This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/08/2021 at 12:06:39 (UTC).

TERESA IRVIN VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Case Summary

On 01/22/2018 TERESA IRVIN filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against CITY OF LOS ANGELES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are GREGORY W. ALARCON, RICHARD E. RICO and JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0975

  • Filing Date:

    01/22/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

GREGORY W. ALARCON

RICHARD E. RICO

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff

IRVIN TERESA

Defendants and Respondents

LOS ANGELES CITY OF

DOES 1 TO 50

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff Attorneys

SMITH GREGORY W. ESQ.

SMITH GREGORY WAYNE ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

PETERS THOMAS H. ESQ.

PETERS THOMAS HARRY ESQ.

LYON DOUGLAS L

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE: FILING OF PROPOSED JUDGMENT PU...)

6/23/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE: FILING OF PROPOSED JUDGMENT PU...)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE: FILING OF PROPOSED JUDGMENT PU...) OF 06/23/2021

6/23/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE: FILING OF PROPOSED JUDGMENT PU...) OF 06/23/2021

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)

4/20/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

12/31/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Notice - NOTICE PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF COURT ORDER RE SCHEDULING OF INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE

11/17/2020: Notice - NOTICE PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF COURT ORDER RE SCHEDULING OF INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

10/1/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Brief - BRIEF STATEMENT RE ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED AT THE INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE

9/2/2020: Brief - BRIEF STATEMENT RE ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED AT THE INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE

Separate Statement

7/1/2020: Separate Statement

Notice - NOTICE PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE

3/4/2020: Notice - NOTICE PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE)

11/14/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE)

Notice - NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT

6/21/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT

Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL THE ATTENDANCE AND TESTIMONY AT DEPOSITION OF PLF AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

5/16/2019: Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL THE ATTENDANCE AND TESTIMONY AT DEPOSITION OF PLF AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

Order - Order ORDER ON TENTATIVE RULING

3/1/2019: Order - Order ORDER ON TENTATIVE RULING

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

3/1/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Minute Order -

9/24/2018: Minute Order -

NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL

9/24/2018: NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL

Minute Order -

5/22/2018: Minute Order -

PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER (CODE CIV. PROC., SECTION 170.6)

2/16/2018: PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER (CODE CIV. PROC., SECTION 170.6)

65 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/20/2021
  • DocketJudgment (Proposed Judgment); Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

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  • 06/23/2021
  • Docketat 2:00 PM in Department 17, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Non-Appearance Case Review (reFiling of Proposed Judgment Pursuant to Motion for Summary Judgment Granted on 4/20/2021) - Held

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  • 06/23/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Non-Appearance Case Review re: Filing of Proposed Judgment Pu...) of 06/23/2021); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/23/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Non-Appearance Case Review re: Filing of Proposed Judgment Pu...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/14/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 17, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 06/03/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 17, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 04/21/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/20/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 17, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 04/20/2021
  • DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

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  • 04/20/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment)); Filed by Clerk

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111 More Docket Entries
  • 03/14/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

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  • 03/14/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT

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  • 02/27/2018
  • Docketat 08:36 AM in Department 36; Non-Appearance Case Review - Held

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  • 02/27/2018
  • DocketMinute Order

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  • 02/27/2018
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2018-02-27 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/16/2018
  • DocketChallenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/16/2018
  • DocketPEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER (CODE CIV. PROC., SECTION 170.6)

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  • 01/22/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Teresa Irvin (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/22/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/22/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1) RETALIATION (LABOR CODE SECTION 1102.5)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC690975    Hearing Date: April 20, 2021    Dept: 17

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

TERESA IRVIN

v.

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Case No.: BC690975

Hearing Date: April 19, 2021

Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

On January 22, 2018, Plaintiff Teresa Irvin (Plaintiff) filed suit against the City of Los Angeles (Defendant), alleging a single cause of action for retaliation.

Now, Defendant moves for summary judgment.

Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (a) provides that a “party may move for summary judgment in any action or proceeding if it is contended that the action has no merit or that there is no defense to the action or proceeding.” The motion shall be granted if there is no triable issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).) Subdivision (p)(2) of the same section provides that where a defendant presents evidence showing one or more elements of a cause of action cannot be established, then the burden shifts to plaintiff to show the existence of a triable issue of material fact. (See Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Co. v. Superior Court (2011) 192 Cal.App.4th 727, 732.) A party is also permitted to move for summary adjudication of a particular issue, which can 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, subd. (f)(1).)

The moving party’s burden on summary judgment “is more properly one of persuasion rather than proof, since he must persuade the court that there is no material fact for a reasonable trier of fact to find, and not to prove any such fact to the satisfaction of the court itself as though it were sitting as the trier of fact.” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850 fn.11, original italics.)

Factual Background

This action is based on allegations that Plaintiff, a Detective II with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was subjected to retaliation after reporting unlawful conduct on the part of her commanding officer, Detective III Diane Cazares (Cazares). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Cazares was falsifying her timesheets and claiming hours worked when she was actually going home or taking care of a family of feral cats. Plaintiff reported this conduct to Captain Jennifer Thomas, Lieutenant Lee Powell, Lieutenant Christopher Chase, and Sergeant George Hoopes, and alleges that afterwards she was subjected to a series of retaliatory acts. Among the alleged retaliatory acts is that she was transferred to another division and received numerous write-ups.

Discussion

Defendant argues that Plaintiff cannot state a claim for retaliation because she cannot show she suffered an adverse employment action, and cannot show a causal nexus between any adverse employment action and her protected activity. Defendant further argues that, even assuming Plaintiff could state a prima facie claim for retaliation, Defendant’s decisions were taken for legitimate non-retaliatory reasons.

In support of its motion, Defendant submitted the following evidence:

· Plaintiff has remained the same rank during the operative time of this lawsuit. (SS ¶ 1.)

· There has been no change in Plaintiff’s salary. (SS ¶ 2.)

· Plaintiff did not lose any job benefit at LAPD as a result of her transfer. (SS ¶ 3.)

· Plaintiff has never been demoted or downgraded. (SS ¶ 4.)

· Plaintiff’s performance evaluation for the period immediately after her alleged protected activity states that she met or exceeded all standards. (SS ¶ 6.)

· Plaintiff alleges that she engaged in protected activity in January 2016, yet Plaintiff’s transfer occurred in Summer 2017. (SS ¶ ¶ 16-17.)

· Plaintiff was responsible for managing and keeping an accounting of the Perkins Fund, which are petty cash funds given to the Department to be used for informants. Plaintiff was issued a comment card after it was discovered that hundreds of dollars had not been accounted for in the ledger. After Plaintiff tried to “minimize the incident,” Plaintiff’s Complaint initiated a personnel complaint against Plaintiff regarding her poor response to the incident. (SS ¶¶ 20-24.)

· Plaintiff’s Captain believed that it was in the best interest of Plaintiff and the Department if she had a “fresh start with new supervisors and coworkers,” which is the reason that he implemented the transfer. (SS ¶ 19.)

· Plaintiff has no evidence to support her claim that her reporting of Cazares’ alleged misconduct was the reason for her transfer. (SS ¶ 25.)

Defendant’s evidence supports a reasonable inference that Plaintiff did not suffer an adverse employment action, and that Plaintiff cannot show any causal nexus between an adverse employment action and protected activity. Moreover, Defendant’s submitted evidence supports a reasonable inference that Plaintiff was transferred based on an personnel management decision, rather than any retaliatory animus. Accordingly, the burden shifts to Plaintiff to disclose a triable issue of material fact.

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that conduct constituting an adverse employment action should be interpreted liberally, and cites to Strother v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group (9th Cir. 1996) 79 F.3d 859, 868 in support. Specially, Plaintiff argues that she suffered adverse employment actions because she “was issued four negative comment cards, given a ‘Needs Improvement’ rating on her performance evaluation due to those four comment cards, verbally abused and degraded, subjected to frivolous internal investigations, and administratively transferred to a different division.” (Opp., 18:23-27; SS ¶¶ 8.) Plaintiff submitted evidence that an administrative transfer, in particular, carries with it an implication that the transferee did something wrong, and it can negatively affect an officer’s future career. (Mariscal Depo. 99:3-25.) Given that the administrative transfer could limit Plaintiff’s opportunity for promotion, and an adverse employment action covers “the entire spectrum of employment actions that are reasonably likely to adversely and materially affect an employee’s job performance or opportunity for advancement in his or her career,” the Court finds that this evidence is sufficient for purposes of making a prima facie showing of an adverse employment action with respect to her transfer. (Yanowitz v. L’Oreal USA, Inc. (2005) 36 Cal.4th 1028, 1054.)

However, Plaintiff has not met her burden to show that the issuance of comment cards constitute an adverse employment action. This is because Plaintiff’s submitted evidence does not support a reasonable inference that the issuance of four comment cards is reasonably likely to adversely and materially affect an employee’s opportunity for advancement in his or her career.

Accordingly, the Court’s analysis below is limited to Plaintiff’s administrative transfer.

To show a causal nexus, Plaintiff relies on the “close proximity” in time between Plaintiff’s transfer and her protected activity. Specifically, Plaintiff submitted evidence that she was transferred “about three months after last reporting Cazares’ unlawful conduct. (SS ¶ 15.) Plaintiff’s evidentiary showing of temporal proximity is sufficient to make a prima facie showing of a causal nexus. (Loggins v. Kaiser Permanente Internat. (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 1102, 1112.)

However, as the Court noted above, Defendant has met its burden of showing that it had a legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for transferring Plaintiff. The burden therefore shifts to Plaintiff to show that this reason was a pretext – i.e., that Plaintiffs’ transfer was at least in part motivated by the fact that she had previously complained about improper practices by Cazares.

Plaintiff may demonstrate pretext by “demonstrat[ing] such weaknesses, implausibilities, inconsistencies, or contradictions in the employer’s proffered legitimate reasons for its action that a reasonable factfinder could rationally find them ‘unworthy of credence,’ . . . and hence infer ‘that the employer did not act for the [asserted] non-discriminatory reasons.’ [Citation.]” (Moore, supra, 248 Cal.App.4th at pp. 235-236.) Plaintiff may also show pretext by making her own evidentiary showing that Defendant had a retaliatory motive in terminating her employment. “The central issue is and should remain whether the evidence as a whole supports a reasoned inference that the challenged action was the product of discriminatory or retaliatory animus. . . . The employer [is entitled] to summary judgment only when the employee’s showing . . . is too weak to sustain a reasoned inference in the employee’s favor.” (Light v. Department of Parks and Recreation (2017) 14 Cal.App.5th 75, 94.)

Here, Plaintiff advances a number of grounds to show pretext: (1) close proximity; (2) Defendant’s shifting reasons for Plaintiff’s transfer; and (3) personal animosity towards Plaintiff.

As to Plaintiff’s first reason, while temporal proximity is sufficient to state a prima facie case, it is not sufficient to rebut a showing of a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for termination. “[T]emporal proximity . . . does not, without more, suffice . . . to satisfy the employee’s burden to show a triable issue of fact on whether the employer’s articulated reason was untrue or pretextual.” (Serri v. Santa Clara University (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 830, 868.) Accordingly, Plaintiff’s evidence of proximity cannot speak to a showing of pretext.

As to Plaintiff’s second reason, Plaintiff submitted evidence that the reasons provided by leadership for her transfer were inconsistent. For example, Plaintiff submitted evidence that Captain Armand Carranza explained her transfer was due to her troubling response to the Perkins comment card, Sergeant Hoopes explained her transfer as arising out of a conflict with command, while Lieutenant Lee Powell testified that the transfer was due to operational needs. (SS ¶ 10.) Specifically, Sergeant Hoopes testified that “Detective Irvin wasn’t transferred solely because of her conflict of – conflict in command with Diane Cazares. Detective Irvin’s conflict in command was with every one of her supervisors. Myself, Larry McCormick, Diane Cazares, Lieutenant Chris Chase, up the chain of command. (Hoopes depo. 90:13-19.) Meanwhile, Captain Carranza explained that Plaintiff was being transferred due to a complaint filed against her for her providing false and misleading statements with respect to the Perkins Fund Account. (Irvin Decl., ¶ 27.)

While these explanations may not be identical, they do not amount to the contradictions and inconsistencies that Plaintiff contends. Defendant’s submitted evidence supports a reasonable inference that Plaintiff was written up for the Perkins Fund problem, and that command took issue with her response to the incident. In light of these problems, Plaintiff was transferred to be given a “fresh start with new supervisors and coworkers.” (Defendant’s SS ¶ 19.) Accordingly, Defendant’s proffered reasons for Plaintiff’s transfer are consistent with the responses submitted by Plaintiff above.

Finally, as to Plaintiff’s third reason, Plaintiff submitted evidence to show personal animosity towards her. For example, Plaintiff submitted the following excerpt from Sergeant Leslie Mariscal’s deposition:

Q: What did Sergeant George Hoopes inform you of, if anything, during the second meeting?

A: During the second meeting, I believe that’s where he told me that a complaint was going to be initiated, and that’s when I told him that I believed he was using the system. I got angry and told him that he was using the system to get rid of [Plaintiff]. And I didn’t agree with it.

***

Q: As you sit here today, do you have any opinion or belief as to why Detective Irvin was transferred out of RACR?

A: Yeah. I believe that Detective Irvin was retaliated against. I believe from the moment she reported misconduct from DC, that DC just wanted to get back at her. And she used the Perkins Fund to do that by documenting it and trying to get her in trouble. She excluded her, tried to exclude her from the people at RACR. She—just the whole timeline you can see her trying to get her in trouble, which she did. It was the documentation from the Perkins Funds that led her to the complaint that led her to where she is now. It was –to me just based on my experience, it’s retaliation.

(Mariscal Depo.: 92: 19-93:1; 110:14-111:3).

However, Mariscal’s testimony is entirely speculative (“I believe from the moment she reported misconduct from DC, that DC just wanted to get back at her…. It was –to me just based on my experience, it’s retaliation.”) Plaintiff’s additional evidence of animus is similarly speculative in that it is based on a personal belief of animus, rather than a showing of established fact. (Morgan v. Regents of University of Cal. (2000) 88 Cal.App.4th 52,71.) While Plaintiff submitted evidence that, prior to reporting Cazares’ conduct, Plaintiff was never disciplined for her inability to get along with her supervisors and/or peers, this ignores the fact that it is undisputed that Plaintiff actually committed the infractions she was disciplined for, including the Perkins Fund mistake for which she was administratively transferred. While Plaintiff may believe that this mistake was “minor,” and did not warrant the reaction it received from command, this is insufficient to show that Defendant’s decision to transfer her for that mistake was a pretext for retaliation.

Plaintiff has failed to raise a triable issue of material fact as to whether or not Defendant’s proffered reason for her administrative transfer was pretextual.

Based on the foregoing, Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted.

It is so ordered.

Dated: April , 2021

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi Judge of the Superior Court

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

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

Case Number: BC690975    Hearing Date: February 10, 2021    Dept: 17

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

TERESA IRVIN

v.

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Case No.: BC690975

Hearing Date: February 10, 2021

Plaintiff’s Pitchess motion is GRANTED in part, DENIED in part.

Plaintiff’s motion is denied as to all requests but Nos. 11-13. However, Requests Nos. 11-13 are narrowed to only the comment card and the associated Standard Based Assessment.

On January 22, 2018, Plaintiff Teresa Irvin (Plaintiff) filed suit against the City of Los Angeles, alleging a single cause of action for retaliation.

On 12/3/2020, Plaintiff filed this Pitchess motion.

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; Penal Code, § 832.7, subdivision (a).) The motion must include a declaration or affidavit that (a) makes a plausible showing of justification for discovery (why the information is needed) other than a mere desire for the benefit of all the information obtained by the state in the investigation of a crime, (b) shows the relevance and admissibility of the discovery, and (c) sufficiently specifies the information sought to preclude the possibility of a “fishing expedition.” (Evid. Code, § 1043, subd. (b); People v. Memro

Once this procedure has been complied with and notice has been provided to the agency having custody of the records, the motion requires that the trial court conduct an in-camera examination of the material to determine its relevance to the case at hand.  (Evid. Code, § 1045, subd. (b); Memro, supra,

Factual Background

This action is based on allegations that Plaintiff, a Detective II with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was subjected to retaliation after reporting unlawful conduct on the part of her commanding officer, Detective III Diane Cazares (Cazares). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Cazares was falsifying her timesheets and claiming hours worked when she was actually going home or taking care of a family of feral cats. Plaintiff reported this conduct to Captain Jennifer Thomas, Lieutenant Lee Powell, Lieutenant Christopher Chase, and Sergeant George Hoopes, and alleges that afterwards she was subjected to a series of retaliatory acts. Among the alleged retaliatory acts is that she was transferred and received numerous write ups. Plaintiff alleges that these punitive actions were orchestrated by Sergeant George Hoopes (Hoopes), Cazares herself, Captain Armand Carranza (Carranza), and Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas (Villegas).

Discussion

Requests No. 1-6

Requests No. 1-6 seek information related to investigations and discipline imposed on various individuals for providing false and misleading statements. (Motion, 11: 19-20). Plaintiff argues that this evidence is “material from the standpoint that the jury can discredit either all or some of the testimony provided by these bad actors.” (Motion, p. 11.)

Here, Plaintiff has not set forth a “specific factual scenario” that establishes the materiality of the discovery sought. (City of Santa Cruz, supra, 49 Cal.3d at p. 85-86.) that the officer “may” have had other complaints filed against him was sufficient because it constituted a “rational inference” based on the conduct that plaintiff had experienced. (Ibid. at p. 90.) Here, by contrast, Plaintiff has not set forth any basis for her belief that any of the individuals named had been investigated or disciplined for providing false and misleading statements. While Pitchess affidavits may be based on “information and belief,” they must still be premised upon a rational inference from known or reasonably assumed facts. For example, if Plaintiff had set forth facts that the individuals named had made false and misleading statements in past, a reasonable inference could be made that they have made other false and misleading statements, and been disciplined for those statements. However, Plaintiff has not set forth any such facts. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s requests appear to be a “fishing expedition” in search of evidence which could discredit these individuals as trial witnesses.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s request for disclosure of records contained in Requests No. 1-6 is denied.

Request No. 7:

Request No. 7 seeks documents related to discipline imposed on other officers from the DOC for failing to submit, deduct, and/or make-up the time following an officer going home from training before the end of the shift.

Plaintiff argues that these documents are relevant because Plaintiff was written-up for failing to submit a deduction for work hours after going home early after training. Sergeant Hoopes testified that other officers had been similarly disciplined for failing to submit a deduction after going home early from training, and this request seeks to discover the identity of those officers.

a. Plausible showing of justification; relevance and admissibility

The Court agrees that the information sought, while overbroad, is relevant to whether or not Plaintiff was singled out for discipline for a failure to deduct as part of a pattern of retaliation. However, this request is inappropriate for a Pitchess motion. Evidence Code section 1043 (b)(1) requires that a Pitchess motion identify the “peace or custodial officer whose records are sought.” Here, however, Plaintiff is seeking to use Pitchess to discover the names of the relevant officers. Plaintiff may or may not be entitled to discover relevant “me too” evidence, but a Pitchess motion and EC §1043(b)(1) are not the proper vehicles.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s request for disclosure of records contained in Requests No. 7 is denied, without prejudice.

Request No. 8:

Request No. 8 seeks documents related to discipline imposed on other officers from the DOC for failing to tuck-in their uniform. Plaintiff argues that this is relevant because Plaintiff was written-up for not tucking in her uniform prior to the change of shift. Sergeant Hoopes testified at deposition that officers other than Plaintiff had been similarly disciplined for not tucking in their uniform, and this request seeks to discover the identity of those officers.

As the Court discussed above, Evidence Code section 1043 (b)(1) requires that a Pitchess motion identify the “peace or custodial officer whose records are sought.” Accordingly, Plaintiff cannot use a Pitchess motion to discover the identities of these individuals.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s request for disclosure of records contained in Requests No. 8 is denied, without prejudice.

Request 9-10:

Requests 9-10 seek documents related to the reasons for Cazares’ transfer out of DOC and how this transfer was classified by the department. Plaintiff argues that these requests are relevant in that they will show that while Plaintiff was administratively transferred due to conflicts with Cazares, Cazares’ transfer makes no mention of her conflict with Plaintiff. Moreover, Plaintiff argues that these records will show that “the LAPD classified Plaintiff’s transfer from the DOC different and disparately from Cazares’ transfer.” (Motion, 12:24-28.)

The Court is not persuaded that these requests seek relevant information. Here, Plaintiff alleges that she was administratively transferred out of retaliation. Cazares’ transfer file is not likely to produce relevant information to explain why Plaintiff was transferred, nor will it show whether Plaintiff was “punitively transferred out of DOC.” (Motion, 8.) Plaintiff does not allege that they were transferred at the same time, or even for the same reasons. Accordingly, the request is also unlikely to produce relevant “me too” evidence.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s request for disclosure of records contained in Requests Nos. 9-10 is denied.

Request Nos. 11-13

Requests 11-13 seek Hoopes’ Standards Based Assessment (SBA) for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 and Hoopes’ comment card pertaining to the mistake he made in connection to the Perkins Fund.

In 2017, Plaintiff was issued a comment card for making a mistake on an entry log relating to the Perkins Fund. This resulted in a “Needs Improvement” rating on her SBA for 2016-2017.

Around the same time, Hoopes was also issued a comment card for making a mistake on an entry log relating to the Perkins Fund. Plaintiff argues that the requested documents are relevant to showing whether or not “(1) LAPD policies were being disparately enforced against her; and (2) the comment card was issued to Hoopes solely to make it appear as though LAPD policies were being applied equally to all officers.” (Motion, 13: 21-23.)

Plaintiff has shown that the information sought is directly relevant to whether or not Plaintiff was singled out for disparate treatment. Specifically, the information sought will show whether or not Plaintiff and Hoopes received equal treatment for the same mistake.

Moreover, Plaintiff has set forth 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.)

The only aspect of the request that is inadequately explained is why both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 SBA are requested. The Court presumes that this is because Plaintiff is uncertain whether the comment card was issued for the 2016-2017 SBA or the 2017-2018 SBA. In any event, only the SBA with the attached comment card is relevant here.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s request for disclosure of records contained in Requests Nos. 11-13 is granted, but narrowed. Defendant is to produce the relevant comment card and the associated SBA.

It is so ordered.

Dated: February , 2021

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi Judge of the Superior Court

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

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

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