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Jose Cortez, An Individual v. Leroy D. Baca

September 7, 2012

JOSE CORTEZ, AN INDIVIDUAL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LEROY D. BACA, SHERIFF OF THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT; THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION; LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF CASTLE, BADGE NO. 515174, AN INDIVIDUAL; AND LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF BRADEN, BADGE NO. 405667, AN INDIVIDUAL, DEFENDANTS.



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

O

ORDER DENYING IN PART AND GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Docket No. 34]

Presently before the court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, or in the Alternative Summary Adjudication of Issues ("Motion"). Having reviewed the parties' moving papers and heard oral argument, the court denies the Motion in part, grants the Motion in part, and adopts the following Order.

I. BACKGROUND

Defendant Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Castle ("Deputy Castle") handcuffed Plaintiff Jose Cortez ("Cortez") during a traffic stop on April 23, 2010. Defendant Deputy Sheriff Braden ("Deputy Braden") was present at the time and acting as Deputy Castle's field training officer.

Cortez filed a First Amended Complaint on April 10, 2012, alleging the following federal claims: 1) constitutional violations of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments; 2) racial discrimination, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981; and 3) use of excessive force, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Cortez also alleges state law claims for battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence.

Defendants filed this Motion on June 4, 2012, arguing that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on all of Cortez's claims.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate where "the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and all justifiable inferences are drawn in its favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).

A genuine issue exists if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party," and material facts are those "that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law." Id. at 248. No genuine issue of fact exists "[w]here the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

It is not enough for a party opposing summary judgment to "rest on mere allegations or denials of his pleadings." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 259. Instead, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings to designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. The "mere existence of a scintilla of evidence" in support of the nonmoving party's claim is insufficient to defeat summary judgment. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. But "[c]redibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge," when he or she is ruling on a motion for summary judgment. Id. at 255.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Undisputed Claims

As an initial matter, Cortez concedes that Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on his claims for constitutional violations of the First, Fifth, and Eight Amendments, and all claims against Defendant Sheriff Leroy D. Baca. The ...


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