg-laying hen that was confined on a farm or place that is not in compliance with animal care standards set forth in [Proposition 2]." Cal. Health & Safety Code § 25996. Therefore, all eggs sold in California must comply with Proposition 2. In 2013, the California Department of Food and Agriculture promulgated egg-related regulations, including salmonella prevention measures and minimum cage sizes for egg-laying hens, all of which also carried an effective date of January 1, 2015. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 3, § 1350(d)(1).

On February 3, 2014, the State of Missouri filed a complaint in the Eastern District of California, asking the court to declare AB1437 and California Code § 1350(d)(1) (collectively the " Shell Egg Laws" ) invalid, as violating the Commerce Clause or as preempted by federal statute, and to enjoin California from enforcing the laws. Plaintiffs then filed their First Amended Complaint (the " complaint" ), joining the States of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Kentucky and the Governor of Iowa as additional plaintiffs. The Humane Society of the United States and the Association of California Egg Farmers (" Intervenors" ) moved to intervene as defendants, which the court allowed. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction; Intervenors

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filed their own, similar motions. The district court granted the motions to dismiss, with...

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