United States District Court, Central District of California
Aaron Raiser, Plaintiff, Pro se, Woodland Hills, CA.
For Los Angeles County Sheriff, Defendant: Rina Michelle Mathevosian, Nelson and Fulton, Los Angeles, CA.
SECOND REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
RALPH ZAREFSKY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and General Order 05-07 of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, the undersigned submits this Second Report and Recommendation to the Honorable R. Gary Klausner, United States District Judge. On November 3, 2014, this matter came on for hearing on the motion by the only remaining defendant, Los Angeles County Sheriff (the County), for summary judgment. Rina M. Mathevosian of Nelson & Fulton appeared for the County. The pro se plaintiff, Aaron Raiser, did not appear.
Plaintiff describes himself as a " mobile homeless" white male who lives nomadically in his car in the greater Los Angeles area. He claims that the County has a policy or custom of improperly harassing and briefly detaining parked motorists, and that this policy underlay his being detained on several occasions, although only two occurred in the two years prior to this lawsuit. (Plaintiff also sued 25 DOE deputies, but the Court has dismissed them from the action.) But Plaintiff cites no " Monell evidence" of such a County policy or practice and only cites his prior detentions and future fears. The undersigned thus recommends granting the County's motion for summary judgment.
According to the complaint, Plaintiff was detained at his parked car on several occasions by County deputies, when similarly parked persons were not detained. Typically, a deputy asked Plaintiff for identification and an explanation for Plaintiff's presence at the location, during which time Plaintiff was not free to leave. He contends that he was never reasonably suspected of any illegal conduct, although he supplies no foundation for that allegation. Plaintiff blames these detentions on County policies or customs, including improper training. He claims that the detentions, while brief, violated his constitutional rights to equal protection and against unreasonable search and seizure.
B. County's Motion For Summary Judgment
Among other things, the County points to the absence of evidence of any policy of the sort(s) alleged. (Defendant does not point out the absence of evidence of a custom, per se, in its opening brief, although (a) Defendant does so in its Reply, and, (b) in any event, perhaps Defendant intended " policy" to include any well-entrenched but unofficial custom or practice.)
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
" The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial responsibility of showing there is no genuine issue for trial, before the nonmoving party must introduce evidence. But the moving party is not initially required to introduce evidence negating an element on which the non-moving party will bear the burden of proof at trial (although the moving party may, and often does, do so). Rather, the moving party need only point out to the Court that, on at least one such element, no evidence supports ...