This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/28/2020 at 10:47:06 (UTC).

DEVIN STATEN ET AL VS THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/17/2018 DEVIN STATEN filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is DAVID S. CUNNINGHAM III. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****2243

  • Filing Date:

    04/17/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

DAVID S. CUNNINGHAM III

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

STATEN DEVIN

JACKSON DAMIEN

RODGERS DAVID

Defendants and Respondents

LOS ANGELES CITY OF

LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS

DOES 1 TO 100

THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

HORTON PETER J.

GAGE BRADLEY C. ESQ.

HORTON PETER J. ESQ.

GAGE BRADLEY C.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

VANDERFORD & RUIZ LLP

PICKER TODD ANDREW

SPARAGNA JACQUELINE M. ESQ.

FERGUSON SHAKIRA LYNN

SPARAGNA JACQUELINE M.

FERGUSON SHAKIRA L.

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING - OTHER IN-CAMERA EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFFS SPECIFIC...)

9/29/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING - OTHER IN-CAMERA EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFFS SPECIFIC...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING - OTHER IN-CAMERA EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFFS SPECIFIC...)

9/16/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING - OTHER IN-CAMERA EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFFS SPECIFIC...)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR [MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)]

9/2/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR [MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)]

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

8/13/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

Notice - NOTICE AND MOTION FOR DISCOVERY OF SERGEANT JERONIMO GILLS PERSONNEL RECORDS (PITCHESS MOTION)

4/3/2020: Notice - NOTICE AND MOTION FOR DISCOVERY OF SERGEANT JERONIMO GILLS PERSONNEL RECORDS (PITCHESS MOTION)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 04/21/2020

4/21/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 04/21/2020

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

12/31/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Notice - NOTICE RODGERS NTC OF OBJ TO MTN TO COMPEL

1/17/2020: Notice - NOTICE RODGERS NTC OF OBJ TO MTN TO COMPEL

Notice - NOTICE OF PLAINTIFF'S NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' MOTION TO COMPEL PSYCHIATRIC EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFF DAVID RODGERS

1/24/2020: Notice - NOTICE OF PLAINTIFF'S NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' MOTION TO COMPEL PSYCHIATRIC EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFF DAVID RODGERS

Amended Complaint

4/30/2019: Amended Complaint

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

1/22/2019: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE OF RULING RE: DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER TO ADVANCE THE HEARING DATE ON ITS MOTION TO ESTABLISH SEQUENCE AND TIMING OF DISCOVERY TO NOVEMBER 2

9/21/2018: SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE OF RULING RE: DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER TO ADVANCE THE HEARING DATE ON ITS MOTION TO ESTABLISH SEQUENCE AND TIMING OF DISCOVERY TO NOVEMBER 2

Notice - Notice of Taking Motion to Compel Depositions of David Maggard

11/5/2018: Notice - Notice of Taking Motion to Compel Depositions of David Maggard

ORDER

9/27/2018: ORDER

Minute Order -

9/11/2018: Minute Order -

Minute Order -

9/11/2018: Minute Order -

DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFFS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

9/4/2018: DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFFS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER BY DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF; DECLARATION OF TODD A. PICKER

7/12/2018: NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER BY DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF; DECLARATION OF TODD A. PICKER

69 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 09/07/2021
  • Hearing09/07/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 37 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/31/2021
  • Hearing08/31/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 37 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/15/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 37; Court Order

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/15/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order) of 10/15/2020); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/15/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/14/2020
  • DocketOrder (PROTECTIVE ORDER [PROPOSED] REGARDING DOCUMENTS PRODUCED PURSUANT TO THE COURT?S IN CAMERA INSPECTION OF PERSONNEL RECORDS); Filed by The City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2020
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 37; Hearing - Other (in-camera examination of Plaintiffs? specifically identified records) - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2020
  • DocketOrder Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing - Other in-camera examination of Plaintiffs? specific...)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/29/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 37; Hearing - Other (in-camera examination of Plaintiffs? specifically identified records) - Held - Continued

    Read MoreRead Less
118 More Docket Entries
  • 07/12/2018
  • DocketDemurrer; Filed by Los Angeles, City of (Defendant); Los Angeles World Airports (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/11/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/11/2018
  • DocketOSC-RE Other (Miscellaneous); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/11/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/11/2018
  • DocketORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/24/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/24/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS & COMPLAINT ON DEFENDANT THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/17/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/17/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Devin Staten (Plaintiff); Damien Jackson (Plaintiff); David Rodgers (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/17/2018
  • DocketPLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC702243    Hearing Date: July 20, 2020    Dept: 37

HEARING DATE: July 20, 2020

CASE NUMBER: BC702243

CASE NAME: Devin Staten, et al. v. The City of Los Angeles, et al.

MOVING PARTIES: Plaintiff Devin Staten

OPPOSING PARTY: Defendant, The City of Los Angeles

TRIAL DATE: December 29, 2020

PROOF OF SERVICE: OK

PROCEEDING: Motion for Discovery of Peace Officer Personnel Records

OPPOSITION: July 7, 2020

REPLY: July 13, 2020

TENTATIVE: The court finds that Plaintiffs have demonstrated good cause for the production for the court’s review of documents identified in Plaintiffs’ motion. The court will schedule a hearing for the in-camera examination of Plaintiffs’ specifically identified records. Plaintiffs to give notice.

Background

This action arises out of Plaintiffs, Devin Staten (“Staten”) David Rodgers (“Rodgers”) and Damien Jackson’s (“Jackson”) (together, “Plaintiffs”) employment with Defendant, The City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports (“City”). Plaintiffs contend that they are African American males and have been employed with City for over ten years. Staten alleges that he is a police officer for the City. In late 2015, Plaintiffs complained that they were being excluded from specialized assignments within the City despite their tenure and experience, including an opportunity to qualify for the rifle cadre (“UPR”). After Plaintiffs were named to the UPR, Plaintiffs contend that other officers wrongfully informed their superiors that they were members of a criminal gang, which eventually led to Staten’s internal affairs investigation and termination from the City. Jackson alleges that he continues to be denied special assignments, training and equipment. Rodgers alleges that he applied for the Field Training Officer position but was denied it because of his race. He alleges he has performed those functions since them without the benefit of the promotion.

Plaintiffs’ Complaint alleges causes of action as follows: (1) discrimination on the basis of race in violation of the Fair Housing Employment Act (“FEHA”), (2) harassment on the basis of race in violation of the FEHA, (3) retaliation in violation of the FEHA, (4)failure to take corrective action. The first cause of action is alleged by Plaintiff Staten only.

Plaintiffs’ operative Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) alleges the same causes of action but also names David Rogers (“Rodgers”) as a Plaintiff for the first time. Rodgers alleges that on May 13, 2018, he provided a report to his commanding officer Sergeant Gill (“Gill”), who allegedly took issue with his use of quotations marks by making a racially inappropriate comment. Further, Rodgers alleges that on a different occasion, an Officer Art Juliano made a racially inappropriate comments regarding an African American suspect’s hair, which offended Rodgers.  

Plaintiffs now request the court allow them to use and disclose peace officer personnel records for Gill on the grounds that Gill’s records are relevant and material to the presentation of Plaintiff’s case. City opposes the motion.

Discussion

I. Legal Standard

A motion to discover a law enforcement officer’s personnel file or other police agency record that contains relevant information is called a Pitchess motion. (Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531, 536-540.) The Pitchess motion has been partly codified in Evidence Code, section 1043, which makes law enforcement personnel records privileged and subject to disclosure only by noticed motion. (Evid. Code, § 1043; Pen. Code, § 832.7(a).) The statutory scheme governing Pitchess motions is set forth in Evidence Code sections 1043-1047 and Penal Code sections 832.5, 832.7, 832.8. (People v. Mooc (2001) 26 Cal.4th 1216, 1226.) These statutes provide the exclusive means of discovery of such records in both criminal and civil proceedings. (County of Los Angeles v. Sup. Ct. (1990) 219 Cal.App.3d 1605, 1609-1610.)

“Under the statutory scheme, a party seeking discovery of a peace officer’s personnel records must follow a two-step process. First, the party must file a written motion describing the type of records sought, supported by affidavits showing good cause for the discovery…, setting forth the materiality thereof to the subject matter involved in the pending litigation and stating upon reasonable belief that the governmental agency identified has the records or information from the records. This initial burden is a ‘relatively relaxed standard.’ Information is material if it will facilitate the ascertainment of the facts and a fair trial. A declaration by counsel on information and belief is sufficient to state facts to satisfy the ‘materiality’ component of that section.” (Haggerty v. Sup. Ct. (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th 1079, 1085-1086 (Haggerty), internal citations and quotations omitted.) The motion must provide a “specific factual scenario” that establishes the materiality of the discovery sought. (City of Santa Cruz v. Municipal Court (1989) 49 Cal.3d 74, 85-86 (Santa Cruz).) The documents must be requested “with adequate specificity” to preclude the possibility that the moving party is engaged in a “fishing expedition.” (People v. Memro (1985) 38 Cal.3d 658, 678 (Memro), overruled on unrelated grounds in People v. Gaines (2009) 46 Cal.4th 172, 181, n. 2.) Information consisting of complaints concerning conduct occurring more than five years before the event or transaction that is the subject of the litigation in aid of which discovery is sought must be excluded from disclosure. (Evid. Code, § 1045, subd. (b).)

“Second, if the trial court concludes [a party] has fulfilled these prerequisites and made a showing of good cause, the custodian of records should bring to court all documents ‘potentially relevant’ to the [requesting party’s] motion…. The trial court ‘shall examine the information in chambers, out of the presence and hearing of all persons except the person authorized to possess the records and such other persons the custodian of records is willing to have present…. Subject to statutory exceptions and limitations ... the trial court should then disclose to the defendant such information that is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending litigation.” (Haggerty, supra, 117 Cal.App.4th at p. 1086, internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

II. Analysis

A. Summary of Requests

Plaintiffs request the disclosure of the following documents from the custodian of records of the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) pertaining to Gill:

  1. C.F. 18-001224;

  2. Sgt Gill’s Board of Rights Transcripts regarding C.F. 18-001224;

  3. The Internal Affairs Investigation regarding C.F. 18-001224;

  4. Witness statements from Board of Rights and Internal Affairs Investigation regarding C.F. 18-001224.

D. Good Cause

Section 1043 requires a showing of “good cause” for discovery in two general categories: “(1) the ‘materiality’ of the information or records sought to the ‘subject matter involved in the pending litigation,’ and (2) a ‘reasonable belief’ that the governmental agency has the ‘type’ of information or records sought to be disclosed.” (Santa Cruz, supra, 49 Cal.3d at p. 84, citing Evid. code, § 1043, subd. (b).) This establishes a “relatively low threshold for discovery.” (Santa Cruz, ibid.) As it is undisputed that the records are within LAPD’s possession and control, the only question before the court is that of materiality.

Plaintiffs contend that Gill’s records are relevant because they relate directly to Rodgers’ harassment claims. (Motion, 5-6.) Plaintiffs’ counsel, Peter J. Horton (“Horton”) attests on information and belief that Rodgers’ complaint was investigated by LAPD’s Internal Affairs division. (Horton Decl. ¶¶ 5, 8-9.) This investigation, case number C.F. 18-001224, involved interviewing witnesses, obtaining documents, and having Rodgers appear at a Board of Rights hearing in or about December 2019. (Id.) Specifically, Plaintiffs argue that because Rodgers reported Gill’s harassment to LAPD and testified about the harassment in a Board of Rights (“BOR”) hearing, City would have been required to fully investigate Rodgers’ claim as his employer and take appropriate measures. (Id.) The court agrees that documents evidencing investigation of Rodgers’ claims are material to this litigation.

Second, Plaintiffs contend that the requested records are also relevant because they may be used to impeach or reflect on Gill’s credibility. (Motion, 6-7.) Plaintiff correctly relies on Garden Grove Police Dept v. Superior Court (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 430, 433-434 (Garden Grove) for the proposition that Pitchess motions may be used to discover information to impeach an officer’s credibility. Further, Horton attests on information and belief that LAPD interviewed various witnesses in connection with Rodgers’ complaint, and that these witnesses may confirm Rodgers’ recollection or reflect on Gill’s credibility. (Horton Decl. ¶¶ 6-7, 8.)

In opposition, City contends that Plaintiffs have not shown good cause because the events involving Gill are not mentioned in Plaintiffs’ original DFEH complaint and, as such, Plaintiffs have not exhausted their administrative remedies as to complaints against Gill. (Opposition, 11-13.) City contends that Plaintiffs are “undermining [their] prior claims regarding Defendant’s response to the subject incident” by filing the instant motion. (Id.) Allegations in the civil complaint that fall outside of the scope of the administrative charge are barred for failure to exhaust. (Wills v. Superior Court (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 143, 154-155 [“ ‘The administrative exhaustion requirement is satisfied if the allegations of the civil action are within the scope of the EEOC charge, any EEOC investigation actually completed, or any investigation that might reasonably have been expected to grow out of the charge. Thus, the judicial complaint may encompass any discrimination “like and reasonably related to” the allegations of the EEOC charge.’ ”], see also Okoli v. Lockheed Technical Operations Co. (1995) 36 Cal.App.4th 1607, 1617 [Plaintiff’s claim for retaliation claim under the FEHA barred by failure to exhaust administrative remedies because retaliation claim not like or reasonably related to discrimination claim presented to DFEH[.)

In reply, Plaintiffs contend that City’s argument regarding failure to exhaust administrative remedies must fail because Plaintiffs’ specific complaints regarding Gill are “like or related” acts of discrimination by City. (Reply, 1.)

The court agrees with Plaintiffs’ contention and finds that Plaintiffs have demonstrated good cause for the production to the court of documents regarding documents concerning Gill and C.F. 18-001224, as described above.

E. Disclosure

As Plaintiffs have demonstrated good cause for the disclosure of certain records identified above, the court will schedule a hearing for an in-camera examination. Because Plaintiffs have requested the discovery of these documents pursuant to a Pitchess motion, the court orders City to bring all potentially responsive records so that it may order the disclosure of “such information [that] is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending investigation.” (Evid. Code, § 1045, subd. (a); Haggerty, supra, 117 Cal.App.4th at p. 1086.)

Conclusion

The court finds that Plaintiffs have demonstrated good cause for the production for the court’s review of documents identified in Plaintiffs’ motion. The court will schedule a hearing for the in-camera examination of Plaintiffs’ specifically identified records. Plaintiffs to give notice.