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Kleiman v. County of Ventura

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 19, 2013

MELODIE KLEIMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF VENTURA, a municipal corporation; VENTURA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, a public entity; GEOFF DEAN, individually and in his capacity as Sheriff of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office; HARRY LAUBACHER, individually and in his capacity as a Deputy Sheriff of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office; P. RODRIGUEZ, individually and in his capacity as a Deputy Sheriff of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office; and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants.

Alan E. Wisotsky (SBN 68051), James N. Procter II (SBN 96589), Jeffrey Held (SBN 106991), WISOTSKY, PROCTER & SHYER, Oxnard, California, Attorneys for Defendants COUNTY OF VENTURA, VENTURA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, GEOFF DEAN, HARRY LAUBACHER, and PABLO RODRIGUEZ [erroneously sued and served as P. Rodriguez].

UNCONTROVERTED FACTS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

MANUEL L. REAL, District Judge.

The Honorable Manuel L. Real, United States District Judge, having read and considered the evidence submitted in support of the defendants' summary judgment motion found at website docket entry 18, and having viewed the video submitted by the defendants as Exhibit D, website entry 20, and having considered plaintiff's papers in opposition to the motion, website docket entry 26, hereby finds the following facts to be uncontrovertedly established:

1. Sheriff Dean was not involved in plaintiff's eviction or the deputies' contact with her.

2. Ross Bonfiglio, a captain with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office assigned to the Professional Standards Unit, is knowledgeable concerning deputies' personnel files, discipline, and departmental policies.

3. There have been no complaints, no internal affairs investigations of any type of misconduct (including excessive force), and no imposition of discipline regarding defendant deputies Laubacher and Rodriguez within the last decade.

4. Other than an investigated and exonerated complaint not involving force, non-party deputy Marciano Sabio has not had any personnel complaints or discipline during the past decade.

5. At the time of the incident forming the basis of this lawsuit, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office's use of force policy was contained in General Order 07-12-12-06, 12 pages in length.

6. The Sheriff's use of force policy was identified as a "red" general order. The Sheriff's Office used a three-color system for prioritization purposes, with red signifying the most critical policies.

7. The Ventura County Sheriff's Office facilitated the distribution of the general order regarding use of force by computer availability and annual review acknowledgment.

8. Deputies employed by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office also received periodic retraining in arrest and control procedures every two years. Each of the three involved deputies had had that training relatively recently before their contact with the plaintiff.

9. The use of force policy in effect at the time of the contact with the plaintiff contained numerous limitations on the use of force in an attempt to create the least use of force necessary to bring an incident under control.

10. The declaration of police practices expert Greg Meyer refutes the allegations of paragraph 13 of the complaint alleging negligent selection and hiring, in that the Sheriff's Office is a professional law enforcement agency in compliance with the mandates of ...


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