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Title: Mong Kim Tran v. City of Garden Grove et al.

February 7, 2012

TITLE: MONG KIM TRAN
v.
CITY OF GARDEN GROVE 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): GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants City of Garden Grove ("Garden Grove"), Garden Grove Police Department ("GGPD") and Charles Starnes ("Starnes") (collectively, "Defendants") in the above-captioned case ("Motion to Dismiss") (Docket 14). The Court finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed.R.Civ. P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. After considering the moving, opposing, and replying papers, the Court hereby GRANTS the Motion to

I. BACKGROUND

On or about October 28, 2009, Plaintiff Mong Kim Tran, a 79 year old man of Vietnamese descent, ("Plaintiff") was allegedly driving approximately 35 miles per hour when he was pulled over by Starnes, a white police officer, while driving on Garden Grove Boulevard. First Amended Complaint ("FAC"), ¶ 17. Plaintiff stopped his vehicle and allegedly exited his vehicle after Starnes ordered him to do so. Id. at ¶ 19. Starnes allegedly questioned Plaintiff in a very aggressive and rude manner, accusing him of speeding. Id. Plaintiff avers that, after Plaintiff refused to sign the speeding ticket, Starnes then forcefully struck Plaintiff in the face without cause or provocation, causing Plaintiff to fall to the sidewalk. Id. Starnes allegedly struck Plaintiff in his arms and feet and handcuffed Plaintiff, causing him to fall unconscious, bleed, and suffer substantial pain. Id. Plaintiff avers that he was transported to Garden Grove Hospital for emergency treatment of his injuries. Id.

Plaintiff was the subject of misdemeanor criminal proceedings stemming from this encounter. Plaintiff ultimately pled guilty to the charge of resisting a peace officer, in violation of California Penal Code ¶148(a)(1). Motion to Dismiss, 2. Plaintiff alleges that Starnes' report accusing Plaintiff of assault and battery was completely fabricated. FAC, ¶ 19.

Plaintiff is now filing the present civil action based on the alleged events of October 28, 2009. Plaintiff's original Complaint was dismissed by this Court on November 14, 2011 ("First MTD Order") but Plaintiff was given leave to amend. Plaintiff filed his FAC on December 9, 2011, alleging 6 counts: (1) "As and for first cause of action against the individual defendants for unlawful stop, detention, and interrogation of Plaintiff in violation of state common law and dederally [sic] protective [sic] rights"; (2) "As and for a second cause of action against Defendants for inadequate training, supervision, and discipline"; (3) "As and for a third cause of action against Defendants for intentional infliction of emotional distress"; (4) "As and for a fourth cause of action against Defendants for assault (common law)"; (5) "As and for a fifth cause of action against Defendants for battery (common law)"; (6) "And as for a sixth cause of action against Defendants for negligence (common law)." Defendants seek to dismiss each of Plaintiff's claims.

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. 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. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1968 (2007) (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 court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is possibly liable, then the complaint must be dismissed. Id. Mere legal conclusions are not to be accepted as true and do not establish a plausible claim for relief.

Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will be a context-specific task requiring the court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id.

In evaluating a 12(b)(6) motion, review is "limited to the contents of the complaint." Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754 (9th Cir. 1994). However, exhibits attached to the complaint, as well as matters of public record, may be considered in determining whether dismissal was proper without converting the motion to one for summary judgment. See Parks School of Business, Inc. , 51 F.3d 1480, 1484 (9th Cir. 1995); Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir. 1986). Further, a court may consider documents "on which the complaint 'necessarily relies' if: (1) the complaint refers to the document; (2) the document is central to the plaintiff's claim; and (3) no party questions the authenticity of the copy attached to the 12(b)(6) Marder v. Lopez, 450 F.3d 445, 448 (9th Cir. 2006). "The Court may treat such a document as 'part of the complaint, and thus may assume that its contents are true for purposes of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)." Id.

Dismissal without leave to amend is appropriate only when the Court is satisfied that the deficiencies in the complaint could not possibly be cured by amendment. Jackson v. Carey, 353 F.3d 750, 758 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Chang v. Chen, 80 F.3d 1293, 1296 ...


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