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NEWTON v. ARPAIA

October 14, 2005.

SHELLY NEWTON, Plaintiff,
v.
P. ARPAIA, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAUNDRA ARMSTRONG, District Judge

ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants P. Arpaia, B. Marker, and C. Costigan's Motion to Dismiss [Docket No. 18]. Having read and considered the arguments presented by the parties in the papers submitted to the Court, the Court finds this matter appropriate for resolution without a hearing. The Court hereby GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART P. Arpaia, B. Marker, and C. Costigan's Motion to Dismiss.

BACKGROUND

  Factual Background.*fn1

  1. Parties.

  Plaintiff Shelly Newton ("Newton" or "Plaintiff") is an adult female African American who currently resides in Contra Costa County, California. FAC at ¶ 3.

  Defendants P. Arpaia ("Arpaia"), B. Marker ("Marker"), and C. Costigan ("Costigan") are members of the California Highway Patrol ("CHP"), who, during the relevant period, were acting under color of state law as peace officers within the State of California. Id. ¶ 4.

  2. Allegations.

  On or about July 26, 2003, CHP Officers Arpaia and Marker detained Plaintiff on Highway 24, in Contra Costa County, for an alleged traffic violation. Id. ¶ 9. Officers Arpaia and Marker issued Plaintiff a citation and notice to appear and released Plaintiff from custody. Id. At the time of release, Arpaia and Marker informed Plaintiff that her license was suspended for an out-of-state vehicle code violation. Id. ¶ 10. Plaintiff denied she was ever in the state in question. Id.

  Officers Arpaia and Marker advised Plaintiff that she could not drive her vehicle away from the scene because her license was suspended. Id. ¶ 11. They then called a tow truck for the purpose of towing Plaintiff's vehicle to a storage facility. Id. They subsequently advised Plaintiff that she could use the shoulder of the highway to exit the highway on foot, but claimed that they were required to escort pedestrians off of the highway and to restrain them in handcuffs. Id. ¶ 12.

  When Plaintiff objected to being handcuffed, Officers Arpaia and Marker used force to handcuff Plaintiff and placed her in the rear of their patrol vehicle. Id. ¶ 13. A hood was also placed over Plaintiff's head. Id. ¶ 14. Officers Arpaia and Marker then exited Highway 24 and were joined by CHP Officer Costigan. Id. Officers Arapia and Marker then drove Plaintiff, who remained handcuffed in the back of the vehicle, to the Martinez Detention Facility. Id.

  At the Martinez Detention Facility, Plaintiff was handcuffed to a metal bench in the receiving bay. Id. Sheriff's Deputies Steven Brinkley ("Brinkley"), Michelle Day ("Day"), and Kellie Martinez ("Martinez") found Plaintiff handcuffed to the metal bench and attempted to pull her away from the bench while she was still handcuffed to it. Id. ¶ 15. Deputies Brinkley, Day, and Martinez then took Plaintiff into a room, forced her to lie face down on the floor, and removed Plaintiff's shoes and jewelry. Id. ¶ 16. As a result of her detention, Plaintiff suffered multiple injuries. Id. ¶ 17.

  B. Procedural Background.

  On July 21, 2004, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Contra Costa County (referred to herein as the "July 2004 Complaint"). The July 2004 Complaint alleged the following causes of action: (1) failure to train; (2) "custom, usage, and policy" violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (3) failure to supervise; (4) assault and battery; and (5) excessive force. In the July 2004 Complaint, Plaintiff sought compensatory and special damages. Plaintiff also requested "leave to amend th[e] complaint when the identity and capacity of the unidentified Sheriff Deputies is ascertained, for leave to name them as parties Defendants herein, and leave to seek punitive damages against them, jointly and severally." On March 24, 2005, Plaintiff filed a complaint (referred to herein as the "March 2005 Complaint") against defendants Arpaia, Marker, Costigan, Brinkley, Day and Martinez. The March 2005 Complaint alleged the following causes of action: (1) violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments (brought against all defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983); (2) "failure to intercede" (brought against Costigan only pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ...


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