944 F.2d 583 (9th Cir. 1991), 89-56315, Klarfeld v. United States

Docket Nº:89-56315.
Citation:944 F.2d 583
Party Name:S. Myron KLARFELD, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America; United States District Court; United States Marshal, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:September 13, 1991
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 583

944 F.2d 583 (9th Cir. 1991)

S. Myron KLARFELD, Plaintiff-Appellant,


UNITED STATES of America; United States District Court;

United States Marshal, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 89-56315.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

September 13, 1991

Submitted Dec. 7, 1990[*]

Page 584

S. Myron Klarfeld, San Diego, Cal., for plaintiff-appellant.

James R. Sullivan, Asst. U.S. Atty., Los Angeles, Cal., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Before BROWNING, PREGERSON and LEAVY, Circuit Judges.


S. Myron Klarfeld appeals pro se the district court's order dismissing his complaint for failure to state a claim. Klarfeld contends the district court erred by dismissing the complaint without leave to amend. We reverse and remand.


In his complaint, Klarfeld, an attorney, alleges that on or about April 12, 1989, he

Page 585

entered the United States Courthouse in Los Angeles dressed in a sports jacket, shirt and tie, slacks, loafers, and carrying only an appointment calendar. In anticipation of having to pass through the courthouse magnetometer, a mechanical device which is designed to detect metal objects, Klarfeld removed his pocket change, keys, nail clipper, and wrist watch and placed them in a basket provided for that purpose. In addition, Klarfeld removed his sport jacket and placed it on the conveyor belt. When Klarfeld passed through the magnetometer, however, the alarm sounded. Klarfeld searched his pockets, removed a small pocket knife in the watch pocket of his slacks, and passed through the magnetometer a second time, whereupon the alarm sounded again. Klarfeld then alleges that he "held his arms outstretched and asked to be searched by the Marshall's [sic] hand metal detector." However, the guard allegedly refused to do so and ordered Klarfeld to go back through the metal detector, remove his belt and shoes, and place his shoes on the conveyor belt. At this point, Klarfeld alleges that he:

identified himself as an attorney and explained that he would rather be searched by the hand metal detector than to take off his shoes and have to walk several yards in his stocking feet to gain entrance to the Courthouse. [Klarfeld] was then informed by the guard: "If you want to get into the Courthouse you will have to take off your shoes and place them on the conveyor!! You could have a gun there." [Klarfeld] begrudgingly complied and had to walk several yards over a dirty floor in his stocking feet, much to the amusement of the guard and onlookers, in order to gain entrance to the Courthouse to conduct his business.

Complaint at 3 (emphasis in original). The guard then placed Klarfeld's shoes on the conveyor belt, whereupon it was discovered that a metal shank in the arch of the shoes had been setting the alarm off. Klarfeld then entered the Courthouse without further incident.

Klarfeld wrote a note to the Chief Judge of the Central District of California and complained about the security procedures at the Courthouse, but received no response. Klarfeld then brought suit on April 25, 1989, seeking injunctive and declaratory relief. Klarfeld sought to enjoin the defendants from requiring him to remove his shoes and walk in his stocking feet in order to gain entrance to the United States Courthouse. Klarfeld also claimed that his rights were violated by the fact that courthouse personnel were not required to comply with the same security procedures. The district court dismissed the action with prejudice for failure to state a claim. Klarfeld timely appeals.

Klarfeld contends the district court erred by dismissing his complaint without leave to amend. Klarfeld asserts that he raised valid constitutional claims as to whether the courthouse search procedures were reasonable, and whether the search procedures discriminated against lawyers.


Standard of Review

We review de novo a district court's dismissal of an action for failure to state a claim. Pau v. Yosemite Park & Curry Co. 928 F.2d 880, 886 (9th Cir.1991). We must accept all material allegations in the complaint as true and construe them in the light most favorable to Klarfeld. See NL Indus. v. Kaplan, 792 F.2d 896, 898 (9th Cir.1986). Dismissal is appropriate only if the plaintiff "can prove no set of facts in support of his...

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