This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/21/2022 at 07:08:37 (UTC).

JESUS ALEGRIA VS COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 01/15/2021 JESUS ALEGRIA filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against COUNTY 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 MICHAEL P. LINFIELD. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******1750

  • Filing Date:

    01/15/2021

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

MICHAEL P. LINFIELD

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

ALEGRIA JESUS

Defendants

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

VEGA MIGUEL

HERNANDEZ CHRISTOPHER

VILLANUEVA SHERIFF ALEX

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

GUIZAR HUMBERTO M.

DANIELYAN MARIAM

CHULJYAN ABRAHAM

Defendant Attorneys

KUHN SCOTT ASSISTANT COUNTY COUNSEL

MILLER LOUIS R.

EWELL GARY

FRIEMAN DAVIDA M.

SIEGEL AMNON Z.

 

Court Documents

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO MOTION OF CHRIS HERNANDEZ TO QUASH NOTICE OF DEPOSITION AND FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

9/7/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO MOTION OF CHRIS HERNANDEZ TO QUASH NOTICE OF DEPOSITION AND FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

Motion to Quash

7/16/2021: Motion to Quash

Notice of Ruling

1/31/2022: Notice of Ruling

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT))

3/15/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT))

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT))

6/15/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT))

Request for Dismissal

6/16/2022: Request for Dismissal

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW) OF 11/24/2021

11/24/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW) OF 11/24/2021

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW)

11/24/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW)

Status Report - STATUS REPORT RE: SETTLEMENT

11/29/2021: Status Report - STATUS REPORT RE: SETTLEMENT

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT))

12/15/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT))

Reply - REPLY DEFENDANT CHRIS HERNANDEZS REPLY IN SUPPORT OF HIS MOTION TO QUASH AND FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

9/13/2021: Reply - REPLY DEFENDANT CHRIS HERNANDEZS REPLY IN SUPPORT OF HIS MOTION TO QUASH AND FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

Notice of Settlement

9/16/2021: Notice of Settlement

Order to Show Cause re: Dismissal (Settlement)

9/16/2021: Order to Show Cause re: Dismissal (Settlement)

Reply - REPLY DEFENDANT CHRIS HERNANDEZ'S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF HIS MOTION TO QUASH AND FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

9/10/2021: Reply - REPLY DEFENDANT CHRIS HERNANDEZ'S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF HIS MOTION TO QUASH AND FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

Answer

8/2/2021: Answer

Memorandum of Points & Authorities

7/16/2021: Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

6/8/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

5/17/2021: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

48 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/16/2022
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Jesus Alegria (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/15/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34, Michael P. Linfield, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Held

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  • 06/15/2022
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement))); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/25/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34; Jury Trial ((7 day estimate)) - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 04/12/2022
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department 34; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 03/15/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34, Michael P. Linfield, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Held - Continued

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  • 03/15/2022
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement))); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/31/2022
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Jesus Alegria (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/15/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34, Michael P. Linfield, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Held - Continued

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  • 12/15/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement))); Filed by Clerk

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51 More Docket Entries
  • 03/09/2021
  • DocketNotice and Acknowledgment of Receipt; Filed by Jesus Alegria (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/25/2021
  • DocketNotice (Notice of Entry of Order re Joint Stipulation to Extend Time to Amend Complaint and File Responsive Pleading); Filed by County of Los Angeles (Defendant); Sheriff Alex Villanueva (Defendant)

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  • 02/23/2021
  • DocketStipulation and Order (Joint Stipulation to Extend Time To Respond To Complaint; Lodged [Proposed] Order); Filed by County of Los Angeles (Defendant); Sheriff Alex Villanueva (Defendant)

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  • 02/04/2021
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Jesus Alegria (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/04/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/04/2021
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by Jesus Alegria (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/15/2021
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Jesus Alegria (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/15/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/15/2021
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Jesus Alegria (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/15/2021
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Jesus Alegria (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: *******1750 Hearing Date: September 17, 2021 Dept: 34

SUBJECT: Motion to Quash Notice of Deposition and for Protective Order

Moving Party: Defendant Chris Hernandez

Resp. Party: Plaintiff Jesus Alegria

The Court GRANTS the motion.

The Court (a) quashes the notice of deposition, (b) grants a protective order to temporarily delay any deposition or other discovery directed solely to Hernandez; (c) requires Hernandez to waive his privilege within 14 days of receiving the JSID report or 14 days before trial, whichever comes first, or be precluded from testifying at trial, and (d) allow Hernandez’s deposition and any other discovery directed to Hernandez only after Hernandez has waived his privilege, if at all.

BACKGROUND:

On January 15, 2021, Plaintiff Jesus Alegria commenced this action and on March 15, 2021 filed a first amended complaint (“FAC”) against Defendants County of Los Angeles, Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Miguel Vega, and Christopher Hernandez for (1) negligence; (2) violation of Section 52.1 of the California Civil Code (Tom Bane Act Violation); (3) false imprisonment; (4) unreasonable detention (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (5) unreasonable search and seizure – excessive force (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (6) denial of medical care (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (7) failure to intervene – bystander liability (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (8) denial of substantive due process (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (9) supervisory liability causing constitutional violations (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (10) ratification causing constitutional violations (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (11) municipal liability for unconstitutional custom, practice, or policy (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); and (12) municipal liability for failure to train (42 U.S.C. ; 1983).

“This action seeks compensatory and punitive damages from individual deputy sheriffs, from senior sheriff’s department officials, and from the County of Los Angeles (hereinafter sometimes ‘COUNTY’) for violations of state law and fundamental rights under the United States Constitution in connection with the false imprisonment of Plaintiff JESUS ALEGRIA by Defendant Los Angeles Sheriff Deputies MIGUEL VEGA and CHRISTOPHER HERNANDEZ, which led to a severe automobile crash on April 13, 2020 in Compton, California.” (FAC, ¶ 1.)

On July 16, 2021, Defendant Hernandez filed the instant motion to quash notice of deposition and for protective order.

ANALYSIS:

The District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division (“JSID”) is currently investigating Hernandez to determine whether criminal charges should be sought against Hernandez for the same conduct alleged in the instant action. It is unknown whether Hernandez may be charged with any crime. (Ewell Decl., ¶¶ 2-3.)

Hernandez filed the instant motion on grounds that Plaintiff seeks

information and testimony that is privileged under the Fifth Amendment in light of the pending JSID investigation. Through his motion, Hernandez requests that the Court (a) quash the notice of deposition, (b) grant a protective order to delay any deposition or other discovery directed to Hernandez until JSID issues its report or 14 days before trial commences in this action, and (c) allow Hernandez’s deposition only after that deadline has passed. (Mot., 2:17-21, 6:20-23.)

A. Legal Standard

Hernandez moves to quash the notice of deposition pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section 2025.410, subdivision (c), which provides:

In addition to serving [a] written objection, a party may also move for an order staying the taking of the deposition and quashing the deposition notice. This motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040. The taking of the deposition is stayed pending the determination of this motion.”

(Code Civ. Proc., ; 2025.410, subd. (c).)

Section 2025.420, subdivision (a) further provides in relevant part: “Before, during, or after a deposition, any party, any deponent, or any other affected natural person or organization may promptly move for a protective order.” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2025.420, subd. (a).) “The court, for good cause shown, may make any order that justice requires to protect any party, deponent, or other natural person or organization from unwarranted annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden and expense.” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2025.420, subd. (b).)

B. Discussion

1. Meet and Confer

A motion under sections 2025.410 or 2025.420 must be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration. (Code Civ. Proc., ;; 2025.410, subd. (c), 2025.420, subd. (a).)

This requirement has been satisfied. (Ewell Decl., ¶ 8.)

2. Fifth Amendment Privilege

The Fifth Amendment’s “privilege against self-incrimination reaches only those communications that are (1) compelled, (2) testimonial, and (3) incriminating.” (Siry Investment, L.P. v. Farkhondehpour (2020) 45 Cal.App.5th 1098, 1123–1124.) When a respondent in a civil action is under threat of criminal prosecution for the same incident that gave rise to the civil action, the respondent may assert his privilege against self-incrimination with regard to particular discovery responses. (Warford v. Medeiros (1984) 160 Cal.App.3d 1035, 1045.)

The privilege is applicable if the particular discovery responses are compelled, testimonial, and self-incriminating. A self-incriminating response is one that “would elicit answers that ‘support a conviction’ or that ‘furnish a link in the chain of evidence needed to prosecute the witness’ [citation omitted] and which may thus be subject to constitutional protection.” (Fuller v. Superior Court (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 299, 308 [quoting Blackburn v. Superior Court (1993) 21 Cal.App.4th 414, 428.].) If it is “not evident from the circumstances that the questions call for incriminating information, the court must require an explanation as to why and how the answers might be incriminating.” (Blackburn, supra, 21 Cal.App.4th at 429.) If the court finds the answers might be incriminating, then the privilege applies.

Hernandez argues that the deposition implicates his rights against self-incrimination because Plaintiff seeks to depose Hernandez about Hernandez’s alleged treatment of Plaintiff on April 13, 2020, which could expose him to criminal liability. (Mot., 3:27-4:2; Reply:2:27-3:22; FAC, ¶¶ 28-39.)

The Court agrees and finds that the privilege is applicable.

3. Remedy

“Where, as here, a defendant’s silence is constitutionally guaranteed, the court should weigh the parties' competing interests with a view toward accommodating the interests of both parties, if possible.” (Pacers Inc. v. Superior Court (1984) 162 Cal. App. 3d 686, 690.)

“Historically, courts have devised a number of procedures designed to accommodate the specific circumstances of the case. ;One accommodation is to stay the civil proceeding until disposition of the related criminal prosecution. ;[Citations.] ;Another possibility is to allow the civil defendant to invoke the privilege against self-incrimination, even if doing so may limit the defendant’s ability to put on a defense. [Citations.] ;Other accommodations have included conferring an immunity on the party invoking the privilege [citation], or precluding a litigant who claims the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination in discovery from waiving the privilege and testifying at trial to matters upon which the privilege had been asserted. [Citation.] Each of these procedural tools is devised based on the circumstances of the particular case.” ;(Fuller v. Superior Court ;(2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 299, 307.)

“[T]he decisionmaker should generally consider the following factors: (1) the interest of the plaintiffs in proceeding expeditiously with this litigation or any particular aspect of it, and the potential prejudice to plaintiffs of a delay; (2) the burden which any particular aspect of the proceedings may impose on defendants; (3) the convenience of the court in the management of its cases, and the efficient use of judicial resources; (4) the interests of persons not parties to the civil litigation; and ;(5) the interest of the public ;in the pending civil and criminal litigation. ;[Citation.]” (Avant! Corp. v. Superior Court ;(2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 876, 885.) ;

After considering these factors, the Court finds it appropriate to grant Hernandez’s motion.

First, though Plaintiff has an important interest in proceeding expeditiously, protecting Hernandez’s constitutional rights are paramount. (Pacers, Inc. v. Superior Court (1984) 162 Cal.App.3d 686, 690.) Additionally, Plaintiff will not be undue prejudiced if the Court grants the current motion. Trial is seven months away, and Plaintiff may continue to obtain discovery from other sources.

Second, the burden on Hernandez is great because compelling his testimony and discovery responses about the same facts at issue in the JSID investigation implicate his constitutional rights.

Third, there is no evidence that there are non-parties whose interests are at issue that outweigh Hernandez’s constitutional rights.

Fourth, the Court’s convenience and efficient use of its resources are better served by a protective order to avoid the likely and repeated discovery conflicts and motion practice that will arise when Hernandez invokes the Fifth Amendment privilege in response to discovery and deposition questions concerning the same facts involved in the JSID investigation.

The Court GRANTS the motion.

The Court (a) quashes the notice of deposition, (b) grants a protective order to temporarily delay any deposition or other discovery directed solely to Hernandez; (c) requires Hernandez to waive his privilege within 14 days of receiving the JSID report or 14 days before trial, whichever comes first, or be precluded from testifying at trial, and (d) allow Hernandez’s deposition and any other discovery directed to Hernandez only after Hernandez has waived his privilege, if at all.

Should Plaintiff believe that circumstances have changed at some future point in this litigation, he may apply (either through noticed motion or ex parte) for the Court to revisit this issue.

"


Case Number: *******1750    Hearing Date: May 12, 2021    Dept: 34

Moving Party: Defendants County of Los Angeles and Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Resp. Party: Plaintiff Jesus Alegria

Defendants’ demurrer is OVERRULED.

Defendants’ motion to strike is GRANTED in part.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND:

“This action seeks compensatory and punitive damages from individual deputy sheriffs, from senior sheriff’s department officials, and from the County of Los Angeles (hereinafter sometimes ‘COUNTY’) for violations of state law and fundamental rights under the United States Constitution in connection with the false imprisonment of Plaintiff JESUS ALEGRIA by Defendant Los Angeles Sheriff Deputies MIGUEL VEGA and CHRISTOPHER HERNANDEZ, which led to a severe automobile crash on April 13, 2020 in Compton, California.” (FAC, ¶ 1.)

Plaintiff alleges that on April 13, 2020, he was lawfully at Wilson Park located at 123 N. Rose Ave. in Compton, California for the purpose of skating when Defendants Miguel Vega and Christopher Hernandez arrived at the park in LA Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”) uniforms and patrol vehicle, a 2015 Ford Explorer, and began bullying and antagonizing some of the younger patrons at the park. (Id. at ¶¶ 28-29.) Plaintiff alleges that he defended the younger patrons of the park and asked for the Deputies to leave them alone. (Id. at ¶ 28.)

Thereafter, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Vega grabbed Plaintiff by the wrists and threw him in the back of the LASD squad vehicle without valid probable cause or reasonable suspicion. (Id. at ¶ 30.) Prior to throwing Plaintiff in the back of their LASD squad vehicle, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Hernandez and Vega did not perform a pat down of Plaintiff, did not arrest Plaintiff, did not provide Plaintiff with any Miranda warnings and did not conduct any field sobriety tests of Plaintiff. (Ibid.) Plaintiff alleges that after throwing him in the back of their squad vehicle, Defendants Vega and Hernandez did not secure Plaintiff in their vehicle with a seat or lap belt. (Ibid.)

Plaintiff alleges that he was thrown in the LASD squad vehicle and taken away by Defendants Vega and Hernandez for the purpose of threatening, intimidating, harassing, scaring, harming, injuring, and causing great bodily harm to Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶ 31.) Plaintiff maintains that Defendants Vega and Hernandez drove away from Wilson Park with him in the back of their squad vehicle with the intent of “setting up” Plaintiff in gang territory in order to be beaten and/or killed. (Ibid.)

Plaintiff contends that during the drive, Defendants Vega and Hernandez came across a group of unarmed 12 to 15-year-olds riding bicycles. (Id. at ¶ 32.) Plaintiff asserts that Defendants Vega and Hernandez drove towards the young group of kids as if Defendant Vega was going to run over the young kids in order to intimidate and bully them. (Ibid.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Hernandez exited the squad vehicle and chased some of the kids on foot while Defendant Vega proceeded to drive his patrol car at a high rate of speed to chase an unarmed kid who was riding his bicycle in an alleyway in the City of Compton. (Ibid.) Plaintiff asserts that as a result of his recklessness, gross negligence, and wanton disregard for the safety of others, including Plaintiff, Defendant Vega crashed the squad vehicle he was operating in said alleyway against a cinderblock wall, another parked vehicle, and a metal fence. (Ibid.) Plaintiff maintains that he began bleeding and sustained bodily injuries as a result of the crash caused by Defendant Vega. (Ibid.)

Plaintiff alleges that after the crash, Defendant Vega allowed him to exit the squad vehicle and leave the scene of the crash. (Id. at ¶ 33.) After Plaintiff left the vehicle, he alleges that a different LASD Deputy, arrested him without reasonable or probable cause and placed him in a different squad vehicle. (Id. at ¶ 34.) Instead, Plaintiff alleges that the arrest was part of a cover-up to conceal the wrongful and illegal actions of Defendants Vega and Hernandez. (Ibid.)

Plaintiff alleges that at the time of the incident, Defendants Vega and Hernandez were “prospects” of the violent deputy gang/clique the “Executioners.” (Id. at ¶ 42.) Plaintiff alleges that instead of protecting and serving the community, the Executioners unlawfully misclassify innocent civilians as street gang members, brutalize civilians, and shoot and kill civilians under the guise of “self-defense.” (Ibid.) Plaintiff contends that after the incident, on or around June 18, 2020, Defendant Vega became a full-fledged member of the Executioners when he shot and killed Andres Guardado. (Id. at ¶ 44.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Vega and Hernandez did not face any punishment whatsoever for killing Andres Guardado nor being an Executioner gang member. (Ibid.) Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Hernandez has a storied history of police misconduct and illegal conduct within the LA County Sheriff’s Department. (Id. at ¶ 45.) Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Hernandez was also identified as a 3000 Boys deputy gang member. (Id. at ¶ 47.)

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant County of Los Angeles obviously knew Defendant Hernandez was a member of the 3000 Boys Deputy Gang years ago and knew about all of the criminal acts Defendant Hernandez engaged in as a sheriff deputy, but it permitted Defendant Hernandez to continue to carry out illegal acts for the benefit of the 3000 Boys Deputy Gang. (Id. at ¶ 48.) Instead of terminating Defendant Hernandez, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant County of Los Angeles turned a blind eye and decided to transfer Defendant Hernandez to another station to permit Defendant Hernandez to be part of yet another deputy gang as illustrated by his current membership and/or association in the Executioners. (Ibid.)

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND:

On January 15, 2021, Plaintiff Jesus Alegria commenced this action and on March 15, 2021 filed a first amended complaint (“FAC”) against Defendants County of Los Angeles, Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Miguel Vega, and Christopher Hernandez for (1) negligence; (2) violation of Section 52.1 of the California Civil Code (Tom Bane Act Violation); (3) false imprisonment; (4) unreasonable detention (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (5) unreasonable search and seizure – excessive force (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (6) denial of medical care (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (7) failure to intervene – bystander liability (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (8) denial of substantive due process (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (9) supervisory liability causing constitutional violations (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (10) ratification causing constitutional violations (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); (11) municipal liability for unconstitutional custom, practice, or policy (42 U.S.C. ; 1983); and (12) municipal liability for failure to train (42 U.S.C. ; 1983).

On April 14, 2021, Defendants County of Los Angeles and Sheriff Alex Villanueva filed the instant demurrer to the ninth cause of action in the FAC and motion to strike portions of the FAC.

ANALYSIS:

I. Request for Judicial Notice

A. Defendants’ Request for Judicial Notice

In support of the demurrer and motion to strike, Defendants County of Los Angeles and Sheriff Alex Villanueva request that the Court take judicial notice of the following:

· Exhibit 1: Press conference given by Sheriff Alex Villanueva and other Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Officials to Give an Update on Deputy Subgroups and Cliques Within the Department, on August 13, 2020, available at: https: www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=322742182247528&ref=watch_permalink.

Defendants argue that “[w]ith respect to Exhibit 1, the press conference is repeatedly referenced and cited in the FAC.” (RJN, p. 2:19-20.) Defendants assert that “[u]nder the doctrine of incorporation by reference, on demurrer the Court can judicially notice information referenced in the complaint even if the entire content of the information is ‘outside the four corners of the complaint.’” (Id. at p. 2:20-22.)

In opposition, Plaintiff objects to Defendants’ request for judicial notice because the entire “press conference is not ‘(h) Facts and propositions that are not reasonably subject to dispute and are capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to sources of reasonably indisputable accuracy.’” (Objection to RJN, p. 2:12-16, citing RJN, p. 2:13-15.) Plaintiff also argues that “by requesting this Court to take judicial notice of extrinsic proceedings outside the four corners of the complaint, and ones that are immaterial to pleading requirements against the Defendants, Moving Parties are attempting to convert a demurrer into a motion for summary judgment.” (Id. at p. 2:17-20.)

The Court agrees that Exhibit 1 does not fall within Evidence Code section 452, subdivision (h), as this entire exhibit is not “facts and propositions that are not reasonably subject to dispute and are capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to sources of reasonably indisputable accuracy.” Therefore, the Court DENIES Defendants’ request for judicial notice.

B. Plaintiff’s Request for Judicial Notice

In support of his opposition to the demurrer and motion to strike, Plaintiff requests that the Court take judicial notice of:

· Exhibit A: Defendant County of Los Angeles’ Answer.

The Court DENIES Plaintiff’s request as superfluous. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1110(d).) Any party that wishes to draw the Court’s attention to a matter filed in this action may simply cite directly to the document by execution and filing date. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1110(d).)

II.Demurrer

A. Legal Standard

A demurrer is a pleading used to test the legal sufficiency of other pleadings. It raises issues of law, not fact, regarding the form or content of the opposing party’s pleading. It is not the function of the demurrer to challenge the truthfulness of the complaint; and for purpose of the ruling on the demurrer, all facts pleaded in the complaint are assumed to be true, however improbable they may be. (Code Civ. Proc., ;;422.10, 589.)

A demurrer can be used only to challenge defects that appear on the face of the pleading under attack; or from matters outside the pleading that are judicially noticeable. (Blank v. Kirwan (1985) 39 Cal.3d 311.) No other extrinsic evidence can be considered (i.e., no “speaking demurrers”). A demurrer is brought under Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10 (grounds), section 430.30 (as to any matter on its face or from which judicial notice may be taken), and section 430.50(a) (can be taken to the entire complaint or any cause of action within).

A demurrer may be brought under Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10, subdivision (e) if insufficient facts are stated to support the cause of action asserted. A demurrer for uncertainty Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10, subdivision (f), is disfavored and will only be sustained where the pleading is so bad that defendant cannot reasonably respond—i.e., cannot reasonably determine what issues must be admitted or denied, or what counts or claims are directed against him/her. (Khoury v. Maly's of Calif., Inc. (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 612, 616.) Moreover, even if the pleading is somewhat vague, “ambiguities can be clarified under modern discovery procedures.” (Ibid.)

Leave to amend should not be granted unless plaintiff can establish that facts exist sufficient to state a cause of action. (Community Assisting Recovery, Inc. v. Aegis Security Ins. Co. (2001) 92 Cal. App. 4th 886, 895.)

B. Discussion

1. Standing of Defendant County of Los Angeles

Defendants County of Los Angeles and Sheriff Alex Villanueva demur to the ninth cause of action. (Demurrer, p. 2:4-12.)

However, the ninth cause of action is only asserted against Defendant Sheriff Alex Villanueva. (See FAC, p. 33:1-5.) Therefore, Defendant County of Los Angeles does not have standing to bring this demurrer to the ninth cause of action.

The Court OVERRULES the demurrer as to Defendant County of Los Angeles.

2. Ninth Cause of Action: Supervisory Liability Causing Constitutional Violations (42 U.S.C. ; 1983)

 

“A supervisory official is only liable under section 1983 ‘if there exists either (1) his or her personal involvement in the constitutional deprivation, or (2) a sufficient causal connection between the supervisor's wrongful conduct and the constitutional violation.’” (Keates v. Koile (9th Cir. 2018) 883 F.3d 1228, 1242-43, quoting Starr v. Baca (9th Cir. 2011) 652 F.3d 1202, 1207.)

To establish a causal connection, a plaintiff must show that the supervisor set in motion a series of acts by others or knowingly refused to terminate a series of acts by others which he knew or reasonably should have known would cause his subordinates to inflict a constitutional injury. (Starr, supra, 652 F.3d at pp. 1207-1208.)

If a supervisor is not directly involved in the unconstitutional conduct, he can be liable in his individual capacity only for “his own culpable action or inaction in the training, supervisor, or control of his subordinates, for his acquiescence in the constitutional deprivations of which the complaint is made, or for conduct that showed a reckless or callous indifference to the rights of others.” (Preschooler II v. Clark County School Bd. Of Trustees (9th Cir. 2007) 479 F.3d 1175, 1183.) Liability does not attach when a supervisor received complaints about a subordinate or otherwise learned of the alleged constitutional violations after they occurred. (S.V. v. Delano Elementary School Dist. (E.D. Cal. April 10, 2018, 1:17-cv-00780-LJO-JLT) 2018 WL 1726623, *7; see also W.H. v. Olympia School Dist. (9th Cir. 2018) 738 Fed.Appx. 565, 566.)

Defendant Sheriff Alex Villanueva (“Defendant”) demurs to the ninth cause of action on the ground that “it fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.” (Demurrer, p. 4:6-7, referencing Code Civ. Proc., ; 430.10, subd. (e).)

In particular, Defendant argues that “the Ninth Cause of Action should be dismissed because of its failure to allege Sheriff Villanueva’s acceptance or ignorance of any unconstitutional activity at issue in this lawsuit and the barebones and conclusory legal recitation of the elements for supervisor liability.” (Id. at p. 4:8-10.) Defendant asserts that “paragraphs 132-147 do not detail a single instance of Sheriff Villanueva being made aware of (or ignoring) allegations regarding the Deputy Defendants or the Executioners prior to Plaintiff’s alleged constitutional injuries.” (Id. at p. 14:4-6.) Defendant maintains that “instead, the FAC details (i) Sheriff Villanueva’s alleged ties to the Banditos and other alleged, and unrelated, deputy subgroups; and (ii) his comments four months after Alegria’s alleged injuries that he was ‘probing the Compton sheriff’s station claims regarding the Executioners’” which “neither are sufficient to establish supervisor liability.” (Id. at p. 14:6-10, citing FAC ¶¶ 132-147.) Defendant further argues that “there are no allegations that [he] received reports regarding the Executioners, Deputy Vega or Deputy Hernandez, or even out of Compton station, prior to Plaintiff’s incident.” (Id. at p. 15:10-12.)

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that he “pled more than enough facts to establish supervisory liability against Defendant Villanueva requiring this Court to overrule Defendants’ demurrer.” (Opp., p. ii:21-23.) Plaintiff argues that he sufficiently “alleged that Defendant Villanueva’s own culpable action or inaction in training, supervision or control of subordinates.” (Id. at p. 10:10-11.) Plaintiff asserts that “not only did Plaintiff allege that Defendant Villanueva ‘disregarded the known or obvious consequence that a particular omission in their training program would cause [municipal] employees to violate citizens' constitutional rights,’ Defendant Villanueva caused the entire department to be riddled by deputy gang members who were previously fired by re-hiring him as soon as he took office.” (Id. at p. 11:2-14, referencing FAC, ¶¶ 136-139.) Plaintiff argues that “in terms of the causal nexus between Defendant Villanueva re-hiring formerly fired deputy gang members, sheriff deputies in deputy gangs within the sheriff’s department acting with impunity and brazenly violating the constitutional rights of innocent residents is what caused Plaintiff’s own constitutional rights to be violated.” (Id. at p. 11:15-18.)

Plaintiff also argues that the ninth cause of action is sufficiently plead because he “has properly pled that Defendant Villanueva acquiesced in deputy gangs within the Sheriff’s Department, which caused Plaintiff’s constitutional violation. (Id. at p. 12:2-3.) Plaintiff asserts that paragraphs 136-141 demonstrate that Defendant Villanueva acquiesced in deputy gangs within the Sheriff’s Department. (Id. at pp. 12:4-19.) Lastly, Plaintiff argues that his ninth cause of action is adequate because he has “alleged that Defendant Villanueva showed reckless or callous indifference to Plaintiff’s constitutional rights.” (Id. at p. 13:5-8.)

The Court finds that Plaintiff’s allegations in the FAC are sufficient to establish a claim for supervisor liability against Defendant Villanueva. Plaintiff sufficiently alleges that Defendant Villanueva, even though not directly involved in the constitutional deprivations, can be liable in his individual capacity for his acquiescence in the constitutional deprivations stemming from the deputy gangs that resulted in Plaintiff’s harm. For example, Plaintiff alleges:

· “VILLANUEVA ratified, knew or reasonably could have known, of his subordinates’ ongoing constitutional violations regarding deputy gangs.” (FAC, ¶ 134.)

· “Defendant VILLANUEVA is sued in his individual capacity based on his ratification and/or failure to prevent sheriff deputies associated to deputy gangs, under the influence of deputy gangs, or members of deputy gangs including, but not limited to, the Executioners gang, from violating the civil rights of innocent civilians, allowing deputy gangs to hold de facto control over sheriff stations, allowing deputy gangs to engage in illegal conduct, allow deputy gang members to have deputy gang tattoos with impunity and without being questioned about even having tattoos, re-hiring previously fired deputies who are known deputy gangs members, willfully delaying investigation into shootings of civilians which implicate deputy gang members, and allowing deputy gangs to harm other deputies in public and in private which allows deputy gangs to hold influence amongst the ten thousand (10,000) County of Los Angeles deputies.” (Ibid.)

· “Upon information and belief, VILLANUEVA was Rafael Munoz's training officer many years ago at the East LA sheriff’s station. Rafael Munoz’s is an alleged ‘Godfather’ of the Banditos deputy gang and his deputy gang alias is ‘Big Listo.’ Rafael ‘Big Listo’ Munoz is part of a group of alleged deputy gang members who were previously fired by the former sheriff and were subsequently re-hired by VILLANUEVA.” (Id. at ¶ 135.)

· “Big Listo, who was trained by Sheriff Villanueva, had been fired previously for committing domestic violence assault. Big Listo was inexplicably later rehired as a deputy when VILLANUEVA became sheriff, and was made a Training Officer, where he could severely abuse the trainees and create a new breed of aggressive prospect.” (Id. at ¶ 136.)

· “Also in 2017, VILLANUEVA re-hired, [sic] Gregory Rodriguez aka ‘G-Rod’ who was also previously fired for filing a false police report. G-Rod can also be seen on a video on YouTube, falsely detaining a non-suspect in the East Los Angeles Community. After the Defendant COUNTY paid a settlement of over $500,000 to G-Rod’s false report victim in 2013, the Defendant County inexplicably rehired G-Rod in 2017 even though the video proved his report was false.” (Id. at ¶ 137.)

· “VILLANUEVA also re-hired Caren Carl Mandoyan who is a Grim Reaper. Mandoyan’s inner left ankle has tattoo which has a Grim Reaper holding a scythe next to the name of his Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department station, branded with the number 98. Mandoyan admitted to having a Reaper tattoo associated with the South L.A. station in a July 14, 2016 internal affairs interview. Mandoyan was discharged from the LA County Sheriff’s Department on September 14, 2016. However, VILLANUEVA rehired Mandoyan despite Mandoyan being a documented deputy gang member who was previously fired.” (Id. at ¶ 138.)

· “VILLANEUVA re-hiring deputy gang members who were previously fired shows VILLANUEVA is personally involved in the perpetuation of deputy gangs within LASD. VILLANEUVA appears to be assembling an army of deputy gang members, which has exacerbated the deputy gang issue within the COUNTY.” (Id. at ¶ 139.)

· “VILLANEUVA not only acknowledged deputy gangs were and continue to be an issue within the department, VILLANUEVA also admitted that deputy gangs were plaguing the department when he stated on June 28, 2019 that ‘pretty much they [the Banditos] were calling the shots, they [the Banditos] were dictating the decisions of the station and that is a very bad outcome obviously’ in response to the question whether ‘was this clique controlling the captain.’ VILLANUEVA proceeded to make other statement [sic] acknowledging that deputy gangs were a problem within LASD.” (Id. at ¶ 140.)

· “Despite VILLANUEVA admitting deputy gangs were a problem within LASD, VILLANUEVA later changed course stating that he would not investigate deputy gangs because he did not want to engage in a witch hunt.” (Id. at ¶ 141.)

· “VILLANUEVA allowing, and even promoting, deputy gang members to permeate throughout multiple Los Angeles Sheriff’s Stations, permeate throughout multiple echelons of the department, including VILLANUEVA’s inner circle, Plaintiff thereupon alleges that VILLANUEVA was personally involved in, or his wrongful conduct at least caused, deputy gangs to thrive within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.” (Id. at ¶ 143.)

· “Based on VILLANUEVA’s personal knowledge or constructive knowledge of approving settlements and claims regarding unconstitutional acts of his deputies, being the recipient of weekly reports from his subordinates responsible for reporting deputy involved wrongful act, shootings and injuries caused by COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES deputies, receiving information in oral and written form provided to VILLANUEVA, further proves that VILLANEUVA has knowledge that there is a custom of deputies being careless, deliberately indifferent to the constitutional rights of civilians.” (Id. at ¶ 144.)

· “This custom and practice has become well settled and widespread that VILLANUEVA, the policymaking officials of the municipality can be said to have either actual or constructive knowledge of it, yet did nothing to end the practice of Deputies’ failure to prevent constitutional violations. VILLANUEVA’s inaction to investigate, retrain, reprimand or request disciplinary action of the involved deputies is acquiescence in the unconstitutional conduct and constitutes a custom and practice and is the moving force of Plaintiff’s injuries, for which the Sheriff, VILLANUEVA, is liable. VILLANUEVA delegated to subordinates his non-delegated statutory duties and responsibilities as the policy maker and his non-delegated duty to supervise and hold his subordinates accountable, and failed to take corrective measures to ensure that his subordinates were complying with their duties and responsibilities to prevent ongoing constitutional violations.” (Id. at ¶ 145.)

These factual allegations are more-than-adequate to allow the ninth cause of action to proceed against Defendant Villanueva.

The Court OVERRULES the demurrer to the ninth cause of action.

II.Motion to Strike

A. Preliminary Comments

As indicated below, the Court is granting, in part, Defendants’ motion to strike. Nonetheless, the Court believes that it was not worth the candle for Defendants to file (or Plaintiff to oppose) this motion. The striking of these allegations does not seal the record, so these allegations can still be found by anyone seeking them. The striking of these particular allegations does not affect what evidence will be admitted in trial – that will be an issue of a Motion in Limine or other objections at trial. In fact, the striking of these allegations will not affect, in any way whatsoever, the course of the litigation. This Court does not understand why the parties would spend thousands of dollars in attorney's fees to argue over an issue that will not affect the outcome of the case.

B. Legal Standard

"Any party, within the time allowed to respond to a pleading may serve and file a notice of motion to strike the whole or any part thereof . . . .” (Code Civ. Pro., ; 435, subd. (b)(1).) "The court may, upon a motion made pursuant to Section 435, or at any time in its discretion, and upon terms it deems proper: (a) Strike out any irrelevant, false, or improper matter inserted in any pleading. (b) Strike out all or any part of any pleading not drawn or filed in conformity with the laws of this state, a court rule, or an order of the court." (Code Civ. Pro., ; 436.) Irrelevant allegations include: allegations that are not essential to the statement of a claim, allegations that are not pertinent to or supported by the claim, and demands for judgment requesting relief not supported by the allegations. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 431.10(b), (c).)

C. Discussion

Defendants County of Los Angeles and Sheriff Alex Villanueva (“Defendants”) move to strike the following allegations:

· Paragraph 2, at 2:24-3:2: “Slightly over two (2) months after the incident wherein Plaintiff . . . was injured, [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez] shot and killed 18-year old Andres Guardado on June 18, 2020. LASD whistleblower, Deputy Art Gonzalez, testified under oath that the deputy who shot and killed 18-year-old Andres Guardado, [Deputy Vega], was a prospective member of the Executioners, a violent clique of tattooed deputies inside the Compton Sheriffs’ station.”

· Paragraph 4, at 3:8-14: “Rather than take measures to stop the illegal activities of the Deputies and stop related deputy gang activity, including lawless and scofflaws [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez], Sheriff Villanueva . . . and other LASD and [County] officials have adopted and ratified a deputy gang culture in which individual deputies and their supervisors turn a blind eye when LASD deputy misconduct occurs that results in the death of civilians, such as the death of Andres Guardado.”

· Paragraph 5, at 4:2-10: “These actions by [County] management, [Sheriff Villanueva], and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, clearly demonstrate there is an unwritten policy of condoning lawless conduct by Sheriff Deputies, which also provides a breeding ground for deputy gangs such as the Executioners to operate within the LASD; not properly investigating the illegal actions by Sheriff Deputies connected to the Executioners gang was a moving force in the deprivation of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights on April 13, 2020 and subsequently, further egregious and unconstitutional conduct when this conduct was unchecked such as the shooting of an unarmed civilian, Andres Guardado, by the same Deputy . . . on June 18, 2020.”

· Paragraph 7, at 4:24-5:2: “Nonetheless, had [the County, Sheriff Villanueva], and DOES 1 through 30, inclusive, relieved [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez] of their duties following the incident of April 13, 2020 involving Plaintiff, or even disciplined them, and not almost eight (8) months later, Andres Guardado, would not have been shot and killed by [Deputy Vega] on June 18, 2020. [County] had notice of the April 13, 2020 incident involving Plaintiff . . . prior to the shooting of Andres Guardado on June 18, 2020.”

· Paragraph 44 at 14:8-12 “Also, on information and belief, on or around June 18, 2020, [Deputy Vega] became a full-fledged member of the Executioners when he shot and killed Andres Guardado. [Deputy Vega and Hernandez] did not face any punishment whatsoever for killing Andres Guardado nor being an Executioner gang member.”

· Paragraph 154, at 40:6-9: “Moreover, the [County] also ratified [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez]’s unlawful arrest of Plaintiff and the subsequent crash, which further emboldened [them] to be involved in the shooting and killing of Andres Guardado on June 18, 2020.”

· Paragraph 155, at 40:11-12: “Further, no action has been taken to arrest the deputies involved in the killing of Andres Guardado.”

· Paragraph 156 at 40:17-20: “By reason of the aforementioned acts and omissions, [Deputy Vega] was provided with a plan of action to shoot and kill Andres Guardado without any consequences. By virtue of [the County] ratifying each and every shooting on civilians, [Deputy Vega] was enabled to shoot and kill Andres Guardado.”

· Paragraph 160, at 41:13-16: “On information and belief, at the direction of [Sheriff Villanueva], LASD and DOES 91 through 100, inclusive, LASD investigators have delayed the internal investigation of the Guardado shooting and the unlawful acts and omissions of the Deputies in this case.”

· Paragraph 178, at 48:22-49:4. “At all times herein mentioned, the deputy gang in the Compton’s Sheriff’s Station and the illegal conduct the Executioners engages in, was so severe and outrageous, that the absence of discipline as to Deputy [Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez], and other previous unhostile conduct described herein, makes it plausible that supervisors, DOES 1 through 30, inclusive, are covering up similar violations of law by gang members, and that the supervisors themselves are acting in concert with gang members, and that policy-makers, in concert, are turning a blind eye, when they too should take corrective action, like they should have in this case and the shooting of Andres Guardado but did not, making it plausible that there is a unique custom and practice of deputy gang violence and selective excessive force, that caused the constitutional violations here.”

· Paragraph 195, at 53:16-27: “Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez] are members of the Executioners gang and [Deputy Vega] was a prospect up until he shot and killed Andres Guardado on June 18, 2020. Had [the County, Sheriff Villanueva], DOES 1 through 30, and DOES 91 through 100, inclusive, taken action against [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez] when Plaintiff’s incident of April 13, 2020 took place, on information and belief, this could have prevented the murder of Andres Guardado. Membership in the Executioners gang included using excessive force and shooting those who are unarmed. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Prospects could gain entry into membership in the Executioners gang by using excessive force, including shooting those who are unarmed (and were encouraged to do so) and was the moving force in the shooting of the unarmed Andres Guardado on June 18, 2020.”

· Paragraph 196, at 54:1-3: “The negligent training that existed for [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez] before the shooting of Andres Guardado and the incident involving Plaintiff . . . included the training at the Compton Sheriff’s Station.” (Motion to Strike, pp. 2:4-4:4.)

Defendants argue that “the shooting of Andres Guardado has no relevance to this case and is highly inflammatory.” (Id. at p. 4:4-6.) Therefore, Defendants bring this motion to strike “on the grounds that the FAC contains several inflammatory and irrelevant allegations.” (Id. at p. 4:6-7.) Defendants contend that “allegations regarding what caused the Guardado shooting on June 18, 2020, or what happened in the aftermath of that shooting, bear no relevance as to whether the Deputy Defendants had probable cause to detain Plaintiff and/or violated his constitutional rights more than two months earlier on April 13, 2020.” (Id. at p. 8:1-4.) In anticipation of Plaintiff’s opposition that these allegations are relevant to Plaintiff’s Monell claims, Defendants argue that “it is black letter law that incidents occurring after the alleged constitutional deprivation cannot give rise to a Monell claim.” (Id. at p. 10:4-9, referencing McClain v. SBC Sheriff’s Dep’t (C.D. Cal. June 21, 2018), No. ED CV 17-01178- CJC (PLA), 2018 WL 3105248, at *7.) Defendants argue that “the Guardado shooting occurred months after the incident with Plaintiff . . . [a]nd unlike Guardado, Plaintiff’s case does not involve the use of a firearm or deadly force.” (Id. at p. 10:16-18.)

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that the Guardado allegations are relevant because they (1) “are evidence of Defendant County’s municipal liability[;]” and (2) “establish a propensity of Defendants Vega and Hernandez to violate the constitutional rights of individuals.” (Opp. MPA, p. 1:20-23.) Plaintiff argues that “the Andrés Guardado shooting allegations are necessary to show Defendant County of Los Angeles was deliberately indifferent to the constitutional rights of Los Angeles County residents.” (Id. at p. 9:2-4.) Plaintiff asserts that these allegations are relevant to show that “the County consciously ignored the rights of Los Angeles County residents by allowing Defendants Vega and Hernandez to continue to be Los Angeles County deputies and patrol the streets of Compton with impunity.” (Id. at p. 9:4-6.) Plaintiff argues that “the Andrés Guardado shooting is another clear example of the deadly consequences of an unconstitutional custom and practice coupled with a failure to train.” (Id. at p. 9:6-8.)

Plaintiff contends that “the Guardado allegations are also necessary to establish Defendants Vega and Hernandez’s propensity to engage in unlawful conduct.” (Id. at p. 10:7-8.) Plaintiff argues that the allegations are necessary because “at trial or any proceeding in this action, such evidence will be admissible to show Defendants Vega and Hernandez had a propensity to violate ignore their training and engage in rouge conduct while operating as LASD deputies.” (Id. at p. 10:20-26.)

Defendants’ three citations in section IV of their motion to strike are not persuasive. (See section entitled “The Court Should Strike The Inflammatory, Superfluous Guardado Allegations,” Motion to Strike, p. 8:22 – p. 9:3.) Oiye v. Fox (2012) 211 Cal.App.4th 1036 was a sexual harassment lawsuit; the Court of Appeal upheld the striking of certain private medical records concerning plaintiff’s condition. “[T]he issue before us is whether part of plaintiff's medical records should remain exposed to public view in a court file because defendant's counsel deemed them relevant to his opposition to a preliminary injunction long since [sic] granted.” (Id. at p. 1070.) In this case, Defendants are not requesting that the Court strike medical records or private information. In Warner v. Warner (1955) 135 Cal.App.2d 302, a 65-year old family law case, the court struck an “affidavit [that is] an attack on the character, reputation, integrity, and professional standing of counsel for plaintiff. It is offensive, scandalous, scurrilous, and defamatory.” (Id. at p. 303.) The paragraphs that Defendants wish to strike do not fall into this category; further we are here concerned with a FAC, not an evidentiary declaration. Lastly, in the 70+-year old case of McNeil v. Higgins (1948) 86 Cal.App.2d 723, the Court of Appeal simply stated that “[t]he striking of portions of defendant's answer on motion was not error when, as here, the answer contained repetitious irrelevant counter charges and allegations of improper motive attributable to plaintiff.” (Id. at p. 725.) That one sentence was the totality of the Court’s discussion of this issue: the Court gave no analysis, no citation to authority, and no indication why the stricken material was repetitious, irrelevant or improper. While this case may still be binding authority, a mere statement without any explanation or reasoning – even one that is issued by the highest court in the land – is not particularly persuasive.

Nonetheless, the Court finds that certain parts of the FAC should properly be stricken.

First, the Court finds that the Guardado allegations are not relevant to Plaintiff’s Monell claims for municipal liability. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that local governmental entities and local officials can be liable under section 1983, provided that an official policy or custom leads to the violation of the plaintiff’s constitutional rights. (See Monell v. Department of Social Servs. (1978) 436 U.S. 658, 690-91; see also Pierce v. San Mateo County Sheriff’s Dept. (2014) 232 Cal.App.4th 995; Harman v. City and County of San Francisco (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 1279, 1295.) Establishing a custom for the purposes of section 1983 requires significant proof that the alleged custom is well-settled and permanent as to constitute the force of law. (See Harman, supra, 136 Cal.App.4th at p. 1302.)

Here, some of the Guardado allegations identified by Defendants are irrelevant to Plaintiff’s claims because they occurred after Plaintiff sustained his alleged constitutional injuries. The allegations of conduct occurring after Plaintiff’s injuries do not establish that any alleged custom or practice by the deputies has been well-settled and permanent. (See Harman, supra, 136 Cal.App.4th at p. 1302.) Therefore, they should be stricken from Plaintiff’s FAC.

The Court also finds that the Guardado allegations that are being offered to show Defendants Vega’s and Hernandez’s propensity to engage in unlawful conduct are most likely not be relevant to Plaintiff’s claims. Under California law, “[a]s a general rule, evidence of uncharged crimes is inadmissible to prove the defendant had the propensity or disposition to commit the charged crime.” (People v. Hendrix (2013) 214 Cal.App.4th 216, 238.) Under federal law, Federal Rules of Evidence, rule 404(b) governs the admissibility of “other act” evidence and the Ninth Circuit applies the following test to determine if the “other act” is admissible: “(1) there must be sufficient proof for the jury to find that the defendant committed the other act; (2) the other act must not be too remote in time; (3) the other act must be introduced to prove a material issue in the case; and (4) the other act must, in some cases, be similar to the offense charged.” (Duran v. City of Maywood (9th Cir. 2000) 221 F.3d 1127, 1132-1133.) Any evidence that a defendant officer may have used excessive force in an unresolved case would likely be excluded because it “bears little relevance to whether [the] use of force in this case was objectively reasonable.” (See Dominguez v. City of Los Angeles (C.D. Cal. Oct. 9, 2018) No. CV174557DMGPLAX, 2018 WL 6164278 at * 11.) Here, some of the Guardado allegations identified by Defendants would not be relevant to Plaintiff’s action because they are not material to Plaintiff’s claims and do not demonstrate that the same excessive force conduct by Defendants Vega and Hernandez when interacting with Mr. Guardado was used with Plaintiff.

D. Conclusion

The Court GRANTS Defendants’ motion to strike in part. The motion to strike is GRANTED as to the following phrases, sentences or paragraphs that are indicated by the “strikethrough” text:

· [Paragraph 2, at 2:24-3:2:] “Slightly over two (2) months after the incident wherein Plaintiff . . . was injured, [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez] shot and killed 18-year old Andres Guardado on June 18, 2020. LASD whistleblower, Deputy Art Gonzalez, testified under oath that the deputy who shot and killed 18-year-old Andres Guardado, [Deputy Vega], was a prospective member of the Executioners, a violent clique of tattooed deputies inside the Compton Sheriffs’ station.”

· [Paragraph 5, at 4:2-10:] “These actions by [County] management, [Sheriff Villanueva], and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, clearly demonstrate there is an unwritten policy of condoning lawless conduct by Sheriff Deputies, which also provides a breeding ground for deputy gangs such as the Executioners to operate within the LASD; not properly investigating the illegal actions by Sheriff Deputies connected to the Executioners gang was a moving force in the deprivation of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights on April 13, 2020 and subsequently, further egregious and unconstitutional conduct when this conduct was unchecked such as the shooting of an unarmed civilian, Andres Guardado, by the same Deputy . . . on June 18, 2020.

· [Paragraph 7, at 4:24-5:2:] “Nonetheless, had [the County, Sheriff Villanueva], and DOES 1 through 30, inclusive, relieved [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez] of their duties following the incident of April 13, 2020 involving Plaintiff, or even disciplined them, and not almost eight (8) months later, Andres Guardado, would not have been shot and killed by [Deputy Vega] on June 18, 2020. [County] had notice of the April 13, 2020 incident involving Plaintiff . . . prior to the shooting of Andres Guardado on June 18, 2020.”

· [Paragraph 44 at 14:8-12:] “Also, on information and belief, on or around June 18, 2020, [Deputy Vega] became a full-fledged member of the Executioners when he shot and killed Andres Guardado. [Deputy Vega and Hernandez] did not face any punishment whatsoever for killing Andres Guardado nor being an Executioner gang member.

· [Paragraph 154, at 40:6-9:] “Moreover, the [County] also ratified [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez]’s unlawful arrest of Plaintiff and the subsequent crash, which further emboldened [them] to be involved in the shooting and killing of Andres Guardado on June 18, 2020.

· [Paragraph 156 at 40:17-20:] “By reason of the aforementioned acts and omissions, [Deputy Vega] was provided with a plan of action to shoot and kill Andres Guardado without any consequences. By virtue of [the County] ratifying each and every shooting on civilians, [Deputy Vega] was enabled to shoot and kill Andres Guardado.”

· [Paragraph 160, at 41:13-16:] “On information and belief, at the direction of [Sheriff Villanueva], LASD and DOES 91 through 100, inclusive, LASD investigators have delayed the internal investigation of the Guardado shooting and the unlawful acts and omissions of the Deputies in this case.”

· [Paragraph 178, at 48:22-49:4:] “At all times herein mentioned, the deputy gang in the Compton’s Sheriff’s Station and the illegal conduct the Executioners engages in, was so severe and outrageous, that the absence of discipline as to Deputy [Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez], and other previous unhostile conduct described herein, makes it plausible that supervisors, DOES 1 through 30, inclusive, are covering up similar violations of law by gang members, and that the supervisors themselves are acting in concert with gang members, and that policy-makers, in concert, are turning a blind eye, when they too should take corrective action, like they should have in this case and the shooting of Andres Guardado but did not, making it plausible that there is a unique custom and practice of deputy gang violence and selective excessive force, that caused the constitutional violations here.”

· [Paragraph 195, at 53:16-27:] “Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez] are members of the Executioners gang and [Deputy Vega] was a prospect up until he shot and killed Andres Guardado on June 18, 2020. Had [the County, Sheriff Villanueva], DOES 1 through 30, and DOES 91 through 100, inclusive, taken action against [Deputy Vega] and [Deputy Hernandez] when Plaintiff’s incident of April 13, 2020 took place, on information and belief, this could have prevented the murder of Andres Guardado. Membership in the Executioners gang included using excessive force and shooting those who are unarmed. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Prospects could gain entry into membership in the Executioners gang by using excessive force, including shooting those who are unarmed (and were encouraged to do so) and was the moving force in the shooting of the unarmed Andres Guardado on June 18, 2020.”

The motion to strike is DENIED as to the remaining phrases, sentences or paragraphs of the FAC.



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