United States District Court, C.D. California
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Cuan-Chen K. Liao
Attorneys Present for Defendants: Ashley S. Feder Devin
Present: The Honorable GEORGE H. WU, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S FIRST
AMENDED COMPLAINT ; PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR REMAND TO
STATE COURT 
hears oral argument. The Tentative circulated and attached
hereto, is adopted as the Court's Final Ruling.
Plaintiff's Motion to Remand is denied; Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss is granted with leave to amend. Plaintiff
will have until March 22, 2018 to file a Second Amended
scheduling conference set for March 8, 2018, is continued to
April 5, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.
Dominguez v. LA Cty. Sheriff's Dept., et
al.; No. 2:18-cv-371-GW-(AGRx) Tentative
Rulings on: (1) County Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and
(2) Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
Susan Dominguez brings this action against Defendants: 1) Los
Angeles County Sheriff's Department (“LASD”);
2) Jim McDonnell, the Los Angeles County Sheriff; 3) Hank
Ortega, an LASD Deputy Sheriff; 4) Curtis Jensen, an LASD
Deputy Sheriff; 5) Jeremy Licona, an LASD Deputy Sheriff; 6)
the Los Angeles Office of the County Counsel
(“OCC”); 7) Mary Wickham,  the Los Angeles
County Counsel; and 8) Daniel Ybarra. See generally First
Amended Complaint (“FAC”), Docket No. 1 at 12-26
of 66. Plaintiff brings five causes of action: 1) negligent
hiring, training, supervision, retention, and entrustment
against LASD, McDonnell, Ortega, and Jensen; 2)
“violation of right to due process of law”
against LASD, McDonnell, Ortega, Licona, and Jensen; 3)
“failure to intervene to prevent civil rights
violations” against LASD, McDonnell, Ortega, Jenson,
OCC, and Wickham; 4) “conspiracy to violate
Plaintiff's right to due process” against Ybarra
and Licona; and 5) battery against Ybarra. See generally
pleads the following relevant facts:
years, Plaintiff had rented a room from Ybarra, with whom she
also “maintained a relationship in cohabitation.”
Id. ¶ 17. On or about January 1, 2017,
Plaintiff was physically assaulted by Ybarra, causing her
physical injury. Id. ¶ 18. After the assault,
Ybarra left the residence and shortly thereafter “a man
whom Plaintiff did not know handed Plaintiff eviction
papers.” Id. LASD Deputy Sheriffs, including
Licona, then came to the residence. Id. ¶ 19.
Licona had been to the residence on at least three prior
occasions because “Ybarra had been intoxicated and
belligerent.” Id. ¶ 27. On the last of
these visits, Licona told Plaintiff that he did not want to
come to the residence again and that Plaintiff should leave.
near the time the Deputy Sheriffs arrived on January 1, 2017,
Ybarra returned to the residence. Id. ¶ 19.
Ybarra was placed in the back of a police vehicle and
Plaintiff was told that he would be arrested. Id.
¶ 20. Plaintiff was offered medical care but refused and
left the residence. Id. Plaintiff returned the
following day to discover that the locks had been changed.
Id. ¶ 21. Plaintiff contacted the LASD and was
told that it would take no action because Ybarra was not
home. Id. Instead, Plaintiff was instructed to
return the following day. Id. Plaintiff returned the
following day and Ybarra, now present at the residence,
threatened her with a metal pipe. Id. ¶ 22.
LASD Deputy Sheriffs, including Licona, came to the residence
and ordered Plaintiff to leave and stay away or she would be
arrested. Id. ¶ 23. Plaintiff told the LASD
Deputy Sheriffs that she needed to retrieve medications from
the residence. Id. ¶ 24. She was given five
minutes to do so but when she entered the residence she was
unable to find the medications because all of her belongings
had been “packed into plastic bags.” Id.
At that point Licona issued an emergency protective order to
Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 25. “Plaintiff did not
see any signature of a judicial officer on the Protective
Order.” Id. Plaintiff “pointed this
out” and asked Licona “why she was being
prevented from entering her residence when there was no
eviction order.” Id. Licona instructed
Plaintiff to leave or he would arrest her. Id.
following day Plaintiff complained to an unnamed LASD Watch
Commander. Id. ¶ 26. In response, Licona told
Plaintiff “I am sorry about this but at the end of the
day I need to put food on my table.” Id.
Plaintiff complained about Licona again to Jensen and Ortega
on January 8, 2017. Id. ¶ 31. Plaintiff was
informed that “her action was found to be
justified” and that LASD Deputy Sheriffs would be
disciplined. Id. Plaintiff was later informed,
however, that the LASD Deputy Sheriffs would not be
disciplined because they had done nothing wrong. Id.
Licona, and Wickham were served with this lawsuit on December
14, 2017. See Notice of Removal, Docket No. 1,
¶¶ 2-4. On January 16, 2017,  those three
defendants, joined by all other defendants, removed to this
Court, invoking its federal question jurisdiction. See
generally Id. After removal, LASD, McDonnell, Ortega,
Jensen, Licona, OCC, and Wickham (collectively, “County
Defendants”) moved to dismiss the first four causes of
action, arguing that Plaintiff's FAC fails to state
claims upon which relief may be granted. See
generally Motion to Dismiss (“MTD”), Docket
No. 8. Plaintiff moved to remand the matter back to state
court, arguing that the FAC fails to raise a substantial
federal question. See Motion to Remand
(“MTR”), Docket No. 11. Because the Court would
only consider the merits of the MTD if it has jurisdiction
over the case, the Court will first consider Plaintiff's
Motion to Remand
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, ” and have
subject matter jurisdiction only to the extent
“authorized by Constitution and statute.”
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S.
375, 377 (1994) (citing Willy v. Coastal Corp., 503
U.S. 131, 136-137 (1992); Bender v. Williamsport Area
Sch. Dist., 475 U.S. 534, 541 (1986)). “It is to
be presumed that a cause lies outside this limited
jurisdiction, and the burden of establishing the contrary
rests upon the party asserting ...