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Turner v. County of Los Angeles

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

December 2, 2013

NANCY TURNER
v.
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, ET AL

Proceedings: DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (Docket #35, filed October 25, 2013)

CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Nancy Turner filed this action in this Court on June 17, 2013, against the County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy David Baca, Robert Keffer, Timothy Crise, Shaun Kennedy, Kelly Marchello, Jason Bates, Sergio Mancilla, Matt Dendo, Richard Conley, and Mario Jimenez.[1] The complaint alleged ten claims, including tort claims as well as claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 42 U.S.C. § 1985. By order dated September 16, 2013, the Court granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion to dismiss. Dkt. #31. Specifically, the Court denied defendants' motion with regard to plaintiff's claims for assault, battery, false imprisonment, and conspiracy against defendants Keffer, Crise, Kennedy, and Marchello. Dkt. #31 at 12-13. The Court also denied defendants' motion with regard to plaintiff's claims for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress against defendant Marchello. Id . The Court otherwise granted defendants' motion. Id.

Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint ("FAC") on October 8, 2013. Dkt. #34. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the FAC on October 25, 2013. Dkt. #35. Plaintiff filed an opposition on November 15, 2013, dkt. #36, and defendants replied on November 18, 2013, dkt. #37.[2] The Court held a hearing on December 2, 2013. After considering the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes as follows.

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff alleges that she is a resident of Los Angeles County. FAC ¶ 4. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Los Angeles County is a government entity. Id . ¶ 5. Plaintiff alleges that individual defendants Keffer, Crise, Kennedy, Marchello, Bates, Mancilla, Dendo, Conley, and Jimenez are Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies. Id . ¶¶ 8-16, 32.

Plaintiff alleges the following. Defendants Keffer, Crise, Kennedy, and Marchello responded to a report of a domestic violence disturbance at plaintiff's apartment complex on April 2, 2012. Id . ¶ 23. Defendants Keffer and Crise arrived at plaintiff's apartment door and asked to enter the apartment. Id . ¶ 25.[3] Plaintiff alleges that she had just gotten out of the shower and was wearing only a towel, and that she allowed Keffer and Crise to enter the apartment. Id . ¶¶ 25-26. According to plaintiff, Keffer testified that he did not observe any violations of the law when he entered the apartment. Id . ¶ 27. Plaintiff further alleges that Keffer contacted an individual named Frank Edmonds, who was seated on the couch in plaintiff's apartment. Id . ¶¶ 28-29. Plaintiff alleges that Keffer asked Edmonds to step outside to talk. Id . ¶ 29. According to plaintiff, Edmonds refused to step outside, and Keffer responded by approaching Edmonds and grabbing his wrist to handcuff him. Id . ¶ 30. Plaintiff alleges that she did not interfere with Keffer, Crise, Kennedy, or Marchello in the performance of their duties.

Plaintiff further alleges that defendants Keffer, Crise, and Kennedy instructed defendant Marchello to remove plaintiff from the apartment, and that Keffer, Crise, Kennedy, and Marchello frightened plaintiff by using violent and threatening language towards her. Id . ¶¶ 32-33. Plaintiff alleges that Marchello pushed plaintiff outside of the apartment onto the apartment complex's public balcony even though plaintiff's towel had fallen off. Id . ¶ 34. Plaintiff next alleges that defendants Keffer, Crise, Kennedy, and Marchello did not allow her to obtain an item of clothing with which to cover herself, and that she was "paraded, handcuffed and naked, in front of neighbors and strangers, " and confined to the back seat of a patrol car. Id . ¶ 35. Plaintiff alleges that no charges have ever been filed against her in relation to this incident, and that no police records exist that describe or explain the conduct of Keffer, Crise, Kennedy, and Marchello towards her. Id . ¶ 37.

Based on this incident, plaintiff asserts the following claims against Keffer, Crise, Kennedy, and Marchello: assault, battery, invasion of privacy, false imprisonment, and infliction of emotional distress. Id . ¶¶ 38-61. Plaintiff also asserts a claim for "inadequate supervision and/or training" against Los Angeles County, Baca, Bates, Mancilla, Dendo, Conley, and Jimenez. Id . ¶¶ 62-67. Finally, plaintiff asserts a claim for conspiracy against all defendants. Id . ¶¶ 68-73.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

A Rule 12(b)(6) motion tests the legal sufficiency of the claims asserted in a complaint. "While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitlement to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "[F]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id.

In considering a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court must accept as true all material allegations in the complaint, as well as all reasonable inferences to be drawn from them. Pareto v. F.D.I.C. , 139 F.3d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1998). The complaint must be read in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors , 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001); Parks Sch. of Bus., Inc. v. Symington , 51 F.3d 1480, 1484 (9th Cir. 1995). However, "[i]n keeping with these principles a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009); Moss v. United States Secret Serv. , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009) ("[F]or a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the non-conclusory factual content, ' and reasonable inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief.") (citing Twombly and Iqbal); Sprewell , 266 F.3d at 988; W. Mining Council v. Watt , 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981). Ultimately, "[d]etermining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will... be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. at 1950.

Furthermore, unless a court converts a Rule 12(b)(6) motion into a motion for summary judgment, a court cannot consider material outside of the complaint (e.g., facts presented in briefs, affidavits, or discovery materials). In re American Cont'l Corp./Lincoln Sav. & Loan Sec. Litig. , 102 F.3d 1524, 1537 (9th Cir. 1996), rev'd on other grounds sub nom Lexecon, Inc. v. Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach , 523 U.S. 26 (1998). A court may, however, consider exhibits submitted with or alleged in the complaint and matters that may be judicially noticed pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 201. In re Silicon Graphics Inc. Sec. Litig. , 183 F.3d 970, 986 (9th Cir. 1999); Lee v. City of Los Angeles , 250 F.3d 668, 689 (9th Cir. 2001).

For all of these reasons, it is only under extraordinary circumstances that dismissal is proper under Rule 12(b)(6). United States v. City of Redwood ...


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