Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

S.C., J.C., and A.C., Minors By Their Guardians Ad Litems v. County of Solano

December 29, 2010

S.C., J.C., AND A.C., MINORS BY THEIR GUARDIANS AD LITEMS,
RAMON CRAWFORD AND LATANYA MARTINEZ, RAMON CRAWFORD AND LATANYA MARTINEZ PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COUNTY OF SOLANO, COUNTY OF SOLANO CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, JOSEPHINE DAVIS, MARJORIE MIZEL, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 40, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' County of Solano ("County"), County of Solano Child Protective Services ("CPS"), Josephine Davis ("Davis"), and Marjorie Mizel ("Mizel"),(collectively, "Defendants") Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 23). Defendants ask the Court to dismiss the First Amended Complaint (Doc. 6) filed by Plaintiffs S.C., J.C., and A.C., minors by their guardians ad Litems, Ramon Crawford and Latanya Martinez, and their parents Ramon Crawford ("Crawford"), and Latanya Martinez ("Martinez"), (collectively, "Plaintiffs"). Plaintiffs oppose the motion. *fn1

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On or about May 17, 2008, Crawford took minor S.C. to NorthBay Medical Center. S.C. was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection; as part of the examination, a routine urinalysis was performed. On approximately May 22, 2008, NorthBay Medical Center called Defendants and their agents and employees and informed them that semen appeared in S.C.'s urinalysis.

Plaintiffs allege that on May 22, 2008, Defendants removed, interviewed, and examined S.C., J.C., and A.C. without their parents' knowledge, consent, or presence; furthermore Defendants lacked proper authorization, reasonable cause, exigency, or a warrant. Plaintiffs allege that the medical examinations of the minors did not confirm any sexual abuse. Plaintiffs also allege that Defendants accused Crawford of sexual abuse and Martinez of complying with the sexual abuse. Defendants allegedly told Crawford and Martinez that they would lose custody of their children.

Plaintiffs allege that on or about June 4, 2008, NorthBay Medical Center called CPS and told them that the original urine specimen had been contaminated and that there was no semen in S.C.'s urine. Nonetheless, CPS did not allow Crawford to see his children. On June 9, 2008, the NorthBay Medical Center called Plaintiffs to inform them that there had been a contaminated specimen.

On May 8, 2009, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint for Damages in Solano County Superior Court. In the Complaint, Plaintiffs sued NorthBay, a NorthBay physician, and County. County was specifically sued for defamation of Crawford and Martinez and false imprisonment of the Crawford children based on the actions of County agents and employees. Plaintiffs also incorporated by reference their government tort claim against the County of Solano. The tort claim alleged that Crawford and Martinez suffered severe and disabling emotional injuries as a result of being deprived of their children, as well as the children being deprived of their parents.

On November 19, 2009, County filed a Special Motion to Strike pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16 ("anti-SLAPP motion"). In the Motion, County moved to strike Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint on the grounds that the statements allegedly made by County employees were protected activity made in connection with an official proceeding, involved a matter of public interest, and constituted a protected activity. The County also moved to strike on the grounds that Plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on their claims for defamation and false imprisonment of the Crawford children.

On January 26, 2010, the Solano County Superior Court issued a tentative ruling regarding Defendants' anti-SLAPP motion. In its tentative ruling, the Court granted the anti-SLAPP motion and struck all of Plaintiffs' claims, concluding that Plaintiffs failed to establish a probability of prevailing on their defamation and false imprisonment claims because they did not submit sufficient evidence to rebut the grounds upon which the County's motion was based. The Superior Court entered judgment in the County's favor on March 3, 2010. Plaintiffs did not appeal the judgment.

On May 20, 2010, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint against Defendants in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. On June 1, 2010, Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint and on July 23, 2010, the parties stipulated to transfer the case to the Eastern District of California.

Plaintiffs bring this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging assault, battery, false imprisonment, wrongful seizure, violation of civil rights, Monell related claims, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violations of California Civil Code § § 43, 51.7, 52, and 52.1.

II. OPINION

A. Legal Standard

1. Motion to Dismiss

A party may move to dismiss an action for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure § 12(b)(6). In considering a motion to dismiss, the court must accept the allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1975), overruled on other grounds by Davis v. Scherer, 468 U.S. 183 (1984); Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 322 (1972). Assertions that are mere "legal conclusions," however, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009), citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.