United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO'S MOTION TO DISMISS [DKT. NO.
GONZALO P. CURIEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant County of San Diego's
(“Defendant” or “County”) motion to
dismiss Plaintiff Ernest Jackson's
(“Plaintiff”) claims against it pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”)
12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 7.) Plaintiff filed an opposition. (Dkt.
No. 10.) The County filed a reply. (Dkt. No. 11.) Based on
the briefs, applicable law, and supporting documentation, the
Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part the County's
motion to dismiss.
April 25, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint claiming federal
and state civil rights violations as well as state law claims
against the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego, and
Does 1-25. (Dkt. No. 1, Compl.) Does 1-2 are police officers,
officials, and other agents of the City of San Diego employed
by the San Diego Police Department who were acting in their
professional capacity within the scope of their employment.
(Id. ¶ 12.) Does 3-25 are sheriff's
deputies, officials, and other agents of the County of San
Diego employed by the San Diego County Sheriff's
Department who were acting in their professional capacity
within the scope of their employment. (Id. ¶
to the complaint, on Saturday, July 28, 2018, while Plaintiff
was dozing off in his parked truck in front of his former
residence located at Newton Avenue, two San Diego police
officers, Does 1 and 2, arrested Plaintiff for public
intoxication without asking Plaintiff any questions about
whether he lived at the residence, why he was parked on the
street, or whether he had been drinking. (Id.
¶¶ 21-30.) Plaintiff asserts he had not been
drinking and did not display any signs of intoxication.
(Id. ¶¶ 29, 31.) The officers did not ask
to see Plaintiff's California driver's license, which
listed the Newton Avenue location as his address of
residence, and they did not conduct a sobriety test.
(Id. ¶¶ 26-32.) The two officers booked
Plaintiff in the San Diego Central Jail where Plaintiff spent
five days, from Saturday, July 28, 2018 to Wednesday, August
1, 2018. (Id. ¶¶ 36, 42.) The officers
also seized Plaintiff's truck, which contained his
personal possessions, and the truck was ultimately sold at an
auction after Plaintiff could not afford to retrieve it.
(Id. ¶ 37.) Once booked, Plaintiff was informed
he would appear before a judge at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 30;
however, when the time came, Plaintiff was never taken to
appear before a judge, and sheriff deputies did not give
Plaintiff an explanation as to why he was denied a hearing.
(Id. ¶¶ 38-40.) The following day,
Tuesday, July 31, Plaintiff inquired about appearing before a
judge, and a deputy responded that they would “let him
know.” (Id. ¶ 41.) He was not taken to a
judge and spent another day in jail. (Id.) On
Wednesday, August 1, Plaintiff's fifth day in jail,
deputies handed Plaintiff a sheet of paper, which ordered
Plaintiff to appear in court on September 13, 2018 and on
that day, Plaintiff was released from jail. (Id.
¶¶ 42, 45.) On September 13, 2018, Plaintiff
appeared in court as ordered but no criminal charges had been
filed. (Id. ¶ 46.) Plaintiff believed he was a
defendant awaiting criminal charges when he appeared in court
on September 13, 2018. (Id. ¶ 105.) As a result
of his unlawful seizure, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment,
and violation of due process rights, he suffered emotional
trauma, anxiety, and pain and suffering. (Id. ¶
March 7, 2019, Plaintiff presented a Government Claim Form
with the County pursuant to the California Government Code.
(Id. ¶ 7.) On the Government Claim Form,
Plaintiff wrote that the claim arose from events that
occurred between July 28, 2018 to September 13, 2018. (Dkt.
No. 7-2, D's RJN, Ex. A at 4.) On March 14, 2019, the County
issued a Notice of Returned Portion of Claim for Dates July
28, 2018 through August 1, 2018. (Id., Ex. B at 7.)
The Notice stated that a portion of his claim, July 28, 2018
through August 1, 2018, was not timely because it was not
filed within six months after the event or occurrence but
acknowledged the September 13, 2018 portion of the claim was
timely. (Id.) On April 23, 2019, the County issued a
Notice of Rejection of Claim which references July 28, 2018
as the date of the incident. (Id.)
April 25, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court
alleging seven causes of action: (1) unlawful seizure
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Does
1-2; (2) arrest without probable cause pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Defendants Does 1-2; (3) violation of
procedural due process pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Defendants County of San Diego and Does 3-25; (4)
negligence against all Defendants; (5) false imprisonment
against Defendants City of San Diego and Does 1-2; (6)
intentional infliction of emotional distress against all
Defendants; and (7) violation of California Civil Code
section 52.1 (“Bane Act”) against all Defendants.
(Dkt. No. 1, Compl.)
22, 2019, the City of San Diego filed an answer to the
complaint. (Dkt. No. 6.) On the same day, the County filed a
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. (Dkt. No. 7.)
Plaintiff filed a timely opposition to the motion on June 14,
2019. (Dkt. No. 10.) The County filed a timely reply on June
28, 2019. (Dkt. No. 11.)
County argues that all claims against it, i.e., third,
fourth, sixth, and seventh causes of action, pled in
Plaintiff's complaint, should be dismissed. Specifically, the
County contends the third cause of action, due process
violation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 should be dismissed
because Plaintiff failed to identify an official policy or
established custom that is alleged to have caused his
constitutional injury to hold the County liable for a §
1983 claim. With respect to the fourth, sixth, and seventh
causes of action, Plaintiff's remaining state law claims,
the County argues Plaintiff failed to timely comply with the
requirements of the California Tort Claims Act
(“CTCA”). The crux of the County's argument
is that Plaintiff's injury accrued on August 1, 2018, the
date Plaintiff was released from County jail after a five-day
detention, and Plaintiff, having filed his Government Claim
Form on March 7, 2019, failed to present a government tort
claim to Defendant within six months of the claim's
accrual as required under California law.
in his opposition, acknowledges that third cause of action
for violation of his federal due process rights was alleged
against the County in error. Because Plaintiff's
opposition clarifies that the § 1983 claim was alleged
against the County in error, the Court GRANTS the
County's motion and DISMISSES Plaintiff's third cause
of action as unopposed.
further argues that the County's motion to dismiss the
state law claims should be denied because Plaintiff timely
presented his Government Claim Form against the County on
March 7, 2019. To support this contention, Plaintiff makes
the following arguments: (1) Plaintiff's state law causes
of action accrued on September 13, 2018, not August 1, 2018,
due to the delayed discovery doctrine, (Dkt. No. 10 at 5-6);
(2) the County's wrongful acts began in July 2018 and
continued until September 13, 2018, (Dkt. No. 10 at 6-8); and
(3) the County is equitably estopped from arguing
untimeliness, (Dkt. No. 10 at 8-11).
reply to Plaintiff's opposition, the County argues that
because Plaintiff's sole federal-question claim was
alleged against the County in error, there are no remaining
claims over which there exists original subject matter
jurisdiction, and the Court should decline to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law
claims. In the alternative, the County argues that the state
law claims must nevertheless be dismissed for the following
reasons: (1) Plaintiff is precluded from invoking the delayed
discovery doctrine because he had contemporaneous knowledge
of his alleged injury when it occurred on August 1, 2018; (2)
Plaintiff's complaint does not include specific facts
demonstrating Plaintiff conducted a reasonable investigation
of all potential causes of action for his injury once he was
released from custody on August 1, 2018; and (3)
Plaintiff's continuing violations and equitable estoppel
arguments fail because the Superior Court, and not County
employees, ordered Plaintiff to appear in court on September
Legal Standard for Federal Rule of Civil ...