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Ortega v. San Diego Police Department

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

October 21, 2013

SHAKINA ORTEGA, etc., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT, etc., et al., Defendants.

ORDER ON JOINT MOTION REGARDING ORTEGA'S "PITCHESS" REQUEST TO OBTAIN DEFENDANT JONATHAN MCCARTHY'S SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL FILE [DOC. NO. 26]

JAN M. ADLER, Magistrate Judge.

The parties have filed a Joint Motion for Determination of Discovery Dispute regarding the production of internal law enforcement documents by Defendant Jonathan McCarthy ("Defendant") to Plaintiff Shakina Ortega. Doc. No. 26. Pursuant to the Court's Procedures for Obtaining Internal Law Enforcement Documents, Defendant submitted a binder of all documents listed on its "Privilege Log - Request for Production, Set One" to the Court for in camera review. The Court has now reviewed the joint motion and subject documents. Based upon the in camera review and the Court's evaluation of the parties' arguments, the Court issues the following order.

I. BACKGROUND

This action is brought under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 against the San Diego Police Department, Jonathan McCarthy, and the City of San Diego by Plaintiffs Shakina Ortega, Tamia Ortega, and Jacob Ortega, the surviving spouse and children of decedent Victor Ortega. Plaintiffs allege that on June 4, 2012, Defendant McCarthy, who responded to a 911 call made by Shakina Ortega reporting domestic violence, shot and killed Victor Ortega following a foot pursuit. Plaintiffs, who allege that Defendant McCarthy had no probable cause to justify the use of deadly force, assert claims for violation of civil rights, discrimination, assault and battery, wrongful death, and negligence.

Plaintiff Shakina Ortega ("Plaintiff") presently moves the Court for an in camera review of Defendant McCarthy's police personnel file, and for an order to produce documents pursuant to the stipulated protective order in this action (see Doc. No. 22). Joint Mot. at 2.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Disputed Discovery Requests

Plaintiff Shakina Ortega requests that the Court conduct an in camera review of Defendant McCarthy's personnel records to determine which documents are relevant to Plaintiffs' claim for damages, and specifically seeks the following documents:

1. All complaints regarding Officer McCarthy prior to June 4, 2012;
2. All reports or files that concern allegations of use of excessive force by Officer McCarthy;
3. All records of Officer McCarthy's training in the use of lethal and non-lethal force, pursuits, responding to domestic violence calls and handcuffing procedures;
4. All records of Jonathan McCarthy's training and education concerning foot pursuits and all reports of foot pursuits conducted by Officer McCarthy;
5. All reports or files concerning Officer McCarthy's use of firearms (primary and secondary);
6. All records regarding training and/or approval of Officer McCarthy's secondary weapon and holster;
7. All documents regarding Officer McCarthy's history of discipline or disciplinary actions;
8. All documents identified in Defendants' privilege log, ...

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