This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/27/2019 at 00:15:57 (UTC).

IVAN J. FIELD VS COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, ET AL

Case Summary

On 11/29/2017 IVAN J FIELD filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Santa Monica Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is GEORGINA T. RIZK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4848

  • Filing Date:

    11/29/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

GEORGINA T. RIZK

 

Party Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff

FIELD IVAN J.

Respondents and Defendants

REED DIANA

DEPUTY WEALER

REED GABRIEL

DEPUTY JOHN DOE

LOS ANGELES COUNTY OF

DOES 1 TO 10

DEPUTY MAYER

DEPUTY GARCIA

DEPUTY MEYERS

LOS ANGELES SHERIFF'S DEPT. COUNTY OF

MAYERS ANTHONY

MEYERS ANTHONY

REED. GABRIEL

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

MEYERS DEPUTY

MAYER DEPUTY

WEALER DEPUTY

GABRIEL REED.

GARCIA DEPUTY

Defendant and Not Classified By Court

MAYERS ANTHONY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff Attorneys

CASSELMAN GARY S. ESQ.

CASSELMAN GARY S.

CASSELMAN GARY STEVEN

CASSELMAN GARY STEVEN ESQ.

Respondent and Defendant Attorneys

FUENTES RAYMOND J. ESQ.

HURRELL THOMAS C. ESQ.

TUASON MARIA

BARZIN FARYAR C. ESQ.

FUENTES JOHN LUIS

 

Court Documents

Case Management Statement

9/10/2019: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

9/18/2019: Case Management Statement

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PROOF OF ...)

9/26/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PROOF OF ...)

Answer

8/26/2019: Answer

Stipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter

8/5/2019: Stipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING - OTHER IN CAMERA)

8/5/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING - OTHER IN CAMERA)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; HEARING ON MOTION - OTHER FOR DIS...)

7/24/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; HEARING ON MOTION - OTHER FOR DIS...)

Order - Dismissal

7/24/2019: Order - Dismissal

Case Management Statement

7/9/2019: Case Management Statement

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO A MOTION TO COMPEL PEACE OFFICER PERSONNEL RECORDS (PITCHESS)

7/11/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO A MOTION TO COMPEL PEACE OFFICER PERSONNEL RECORDS (PITCHESS)

Case Management Statement

7/16/2019: Case Management Statement

Order - ORDER FOR [PROPOSED] PROTECTIVE ORDER

7/24/2019: Order - ORDER FOR [PROPOSED] PROTECTIVE ORDER

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

7/25/2019: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Minute Order - Minute order entered: 2018-08-31 00:00:00

8/31/2018: Minute Order - Minute order entered: 2018-08-31 00:00:00

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Order

8/31/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Order

Notice - Notice OF TRANSFER ACTION

9/21/2018: Notice - Notice OF TRANSFER ACTION

Minute Order - Minute Order (Case Management Conference;)

11/21/2018: Minute Order - Minute Order (Case Management Conference;)

Notice - Notice Reassignment

12/13/2018: Notice - Notice Reassignment

26 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 09/21/2018
  • DocketNotice (OF CASE TRANSFER AND REASSIGNMENT ); Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/29/2017
  • DocketComplaint Filed

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC684848    Hearing Date: May 13, 2021    Dept: M

CASE NAME: Ivan Field v. County of Los Angeles, et al.

CASE NO.: BC684848

MOTION: County Defendants’ MSJ/MSA

HEARING DATE: 05/13/2021

Background

Plaintiff Ivan Field filed a complaint against Defendants County of Los Angeles, Deputy Mayer, Deputy John Doe, Deputy Wealer, Gabriel Reed, Diana Reed, and Does 1 – 10 for fraud, battery, false arrest/false imprisonment, violation of civil rights (Civil Code § 52.1) and negligence. The complaint arises out of Plaintiff’s arrest by Los Angeles County Sheriffs for the alleged theft of a boat, which he lawfully repossessed.

Basis for motion

Defendants County of Los Angeles (“COLA”), Anthony Meyers, and Llandel Garcia (the “County Defendants”) argue that there are no triable issues of material fact in this action and defendants are entitled to judgment or, in the alternative, adjudication of issues as a matter of law, as follows:

Fourth claim for False Arrest /False Imprisonment:

The Deputies are entitled to summary judgment/summary adjudication because they had reasonable cause to believe it was lawful to arrest Plaintiff and since the Deputies are immune from liability, COLA is also immune from Plaintiff’s claims under Government Code section 815.2, subdivision (b).

Third claim for Battery:

The Deputies are entitled to summary judgment/summary adjudication because they acted reasonably in handcuffing Plaintiff to effectuate the arrest, and Plaintiff does not claim any other intentional use of force by the Deputies and since the Deputies are immune from liability, COLA is immune from Plaintiff’s claims under Government Code section 815.2, subdivision (b).

Second claim for violation of Civil Code Section 52.1:

The Deputies are entitled to summary judgment/summary adjudication because they did not violated Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights. The Deputies are also entitled to summary judgment/adjudication because the Plaintiff cannot show they violated the Plaintiff’s constitutional rights by showing they acted with threats, intimidation or coercion, either because there was no independent showing under Shoyoye, or because Plaintiff cannot show specific intent under either prong for the test as set forth under Cornell. Since the Deputies are immune from liability, COLA is immune from Plaintiff’s claims under Government Code section 815.2, subdivision (b).

Fifth claim for Negligence

The Deputies had probable cause to arrest Plaintiff and the force used to effectual the arrest was reasonable and any other alleged breach of duty by the Deputies aside from false arrest or unreasonable use of force is barred by Government Code section 821.6.

Legal Standard

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.”  (Aguilar v. Atl. Richfield Co(2001) 25 Cal. 4th 826, 843.)  “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”  (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1110, 1119.) 

“The supporting papers shall include a separate statement setting forth plainly and concisely all material facts which the moving party contends are undisputed. Each of the material facts stated shall be followed by a reference to the supporting evidence. The failure to comply with this requirement of a separate statement may in the court's discretion constitute a sufficient ground for denial of the motion.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(b)(1); see also Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1350(c)(2) & (d).)

“The opposition papers shall include a separate statement that responds to each of the material facts contended by the moving party to be undisputed, indicating if the opposing party agrees or disagrees that those facts are undisputed. The statement also shall set forth plainly and concisely any other material facts the opposing party contends are disputed. Each material fact contended by the opposing party to be disputed shall be followed by a reference to the supporting evidence. Failure to comply with this requirement of a separate statement may constitute a sufficient ground, in the court's discretion, for granting the motion.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437b(b)(3) (emphasis added).)

“On a motion for summary judgment [or summary adjudication], the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.”  (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc(2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519.)  The moving party is entitled to summary judgment or summary adjudication if they can show that there is no triable issue of material fact or if they have a complete defense thereto. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfiend Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.)  In analyzing motions for summary judgment, courts must apply a three-step analysis: “(1) identify the issues framed by the pleadings; (2) determine whether the moving party has negated the opponent's claims; and (3) determine whether the opposition has demonstrated the existence of a triable, material factual issue.” (Hinesley v. Oakshade Town Center (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 289, 294.)

When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the Court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers, except evidence to which the Court has sustained an objection, as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.  (Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Medical Center (2008) 159 Cal.App.4th 463, 467.)   

A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(f)(1).)

EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

Plaintiff’s objections

Plaintiff submitted evidentiary objections in its responses to Defendants’ separate statement. These objections were not stated separately. “Objections to specific evidence must be referenced by the objection number in the right column of a separate statement in opposition or reply to a motion, but the objections must not be restated or reargued in the separate statement.” (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1354(b).) Since Plaintiff did not include separate objections to Defendants’ evidence in compliance with California Rule of Court, rule 3.1354, the Court declines to rule on the written objections set forth in Defendant’s separate statement.

Defendants’ objections

Defendants submit objections to Plaintiff’s evidence. Specifically, Defendants submit objections to the declaration of Gary Casselman (Objections nos. 1 – 20), objections to the declaration of Iliana Maze (Objections nos. 21 – 31), and objections to the asset recovery report as well as the Peace Officer Standards and Training (objections nos. 32 and 33.)

Declaration of Gary Casselman

Objection nos. 1 and 9 are overruled.

Objection nos. 2 – 8 and 10 – 20 are sustained.

Declaration of Iliana Maze

Objections nos. 21 – 23 and 27 are overruled.

Objection nos. 24 – 26 and 28 – 31 are sustained.

Objections to Exhibits

Objections nos. 32 and 33 are sustained.

Analysis

Defendants seek summary judgment or in the alternative, summary adjudication. For the reasons explained below, there are triable issues of material fact that preclude summary adjudication on the false arrest claim. Defendants are entitled to summary adjudication on the Bane Act claims. Finally, Defendants did not meet their initial burden on the negligence claim and on the battery claim.

False Arrest/False Imprisonment

“The elements of a tortious claim of false imprisonment are: (1) the nonconsensual, intentional confinement of a person, (2) without lawful privilege, and (3) for an appreciable period of time, however brief.” (Lyons v. Fire Ins. Exchange Easton v. Sutter Coast Hospital .4th 485, 496).)

Plaintiff Ivan Field alleged, “Defendants and each of them were charged with knowledge based on records then in the possession of the Marina del Rey Sheriff's Station and Deputy Wealer (the Marina del Rey Sheriff's deputy who earlier received and filed the report of repossession of the Stela Mara) that Plaintiff had lawfully repossessed.” (Compl. ¶ 53.) Plaintiff further alleged, “Under the "collective knowledge rule" defendants MAYER, JOHN DOE and Does 6-10 were charged with knowledge in the records of their own department, particularly originating and maintained at the Marina del Rey Sheriff's Department substation, inter alia, where the Stela Mara was moored and from where it was allegedly (but falsely reported to have been) stolen, which they failed and refused to seek or review.” (Id. ¶ 54.) “Even after Plaintiff told defendants MAYER, JOHN DOE and Does 6-10 were informed by Plaintiff that he had lawfully repossessed the boat and offered to show corroborating documentation to said defendants, nonetheless they handcuffed him, placing him under arrest for a charge that they knew or should have known was false and without lawful justification.” (Id. ¶ 55.) “The false arrest, false imprisonment was a substantial factor in injury, damage and harm caused to Plaintiff in an amount to be shown according to proof.” (Id. ¶ 56.)

Defendants argue that they are entitled to summary adjudication on this claim. Defendants argue that the undisputed material facts show that Defendant officers had probable cause to arrest Plaintiff for felony grand theft pursuant to Penal Code section 487. That section provides, “Grand theft is theft committed in any of the following cases: (a) When the money, labor, or real or personal property taken is of a value exceeding nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) . . . .” (Pen. Code, § 487(a).) Plaintiff argues that Defendants’ contention of a reasonable detention is unsuitable for summary judgment due to vastly contradicted facts and contrary applicable law. Plaintiff further argues that insufficient facts are shown to make an arrest or a detention.

“Reasonable cause to arrest exists when the facts known to the arresting officer would lead a reasonable person to have a strong suspicion of the arrestee's guilt. (People v. Mower (2002) 28 Cal.4th 457, 473, 122 Cal.Rptr.2d 326, 49 P.3d 1067.) This is an objective standard. (People v. Adair (2003) 29 Cal.4th 895, 904–905, 129 Cal.Rptr.2d 799, 62 P.3d 45.)” (O'Toole v. Superior Court (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 488, 511.) “The issue of whether an arrest was made with reasonable cause is an issue of law to be decided by the court.” (Giannis v. City and County of San Francisco (1978) 78 Cal.App.3d 219, 225 [citations omitted].). “Probable cause may exist even though there may be some room for doubt.” (People v. Fischer Pool v. City of Oakland (1986) 42 Cal.3d 1051, 1069 [quoting another source] [citations omitted].)

Defendants present evidence that on the date of Plaintiff’s arrest, October 29, 2016, Deputies Meyers and Garcia contacted Defendant Diana Reed (“Defendant Reed”) at her residence to investigate the theft of the boat. (UMF 7.) The Deputies were not aware of the business agreement between plaintiff and Gabriel Reed. (UMF 8.) Defendant Reed showed the Deputies a text message and voice mail from Plaintiff, who stated he had repossessed her boat. (UMF 9.) The Deputies asked Defendant Reed if the boat had been repossessed. (UMF 10.) Defendant Reed told the Deputies she was not provided with any notice of repossession. (UMF 11.) Defendant Reed also told the Deputies as part of her and her husband’s divorce proceedings, there was a court date set for November 7, 2016, to get a court order to sell the boat. (UMF 12). Defendant Reed showed the Deputies a photograph of Plaintiff via his Twitter account, stating he was the individual who sent her the text message and voice mail regarding the boat. (UMF 14.) In addition, Defendant Reed showed the Deputies the boat's hull identification number as well as supplemental loss forms showing $51,685 of her personal property was onboard the boat when it was allegedly stolen. (UMF 13.) The Deputies consulted the Sheriff's Department's Stolen Vehicle System ("SVS") and confirmed the boat was entered into the system as stolen. (UMF 15.) Defendants went to Plaintiff’s apartment complex in Malibu on the same date. (UMF 16.)

Defendants explained to Plaintiff that they were investigating a theft of a boat as well as $50,000 of personal property on the boat. (UMF 23.) Plaintiff told Defendants that he repossessed the boat, and Defendants asked for proof of repossession. (UMF 24-25.) Plaintiff showed the Deputies some documents on an iPad, however, Defendant did not believe the documents to be authentic. (UMF 26-27.) The documents did not contain a notary stamp and signature and, some of the documents required the hull identification and registration number of the boat, which were not provided. (UMF 28-29.) When Deputy Meyers questioned the legitimacy of the documents to plaintiff, plaintiff responded "Well, I took [the boat] and sold it." (UMF 30.) Defendants present evidence that Plaintiff failed to provide the location of the boat or Defendant Reed's personal property left on the boat. (UMF 31.) Deputy Meyers told Plaintiff he was being arrested for theft of the boat and the personal property aboard same. (UMF 32.)

Defendants argue that Plaintiff does not dispute facts nos. 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 15. (See Reply at 10:4-19.) In Plaintiff’s separate statement, Plaintiff attempted to qualify some of his responses to Defendants’ separate statement by responding “Undisputed that . . ..” (See Pl.’s SS Nos. 9, 10, 13, 14, 15.) The Court treats those facts as undisputed since Plaintiff did not provide evidence disputing those facts. For Plaintiff’s responses to Defendant’s fact nos. 11 and 12, Plaintiff’s responses do not address the proffered material facts, and so to the Court also treats these facts as undisputed.

Plaintiff disputes fact no. 23, and presents evidence that as soon as the Deputies arrived at his apartment, they arrested him almost immediately. (See Pl.’s Resp. to UMF 23; Pl.’s PAMF 64.) As such, there is dispute of material fact as to what point in Plaintiff’s interaction with the Defendant Deputies he was arrested. The Court cannot say as a matter of law that Defendant deputies had probable cause to arrest Plaintiff without this information. Therefore, summary adjudication is not appropriate for the false arrest claim.

Battery claim

“The elements of civil battery are: (1) defendant intentionally performed an act that resulted in a harmful or offensive contact with the plaintiff's person; (2) plaintiff did not consent to the contact; and (3) the harmful or offensive contact caused injury, damage, loss or harm to plaintiff. (Piedra v. Dugan (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 1483, 1495, 21 Cal.Rptr.3d 36.)” (Brown v. Ransweiler (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 516, 526–527.) When a plaintiff brings a claim of battery against a police officer, Plaintiff must also allege unreasonable force. (Edson v. City of Anaheim (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 1269, 1272.) Federal Ninth Circuit law holds that it is “well-established that overly tight handcuffing can constitute excessive force.” (Wall v. County of Orange (9th Cir. 2004) 364 F.3d 1107, 1112.) “The issue of tight handcuffing is usually fact-specific and is likely to turn on the credibility of the witnesses.” (LaLonde v. County of Riverside

Defendants argue that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on this claim because Plaintiff admitted that Defendant officers did not purposefully cause him harm while he was on the ground. Defendants also argue that with respect to the handcuffs, Plaintiff never explicitly told Defendants that the handcuffs were causing him pain. (UMF 39.) Plaintiff argues that he complained that the handcuffs were too tight many times and also presents evidence about his complaints. (See PAMF 81.) Defendants did not present any evidence as to the tightness of the handcuffs. Once again, there is a dispute of material fact as to whether a battery occurred, and thus, summary adjudication is denied as to the battery claim.

Civil Code § 52.1 (Bane Civil Rights Act)

Bane Civil Rights Act liability occurs when a defendant’s threats, intimidation or coercion interferes or attempts to interfere “with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state.” (Civil Code § 52.1(a).)

Plaintiff alleged that the “seizure and the force used upon him by defendants MAYER and JOHN DOE was threat, intimidation and/or coercion within the meaning of the Bane Act, Civil Code § 52.1 and Cornell v. City and County of San Francisco, (decided 11/17/2017), A141016, First District Court of Appeal.” (Compl. ¶ 36.). Plaintiff alleged that he “offered no resistance and was completely cooperative at all times. His Fourth Amendment right under the U.S. Constitution and California Constitution Article 1, § 13 right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure was thereby violated by defendants through their threats, coercion and/or intimidation.” (Compl. ¶ 40.)

There are two theories of coercion under the Bane Civil Rights Act. “The first theory of coercion is that a violation of the Bane Act requires a showing of coercion independent from the coercion inherent in the constitutional violation itself. (Shoyoye v. County of Los Angeles (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 947, 959, 137 Cal.Rptr.3d 839 (Shoyoye).)” (County Inmate Telephone Service Cases (2020) 48 Cal.App.5th 354, 369, reh'g denied (May 14, 2020), review denied (Aug. 19, 2020).). The Court agrees that Plaintiff’s claims fail under the Shoyoye standard as plead in the complaint.

The second analysis appears in Cornell v. City and County of San Francisco (2017) 17 Cal.App.5th 766, 225 Cal.Rptr.3d 356 (Cornell). Cornell held that, “where an unlawful arrest is properly pleaded and proved, the ‘threat, intimidation or coercion’ element of section 52.1 ... requires a specific intent to violate protected rights.” (Id. at p. 799, 225 Cal.Rptr.3d 356; ibid [“we do not accept the premise that Shoyoye applies in unlawful arrest cases”].)

(County Inmate Telephone Service Cases ).). At the demurrer stage, the Court of Appeal determined that the allegations in Plaintiffs’ complaints did not meet the specific intent prong of Cornell. (Id. at 370.) The Cornell Court explained that the specific intent prong, specifically, “the egregiousness required by Section 52.1 is tested by whether the circumstances indicate the arresting officer had a specific intent to violate the arrestee's right to freedom from unreasonable seizure.” (Cornell, 17 Cal.App.5th at 801.) There are two requirements for a finding of “specific intent,” the first legal and the second factual. (Id. at 803.) The Court first determines whether the “right at issue clearly delineated and plainly applicable under the circumstances of the case?” (Id. (footnote omitted) (bold emphasis added).) “If the trial judge concludes that it is, then the jury must make the second, factual, determination.” (Id.) The second factual determination is “whether appellants acted with the “particular purpose” of depriving [Plaintiff] of his [particular] right.” (Id. at 804.)

If both requirements are met, “even if the defendant did not in fact recognize the [unlawfulness] of his act, he will be adjudged as a matter of law to have acted [with the requisite specific intent]—i.e., in reckless disregard of constitutional [or statutory] prohibitions or guarantees.” (Id. at 803 [quoting People v. Lashley (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 938, 948-949] [internal quotations omitted].)

The Cornell Court did not expressly define what “clearly delineated” meant and instead pointed to examples in a footnote where the claims and conduct at issue would not meet the first prong of the specific intent standard:

We observe that the Section 52.1 claim in Shoyoye likely would have not have met this first step of the specific intent standard because the plaintiff in that case appears to have alleged no viable theory of constitutional violation. (See fn. 26, ante.) The same is true of a recent case applying Shoyoye, Julian v. Mission Community Hospital (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 360, 395, 218 Cal.Rptr.3d 38 (“other than the actions necessary to detain [plaintiff], which the police had probable cause to take, [plaintiff] alleged without explanation that the police defendants ‘engaged in tactics to scare’ her”).”

(Id. at 803, fn. 32.) In County Inmate, 48 Cal.App.5th at 370, the court found that Plaintiffs did not claim a clearly delineated and plainly applicable right. The Court reasoned, “[t]here is no legal authority on the question whether a site commission, paid under contracts between telephone providers and defendant counties, is a tax, and we do not decide that question either. Plaintiffs’ alleged right to a refund of inmate telephone service charges is neither ‘clearly delineated’” nor ‘plainly applicable.’ Consequently, defendants cannot have had the requisite specific intent to violate plaintiffs’ Proposition 26 rights when they entered into the contracts with the telephone providers.” (Id. at 371.) Clearly delineated appears to be synonymous with established law.

Defendants argue that there are two possible rights at issue: the right to be free from an unlawful arrest, and the right to be free from excessive force. As to the first right, Defendants argue that Plaintiff cannot show that there was specific intent to violate this right because the Defendant deputies checked with the Stolen Vehicle System and confirmed that the boat was entered as stolen. (UMF 15.) Plaintiff does not present evidence to dispute this fact.

As to the second right, Defendants argue that case law does not support the contention that Plaintiff has a right to be free from handcuffs that are too tight. Defendants cite case law that demonstrate the split within the Federal Circuit Courts on the issue. The United States Supreme Court has explained that for a right to “be clearly established, a right must be sufficiently clear that every reasonable official would have understood that what he is doing violates that right.” (Taylor v. Barkes Defendant further argues that with respect to excessive force, there are no California cases on whether a person has a right to be free from overly tight handcuffs. Plaintiff has not pointed to published California case law indicating that Plaintiff has a right to be free from excessive force in the form of the tightness or looseness of handcuffs.

For these reasons, the Court concludes that there is no right to be free from overly tight handcuffs that is “clearly delineated” and established under either Federal law or California law. Thus, Defendants are entitled to summary adjudication on Plaintiff’s Bane Act claim.

Negligence

Defendants argue that they are entitled to summary adjudication on this claim because Defendant deputies had probable cause to arrest Plaintiff and the force used was reasonable.

“[I]n order to prove facts sufficient to support a finding of negligence, a plaintiff must show that [the] defendant had a duty to use due care, that he breached that duty, and that the breach was the proximate or legal cause of the resulting injury.” (Nally v. Grace Community Church (1988) 47 Cal.3d 278, 292, 253 Cal.Rptr. 97, 763 P.2d 948; see Conroy v. Regents of University of California (2009) 45 Cal.4th 1244, 1250, 91 Cal.Rptr.3d 532, 203 P.3d 1127.)” (

Hayes v. County of San Diego (2013) 57 Cal.4th 622, 629.) The Supreme Court has explained that “[t]he Fourth Amendment's ‘reasonableness' standard is not the same as the standard of ‘reasonable care’ under tort law, and negligent acts do not incur constitutional liability.” (Hayes v. County of San Diego Plaintiff’s negligence claim is derivative of the false arrest/false imprisonment claim. (See Compl. ¶ 59.) Since the negligence claim is derivative, Defendants have not met their initial burden on the negligence claim. Therefore, Defendants are not entitled to summary adjudication on this claim.

Conclusion

For the reasons explained above, Defendants are entitled to summary adjudication on the Bane Act claims. Defendants did not meet their initial burden on the negligence claim and on the battery claim. There are triable issues of material fact that preclude summary adjudication on the false arrest claim.

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases represented by Lawyer CASSELMAN GARY STEVEN