United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO
A. MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jesus Betanzo Basilio (“Plaintiff”) sued the City
of Fairfield (“the City”), the Fairfield Police
Department (“FPD”), and FPD Chief of Police Walt
Tibbet (“Tibbet”) (collectively
“Defendants”) for civil rights and state law
violations arising out of an interaction between Plaintiff
and FPD officers (Doc. #1). Defendants move to dismiss
Plaintiff’s complaint (Doc. #9). Plaintiff opposes the
motion (Doc. #14).
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Court takes the facts alleged by Plaintiff as true for
purposes of this motion. In February 2014, FPD officers
arrested Plaintiff at his residence. Compl. ¶ 11.
Plaintiff is a Mexican-American male and was a minor at the
time of the arrest. Id. The officers approached
Plaintiff and yelled at him to get on the floor. Id.
¶ 12. Plaintiff was unarmed and complied with the
officers’ requests. Id. The officers then
slammed their knees into Plaintiff’s neck, shoulder,
and face. Id. Some of the officers kicked Plaintiff
in the temple. Id. Plaintiff was not resisting
arrest while the officers were kicking him. Id.
officer searched Plaintiff and forcefully pulled on
Plaintiff’s testicles. Id. ¶ 15. The
officer then placed Plaintiff in the back of his patrol car.
Id. While in the patrol car, Plaintiff told officers
that he was tired, did not feel well, and that his head hurt.
Id. ¶ 19. Plaintiff fainted in the back of the
police car. Id. ¶ 20.
Plaintiff arrived at the police station, officers took him
into an interrogation room. Id. ¶ 21. Plaintiff
told police officers that we was in pain and that he needed
aspirin and to be taken to the hospital. Id. ¶
22. The officers did not take Plaintiff to the hospital and
left him in the room for two hours. Id. Plaintiff
fainted in the interrogation room. Id.
point, the officers came back into the room asked Plaintiff
about a suspect in a shooting. Id. ¶ 23.
Plaintiff told the officers he “had no gang
relations.” Id. Plaintiff was at the police
station for five hours. Id. ¶ 26. Fairfield
police officers then transported him to a hospital.
sued Defendants in February 2016, alleging seven causes of
action: (1) excessive force pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(“§ 1983”), (2) denial of medical care
pursuant to § 1983, (3) violation of the Bane Act, (4)
battery, (5) negligence, (6) false imprisonment, and (7)
false arrest. Id. at 8-17. Defendants move to
dismiss each of Plaintiff’s claims, except for the
battery claim. Motion to Dismiss (“MTD”) at 1-2.
First Cause of Action: Excessive Force
brings his first cause of action for excessive force under
the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Compl. at 8. Defendants
argue that Plaintiff’s claim must be dismissed to the
extent that it is brought under the Fourteenth Amendment
because an excessive force claim is limited to being brought
under the Fourth Amendment. MTD at 4. Defendants are correct.
The Supreme Court has explicitly held that:
all claims that law enforcement officers have used
excessive force-deadly or not-in the course of an arrest,
investigatory stop, or other “seizure” of a free
citizen should be analyzed under the Fourth Amendment and its
“reasonableness” standard, rather than under a
“substantive due process” approach. Because the
Fourth Amendment provides an explicit textual source of
constitutional protection against this sort of physically
intrusive governmental conduct, that Amendment, not the more
generalized notion of “substantive due process, ”
must be the guide for analyzing these claims.
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 395 (1989) (emphasis
in original). Plaintiff’s excessive force claim brought
under the Fourteenth Amendment is dismissed. The excessive
force claim remains to the extent it is brought under the
§ 1983 Excessive Force Claim Against the City
Plaintiff Fails to Allege a Policy or Custom That Caused
His Constitutional Injury
argue that the City cannot be liable under § 1983
because Plaintiff fails to sufficiently allege
Monell liability. MTD at 4-5. A local government
entity may be liable under § 1983 when the alleged
constitutional injury was caused by the entity’s
“policy or custom.” Monell v. Dep't of
Soc. Servs. of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 694
(1978). A Plaintiff can successfully allege a policy or
custom of a public entity by showing: (1) that “a
longstanding practice or custom which constitutes the
‘standard operating procedure’ of the local
government entity;” (2) “the decision-making
official was, as a matter of state law, a final policymaking
authority whose edicts or acts may fairly be said to
represent official policy in the area of decision;” or
(3) “an official with final policymaking authority
either delegated that authority to, or ratified the decision
of, a subordinate.” Newman v. San Joaquin Delta
Cmty. Coll. Dist., 814 F.Supp.2d 967, 977 (E.D. Cal.
2011) (quoting Rosenbaum v. City & Cty. of S.F.,