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Klahn v. Dublin Police Department

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 12, 2016

DANIEL P. KLAHN, Plaintiff,
v.
DUBLIN POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER REGARDING SUFFICIENCY OF COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915 Re: Dkt. No. 1

          JOSEPH C. SPERO CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Daniel P. Klahn Sr. brings this action against a variety of government officials and entities alleging violations of his statutory and constitutional rights over the course of his arrest in Dublin, California, transportation to San Diego, and prosecution in the California Superior Court for the County of San Diego. The Court previously granted Klahn‘s application to proceed in forma pauperis and now reviews the sufficiency of his Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). As detailed below, the Court finds that Klahn may proceed on his claims against Monterey Sheriff‘s Deputy Ennis and on one claim against San Diego Assistant District Attorney Anna Winn. Klahn‘s remaining claims are DISMISSED, some with leave to amend and some without, as discussed below. If Klahn wishes to file an amended complaint, he must do so no later than August 9, 2016.[1]

         II. ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

         Klahn‘s factual allegations are taken as true at the pleading stage, and are therefore recited here as if true. Nothing in this Order should be interpreted as resolving any factual issue that may be disputed at a later stage.

         A. Investigation

         In 2013, non-party Detective Aaron Dobbs-apparently of the San Diego Police Department-spoke to Klahn by telephone regarding a $1, 250 check that Klahn had cashed. Compl. (dkt. 1) at 52.[2] Klahn explained that he had held a job where he recovered unclaimed funds slated to escheat to the state, and a Mr. Meyerson, with whom he worked, had agreed that Klahn could keep ten percent of the funds he recovered. Id. at 52-53. Dobbs told Klahn that the check was forged, and Klahn responded that he often received authority from Meyerson via email to sign checks on his behalf, although he did not recall the circumstances of that specific check. Id. at 53. When Dobbs became angry with Klahn, Klahn said that he did not think Meyerson would want to take Klahn to court because Klahn was aware of illegal conduct by Meyerson and other damaging information that would come to light in court proceedings. Id. Klahn said that he would meet with Dobbs when he visited San Diego the next week, but Dobbs was not at the police station when Klahn visited. Id. Klahn left Dobbs a voice message but never heard from him again. Id.

         B. Arrest

         On February 8, 2014, two officers of the Dublin Police Department came to Klahn‘s house in Dublin, California, ostensibly to investigate a police report that Klahn had filed two to three years before in Dublin. Compl. (dkt. 1) at 10. Klahn told the officers that he had not filed such a report and did not live in Dublin at the time. Id. The officers nevertheless repeatedly asked to come into the house to discuss the report, and Klahn repeatedly refused to grant them permission to enter. Id. One officer asked to see Klahn‘s identification and followed him into the house when Klahn went to retrieve his wallet, telling Klahn that he needed to stay with him for the officers‘ safety. Id. Klahn asked him to leave and the officer returned to the porch. Id.

         Klahn asked the officers if they had a warrant, and one officer responded that they did not need one. Id. The officers did not respond to Klahn inquiring about "the real reason for their visit.'' Id. One officer eventually said they would discuss the matter with Klahn if he let them inside, but Klahn declined to do so. Id. The officers then pushed through the door and restrained Klahn against a counter. Id. at 10-11. When Klahn asked again to see a warrant, one of the officers produced "a business card size piece of paper with his name, and pick-up late on the holiday weekend printed on it, '' and told Klahn that was the warrant. Id. at 11. In response to questions from Klahn, the officers told him that he was under arrest and that they did not have to inform him of the charges against him. Id. The officers helped Klahn shut down his computer and allowed him to get a jacket, and then escorted him to a police car and drove him to the Santa Rita Jail. Id. Once there, around 9:45, one of the arresting officers took Klahn to the booking area and asked him a series of questions regarding whether Klahn participated in theft or check forgery in San Diego. Id. The officer did not inform Klahn of his rights or of the charges against him. Id. at 11-12.

         C. Detention at Santa Rita Jail

         The arresting officers left Klahn with a booking officer at the jail. Id. at 12. Klahn asked repeatedly to be allowed to call his attorney and family, but was told first that he could make a call after booking was complete, and then later told that he could make a call the next morning. Id. The booking officer also told Klahn that "San Diego'' had not yet sent the arrest warrant, and that he did not know the exact charges against Klahn. Id. Klahn informed a medical intake officer that he was diabetic and needed medication, among other medical information. Id. The intake officer told Klahn that the medical department would see him in the morning, and sent him to a cell at 12:45 a.m. with a sack lunch and no medication, even after Klahn complained that he was not feeling well and needed insulin. Id. at 12-13.

         At 6:00 a.m. the next morning, a nurse examined Klahn and determined that his "blood sugar . . . was over 200, '' but that he would have to see a doctor before he could receive medication. Id. at 14. Later that morning, Klahn asked to make a telephone call, but the officer on duty told him that he could not do so because a PIN number had not been configured for him, and it would not be possible to set up a PIN number at that time. Id.

         Klahn felt faint later that day, his feet swelled, and he became agitated. Id. An officer referred Klahn to the same nurse he saw in the morning, who measured his blood sugar level at "over 250'' but again declined to give him medication and told him he would need to see a doctor. Id. According to Klahn, the next day-Monday, February 10, 2014-was a holiday, and no doctor was available. Id. Klahn became weak, dizzy, and more anxious. Id. at 14-15. On Tuesday, a doctor gave Klahn metformin but no insulin. Id. at 15. Klahn felt weak and had difficulty concentrating, and eventually experienced neuropathy and severe pain in his feet and hands. Id. at 15, 16.

         Klahn continued to ask to make a telephone call, but a duty officer again told him that there was no way to assign him a PIN number. Id. at 15. Klahn‘s wife, unaware of his arrest, called the Dublin Police Department to file missing person report, but was not informed that he had been arrested and was being held in jail. Id. Klahn contends that if he had been given a telephone call, he could have contacted an attorney and informed his family of his arrest, and might have been able to obtain medication or post bail. Id.

         D. Detention at Monterey County Jail

         On the morning of Wednesday, February 12, the Orange County Sheriff‘s Department picked Klahn up from the Santa Rita Jail and transferred him to the Monterey County Jail. Id. at 16. At that time, Klahn had not been allowed to make a telephone call, had not been shown a warrant, did not know the charges against him, and had received only a single dose of metformin. Id. He remained at the Monterey County Jail for about twenty-two hours with another inmate in a small cell that was not large enough for two people, which had a solid metal door, a broken faucet not suitable for drinking from, and a painted shut air vent. Id. at 17-18. He received "one sack lunch, no water and no medication'' during that time.'' Id. at 20.

         Before his arrest, a kidney specialist had advised Klahn to drink ten bottles of water per day as part of a treatment regimen. Id. at 18. At the Monterey County Jail, Klahn began to urinate blood due to dehydration. Id. He was unable to stand due to dizziness and swelling in his feet and hands, and experienced pain even when seated. Id. Deputy Ennis of the Monterey County Sheriff‘s Office refused to open a "pass door'' to allow air to flow into the cell. Id. Another deputy later opened the "pass door'' to allow for air flow, but Ennis closed it five minutes later and gave Klahn a "nasty look.'' Id. at 20. Ennis concealed his badge when Klahn asked for his name, but Klahn was able to see it during other interactions. Id. When Klahn and his cellmate used an emergency intercom to complain of the heat, lack of air and water, and Klahn‘s symptoms, another officer told them not to use the intercom again unless one of them had passed out. Id. at 18-19. Ennis later laughed at Klahn‘s request for medication and joked to a colleague "that Klahn actually thinks he has rights, '' but said that he would get a nurse to visit, and shrugged off the inmates‘ complaint about their faucet and request for water. Id. at 19.

         Klahn saw a nurse late that night, who complained about being called back to work to examine him. Id. at 19. The nurse measured his blood sugar level at "over 300, '' but told him that was "not too bad'' and that he should not call for her again that night. Id.

         E. Further Transportation and Detention

         The Orange County Sheriff‘s Department picked Klahn up from the Monterey County Jail on February 13, 2014 and transported him to the Orange County Jail, where he was held for one night. Id. at 20-21. From there, the San Diego Sheriff‘s Department moved him first to Central Jail in San Diego, and then to the Vista Detention Center. Id. at 21-22. Although Klahn alleges that he suffered deprivations and mistreatment in these facilities similar to the experiences described above, he does not name any defendants associated with them. See Id. at 20-22. This Order therefore does not summarize those allegations in detail.

         F. ...


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