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Anderson v. Knapp

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


August 7, 2009

DIANE ANDERSON; DONA CLOUD, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SHAWN KNAPP, CLOVIS CONTROL OFFICER; STEVE CLOVIS CODE ENFORCEMENTENT OFFICER; CITY OF DOES 1-20.
DAVE SMITH, CLOVIS POLICE DEPARTMENT; JIM KOCH, CORPORAL, CLOVIS POLICE DEPARTMENT; BETTY COCHRAN, CLOVIS ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER; ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER; BAKER, KEN BAXTER, CLOVIS CODE ENFORCEMENT CLOVIS; DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Court

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

The Motion of Defendants Dave Smith, Clovis Police Department; Jim Koch, Corporal, Clovis Police Department; Betty Cochran, Clovis Animal Control Officer; Shawn Knapp, Clovis Animal Control Officer; Steve Baker, Clovis Code Enforcement Officer; Ken Baxter, Clovis Code Enforcement Officer and the City of Clovis for summary judgment came on regularly for hearing before this Court on July 1, 2009. Benjamin L. Ratliff and James T. Binion appeared as attorneys for Defendants and James Holland appeared as attorney for plaintiffs Diane Anderson and Dona Cloud.

After considering the moving and opposition papers, arguments of counsel and all other matters presented to the Court, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows:

1) Defendants Dave Smith, Jim Koch, Betty Cochran, Sean Knapp, Ken Baxter and Steve Baker are entitled to Qualified Immunity as a matter of law. The Court finds that under the circumstances outlined in Part IV.A.2-4 of the court's MEMORANDUM OF DECISION GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AS TO ALL CLAIMS AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS (hereinafter MOD) the undisputed objective evidence establishes that exigent circumstances existed in that plaintiffs' residence contained conditions which were hazardous to animal and human health and safety and constituted a public nuisance;

2) Summary Judgment is granted in favor of the defendants as to the entire First Count of plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint (hereinafter FAC) for "Violation of Federal Civil Rights Illegal Entry, Search, Seizure, 4th Amendment Violations" because, as more specifically stated in Part IV.A.2-4 of the MOD, the undisputed objective evidence establishes that exigent circumstances existed in that plaintiffs' residence contained conditions which were hazardous to animal and human health and safety and constituted a public nuisance;

3) Summary Judgment is granted in favor of the defendants as to the entire Third Count of the plaintiffs' FAC entitled "Assault, Battery, Excessive Force" because, as more specifically stated in Part IV.A.5. of the MOD, the undisputed facts establish that any physical contact was de minimis, reasonable and justifiable under the circumstances;

4) Summary Judgment is granted in favor of the defendants on plaintiffs' § 1983 Substantive Due Process claims as alleged in the Sixth Count of plaintiff's FAC entitled "Violation of Federal Civil Rights; Conspiracy Substantive Due Process: Exclusion from, Loss of Home" because, as more specifically stated in Part IV.A.6 of the MOD, the right to housing is not a fundamental right and condemnation of a public nuisance does not shock the conscience;

5) Summary Judgment is granted in favor of the defendants on plaintiffs' conspiracy claim. As more fully stated in Part IV.A.8 of the MOD, a claim for failure to preserve evidence is barred by Heck, supra , and plaintiffs fail to present any evidence that the denial of equal enjoyment of rights secured by the law to all was due to racial or class-based animus;

6) Summary Judgment is granted in favor of the defendants on plaintiffs' § 1983 Procedural Due Process claims as alleged in the Fourth Count of plaintiffs' FAC entitled "Violation of Civil Rights (Due Process), Abuse of Process (Destruction of Pets Without Notice), Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Conversion (Destruction of Pets) because, as more specifically stated in Part IV.A.3.b and Part IV.A.6.b of the MOD, plaintiff cannot bring a §1983 claim that would, if successful, call into question the validity of her underlying criminal conviction;

7) Summary Judgment is granted in favor of the defendants as to the entire Fifth Count of plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint for "Violation of Civil Rights (Due Process); Conspiracy; Abuse of Process (Refusal to Evidence)" because, as more specifically stated in Part IV.A.6.b of the MOD, plaintiffs are precluded from bringing an action that would cast doubt on the validity of an outstanding criminal judgment. As to plaintiff's claim in the Fifth Count relating to destruction of her pets without due process, defendants are entitled to summary judgment. As more fully stated in Part IV.A.6.b.2 of the MOD, plaintiff has not set forth sufficient facts to establish a procedural due process claim because it is not sufficient for plaintiff merely to allege she was not afforded the procedural rights supplied by California Penal Code section 597.1. Further, California law provides an adequate post-deprivation remedy for property deprivations by the state and plaintiff failed to demonstrate these remedies were inadequate;

8) Summary Judgment is granted as to plaintiffs' claims against the City of Clovis because plaintiffs have failed to produce evidence sufficient to support any such claim;

9) Because all of plaintiffs' federal causes of action have been dismissed, the Court declines to exercise jurisdiction over the remaining state claims, except as otherwise stated in ¶3 above, pursuant to U.S.C. Title 28, Section 1367, and the remaining state causes of action are REMANDED to the Superior Court of California in and for the County of Fresno; and

10) The Clerk of this Court is directed to prepare a certified copy of this Order and mail it to the Clerk of the Superior Court of California, County of Fresno.

SO ORDERED

20090807

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