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Jason anderson Deats, An Individual v. County of Orange; City of Lake Forest; Orange County Sheriff's Deputy

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 21, 2011

JASON ANDERSON DEATS, AN INDIVIDUAL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF ORANGE; CITY OF LAKE FOREST; ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY M. LEFLORE, AN INDIVIDUAL; ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY D. HENNESSEY, AN INDIVIDUAL; ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY J. PUCKETT, AN INDIVIDUAL; AND DOE DEFENDANTS 1-10, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Philip S. Gutierrez United States District Judge

Assigned to the Hon. Philip S. Gutierrez, Ctrm. 880

This action came on regularly for trial on June 22, 2011 in Courtroom 880 of the United States District Court, Central District of California located at 255 East Temple Street, Los Angeles, California, with the Honorable Philip S. Gutierrez, presiding. Plaintiff Jason Anderson Deats ("Plaintiff") appeared by attorneys Michael J. Olecki and Courtney Puritsky of Grodsky & Olecki LLP. Defendants County of Orange, Orange County Sheriff's Deputy M. LeFlore, Orange County Sheriff's Deputy D. Hennessey, Orange County Sheriff's Deputy J. Puckett, Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Han O, and Orange County Sheriff's Deputy E. Arredondo ("Defendants") appeared by attorneys Norman J. Watkins and Shannon L. Gustafson of Lynberg & Watkins.

A jury of eight persons was duly impaneled and sworn. After the jury was impaneled, one juror was dismissed. The case was ultimately submitted to the seven remaining jurors.

After hearing all of the evidence, the Court instructed the jury and the case was submitted to the jury. The jury deliberated and on July 1, 2011, the jury duly returned the following special verdict in writing:

WE THE JURY, IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED CAUSE, UNANIMOUSLY FIND AS FOLLOWS:

Please answer by unanimous vote the following questions by placing an "X" in the space following the appropriate response:

QUESTION NO. 1: Did any of the Defendants arrest Plaintiff Jason Deats, or cause him to be arrested, without probable cause? Please answer as to each Defendant.

Defendant Puckett: Yes _____ No X Defendant Hennessey: Yes _____ No X Defendant LeFlore: Yes _____ No X Go to the next question.

QUESTION NO. 2: Did any of the Defendants use excessive force against Plaintiff Jason Deats? Please answer as to each Defendant.

Defendant Anderson: Yes X No _____ Defendant O Yes _____ No X Defendant Arredondo: Yes _____ No X Go to the next question.

QUESTION NO. 3: Did any of the Defendants maliciously cause Plaintiff Jason Deats to be prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney's office? Please answer as to each Defendant.

Defendant Puckett: Yes X No _____ Defendant Hennessey: Yes X No _____ Defendant LeFlore: Yes _____ No X Go to the next question.

QUESTION NO. 4: Did any of the Defendants interfere with or attempt to interfere with Plaintiff Jason Deats' constitutional rights by threatening or committing violent acts against him? Please answer as to each Defendant.

Defendant Puckett: Yes _____ No X Defendant Anderson: Yes _____ No X Defendant O: Yes _____ No X Defendant Arredondo: Yes _____ No X Go to the next question.

QUESTION NO. 5: Did any of the Defendants threaten to touch Plaintiff Jason Deats in a harmful and offensive manner? Please answer as to each Defendant.

Defendant Puckett: Yes _____ No X Defendant Anderson: Yes _____ No X Defendant O: Yes _____ No X Defendant Arredondo: Yes _____ No X Go to the next question.

QUESTION NO. 6: Did any of the Defendants intentionally cause Plaintiff Jason Deats to suffer severe emotional distress? Please answer as to each Defendant.

Defendant Puckett: Yes _____ No X Defendant Hennessey: Yes _____ No X Defendant LeFlore: Yes _____ No X Defendant Anderson: Yes _____ No X Defendant O: Yes _____ No X Defendant Arredondo: Yes _____ No X

If you answered "Yes" to any part of any of Questions 1-6, please go to Question No.7. If you answered "No" to every part of Questions 1-6, your Foreperson should sign and date this Special Verdict Form on page 6 and return it to the Bailiff.

QUESTION NO. 7: Did any of the Defendants' conduct for which you answered "Yes" to any part of Questions 1-6 cause damages to Plaintiff Jason Deats?

Yes X No _____

If your answer to Question No.7 is "Yes," go to Question No.8. If your answer to Question No.7 is "No," your Foreperson should sign and date this Special Verdict Form on page 6 and return it to the Bailiff.

QUESTION NO. 8: What is the amount of damages you award to Plaintiff Jason Deats?

Damages: $49,451.00 Please go to Question No.9.

QUESTION NO.9: Did any of the Defendants act with malice, oppression, or in reckless disregard of Plaintiff Jason Deats' rights? Please answer as to each Defendant.

Defendant Puckett: Yes _____ No X Defendant Hennessey: Yes _____ No X Defendant LeFlore: Yes _____ No X Defendant Anderson: Yes _____ No X Defendant O: Yes _____ No X Defendant Arredondo: Yes _____ No X

Please date, sign, and return this form.

DATED: July 1, 2011 [Redacted]

FOREPERSON

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED as follows:

1. That Plaintiff has Judgment in his favor as to Defendant Puckett as to Plaintiff's claim for malicious prosecution in violation of 42 U.S.C. §1983. Defendant Puckett has Judgment in his favor as to Plaintiff's claim for false arrest in violation of 42 U.S.C. §1983, Plaintiff's claim for violation of California Civil Code §52.1, Plaintiff's claim for assault under California law, and Plaintiff's claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress under California law.

2. That Plaintiff has Judgment in his favor as to Defendant Hennessey as to Plaintiff's claim for malicious prosecution in violation of 42 U.S.C. §1983. Defendant Hennessey has Judgment in his favor as to Plaintiff's claim for false arrest in violation of 42 U.S.C. §1983, Plaintiff's claim for violation of California Civil Code §52.1, and Plaintiff's claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress under California law.

3. That Plaintiff has Judgment in his favor as to Defendant Anderson as to Plaintiff's claim for excessive force in violation of 42 U.S.C. §1983. Defendant Anderson has Judgment in his favor as to Plaintiff's claim for violation of California Civil Code §52.1, Plaintiff's claim for assault under California law, and Plaintiff's claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress under California law.

4. That Defendant Leflore has Judgment in his favor as to all claims asserted against him.

5. That Defendant O has Judgment in his favor as to all claims asserted against him.

6. That Defendant Arredondo has Judgment in his favor as to all claims asserted against him.

7. That Plaintiff shall recover from Defendants Puckett, Hennessey, and Anderson Plaintiff's attorneys' fees and costs, in accordance with applicable law.

8. That Defendants LeFlore, O, and Arredondo shall recover from Plaintiff their costs in accordance with applicable law.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20110721

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