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Chaoui v. City of Glendora

United States District Court, C.D. California

January 20, 2015

KHALIL M. CHAOUI, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF GLENDORA, et al., Defendants

Khalil M. Chaoui, an Enrolled Tribal Member, Yamassee Muscogee Tribe, Treaty of Camp Holmes, 24th August, 1835 (7 Stat. 474), Plaintiff, Pro se, Glendora, CA.

For City of Glendora, in its corporate capacity, Joseph A. Santoro, in his capacity as Mayor of the City of Glendora, Karen K. Davis, in her capacity as Council Member for Council of the City of Glendora, Douglas F. Tessitor, in his capacity as Council Member for Council of the City of Glendora, Gene Murabito, in his capacity as Council Member for Council of the City of Glendora, Chris Jeffers, in his capacity as City Manager of the City of Glendora, City of Glendora Police Department, in its corporate capacity, Robert M. Castro, in his capacity as Chief of Police of the City of Glendora, Nancy Miranda, in her personal, Corporal Nancy Miranda, Badge Number 3599, Police Officer, official capacity, Jonathan Drake, in his personal, Officer Jonathan Drake, Badge Number 4308, Police Officer, official capacity, Judy M. Nelson, in her capacity as Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Glendora, Defendants: D Wayne Leech, LEAD ATTORNEY, Leech and Associates, El Monte, CA.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

CHARLES F. EICK, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

This Report and Recommendation is submitted to the Honorable Cormac J. Carney, United States District Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 636 and General Order 05-07 of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

PROCEEDINGS

Plaintiff filed this pro se civil rights action on December 23, 2013. Plaintiff's claims arise out of a September 15, 2013 incident in which, following a traffic collision, Plaintiff was arrested and cited for failing to have a valid California driver's license in his possession. The Complaint alleges that an " International Driver Permit, " purportedly issued by an alleged Native American tribe, assertedly allows Plaintiff to drive in California without a valid California driver's license. The Complaint names as Defendants: (1) the City of Glendora; (2) City of Glendora Mayor Joseph A. Santoro; (3) City of Glendora Mayor Pro Tem Judy M. Nelson; (4) City of Glendora Council Members Karen K. Davis, Douglas F. Tessitor and Gene Murabito; (5) City of Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers; (6) the City of Glendora Police Department; (7) City of Glendora Chief of Police Robert M. Castro; and (8) two City of Glendora police officers, Nancy Miranda and Jonathan Drake. Plaintiff sues the Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem, Council Members, City Manager and Chief of Police in their official capacities, and sues Defendants Miranda and Drake in their official and personal capacities.

On January 21, 2014, the City, the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem, the City Council Members, the City Manager and the Glendora Police Department filed an Answer.[1]

On January 28, 2014, Plaintiff filed a three-page " Petition and Motion for Summary Judgement [sic], " unsupported by any evidence. Because Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment violated Local Rules, the Court denied the motion without prejudice on January 31, 2014.

On February 25, 2014, Defendants Miranda and Drake filed an Answer.

On June 25, 2014, Plaintiff filed " Plaintiff's Affidavit for Motion to Obviate Need for Depositions and Interrogatories and Move to Trial." On June 30, 2014, the Court denied this motion without prejudice for failure to comply with Local Rule 37.

On July 17, 2014, Plaintiff filed a " Motion De Novo with Emergence of New Facts, " inter alia seeking again " to obviate the need for depositions." On July 21, 2014, the Court denied this motion without prejudice for failure to comply with Local Rule 37-1 et seq. The Court added that, to the extent this motion might seek summary judgment, Plaintiff should heed the Court's January 31, 2014 order denying Plaintiff's previous motion for summary judgment without prejudice.

On July 24, 2014, the appearing Defendants filed a " Motion for an Order Dismissing the Action as a Sanction, or in the Alternative, an Order Compelling Plaintiff Khalil M. Chaoui to Appear and Testify and Produce Documents at Deposition and for Monetary Sanctions, etc." (" Motion for Sanctions").

Commencing in August, 2014, the Court received several documents purporting to be " orders to show cause" supposedly issued by the " Supreme Court of the Yamassee Tribe" (see ECF Docket Nos. 21, 23, 24). The Court rejected these documents for filing on the ground that the documents appeared to be signed by a person who was not a party to the case. On September 10, 2014, the Court received a purported " Judgment & Order" supposedly issued by the " Supreme Court of the Yamassee Tribe" (see ECF Docket No. 26). The Court rejected this document for filing on the ground that the document appeared to be signed by a person who was not a party to the case.

On September 24, 2014, the Court issued an order compelling Plaintiff to appear for deposition and to pay monetary sanctions, but otherwise denying Defendants' Motion for Sanctions. The Court has not received any indication whether Plaintiff complied with the September 24, 2014 Order, other than perhaps the negative implication contained in Plaintiff's " Motion to Discourage a Federal Court from Scatological Inclinations, " filed October 16, 2014. Therein, Plaintiff said he considered the Court's orders to be " inconsequential and impotent" and he " refuses to heed anything this federal court chooses to say. . . ." The October 16 motion also appeared to seek return of the filing fee. The Court denied this motion on October 24, 2014. On November 3, 2014, the Court received a " Request for Examination of Report filed by a Judicial Officer or Judicial Employee, " which the Court rejected for filing on November 4, 2014, on the ground that the requesting individual was not a party to the case.

On November 21, 2014, the appearing Defendants (" Defendants") filed a Motion for Summary Judgment.

On January 2, 2015, Plaintiff filed a document appearing to be another copy of the " Judgment & Order" supposedly issued by the " Supreme Court of the Yamassee Tribe" (see ECF Docket No. 26). The document purports to constitute a " Judgment" in the sum of thirty million dollars against Defendants (and perhaps also against the District Judge and Magistrate Judge assigned to this case). Attached to this document is a yellow post-it note stating in full:

December 20th 2014

This is in Response to your Motion Filed and Dated as of November 21st 2014 - All I can say! Shame on you, Judges and Police Counsils [sic] you deserve what you are getting. The People are never wrong - Bunch of Crooks and Pathological Liars!

Apart from this note, Plaintiff has not filed any response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

GOVERNING LEGAL STANDARDS

Summary judgment is appropriate if the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, demonstrates that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The party moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden of offering proof of the absence of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). Once the moving party's burden is met, the party opposing the motion is required to go beyond the pleadings and, by the party's own affidavits or by other evidence, designate " specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Miller v. Glenn Miller Productions, Inc., 454 F.3d 975, 987 (9th Cir. 2006). The party opposing the motion must submit evidence sufficient to establish the elements that are essential to that party's case, and for which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. at 322.

The Court must " view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw reasonable inferences in favor of that party." Scheuring v. Traylor Bros., Inc., 476 F.3d 781, 784 (9th Cir. 2007). Where different ultimate inferences reasonably can be drawn, summary judgment is inappropriate. Miller v. Glenn Miller Productions, Inc., 454 F.3d at 988. " At the summary judgment stage, the court does not make credibility determinations or weigh conflicting evidence." Porter v. California Dep't of Corrections, 419 F.3d 885, 891 (9th Cir. 2005) (citation omitted).

A factual dispute is " genuine" only if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis upon which a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). A factual dispute is " material" only if it might affect the outcome of the lawsuit under governing law. Id.

Summary judgment may not be granted simply on the ground that the nonmoving party has failed to file an opposition. See Martinez v. Stanford, 323 F.3d 1178, 1182-83 (9th Cir. 2003); Marshall v. Gates, 44 F.3d 722, 725 (9th Cir. 1995); Henry v. Gill Industries, Inc., 983 F.2d 943, 950 (9th Cir. 1993). To obtain summary judgment in the absence of opposition, the moving party still must " affirmatively show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, " and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Martinez v. Stanford, 323 F.3d at 1183; Henry v. Gill Industries, Inc., 983 F.2d at 950.

SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

In his unverified Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he is " an Enrolled Tribal Member of the Yamassee Muscogee Tribe, a Treaty Tribe contemplated under the Treaty of Camp Holmes, 24th August, 1835 (7 Stat. 474" (Complaint, p. 4; original emphasis). The Complaint contains arguments but few factual allegations. In an attached " Affidavit, " however, Plaintiff alleges that, on September 15, 2013, Plaintiff's vehicle collided with another vehicle while Plaintiff was driving in the City of Glendora (" Affidavit, " Ex. 1 to Complaint (" Plaintiff's Affidavit"), p. 1). Defendant Miranda allegedly pulled up in a police car, exited the car and asked to see Plaintiff's California driver's license and insurance papers (id.). Plaintiff allegedly gave Miranda insurance documents and an " International Driver License" purportedly issued pursuant to the " 1968 Convention on Road Traffic" (id, pp. 1-2; Complaint, p. 7). Miranda assertedly called for backup (id.). A " police team" allegedly appeared ( id. ). An unnamed officer allegedly planned to " jump" Plaintiff, assertedly at " the first signal" from Miranda ( id. ). Miranda allegedly again asked for Plaintiff's California driver's license, and Plaintiff again assertedly responded that he traveled with his alleged International Driver's License ( id. ). Miranda allegedly began to ask Plaintiff questions but Plaintiff assertedly replied that he would answer only in the presence of his attorney ( id., p. 2).

Miranda " very nicely" asked Plaintiff to turn and face the vehicle ( id. ). An unidentified officer allegedly grabbed Plaintiff's left arm and twisted it behind Plaintiff's back ( id. ). Plaintiff assertedly resisted this officer from grabbing Plaintiff's right arm, at which point the officer allegedly forced his elbow into Plaintiff's throat (id.). Although Plaintiff allegedly told the officer repeatedly that Plaintiff assertedly was not resisting arrest, the officer purportedly continued to hurt Plaintiff and allegedly tried to kick Plaintiff's legs to cause Plaintiff to fall (id.). The officer allegedly handcuffed Plaintiff and assertedly kicked Plaintiff's legs (id.). Miranda allegedly said Plaintiff was under arrest (id.).

Plaintiff alleges that, after approximately ten minutes, the officers pushed Plaintiff into the back seat of the patrol car, which assertedly was not equipped for human passengers (id.). Plaintiff allegedly was in great pain from the handcuffs and unable to hold onto anything because there assertedly was no back seat (id.).

At the police station, officers allegedly pulled Plaintiff from the car and put Plaintiff in a " solitary cell, " assertedly without his belongings, and Plaintiff reportedly sat on the bare floor (id.). Miranda allegedly entered with a copy of Plaintiff's old California driver's license (id., pp. 2-3). Miranda allegedly said that, because she had found Plaintiff's California driver's license online, she would be able to write Plaintiff a ticket (id., p. 3). Miranda allegedly left and then returned with a violation ticket for driving without a license, which she assertedly said Plaintiff had to sign (id., pp. 3-4). Another officer allegedly told Plaintiff that if Plaintiff did not sign the ticket Plaintiff would remain in custody (id., p. 3). Plaintiff allegedly refused to sign the ticket (id.). Approximately fifteen minutes later, an officer allegedly took Plaintiff to a room where Plaintiff assertedly spoke with a " guest" (id.).[2] Plaintiff allegedly heeded the advice of the " guest" to sign the ticket and was released (id.). Plaintiff allegedly was required to pay approximately $250 to release his vehicle from the tow yard (id.). Plaintiff allegedly suffered harm to Plaintiff's arm and shoulders (id., p. 12).[3]

Plaintiff alleges claims for unlawful arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment, excessive force, and violation of Plaintiff's alleged Ninth Amendment right to travel and " right to a livelihood" (see id., pp. 1, 3-5, 8-9, 12). Plaintiff also appears to allege that the ticket was an unconstitutional bill of attainder (id., pp. 1, 14). Plaintiff seeks damages in the sum of $5 million, an order requiring Defendants to " honor International Driver Permits in place of California Driver Licenses, " and an order setting aside an " expected" motion to dismiss (id., p. 15).

SUMMARY OF DEFENDANTS' EVIDENCE

Defendants rely on the declaration of Defendant Corporal Nancy Miranda, the declaration of Glendora Police Chief Timothy Staab, and numerous requests for admissions to which Plaintiff failed to respond.

Declaration of Corporal Nancy Miranda

In her declaration, Defendant Miranda alleges the following:

Miranda responded to the scene of an " automobile versus automobile" accident on September 15, 2013 (Declaration of Corporal Nancy Miranda filed in support of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, ¶ 3 [" Miranda Dec." ]). Her investigation led her to conclude that Plaintiff had been driving a vehicle which had " rear-ended" another vehicle (id.). As part of the investigation, Miranda asked Plaintiff to provide his driver's license (id., ¶ 4). Plaintiff provided a card which stated " International Translation of Driver's License" and bore the name Khalil Mikel Shawi (id.). Plaintiff told Miranda that Plaintiff did not have a California driver's license, but only had an " international license" (id.). Miranda told Plaintiff the " International Translation of Driver's License" was not a valid driver's license and that she would have to take Plaintiff to the police station to make a positive identification of Plaintiff (id., ¶ 5).
Miranda told Plaintiff to put his hands behind his back (id., ¶ 6). Plaintiff immediately made two fists and clenched them against his chest in a combative manner (id.). Defendant Drake grabbed Plaintiff's left hand and tried to place Plaintiff in an arm hold (id.). Plaintiff tried to pull away, actively resisting attempts to handcuff him (id.). Miranda grabbed Plaintiff's right hand and told Plaintiff to put his hands behind his back (id.). Plaintiff said he wanted to sit down (id.). Miranda said she did not want Plaintiff to sit down and commanded Plaintiff three more times to put his hands behind his back (id.). Plaintiff eventually complied and was handcuffed, with Defendant Drake's assistance (id.).
Officers transported Plaintiff to the Glendora police station in order to make a positive identification and to book Plaintiff (id., ¶ 7). A jailer found an automobile club card in Plaintiff's wallet, ran the name on the card through the database of the California Department of Motor Vehicles and determined that Plaintiff had been issued a California driver's license bearing the name Khalil Michel Chaoui (id.). Miranda concluded that the photograph on the driver's license was that of Plaintiff (id.). Because officers confirmed Plaintiff's identification and found the driver's license prior to booking Plaintiff, the police did not book Plaintiff (id.).
Miranda issued Plaintiff a citation, or " notice to appear, " for violations of: (1) California Vehicle Code section 12951(a), for failing to have a valid driver's license in his possession, and (2) California Vehicle Code section 12951(b), for not presenting a valid driver's license to a police officer when demanded (id., ¶ 8; see Complaint, Ex. 3).[4] The police released Plaintiff without further incident (id.).
At no time did Miranda punch, strike or hit Plaintiff, or use excessive force against Plaintiff (id., ¶ 9). At no time did Defendant Drake punch, strike or hit Plaintiff, or use excessive force against Plaintiff (id.). Neither Plaintiff's arms nor shoulders were violently shaken or hurt during the handcuffing process (id.). Plaintiff did not complain of any pain or injury from the beginning of Miranda's interaction with Plaintiff to the time of Plaintiff's release from the police station (id.).

Miranda's declaration references an Exhibit consisting of a copy of a card bearing the words " The Washitaw Empire, " the title " Identification/Traveler's Permit, " a photograph and the name " Kahlil Mikel Shawi, " which Miranda states is a true and correct copy of the " International Translation of Driver's License" document Plaintiff allegedly presented to Miranda at the time of the incident (id., ¶ 12, Ex. A).

Declaration of Glendora Police Chief Timothy Staab

In his declaration, Police Chief Staab alleges, among other things, that neither the City of Glendora nor the Glendora Police Department have ever had, or have, any policy, practice or custom permitting or ratifying the alleged violation of the Fourth or Fourteenth Amendments or any constitutional or statutory right (Declaration of Chief Timothy Staab filed in support of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, ¶ 4). Staab further alleges that he did not personally acquiesce in any constitutional deprivation and has never condoned, ratified, encouraged or tolerated any violation of any constitutional or statutory right of any person by any officer of the Glendora Police Department or any other law enforcement agency (id., ¶ 10).

Deemed Admissions

Defendants also rely on numerous requests for admissions to which Plaintiff failed to respond (see Declaration of D. Wayne Leech filed in support of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (" Leech Dec."), Exs. B, C). The record reflects that: (1) on or about July 9, 2014, Defendant City of Glendora served requests for admissions on Plaintiff (" Glendora Requests"), but Plaintiff never served any responses to the requests and never attempted to respond to the requests; and (2) on or about July 11, 2014, Defendants Santoro, Nelson, Tessitor, Davis, Murabito and Jeffers served requests for admissions on Plaintiff (" City Defendants' Requests"), but Plaintiff never served any responses to the requests and never attempted to respond to the requests (see Leech Dec., ¶ 3). By operation of law, all of the requests are deemed admitted, and the matters contained therein are " conclusively established" for purposes of this Motion. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(3), (b). Although in some instances a court may consider factual allegations contained in a verified pleading or other document on summary judgment, see Lopez v. Country Ins. & Fin. Servs., 252 Fed.App'x 142, 144 n.2 (9th Cir. 2007), " [e]vidence inconsistent with a Rule 36 admission is properly excluded." 999 v. C.I.T. Corp., 776 F.2d 866, 869-70 (9th Cir. 1985) (citations omitted). Therefore, in ruling on the present motion, the Court will not consider any factual allegations which conflict with Plaintiff's deemed admissions.

For purposes of the Motion, Plaintiff's deemed admissions conclusively establish the following:

On the date of the subject incident, Plaintiff was a resident of the State of California (City Defendants' Request No. 22; Glendora Request No. 22). Plaintiff was involved in a vehicle accident with another vehicle immediately before the subject incident (City Defendants' Request No. 21; Glendora Request No. 21). At the time of the subject incident, Plaintiff did not have a valid drivers license in his possession (Glendora Request No. 1).
On the date of the subject incident, Plaintiff presented a card to Officer Miranda that stated at the top " International Translation of Driver's License" with the name Kahlil Mikel Shawi on the card (City Defendant's Request No. 23; Glendora Request No. 23). Plaintiff's name is not Kahlil Mikel Shawi (City Defendants' Request No. 24; Glendora Request No. 24). The card was not recognized in the State of California as a valid driver's license (City Defendants' Request No. 25; Glendora Request No. 25). Plaintiff did not produce a valid license to Defendants (Glendora Request No. 2). At the time, Plaintiff did not have in his possession a valid driver's license that was issued by a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) of which Plaintiff was a resident (City Defendants' Request No. 26; Glendora Request No. 26).
The police officers involved in the subject incident were investigating a possible crime at the time of the subject incident (City Defendants' Request No. 14). Plaintiff was asked to present a valid driver's license to Defendant Miranda (Glendora Requests No. 4). Miranda advised Plaintiff that the international license that Plaintiff presented was not a valid driver's license and that she had to take Plaintiff to the Glendora police station to make a positive identification of Plaintiff because did not have a driver's license or valid form of identification in his possession (City Defendants' Request No. 30; Glendora Request No. 30).
Defendants Miranda and Drake attempted to detain Plaintiff because Plaintiff had been involved in a traffic collision and had failed to present a valid driver's license to the officers (City Defendants' Request No. 15; see Glendora Request No. 15). The Defendants involved in the incident had a reasonable suspicion of Plaintiff's involvement in criminal activity (Glendora Request No. 13). Officer Miranda advised Plaintiff to put his hands behind his back, but Plaintiff refused to comply (City Defendants' Requests Nos. 31, 32; Glendora Requests Nos. 31, 32). Instead, Plaintiff made two fists and clenched them against his chest (City Defendants' Request No. 33; Glendora Request No. 33). Plaintiff pulled away from Officer Drake and was actively resisting arrest (City Defendants' Requests Nos. 17, 34; Glendora Requests Nos. 17, 34). Defendants did not use excessive force on Plaintiff (Glendora Request No. 3).
Plaintiff violated California Vehicle Code section 12951(a) by failing to have a valid driver's license in his possession while he was driving his vehicle immediately before the subject incident (City Defendants' Request No. 19; Glendora Request No. 19). Plaintiff violated California Vehicle Code section 12951(b) by failing to present a valid driver's license to Officer Miranda at the time of the subject incident (City Defendants' Request No. 20; Glendora Request No. 20). The actions of the Defendants involved in the subject incident were reasonable at the time in light of the dangers and circumstances which existed at the time of the subject incident (City Defendants' Request No. 18; Glendora Request No. 18).
The City Defendants had no involvement in the subject incident and did not cause Plaintiff any injury (City Defendants' Requests Nos. 1, 2). The City Defendants are not liable to Plaintiff on any of the claims alleged in the Complaint (City Defendants' Request No. 5). The actions of the City Defendants in connection with the subject incident were reasonable (City Defendants' Request No. 6).

DISCUSSION

I. Plaintiff's Claim of Alleged Unlawful Arrest

It is undisputed that Officer Miranda arrested Plaintiff for failing to possess a valid California driver's license. Plaintiff contends that the " International Driver's Permit" he concededly presented to Defendant Miranda purportedly constituted a valid driver's license. Plaintiff alleges that " [a]s an Enrolled Tribal Member of the Yamassee Muscogee Tribe, " Plaintiff supposedly had the " right to choose not to contract with the State of California or the Republic of California when he decided to apply for and obtain an International Driver Permit" (Complaint, p. 7).

The California Vehicle Code defines " driver's license" as " a valid license to drive the type of motor vehicle or combination of vehicles for which a person is licensed under this code or by a foreign jurisdiction." Cal. Vehicle Code § 310. A " foreign jurisdiction" is " any other state, the District of Columbia, territories or possessions of the United States, and foreign states, provinces or countries." Cal. Vehicle Code § 325.

Under California Vehicle Code section 12500(a), a person generally " may not drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the person then holds a valid driver's license issued under this code, except those persons who are expressly exempted under this code." California Vehicle Code section 12502(a) provides that a person may operate a motor vehicle in California without obtaining a California driver's license if he or she is " [a] nonresident over the age of 18 years having in his or her immediate possession a valid driver's license issued by a foreign jurisdiction of which he or she is a resident, except as provided in Section 12505." Section 12505(c) provides that a person entitled to an exemption under section 12502 may operate a motor vehicle in California for up to ten days from the date he or she establishes residence in California without first obtaining a California driver's license. However, a person over the age of 16 who is a resident of a foreign jurisdiction other than a state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or Canada having a driver's license issued to him or her by any other foreign jurisdiction may operate a motor vehicle in California if that jurisdiction meets the licensing standards contained in the California Vehicle Code. See Cal. Vehicle Code § 12505(f).

Plaintiff was a resident of the State of California at the time of the incident. Indeed, the document Plaintiff presented to Defendant Miranda bears a Glendora, California address. The California Vehicle Code contains no exemption from its driver's license requirement for California residents or for asserted members of the purported " Yamasse Tribe" or " Washitaw Empire." These are not " foreign states, provinces or countries, " but rather purported Native American organizations which are not recognized by the United States government. See Sanders-Bey v. United States, 267 Fed.App'x 464, 466 (7th Cir. 2008) (" the Washitaw Nation . . . is not recognized by the United States government"); Yamassee Indian Tribe v. Allendale County Government, 2014 WL 4097926, at *4 (D.S.C. July 18, 2014), adopted in relevant part, 2014 WL 4101217 (D.S.C. Aug. 15, 2014) (" The United States Government does not recognize 'Yamassee Indian Tribe' as an Indian tribe."); Mississippi v. Richardson, 2013 WL 1347053, at *1 (N.D. Miss. Mar. 7, 2013), adopted, 2013 WL 1347035 (N.D. Miss. Apr. 3, 2013) (" Richardson has failed to point to any law or treaty of the United States that recognizes the Washitaw nation"); see also " Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, " 78 Fed. Reg. 26385-26389 (July 17, 2014). The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit as a valid driver's license. See " Driver License and Identification Card System, " available on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/ portal/dmv/?1dmy& urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/dl/ dl_info#international.

An arrest is constitutionally reasonable " when an officer has probable cause to believe a person committed even a minor crime in his presence. . . ." Virginia v. Moore, 553 U.S. 164, 171, 128 S.Ct. 1598, 170 L.Ed.2d 559 (2008) (officers did not violate Fourth Amendment by arresting motorist whom they believed was driving with a suspended license, although under state law officers should have issued a summons rather than make an arrest); see also Atwater v, City of Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318, 354, 121 S.Ct. 1536, 149 L.Ed.2d 549 (2001) (Fourth Amendment does not forbid warrantless arrest for " even a very minor criminal offense" committed in arresting officer's presence, such seatbelt violation). Here, because the document Plaintiff presented to Defendant Miranda was not a valid driver's license, Miranda had probable cause to believe that Plaintiff had been driving without possession of a valid driver's license. See Lipton v. United States, 348 F.2d 591, 594 (9th Cir. 1965) (" When appellant was unable to produce the driver's license in response to [the officer's] demand, then the officer had probable cause to arrest the appellant, as he did, for violation of § 12951 of the California Vehicle Code.").

To the extent Plaintiff challenges the constitutionality of California's driver's license requirement, any such challenge is meritless. The United States Supreme Court has long held that states have the right to regulate the use of state roads by requiring that drivers on those roads obtain driver's licenses, carry liability insurance, and pay taxes and fees, and that such regulation does not violate the federal constitution. See Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535, 539, 91 S.Ct. 1586, 29 L.Ed.2d 90 (1971) (rejecting constitutional challenge to statute barring the issuance of licenses to all motorists who do not carry liability insurance or post security); Reitz v. Mealey, 314 U.S. 33, 36, 62 S.Ct. 24, 86 L.Ed. 21 (1941), overruled on other grounds, Perez v. Campbell, 402 U.S. 637, 91 S.Ct. 1704, 29 L.Ed.2d 233 (1971) (noting the necessity of licensing laws as " a form of protection against damage to the public").

In the absence of national legislation covering the subject, a state may rightfully prescribe uniform regulations necessary for public safety and order in respect to the operation upon its highways of all motor vehicles, - those moving in interstate commerce as well as others. And to this end it may require the registration of such vehicles and the licensing of their drivers. . . . This is but an exercise of the police power uniformly recognized as belonging to the states and essential to the preservation of the health, safety, and comfort of their citizens. . . .

Hendrick v. State of Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 622, 35 S.Ct. 140, 59 L.Ed. 385 (1915).

Furthermore, there is no fundamental " right to drive." Miller v. Reed, 176 F.3d 1202, 1205-06 (9th Cir. 1999) (California's refusal to issue driver's license to motorist who refused to provide social security number did not violate motorist's right to travel, despite motorist's claim that he was denied an " essential mode of transportation"); see also Neal v. Arizona, 436 Fed.App'x 811, 812 (9th Cir. 2011) (rejecting challenge to state officials' refusal to recognize alleged validity of purported Indian tribe driver's licenses); Matthew v. Honish, 233 Fed.App'x 563, 564 (7th Cir. 2007) (state laws requiring valid driver's license to operate a motor vehicle do not violate right to travel); Darkins v. Snowden, 2013 WL 5530977, at *8 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 1, 2013) (rejecting contention that California's enforcement of its driver's license and vehicle registration requirements violated plaintiff's right to travel).

To the extent Plaintiff challenges California's driver's license requirements on the basis of the Ninth Amendment, any such challenge is meritless. The Ninth Amendment does not " independently [secure] any constitutional right, for purposes of pursuing a civil rights claim." Strandberg v. City of Helena, 791 F.2d 744, 748 (9th Cir. 1986) (citations omitted); see also Ramirez v. Butte-Silver Bow County, 298 F.3d 1022, 1029 (9th Cir. 2002), aff'd on other grounds sub nom. Groh v. Ramirez, 540 U.S. 551, 124 S.Ct. 1284, 157 L.Ed.2d 1068 (2004) (Ninth Amendment claim properly dismissed because plaintiff may not " 'double up' constitutional claims"); Schowengerdt v. United States, 944 F.2d 483, 490 (9th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 503 U.S. 951, 112 S.Ct. 1514, 117 L.Ed.2d 650 (1992) (Ninth Amendment " not interpreted as independently securing any constitutional rights for purposes of making out a constitutional claim").

For the foregoing reasons, Defendants Miranda and Drake are entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiff's claim of alleged unlawful arrest.

II. Plaintiff's Claim of Alleged Excessive Force

Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment claim of alleged excessive force during the arrest is governed by a standard of " objective reasonableness." Plumhoff v. Rickard, 134 S.Ct. 2012, 2020, 188 L.Ed.2d 1056 (2014) (citation and internal quotations omitted). In determining the reasonableness of Defendants' actions, the Court must engage in a " careful balancing of the nature and quality of the intrusion on the individual's Fourth Amendment interests against the countervailing governmental interests at stake." Id. at 2020 (citation and internal quotations omitted). The Court must analyze the " totality of the circumstances, " viewed from the perspective of " a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight." Id. (citation and internal quotations omitted). The Court should " allow for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split second judgments - in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving - about the amount of force that is necessary to a particular situation." Id. (citation, internal brackets and quotations omitted). Whether the amount of force employed was excessive depends on the facts and circumstances of each particular case, " including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to he safety of the officers or others, and whether he is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight." Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396, 109 S.Ct. 1865, 104 L.Ed.2d 443 (1989) (citation omitted). " Not every push or shove, even if it may later seem unnecessary in the peace of a judge's chambers [citation], violates the Fourth Amendment." Id. (citation and internal quotations omitted).

Here, the evidence, particularly the evidence from the deemed admissions, shows that the force used was not excessive. Plaintiff, after failing to produce a valid driver's license, refused Miranda's command that Plaintiff put his hands behind his back, instead making a threatening gesture by putting up two fists and clenching them against his chest in a combative manner. When Defendant Drake grabbed Plaintiff's left hand and tried to place Plaintiff in an arm hold, Plaintiff tried to pull away, actively resisting attempts to handcuff him. The deemed admissions also provide that the actions of Defendants Miranda and Drake at the time of the incident were reasonable in light of the existing dangers and circumstances, and that the officers did not use excessive force on Plaintiff. Under these circumstances, as a matter of law, the force used on Plaintiff was not unreasonable, and hence did not violate the Fourth Amendment.

For the foregoing reasons, Defendants Miranda and Drake are entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiff's claim of alleged excessive force.

III. Plaintiff's " Bill of Attainder" Claim

A bill of attainder is " a legislative Act which inflicts punishment on named individuals of an easily ascertainable group without a judicial trial." United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367, 384 n.30, 88 S.Ct. 1673, 20 L.Ed.2d 672 (1968). " In determining whether a particular statute is a bill of attainder, the analysis necessarily requires an inquiry into whether the three definitional elements -- specificity in identification, punishment, and lack of a judicial trial -- are contained in the statute." Id.

Plaintiff alleges that the " Notice to Appear" issued by Defendant Miranda supposedly constituted a bill of attainder. This allegation must be rejected. Pursuant to California law, the Notice to Appear identified the offense as an infraction, set a time and place for Plaintiff to appear at the West Covina Superior Court and contained instructions on how to contest the charge and how to request a court trial (see Complaint, Ex. 3). See Cal. Vehicle Code § § 40500-40502; Cal. Penal Code § 19.7 (" Except as otherwise provided by law, all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to infractions including, but not limited to, powers of peace officers, jurisdiction of courts, periods for commencing action and for bringing a case to trial and burden of proof."). The " Notice to Appear" did not impose punishment on Plaintiff without an opportunity for a judicial trial, and hence did not constitute a bill of attainder. See Weldon v. Dyer, 2013 WL 2244527, at *6 (E.D. Cal. May 21, 2013) (allegations that " Notice to Appear" constituted a bill of attainder did " not come close to demonstrating the existence of an unconstitutional bill of attainder"); Hall El v. Craven, 2012 WL 1067627 at *6 (M.D. N.C. Mar. 30, 2012), adopted, 2013 WL 1749906 (M.D. N.C. Apr. 23, 2013) (traffic citation not a bill of attainder). Accordingly, Plaintiff's " bill of attainder" claim lacks merit.

IV. Plaintiff's Monell Claim

The Court must construe Plaintiff's official capacity claims against the individual municipal Defendants as claims against the City of Glendora. See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 165-66, 105 S.Ct. 3099, 87 L.Ed.2d 114 (1985).[5] Plaintiff may not hold the City of Glendora or the Glendora Police Department liable under a theory of respondeat superior, which is not a theory of liability cognizable under 42 U.S.C. section 1983. See Connick v. Thompson, 131 S.Ct. 1350, 1359, 179 L.Ed.2d 417 (2011); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); Polk County v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325, 102 S.Ct. 445, 70 L.Ed.2d 509 (1981); Gibson v. County of Washoe, Nev., 290 F.3d 1175, 1185 (9th Cir. 2002), cert. denied, 537 U.S. 1106, 123 S.Ct. 872, 154 L.Ed.2d 775 (2003). A municipal entity may be held liable only if the alleged wrongdoing was committed pursuant to a municipal policy, custom or usage. See Board of County Commissioners of Bryan County, Oklahoma v. Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 402-04, 117 S.Ct. 1382, 137 L.Ed.2d 626 (1997); Monell v. New York City Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 691, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978) (" Monell"). Here, because Plaintiff has failed to raise a triable issue of fact concerning the liability of the individual Defendant officers, the City and the Police Department are entitled to summary judgment. Hayes v. City of San Diego, 736 F.3d 1223, 1231 (9th Cir. 2013) (a constitutional violation is required to support Monell liability).

Additionally, and in any event, liability under Monell may not be predicated on " isolated or sporadic incidents, " but " must be founded upon practices of sufficient duration, frequency and consistency that the conduct has become a traditional method of carrying out policy." Gant v. County of Los Angeles, 772 F.3d 608, 619 (9th Cir. 2014). There is no evidence that the alleged incident was anything more than " isolated or sporadic."

For the foregoing reasons, summary judgment should be granted in favor of Defendants City of Glendora, Glendora Police Department, Santoro, Nelson, Davis, Tessitor, Murabito and Jeffers. For the same reasons, the Court also should grant summary judgment in favor of nonappearing Defendant Castro. See Silverton v. Dep't of the Treasury, 644 F.2d 1341, 1345 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 895, 102 S.Ct. 393, 70 L.Ed.2d 210 (1981) (sua sponte dismissal of action as against nonappearing defendant appropriate where that defendant was " in a position similar to that of moving defendants or where claims against such defendants are integrally related").

RECOMMENDATION

For all of the reasons discussed above, IT IS RECOMMENDED that the Court issue an Order: (1) accepting and adopting this Report and Recommendation; (2) granting Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment; and (3) entering Judgment in favor of all Defendants.


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