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Halema Buzayan, An Individual; et al v. the City of Davis; et al

April 20, 2012

HALEMA BUZAYAN, AN INDIVIDUAL; ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE CITY OF DAVIS; ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

On September 29, 2008, the Court granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss all of Plaintiffs' federal and state claims against Defendant Douglas Thorn on the basis that those claims were time-barred. Mem & Order, Sept. 29, 2008, ECF No. 131 at 22-23. Plaintiffs Halema Buzayan and the Buzayan family now ask the Court to reconsider that three-year old Order. ECF No. 228.

As set forth below, Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 228) fails.*fn1

BACKGROUND

Through the present action, Plaintiffs Halema Buzayan and the Buzayan family allege that their constitutional rights were violated as a result of events stemming from hit-and-run charges levied against Ms. Buzayan as a result of an incident which allegedly occurred on June 7, 2005,in Davis, California. On July 14, 2006, Ms. Buzayan, through her father as Guardian Ad Litem, filed suit against the City of Davis Police Department and individual Police Department employees alleging seventeen causes of action. ECF No. 1. Since the filing of her initial Complaint, the parties have filed a series of law and motion matters addressing the sufficiency and validity of Plaintiffs' claims.

Specifically, on August 24, 2006, the Defendants filed a Partial Motion to Dismiss under Rules 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(7) and a Partial Motion to Strike under Rule 12(f) and California Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16. ECF No. 6. Since Ms. Buzayan had reached the age of majority prior to filing the suit, the Court granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(7), and granted Plaintiff leave to amend the complaint. ECF. No. 33.

On November 3, 2006, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint which substituted Ms. Buzayan as an individual, and added the additional members of the Buzayan family as Plaintiffs. ECF No. 36. The First Amended Complaint also added the Davis Enterprise, Debbie Davis, Lauren Keene, the City of Davis, and individuals from the Yolo County Office of the District Attorney as Defendants, and included additional causes of action. As a result of Special Motions to Strike and Partial Motions to Dismiss filed in early 2007, the media defendants (the Davis Enterprise, Debbie Davis and Lauren Keene) were dismissed along with three causes of action. ECF. No. 77.

Defendants then filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings directed to remaining claims in late 2007. ECF No. 91. In response, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Amend their Complaint on October 23, 2007. ECF No. 99. Plaintiffs received permission from the Court on December 14, 2007, to file a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"). ECF No. 114. As a result, the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings was taken off calendar.

On January 3, 2008, Plaintiffs filed the SAC. ECF No. 115. The SAC added Douglas Thorn as a defendant to claims arising under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985 and California state law and deleted four additional causes of action set forth in its predecessor. ECF No. 119. Defendants then filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' SAC. ECF No. 119. As relevant here, Defendants moved to dismiss all claims against Thorn on the grounds that those claims were time-barred.

On September 29, 2008, the Court granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' claims against Thorn on the basis that they were time-barred by a two-year statute of limitations. Specifically, the Court found that the only event identified with Thorn mentioned in the SAC, and supporting his inclusion as a Defendant, was an October 26, 2005 meeting with Plaintiffs, at which time Plaintiffs alleged that Thorn threatened to retaliate against them if they pursued their complaints against the Davis Police Department and its officers. See Mem. & Order, Sept. 28, 2009, ECF No. 131 at 22; see also Second Am. Compl., ECF No. 115, ¶¶ 92-99. In granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, the Court found that Plaintiffs' §§ 1983 and 1985 causes of action were barred by a two-year statute of limitations, and therefore, no suit against Thorn could be filed after October 26, 2007, two years following the October 26, 2005 meeting underlying his alleged liability. See Mem & Order, Sept. 29, 2008, ECF No. 131 (citing Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 268-69 (1985); McDougal v. County of Imperial, 942 F.2d 668, 673-74 (9th Cir. 1991); Calif. Code of Civ. Proc. § 335.1). Similarly, the remaining state claims pled against Thorne as the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Causes of Action, which alleged California-based privacy claims, were also governed by a two-year statute of limitations. Id. (citing Johnson v. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Inc., 43 Cal. App. 3d 880, 895-96 (1974)). Accordingly, the Court held that no suit against Thorn could be filed after October 26, 2007, two years following the October 26, 2005 meeting underlying his alleged liability.

As the SAC naming Thorn as a Defendant was not filed until January 3, 2008, the Court dismissed all claims against Thorn as time-barred.

On July 26, 2011, the Northern District of California issued an unpublished decision in Bolbol v. City of Daly City, 2011 WL 3156866 (N.D. Cal. July 26, 2011), finding that an action is commenced when a party moves to amend her complaint, not when the complaint is actually filed. On the basis of that decision, Plaintiffs have filed this Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's September 29, 2008 Order dismissing Thorn. For the following reasons, this Motion is denied.

STANDARD

Although motions to reconsider are directed to the sound discretion of the court, Frito Lay of Puerto Rico, Inc. v. Canas, 92 F.R.D. 384, 390 (D.C. Puerto Rico 1981), considerations of judicial economy weigh heavily in the process. A court should not revisit its own decisions unless extraordinary circumstances show that its prior decision was wrong. Christianson v. Colt Indus. Operating Corp., 486 U.S. 800, 816 (1988). Thus, Local Rule 230(j) requires that a party seeking reconsideration of a district court's order must brief the "new or different facts or circumstances [which] were not shown upon such prior ...


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