Krug v. Maricopa County Superior Court, 010317 FED9, 15-15012

Docket Nº:15-15012
Party Name:KARYL JEAN KRUG, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, a Subdivision of the State of Arizona; et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Judge Panel:Before: WALLACE, LEAVY, and FISHER, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:January 03, 2017
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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KARYL JEAN KRUG, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, a Subdivision of the State of Arizona; et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 15-15012

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

January 3, 2017

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Submitted December 14, 2016 [**]

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona John W. Sedwick, District Judge, Presiding D.C. No. 2:14-cv-01320-JWS

Before: WALLACE, LEAVY, and FISHER, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM [*]

Karyl Jean Krug appeals pro se from the district court's judgment dismissing her 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action alleging First Amendment retaliation claims. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We review de novo a district court's dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Knievel v. ESPN, 393 F.3d 1068, 1072 (9th Cir. 2005). We affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand.

The district court properly dismissed Krug's claims against Maricopa County Superior Court because in this case it is an "arm of the state, " not subject to § 1983 liability. Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 70 (1989) (holding that "'arms of the State' for Eleventh Amendment purposes" are not liable under § 1983); Arizona v. Super. Ct., 420 P.2d 945, 951 (Ariz. App. 1966) ("There is only one superior court in the State of Arizona." (citing Ariz. Const. art. 6, § 13)), vacated on other grounds, 430 P.2d 408 (Ariz. 1967).

However, the district court abused its discretion in denying Krug's request to amend her claims to add Maricopa County as a defendant because it is not clear amendment would be futile. See Cervantes v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 656 F.3d 1034, 1041 (9th Cir. 2011) (setting forth standard of review and explaining that a court may deny leave to amend where proposed amendments would be futile). See also Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of N.Y., 436 U.S. 658, 694, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 2037-38, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978); Clairmont v. Sound Mental Health, 632 F.3d 1091, 1101 (9th Cir. 2011) ("in evaluating whether a plaintiff should be considered a public employee [entitled to bring a First Amendment retaliation claim], we consider...

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