This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/19/2022 at 03:36:34 (UTC).

DAMIAN WALTERS VS TORRANCE POLICE DEPARTMENT

Case Summary

On 12/02/2021 DAMIAN WALTERS filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against TORRANCE POLICE DEPARTMENT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******3951

  • Filing Date:

    12/02/2021

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

WALTERS DAMIAN

Defendants

TORRANCE POLICE DEPARTMENT

CITY OF TORRANCE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorney

LITVIN JEANNE-MARIE

 

Court Documents

Order - Dismissal

5/13/2022: Order - Dismissal

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

5/13/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Notice of Ruling

5/17/2022: Notice of Ruling

Case Management Statement

4/28/2022: Case Management Statement

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE)

4/18/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE)

Notice of Ruling

4/19/2022: Notice of Ruling

Case Management Statement

4/7/2022: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

4/7/2022: Case Management Statement

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

4/12/2022: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice - NOTICE OF REMOTE APPEARANCE

4/14/2022: Notice - NOTICE OF REMOTE APPEARANCE

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

1/13/2022: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Declaration - DECLARATION OF JEANNE-MARIE K. LITVIN IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

1/13/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION OF JEANNE-MARIE K. LITVIN IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Declaration - DECLARATION OF JEANNE-MARIE K. LITVIN IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

1/13/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION OF JEANNE-MARIE K. LITVIN IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Civil Case Cover Sheet - FIRST AMENDED CIVIL CASE COVERSHEET

12/13/2021: Civil Case Cover Sheet - FIRST AMENDED CIVIL CASE COVERSHEET

Summons - SUMMONS ON AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)

12/13/2021: Summons - SUMMONS ON AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)

Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (AMENDED)

12/13/2021: Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (AMENDED)

Amended Complaint - (AMENDED)

12/13/2021: Amended Complaint - (AMENDED)

Notice of Case Management Conference

12/16/2021: Notice of Case Management Conference

10 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/17/2022
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by City of Torrance (Defendant)

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  • 05/13/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held

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  • 05/13/2022
  • DocketOrder - Dismissal; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/13/2022
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/29/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17; Case Management Conference - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 04/28/2022
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by City of Torrance (Defendant)

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  • 04/19/2022
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by City of Torrance (Defendant)

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  • 04/18/2022
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 17; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 04/18/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Held

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  • 04/18/2022
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)); Filed by Clerk

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6 More Docket Entries
  • 01/13/2022
  • DocketDeclaration (of Jeanne-Marie K. Litvin in Support of Demurrer to Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint); Filed by City of Torrance (Defendant)

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  • 01/13/2022
  • DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by City of Torrance (Defendant)

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  • 12/16/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/13/2021
  • DocketAmended Complaint; Filed by Damian Walters (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/13/2021
  • DocketFirst Amended Civil Case Coversheet; Filed by Damian Walters (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/13/2021
  • DocketSummons (on Amended Complaint (1st)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/02/2021
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Damian Walters (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/02/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/02/2021
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/02/2021
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Damian Walters (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: *******3951 Hearing Date: April 18, 2022 Dept: 17

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

DAMIAN WALTERS

vs.

CITY OF TORRANCE

Case No.: *******3951

Hearing Date: April 18, 2022

Defendant’s demurrer is SUSTAINED, WITH 15 DAYS LEAVE TO AMEND.

On 12/2/2021, Plaintiff Damian Walters (Plaintiff) filed suit against the City of Torrance (Defendant). On 12/13/2021, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint (FAC) alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Now, Defendant demurs to Plaintiff’s FAC.

The motion is unopposed.

Legal Standard

A demurrer for sufficiency tests whether the complaint states a cause of action. (Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 740, 747 (Hahn).) When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context. (Taylor v. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 1216, 1228.) In a demurrer proceeding, the defects must be apparent on the face of the pleading or via proper judicial notice. (Donabedian v. Mercury Ins. Co. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 968, 994.) “A demurrer tests the pleadings alone and not the evidence or other extrinsic matters. Therefore, it lies only where the defects appear on the face of the pleading or are judicially noticed.” (SKF Farms v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal.App.3d 902, 905.) “The only issue involved in a demurrer hearing is whether the complaint, as it stands, unconnected with extraneous matters, states a cause of action.” (Hahn, supra, 147 Cal.App.4th at p. 747.)

Discussion

Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s FAC is unclear and uncertain and that Plaintiff cannot state a valid claim against it because Defendant is immunized from liability.

As to the first contention, the Court agrees that Plaintiff’s FAC is unclear and uncertain. On the standard complaint form filled out by Plaintiff, Plaintiff indicates that there are causes of action for general negligence and intentional tort, yet, in the body of the Complaint, Plaintiff only sets forth one cause of action, apparently for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The substantive allegations themselves are vague:

Over the last 2 years, The Torrance Police Department, have shown a pattern of Intentionaly [sic] Inflecting Emotional Distress on the plaintiff.

On 12/05/2019 the plaintiff was attacked, thus became a "victim", since that day The Torrance Police Department, has treated the plaintiff as if he was the assailant [sic], and have Intentionaly [sic] Inflected Emotionaal [sic] Distress on the plaintiff. The Torrance Police Department have contested and out right rejected plaintiff request [sic] for information that every victim is entitled to. The Torrance Department will not honor California Public Records Act request, or subpeona’s [sic] that will help plaintiff prove that one of their officer did an illegal act. The Torrance Police Department still has the file on incident #190055539 open, so they can legally reject, most of plaintiff request.

As a result of this uncertainty, it is not entirely clear what conduct Plaintiff is seeking to hold Defendant liable for. However, as noted by Defendant, there are a number of California Government Code provisions which limit the liability of police officers.

For example, police officers are vested with discretion and cannot be held liable for injuries that result pursuant to that exercise of discretion. (Johnson v. County of Ventura (1994 ) 29 Cal. App. 4th 1400; Minchenfelder v. City of Torrance (1972) 28 Cal.App. 3d 202, 205.) ("Except as otherwise provided by statute, a public employee is not liable for an injury resulting from his act or omission where the act or omission was the result of the exercise of the discretion vested in him, whether or not such discretion was abused.")

Similarly, police departments are immunized from tort liability from the inception of the exercise of the police function to the point of arrest. " (Antique Arts Corp. v. Torrance (1974) 39 Cal. App. 3d 588, 593.)

Plaintiff will be afforded an opportunity to clarify his allegations. In particular, Plaintiff must make it clear the “who, what, when, where” of the underlying incident, so that the Court can determine whether or not Defendant is immune from liability.

Based on the foregoing, Defendant’s demurrer is sustained, with 15 days leave to amend.

It is so ordered.

Dated: April , 2022

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi Judge of the Superior Court

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org by 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this tentative as the final order. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar.

Due to Covid-19, the court is strongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present are subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied entry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to argue to appear via L.A. Court Connect. For more information, please contact the court clerk at (213) 633-0517. Your understanding during these difficult times is appreciated.



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