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Conan v. City of Fontana

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 24, 2017

Randy Conan,
v.
City of Fontana

          Present: The Honorable KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

         Proceedings: Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion to Unseal Without Prejudice [Dkt. 57] and Vacating June 1, 2017 Hearing

         I.

         SUMMARY OF RULING

         On May 1, 2017, Plaintiffs Randy Conan and Xylina Conan (“Plaintiffs”) filed a Motion to Unseal (“Motion”) video footage captured by defendant Joshua Patty's police officer body camera (“Body Camera Footage”). ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”) 57. As set forth below, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs' Motion without prejudice. The hearing on Plaintiffs' Motion set for June 1, 2017 is hereby VACATED.

         II.

         RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On June 14, 2016, Plaintiffs commenced the instant action by filing a complaint against defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Dkt. 1.

         On December 2, 2016, the parties filed a joint stipulation seeking a protective order. Dkt. 31. On December 5, 2016, the Court declined to issue the parties' proposed protective order citing various deficiencies in the proposed order. Dkt. 32. On December 7, 2016, the parties filed an amended joint stipulation seeking a protective order (“Protective Order”), which the Court approved on December 8, 2016. Dkts. 33, 34. Under the terms of the Protective Order, the parties stipulated “GOOD CAUSE exists for designating the information, documents, video, photographs, audio, and/or other materials as confidential in order for Defendant, City of Fontana employees, and other government officials to protect government interests, as well as the privacy rights of third parties not subject to this litigation.” Dkt. 33 at 2.

         On January 30, 2017, following a motion to amend, Plaintiffs filed the instant Third Amended Complaint (“TAC”) against defendants City of Fontana, Joshua Patty, Kurtis Schlotterback, Adam Clabaugh, Matthew Roth, Steven Bechtold, and Bradley Guith (“Defendants”). Dkt. 40. The TAC raised the following eight causes of action: (1) “Unreasonable Search and Seizure - Excessive Force (42 U.S.C. § 1983)” against Officer Patty; (2) “Unreasonable Search and Seizure - Denial of Medical Care (42 U.S.C. § 1983)” against Officers Patty, Schlotterback, Clabaugh, Roth, Bechtold, and Guith; (3) “Municipal Liability - Ratification (42 U.S.C. § 1983)” against City of Fontana and Officers Schlotterback, Clabaugh, Roth, Bechtold, and Guith; (4) “Municipal Liability - Inadequate Training (42 U.S.C. § 1983)” against City of Fontana and Officers Schlotterback, Clabaugh, Roth, Bechtold, and Guith; (5) “Municipal Liability - Unconstitutional Custom, Practice or Policy (42 U.S.C. § 1983)” against all defendants; (6) Battery against all defendants; (7) Negligence against all defendants; and (8) Loss of Consortium against all defendants. Id.

         According to the TAC, defendant Joshua Patty, a police officer for the City of Fontana, assaulted plaintiff Randy Conan as he was being escorted out of Kicks Sports Bar on the evening of August 30, 2015. Id. ¶¶ 19, 22. Plaintiffs allege Defendants failed to offer any medical assistance despite the fact plaintiff Randy Conan was injured following the alleged assault. Id. ¶ 24. Plaintiffs allege Defendants attempted to cover up the incident by writing false reports and claim that defendant Joshua Patty was never disciplined for his actions. Id. ¶¶ 25, 26. Thus, Plaintiffs are seeking punitive and compensatory damages for the resulting injuries. Id. at 27-28.

         On May 1, 2017, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion to unseal and a Joint Stipulation (“JS”) challenging the confidentiality designation of the Body Camera Footage taken from defendant Joshua Patty on the night of the incident. Dkt. 57. Plaintiffs seek to have the Body Camera Footage unsealed and available to the public. Id. Defendants, however, argue the Body Camera Footage should remain under seal pursuant to the parties' Protective Order. Id.

         On May 15, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their supplemental briefs in support of the JS. Dkt. 61. This matter thus ...


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