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Maria D. Mejia; Salvador Melgoza, Maria Guadalupe Melgoza v. City of San Bernardino; Does 1-10

March 30, 2012

MARIA D. MEJIA; SALVADOR MELGOZA, MARIA GUADALUPE MELGOZA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO; DOES 1-10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Motion filed on January 9, 2012]

Before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment ("Motion") filed by Defendants City of San Bernardino ("the City"), Officer Brad Grantz, Officer Kenneth Edwards, Officer Troy Forsythe, Officer Christopher Emon, Officer Carlos Gutierrez, Sergeant Dave Dillon, Sergeant Ray Rocha, Sergeant Stephen Lyter, and Chief Keith Kilmer (collectively, "Defendants").*fn1 After considering the papers in support of, and opposition to, the Motion, and the arguments advanced at the March 5, 2012, hearing, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiffs Maria D. Mejia, Salvador Melgoza, and Maria Guadalupe Melgoza (collectively, "Plaintiffs") filed their Complaint in this Court on March 16, 2011. (Doc. No. 1.) On August 26, 2011, Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint ("FAC"), asserting the following eleven claims arising out of the fatal shooting of Fernando Melgoza ("Decedent"):

1. Unreasonable Search and Seizure -- Detention under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Officer Defendants;

2. Unreasonable Search and Seizure -- Excessive Force and Denial of Medical Care under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Officer Defendants;

3. Interference with Familial Relationship under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Officer Defendants;

4. Conspiracy to Violate Civil Rights under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985 against the Officer Defendants;

5. Due Process -- Conspiracy to Cover Up under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985 against the Officer Defendants and Kilmer;

6. Municipal and Supervisory Liability for Unconstitutional Custom, Practice, or Policy, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants City and Kilmer;

7. False Arrest / False Imprisonment against the Officer Defendants and the City

8. Battery against the Officer Defendants and City;

9. Negligence against all Defendants

10. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress ("IIED") against the Officer Defendants and City; and

11. Violation of Bane Act, California Civil Code §

52.1 against the Officer Defendants and City.

On January 9, 2012, Defendants filed this Motion, (Doc. No. 37), and the following documents in support:

1. Statement of Undisputed Facts and Conclusions of Law ("SUF");

2. Declaration of Brandi Harper ("Harper Decl."), and attached exhibits;

3. Declaration of Officer Christopher Emon ("Emon Decl.");

4. Declaration of Officer Brad Grantz ("Grantz Decl.");

5. Declaration of Officer Troy Forsythe ("Forsythe Decl.");

6. Declaration of Officer Kenneth Edwards ("Edwards Decl.");

7. Declaration of Officer Carlos Gutierrez ("Gutierrez Decl.");

8. Declaration of Sergeant Stephen Lyter ("Lyter Decl.");

9. Declaration of Chief Keith Kilmer ("Kilmer Decl");

10. Declaration of Sergeant Ray Rocha ("Rocha Decl."); and

11. Declaration of Sergeant Dave Dillon ("Dillon Decl.").

(Doc. Nos. 38 -- 49.)

On February 5, 2012, Plaintiffs filed their Opposition. (Doc. No. 55.) In support of their Opposition, Plaintiffs also filed a statement of genuine issues and the Declaration of Marjorie Barrios with the exhibits attached thereto. (Doc. Nos. 57, 58.) After the Court notified Plaintiffs' counsel of errors in the statement of genuine issues, Plaintiffs filed a corrected Statement of Genuine Issues ("SGI") on February 16, 2012, a supporting Declaration of Marjorie Barrios ("Barrios Declaration"), and exhibits attached to the Barrios Declaration. (Doc. Nos. 78, 79.)

On February 13, 2012, Defendants filed their Reply. (Doc. No. 61.) On February 22, 2012, Defendants filed their Response to Plaintiffs' SGI ("SGIR"), and another Declaration of Brandi Harper ("Harper Declaration II") with additional exhibits. (Doc. Nos. 71, 72.)

The Court notes that both Plaintiffs' Opposition and Defendants' Motion failed to comply with the Court's Local Rules. Specifically, Defendants' Motion totaled 32 pages, in violation of Local Rule 11-6, which limits briefs to 25 pages. Moreover, all of Defendants' declarations are improper, as they are each signed "under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California . . . ." (See Harper Decl. at 3; Emon Decl. at 4; Grantz Decl. at 5; Forsythe Decl. at 5; Edwards Decl. at 4; Gutierrez Decl. at 3; Lyter Decl. at 3; Kilmer Decl. at 8.) Under 28 U.S.C. § 1746, these attestations are improper. See 28 U.S.C. § 1746(2). Nevertheless, as Plaintiffs have not objected to the declarations on this basis, the Court has considered them.

Similarly, the small font size in Plaintiffs' Opposition violates Local Rule 11-3.5. And, as the Opposition is 25 pages in the improper font size, the Opposition actually exceeds 25 pages, in violation of Local Rule 11-6. Additionally, Plaintiffs did not mark the deposition transcript excerpts in violation of Local Rule 32-1, nor did Plaintiffs number the pages sequentially, in violation of Local Rule 11-5.2.

The parties are cautioned that future documents filed with the Court must comply with all of the Central District's Local Rules; if they do not, the Court may strike the noncompliant documents.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

A. Uncontroverted Facts

Both sides cite facts that are not relevant to resolution of the Motion. To the extent certain facts are not mentioned in this Order, the Court has not relied on them in reaching its decision. Additionally, certain of the parties' proposed facts are not supported adequately by the cited evidence; as to those proposed facts, the Court has considered and relied on the underlying evidence and found facts supported by that evidence, to the extent the evidence itself was admissible. The Court finds the following material facts are supported adequately by admissible evidence and ...


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