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Brown v. City of Long Beach

United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division

June 11, 2015

TRAVIS CHARLES BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF LONG BEACH, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

VICTOR B. KENTON, Magistrate Judge.

PROCEEDINGS

On April 8, 2015, Travis Charles Brown (hereinafter referred to as "Plaintiff") filed a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff named the following Defendants: City of Long Beach; Long Beach Police Department; County of Los Angeles (all of the above in their official capacities) (Complaint at 3.[1]); Long Beach Police Officer Bernard Barajas; Long Beach Police Officer Lorenzo Uribe; Police Officer Association Attorney Jim Trott; Long Beach Police Lt. L. Cox; Long Beach Police Commander D. Wood; Long Beach Police Sgt. E. Herzog; Long Beach Police Department Peer Officer R. Solorio; Long Beach Police Department Peer Officer H. Vong, all in their individual capacities. (Id. at 4-5.)

On June 19, 2014, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Uribe and Barajas were working patrol in an unmarked vehicle. Plaintiff is a student at Long Beach City Community College. (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff alleges Defendants Uribe and Barajas engaged in the practice of racially profiling African-American males. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges Defendants Uribe and Barajas detained Plaintiff, with their service weapons drawn, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Plaintiff alleges he provided Defendants with his identification and then became nervous as Defendants used "racial slurs." Plaintiff then ran towards his classroom for safety. (Id.)

Plaintiff alleges that he was "shot in the buttocks" by Defendant Uribe and the bullet cannot be removed or else Plaintiff could end up permanently disabled. (Id. at 7.) To cover up the criminal acts committed by Defendant Officers Uribe and Barajas, Plaintiff alleges the remaining Defendants filed false charges against him and refused to provide discovery establishing Defendant Officers Uribe and Barajas violated clearly established law. Plaintiff alleges he has been in unlawful confinement for approximately nine months based upon false charges from the June 19, 2014 incident. (Id.)

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Jim Trott is the Police Officers Association attorney assigned to investigate the shooting and insure that Defendant Officers Uribe and Barajas complied with departmental policy. Plaintiff alleges Defendant Trott has failed to turn over his findings after Plaintiff moved for discovery in his pending criminal case. Plaintiff alleges Defendants Lt. Cox, Commander R. Wood and Sgt. Herzog investigated the shooting and have failed to turn over their reports. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant R. Solorio was assigned as Defendant Barajas' peer officer and has failed to turn over any reports. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant H. Vong was assigned as Defendant Uribe's peer officer and has also failed to turn over any reports or findings. (Id.)

Plaintiff alleges that he has not had a preliminary hearing in his pending criminal case due to the Defendants' actions by withholding relevant discovery. (Id. at 8.)

Plaintiff alleges the following causes of action: (1) false arrest and false imprisonment; (2) malicious prosecution; (3) Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process violations; (4) excessive force; and (5) racial profiling. (Id. at 6.)

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Because Plaintiff is seeking to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court shall review such a complaint "as soon as practicable after docketing." Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2), the District Court is required to dismiss a complaint if the Court finds that the complaint (1) is legally frivolous or malicious, (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or (3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B) (re: all in forma pauperis complaints).

"To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state the claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the Court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.) "The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully." (Id.) Although a complaint need not include "detailed factual allegations, '... [a] pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of the cause of action will not do.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.) The Complaint must contain "factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. "[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it has not show[n]' - that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" (Id. at 679 [quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) (internal brackets omitted). "[A] well-pled complaint may proceed even if it appears that a recovery is very remote and unlikely." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556 (quoting Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)).

In civil rights cases in which the Plaintiff appears pro se, the pleadings must be construed liberally, so as to afford the plaintiff the benefit of any doubt as to the potential validity of the claims asserted. Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles Police Dept., 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988). If, despite such liberal construction, the Court finds that the complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim, the Court has the discretion to dismiss the complaint with or without leave to amend. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-30 (9th Cir. 2000). A pro se litigant should be given leave to amend, unless it is clear that the deficiencies of the complaint cannot be cured by amendment. Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130-31; Cato v. United States, 70 F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995); Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987).

DISCUSSION

For all of the following reasons, the Complaint should be dismissed ...


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