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Mazzaferro v. Parisi

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 11, 2017

RONALD MAZZAFERRO, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM PARISI, KEN JOHNSON, SPENCER CRUM, BRUCE GOLDSTEIN, JOSHUA MYERS, and LYNN SEARLE, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING ONE DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND TWO DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT

          WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         In this Section 1983 action, one defendant moves to dismiss and two defendants move for a more definite statement. For the reasons below, both motions are Granted.

         STATEMENT

         Pro se plaintiff Ronald Mazzaferro alleges that defendant Lynn Searle, a private attorney who represented defendant William Parisi in a state court action, cultivated a criminal enterprise with several others, all defendants herein to help Parisi embezzle millions of dollars from a trust allegedly established for Mazzaferro (Second Amd. Compl. ¶¶ 6, 25).

         Specifically, Mazzaferro alleges that in February 2013 Parisi and Attorney Searle deliberately supplied fraudulent information about Mazzaferro to defendant Ken Johnson, a deputy sheriff of the Sonoma County Police Department, in order to “leverage their position against Mazzaferro” in another action in state court. Mazzaferro then served Deputy Sheriff Johnson with a “Criminal Cross Complaint” that alleged Deputy Sheriff Johnson arrested him based on false information provided by Attorney Searle (id ¶¶ 13-14).

         In May 2013, Deputy Sheriff Johnson arrested Mazzaferro - allegedly in reliance on the false information provided by Attorney Searle and Parisi, which Deputy Sheriff Johnson allegedly knew to be false - for filing forged documents and committing perjury, elder abuse, and burglary. Five months later, the Sonoma County District Attorney dismissed all charges against Mazzaferro (id. ¶¶ 15-18).

         Mazzaferro then sent a document titled, “Private Party Directive to Arrest Corrupt Attorney Lynn Searle and Her Elder Abuser Client William Parisi, ” which detailed his alleged false arrest and imprisonment, to defendant Spencer Crum, a sergeant of the Sonoma County Police Department. Upon receiving the documents, Sergeant Crum invited Mazzaferro to meet with him to discuss the documents Mazzaferro sent. At the meeting, Sergeant Crum allegedly told another officer “not to report any information from Mazzaferro” and then ordered Mazzaferro to leave the police department “under threat of arrest.” Shortly after, Mazzaferro delivered “a document” to the City Council of Sonoma regarding his false arrest and Sergeant Crum's unwillingness to report information given to him by Mazzaferro (id ¶¶ 19-22).

         In January 2015, Deputy Sheriff Johnson arrested Mazzaferro again based on additional allegedly false information provided by Attorney Searle. Mazzaferro also alleges that while being transported to jail, Deputy Sheriff Johnson “made it clear” to him that Deputy Sheriff Johnson arrested him because he submitted complaints to the city council about Deputy Sheriff Johnson and Sergeant Crum (id 23, 30).

         In October 2016, Mazzaferro filed this action under Section 1983 for the violation of his Fourth Amendment rights against Attorney Searle, Deputy Sheriff Johnson, and Sergeant Crum, among others. Mazzaferro's initial complaint alleged that all of the defendants violated his Fourth Amendment rights under Section 1983 by causing his false arrest and imprisonment in (1) May 2013 and (2) January 2015 (Compl. ¶¶ 24, 26).

         In January 2017, Mazzaferro moved for entry of default against Sergeant Crum for not timely responding to his complaint, which the clerk then entered (Dkt. Nos. 23, 26). An order in March 2017 set aside this entry of default because the affidavit of service filed by Mazzaferro was false and Sergeant Crum was never properly served (Dkt. No. 58 at 2-4). The same order also dismissed Mazzaferro's first claim of his original complaint as time-barred (id. at 4).

         In February 2017, Mazzaferro filed an amended complaint to bring claims against the county counsels representing Deputy Sheriff Johnson and Sergeant Crum for abuse of court process, which was stricken for being untimely (First Amd. Compl. ¶ 33; Dkt. No. 47). An order later determined that the amended complaint had in fact been timely and thus gave Mazzaferro leave to amend his complaint to add allegations not already dismissed (Dkt. No. 58 at 5).

         In March 2017, Mazzaferro filed a second amended complaint against Attorney Searle, Sergeant Crum, and Deputy Sheriff Johnson, among others, alleging they all violated his Fourth Amendment rights under Section 1983 for causing his arrest in January 2015 (Second Amd. Compl. ¶¶ 14-16). Attorney Searle now moves to dismiss all claims against her. Sergeant Crum and Spencer ...


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