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Bagley v. City of Sunnyvale

United States District Court, N.D. California

November 3, 2017

LEE S. BAGLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF SUNNYVALE, et al., Defendants.

          MOTION TO DISMISS RE: DKT. NO. 100

          JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         During an encounter with Sunnyvale police officers on December 21, 2012, Plaintiff Lee Scott Bagley was allegedly beaten by police officers and bitten by a police dog before being arrested and charged with resisting or deterring an officer. After entering a plea of no contest to the charge of resisting or deterring an officer, Plaintiff brought the underlying civil rights action against the City of Sunnyvale, County of Santa Clara, and the arresting police officers, alleging excessive force and Monell liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants now move to dismiss Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint as barred under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), and for failure to state a claim. (Dkt. No. 100.) The Court DENIES Defendants' motion to dismiss as to the excessive force claim, and GRANTS the motion to dismiss as to the Monell claim.

         BACKGROUND

         A. Allegations of the Third Amended Complaint

         On December 21, 2012, Sunnyvale police officers arrived at Plaintiff's home to execute a bench warrant for making a false 911 call on October 1, 2012. (TAC ¶ 13.) When police officers arrived at Plaintiff's mobile home, he repeatedly told the officers that he was coming outside. (Id. ¶¶ 15, 18.) As Plaintiff prepared to come outside, one or more of the officers kicked in the door, drew their weapons, and pointed them at Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 19.) Lieutenant Sartwell pointed his gun at Plaintiff and instructed Officer Pistor to deploy his K9. (Id. ¶ 19.) At Officer Pistor's instructions, the K9 bit Plaintiff's arm. (Id. ¶ 22.) Officer Pistor subsequently punched Plaintiff between the nose and left eye with a closed fist, and then again in the face. (Id. ¶ 22.) Officers Kassel and Larkin held down Plaintiff's left arm and legs while Officer Pistor kicked Plaintiff's right ribs and Officer Lima kicked Plaintiff's face 50-60 times. (Id. ¶ 24, 27.) Officer Gotffred kneed Plaintiff's right side and struck Plaintiff two times with a closed fist. Throughout the confrontation, Officer Pistor's and Lieutenant Sartwell's gun remained pointed at Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 25.) Supervisor Lieutenants Sartwell and Larkin did not order the officers to stop and instead participated in the attack. (Id. ¶ 29.)

         The police officers subsequently instructed Plaintiff to go outside to the waiting ambulance. (Id. ¶ 30.) As Plaintiff walked to the ambulance, the officers threw him face-down on the steps of his home. (Id. ¶ 30.) Plaintiff was subsequently diagnosed with (1) right forearm and left upper arm wounds secondary to dog bite and (2) left maxillary, orbital floor, nasal bone, and zygomatic arch fractures post-trauma. (Id. ¶ 31.) At the hospital, 5-6 officers continued to harass Plaintiff until the doctors threatened to call the Mountain View police officers. (Id. ¶ 32.)

         On January 2, 2013, Plaintiff was charged with a felony violation of California Penal Code Section 69, resisting or deterring an officer, and a misdemeanor violation of Section 148(a)(1), resting, delaying, or obstructing an officer. (Dkt. 100-1.) On June 19, 2015, Plaintiff pled no contest to the Section 69 count, which was reduced to a misdemeanor as a result of the negotiated plea. (Id. at 14.) On February 18, 2016, Plaintiff was sentenced to 30 days in county jail with credit for time served and ordered to pay fines and fees. (Id. at 24.)

         B. Procedural Background

         On April 25, 2016, Plaintiff filed his first complaint against the City of Sunnyvale, the County of Santa Clara, and officer Jeromy Lima (Dkt. No. 1.) Defendants Santa Clara County and Sunnyvale filed motions to dismiss, which were unopposed and granted on August 8, 2016. (Dkt. No. 31.) Plaintiff filed the First Amendment Complaint (FAC) on September 21, 2016 against the City of Sunnyvale, officer Jeromy Lima, and the County of Santa Clara for five causes of action: (1) unlawful entry and seizure, (2) excessive force, (3) unconstitutional policies, practices, or procedures (“Monell claim”), (4) deliberate falsification of evidence (“Devereaux claim”), and (5) malicious prosecution. (Dkt. No. 38.) The court granted the Santa Clara Defendant's motion to dismiss with leave to amend, granted in part the Sunnyvale Defendant's motion to dismiss with leave to amend, and denied the motion as to the Plaintiff's excessive force claim. (Dkt. No. 56.)

         Plaintiff filed the Second Amended Complaint (SAC) on March 14, 2017 alleging (1) excessive force, (2) Devereaux violations, and (3) a Monell claim against the City of Sunnyvale. (Dkt. No. 66.) In response to Defendants' motion to dismiss the SAC for failure to state a claim, the Court granted the motion with leave to amend the three claims, but dismissed the punitive damages claims against the City without leave to amend. (Dkt. No. 95.)

         Plaintiff thereafter filed the operative Third Amended Complaint (TAC) against Defendant Officers Jeromy Lima, Daniel Pistor, Christopher Gottfred, Lieutenants Emmett Larkin and Timothy Sartwell, and the City of Sunnyvale alleging two claims: (1) excessive force as to the individual officer defendants, and (2) Monell liability as to the City. (Dkt. No. 99.) Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiff's TAC and accompanying request for judicial notice is now pending before the Court. (Dkt. Nos. 100, 100-1.)

         DISCUSSION

         A. Judicial Notice

         As a preliminary matter, the Court must decide what materials it will consider when determining whether the TAC survives Defendants' motion to dismiss, as the motion ...


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