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Robert Garber v. Gildardo Vizcarra

September 26, 2011

ROBERT GARBER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GILDARDO VIZCARRA, AN INDIVIDUAL; ROBERT JARAMILLO, AN INDIVIDUAL; CITY OF LOS ANGELES GENERAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, CITY OF LOS ANGELES, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

NO JS-6

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND VACATING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY AND FOR SANCTIONS AS MOOT [Motions filed on July 25, 2011, and September 15, 2011]

Plaintiff Robert Garber ("Plaintiff") asserts six claims for relief against Gilardo Vizcarra ("Vizcarra"), individually and in his capacity as a police officer for the City of Los Angeles; Robert Jaramillo ("Jaramillo"), individually and in his capacity as a police officer for the City of Los Angeles; the City of Los Angeles General Services Department; and the City of Los Angeles (collectively "Defendants") for violation of Plaintiff's Constitutional rights Plaintiff brings his claims against the City of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles General Services Department pursuant to Monell v. New York Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978).

Presently before the court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment or in the Alternative Summary Adjudication of Claims. Having considered the parties' papers and the arguments therein, the court GRANTS Defendants' motion.

I. Background*fn1 On August 4, 2008, at approximately 12:00pm, Plaintiff left his trailer coach and rode his bicycle to the Reseda Post Office. (Compl. ¶ 7.) Plaintiff's trailer was parked on White Oak Avenue alongside Jesse Owens Park. (Id.) Plaintiff left his dog locked inside trailer. (Id.)

On that same day, Officer Jaramillo and Officer Vizcarra were conducting a patrol of the Jesse Owens Park. (Jaramillo Decl. ¶ 2.) At some point not long after Plaintiff's departure, the two officers walked past Plaintiff's trailer. The officer had previously observed the trailer parked at this same location, and they approached the trailer to investigate whether it was either illegally being used for human occupation or was abandoned. (Id. ¶

3.) When they reached the trailer, the officers heard Plaintiff's dog howling, and they stopped to investigate. (Id. ¶ 4; Compl. ¶ 18.) It was a hot August day, and the officers were concerned for the well-being of Plaintiff's dog. (Jaramillo Decl. ¶ 5.) The officers decided to conduct an animal cruelty investigation and called animal control. (Id.)

At approximately 12:45pm, Plaintiff returned to his trailer. (Compl. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff placed a bag inside of the trailer, shut the door, and then spoke with Officer Jamarillo and Officer Vizacarra. (Id. ¶¶ 10-12.) Vizacarra asked Plaintiff for his identification. (Id. ¶ 13.) Plaintiff searched in a pouch for his i.d. (Id.) While Plaintiff rummaged in his pouch - searching through documents and personal papers - Vizacarra became concerned that Plaintiff might have a concealed weapon. Vizacarra ordered Jaramillo to handcuff Plaintiff, and when Plaintiff complained, Vizacarra forced Plaintiff to his knees. (Id. ¶¶ 13-14.)

While Plaintiff was handcuffed, Vizacarra called Animal Control and explained that it was necessary to investigate a possible incident of animal cruelty. (Id. ¶¶ 20-21.) At approximately 1:45pm, Animal Control officer Julian (#062) of Animal Services arrived at the location. (Id. ¶ 24.) Julian inspected the trailer, checked to make sure that Plaintiff's dog had water to drink, and measured the air temperature inside the trailer. (Id.) The air temperature in the interior of the trailer was 87 degrees Fahrenheit, and Officer Julian concluded that the dog showed no sign of heat exhaustion. (Jamarillo Decl. ¶ 10.) Plaintiff was cited for failing to register his dog (Id.), and at approximately 2:20pm Plaintiff was released from the handcuffs. (Compl. ¶ 25.)

On September 24, 2008, Vizcarra and four other officers went to Jesse Owens Park and ticketed various individuals for illegally living inside their vehicles. (Compl. ¶ 30.) Plaintiff was not given a ticket. (Id.)

On November 30, 2008, Plaintiff's trailer was shot at while he was inside. (Compl. ¶ 31.) Plaintiff exited the trailer and says that he saw a dark color SUV. (Id.)

On February 16, 2009, Plaintiff's trailer was shot at again. (Compl. ¶ 34.) Plaintiff does not know who shot at the trailer, but a friend of his who was outside at the time saw an Office of Public Safety SUV at the same time as the shooting. (Id.)

Plaintiff has suffered from major depression since August 2005, and he states that he has suffered intense emotional and mental distress as a result of, among others, the August, November, and February incidents described above. In particular, Plaintiff now brings claims for violation of his civil rights, including unreasonable search and seizure; harassment; conspiracy to violate his civil ...


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