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Title: Donald Schaeffer v. County of Orange; Trent Hoffman

September 9, 2011

TITLE: DONALD SCHAEFFER
v.
COUNTY OF ORANGE; TRENT HOFFMAN, ET AL



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable David O. Carter, Judge

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Julie Barrera Not Present Courtroom Clerk Court Reporter

ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFFS: ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS:

NONE PRESENT NONE PRESENT

PROCEEDING (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S CIVIL CODE § 52.1 CLAIM

Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Civil Code § 52.1 Cause of Action in Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"). The Court finds the matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; Local R. 7-15. After considering the moving, opposing, and replying papers, the Court hereby GRANTS the Motion.

I. Background

Plaintiff Donald Schaeffer ("Plaintiff") filed his Complaint on March 2, 2011 (Dkt. 1) and subsequently filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC") on May 10, 2011 (Dkt. 13) against Defendants County of Orange and Deputy Trent Hoffman ("Hoffman"). After Defendants' filed their initial motion to dismiss, on July 6, 2011, the Court granted in part and denied in part the motion, dismissing Plaintiff's § 52.1 claim without prejudice, and granting leave to amend. (Dkt. No. 21.) On July 19, 2011, Plaintiff filed his SAC. (Dkt. No. 23.) Through the instant motion, Defendants again seek dismissal of the § 52.1 claim.

Plaintiff alleges he was subjected to unreasonable force by Hoffman on February 12, 2010 in Stanton, California. He alleges Hoffman discharged his firearm at Plaintiff, even though Plaintiff was unarmed and posed no imminent threat. SAC ¶¶ 16-17. As a result of the shooting, Plaintiff suffered serious physical injury, including amputation of his leg, removal of his spleen, and removal of a lung. Id. ¶ 16.

The SAC asserts causes of action for: (1) unreasonable search and seizure and due process violation through excessive force and denial of medical treatment pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("§ 1983"); (2) municipal liability for unconstitutional custom or policy pursuant to § 1983; (3) battery; (4) negligence; and (5) violation of Bane Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 52.1. As previously stated, Defendants' motion seeks dismissal of only the Bane Act cause of action.

II. Legal Standard

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must be dismissed when a plaintiff's allegations fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Once it has adequately stated a claim, a plaintiff may support the allegations in its complaint with any set of facts consistent with those allegations. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1969 (2007); see Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990) (stating that a complaint should be dismissed only when it lacks a "cognizable legal theory" or sufficient facts to support a cognizable legal theory). Dismissal for failure to state a claim does not require the appearance, beyond a doubt, that the plaintiff can prove "no set of facts" in support of its claim that would entitle it to relief. Twombly, 127 S. Ct. at 1968 (abrogating Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957)).

In order for a complaint to survive a 12(b)(6) motion, it must state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009). A claim for relief is facially plausible when the plaintiff pleads enough facts, taken as true, to allow a court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged conduct. Id. at 1949. If the facts only allow a ...


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