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Rivas v. California Highway Patrol

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 1, 2015

DAVID PAUL RIVAS, an individual, Plaintiff,
v.
CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL; J. TAUFA; J. TRAUGHBER; G. KOMODA; D. MCCARTHY; and DOES 1-100, inclusive, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STAY UNDER YOUNGER v. HARRIS; DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AS MOOT

MARGARET M. MORROW, District Judge.

On March 19, 2015, David Rivas filed this action in Los Angeles Superior Court against the California Highway Patrol ("CHP"), Officer J. Taufa, Officer J. Traughber, Officer G. Komoda, Officer D. McCarthy, and certain fictitious defendants (collectively, "defendants").[1] Defendants timely removed the action on April 22, 2015, invoking the court's subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. ยง 1331.[2]

On April 29, 2015, defendants filed a motion to stay the case pending resolution of a related criminal case in state court.[3] On June 3, 2015, defendants filed a motion to dismiss Rivas's complaint for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.[4] Rivas does not oppose defendants' motion to stay, [5] but does oppose the motion to dismiss.[6] Pursuant to Rule 78 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 7-15, the court finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument; the hearing calendared for July 6, 2015, is therefore vacated, and the matter taken off calendar.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

A. Facts Alleged in the Complaint

Rivas is allegedly a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and a resident at the Veteran's Home of California - West Los Angeles, a long-term healthcare facility for California veterans located at 11500 Nimitz Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90073.[7] On July 1, 2014, Officers Taufa, Traughber, Komoda, and McCarthy purportedly entered Rivas's residence and stated they were there to take him to the Veteran's Affairs ("VA") Hospital for a 72 hours psychiatric hold.[8] While defendants were in the process of transporting Rivas to the VA Hospital, they allegedly began to beat and kick him without provocation or cause.[9] Rivas asserts that as a result of the incident, his left hip and leg were seriously injured; a rod and pin were inserted in his left leg, and he had to undergo hip replacement surgery.[10]

Rivas alleges that, in an attempt to cover up the attack, Officers Taufa, Traughber, Komoda, and McCarthy filed a false criminal charge asserting that the injuries Rivas sustained were caused by a traffic incident and that Rivas had unlawfully prevented the officers from fulfilling their duties.[11]

B. State Court Proceedings

On January 2, 2015, the State of California filed a misdemeanor action in Los Angeles Superior Court charging that Rivas, inter alia, used threats and violence unlawfully to prevent Officers Traughber, Komoda, Taufa, and McCarthy from performing their duties.[12] Two arraignments, on February 11 and 27, 2015, as well as a pretrial hearing on March 26, 2015, have since occurred.[13]

II. DISCUSSION

A. Defendants' Request for Judicial Notice

Defendants request that the court take judicial notice of the misdemeanor complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on January 2, 2015, as well as the docket in that action.[14]

"Under Federal Rule of Evidence 201, the [c]ourt may take judicial notice of matters of public record if the facts are not subject to reasonable dispute." Olds v. Metlife Home Loans, No. SACV 12-55 JVS (RNBx), 2012 WL 10420298, *1 n. 1 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 19, 2012) (citing Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 688-89 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal quotation marks omitted)). Court orders and filings are proper subjects of judicial notice. See, e.g., United States v. Black, 482 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir. 2007) (noting that a court "may take notice of proceedings in other courts, both within and without the federal judicial system, if those proceedings have a direct relation to matters at issue"); Reyn's Pasta Bella, LLC v. Visa USA, Inc., 442 F.3d 741, 746 n. 6 (9th Cir. 2006) (taking judicial notice of pleadings, memoranda, and other court filings); Asdar Group v. Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, 99 F.3d 289, 290 n. 1 (9th Cir. 1996) (court may take judicial notice of pleadings and court orders in related proceedings); United States ex rel. Robinson Rancheria Citizens Council v. Borneo, Inc., 971 F.2d 244, 248 (9th Cir. 1992) (a court may take judicial notice "of proceedings in other courts, both within and without the federal judicial system, if those proceedings have a direct relation to the matters at issue"); United States ex rel. Modglin v. DJO Global, Inc., 48 F.Supp.3d 1362, 1382 (C.D. Cal. 2014) ("As respects court orders and filings in other FCA cases, these documents, too, are the proper subject of judicial notice" (citations omitted)); Farahani v. Floria, No. 12-CV-04637 LHK, ...


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