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.

Carla Sameth, An Individual v. County of Los Angeles

December 29, 2011

CARLA SAMETH, AN INDIVIDUAL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, LOS ANGELES SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, SHERIFF LEE BACA, DEPUTY SHERIFFS V. BAEZA AND YBARRA, SGT. RONALD MARQUEZ, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Otis D. Wright, II United States District Judge

O

I. INTRODUCTION

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT [54]

Currently before the Court is County of Los Angeles (the "County"), Deputy Veronica Baeza ("Baeza"), Deputy David Ybarra ("Ybarra"), and Sergeant Ronald Marquez ("Marquez" and collectively, "Defendants"), Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. (Dkt. No. 43.) After careful consideration, the Court deems the matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; L.R. 7-15. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS in part DENIES in part Defendants' Motion.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On December 28, 2009, Plaintiff Carla Sameth ("Plaintiff") alleges to have purchased a day pass for the Metro at the Del Mar station in Pasadena to attend her bankruptcy hearing in Los Angeles. Plaintiff purchased the five-dollar fare with her ATM card. She received a receipt and ticket and placed them into her soft briefcase.

After the bankruptcy proceeding, Plaintiff rode on the Metro Gold Line back home. At about 4:00pm, Deputy Ybarra conducted fare enforcement on the train and asked Plaintiff to show her ticket. Plaintiff searched for but could not find the ticket. Ybarra allowed Plaintiff to continue searching for her ticket and obtained her California identification in case he needed to give her a citation for failure to have a valid train ticket. While she continued searching in her soft briefcase, Ybarra checked the other passengers in the train car for valid tickets. Upon returning, Plaintiff produced the receipt for her ticket, but not the actual ticket. Ybarra informed her that the receipt was not a valid form of MTA train fare media and asked her to exit the train to receive a citation.

Then, Plaintiff expressed, at least, some frustration as to the situation. Ybarra told Plaintiff to comply and calm down, lest he give her an additional citation for her behavior. Plaintiff complied and exited the train with Ybarra at the Highland Park station. Ybarra radioed Deputies Anderson and Baeza, who were also conducting fare checks in a different car on the same train, to meet him on the Highland Park platform for assistance. Ybarra also requested Baeza, who is female, to conduct a pat down search for officer safety concerns.

On the platform, Plaintiff continued to search for the ticket. Soon after, Anderson and Baeza joined Ybarra. When Baeza began the pat down search, Plaintiff started feeling uncomfortable and offered some resistance, which Baeza attempted to manage. In the altercation that ensued, Plaintiff's face struck a nearby pole, causing her nose to

bleed. When the deputies observed that she was bleeding, they called for paramedics, handcuffed her, and called for a supervisor to respond to the location. Sergeant Marquez responded to the call because the deputies' actual supervisor, Sergeant Michael Burse was not readily available.

Paramedics arrived shortly, as did Marquez. As they tended to Plaintiff and loaded her into the ambulance, Marquez conducted a brief videotaped interview with her. About the time the ambulance was preparing to leave, Sergeant Burse arrived and took over the investigation from Marquez. The ambulance took Plaintiff to the emergency room at County-USC Medical Center, where she was diagnosed with a nasal fracture. At the hospital, two uninvolved deputies instructed Plaintiff to sign a citation for fare evasion and obstructing an officer. Plaintiff was released around midnight. Plaintiff found the day pass in her briefcase when she returned home.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff instituted this action alleging: (1) Deprivation of civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for excessive force, unlawful arrest and detention; (2) Monell claim against the County; (3) Violations of California Civil Code §§ 52 and 52.1; (4) Assault and Battery; and (5) Negligence. Defendants now move for partial summary judgment as to Plaintiff's § 1983 claims for unlawful arrest and detention, all claims against Marquez, punitive damages against Marquez and Ybarra, and Plaintiff's claim pursuant to California Civil Code §§ 52 an 52.1.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P.56©. Evidence the court may consider includes the pleadings, discovery and disclosure materials, and any affidavits on file. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(2).

The moving party bears the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). That burden may be met by "'showing' -- that is, pointing out to the district court -- that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Id. at 325. Once the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and identify specific facts that show a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 323-34; Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1968). Summary judgment is appropriate if a party, after adequate time for discovery, "fails to make a showing ...


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.