Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Grizzle v. County of San Diego

United States District Court, S.D. California

August 27, 2019

ELLIOT SCOTT GRIZZLE, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, et al., Defendant.

          ORDER: (1) OVERRULING OBJECTIONS, (2) ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, AND (3) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART THE MOVING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF NOS. 93, 97, 99, 100)

          Hon. Janis L. Sammartino, United States District Judge.

         Presently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Elliot Scott Grizzle's Second Amended Complaint filed by Defendants County of San Diego (the “County”), Sheriff William Gore, Lieutenant Lena Lovelace, and Lieutenant Eric Froistad (the “Moving Defendants”) (“Mot., ” ECF No. 93). Also before the Court is Magistrate Judge Ruth Bermudez Montenegro's Report and Recommendation (“R&R, ” ECF No. 97) advising the Court to grant in part and deny in part the Moving Defendants' Motion, as well as the Moving Defendants' (“Defs.' Obj., ” ECF No. 99) and Plaintiff's (“Pl.'s Obj., ” ECF No. 100) Objections to Magistrate Judge Montenegro's R&R and Plaintiff's (“Pl.'s Reply, ” ECF No. 101) and the Moving Defendants (“Defs.' Reply, ” ECF No. 102) Replies.[1] Having considered the Parties' arguments and the law, the Court OVERRULES Plaintiff's Objections, OVERRULES the Moving Defendants' Objections, ADOPTS the R&R in its entirety, and GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the Moving Defendants' Motion.

         BACKGROUND

         Magistrate Judge Montenegro's R&R contains a thorough and accurate recitation of the facts and procedural history underlying the instant Motion. See R&R at 2-6. This Order incorporates by reference the background as set forth therein.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) set forth a district court's duties in connection with a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. The district court must “make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made, ” and “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 673-76 (1980); United States v. Remsing, 874 F.2d 614, 617 (9th Cir. 1989). In the absence of timely objection, however, the Court “need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's note (citing Campbell v. U.S. Dist. Court, 501 F.2d 196, 206 (9th Cir. 1974)).

         ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff's operative Second Amended Complaint alleges four causes of action against the Moving Defendants for: (1) violation of Plaintiff's rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as to his placement in the administrative segregation housing unit (“Ad-Seg”); (2) violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights premised on sleep deprivation resulting from his confinement in Ad-Seg; (3) violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights premised on prevention from exercising; and (4) violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment Rights premised on Plaintiff being forced to choose between sleep and exercise. See ECF No. 88 (“SAC”) at 15-19.

         Magistrate Judge Montenegro recommends that the Court deny the Motion as to Plaintiff's first, see R&R at 7-11, and second, see Id. at 11-14, causes of action against the County. Magistrate Judge Montenegro also recommends that the Court terminate without leave to amend Defendant Froistad as to all Plaintiff's causes of action; terminate Defendant Lovelace as to Plaintiff's second, third, and fourth causes of action; and terminated Sheriff Gore as to Plaintiff's first cause of action. See Id. at 14-19, 21-22. Finally, Magistrate judge Montenegro recommends that the Court dismiss without prejudice Plaintiff's claims for injunctive and declaratory relief. See Id. at 19-21.

         The Moving Defendants object to Magistrate Judge Montenegro's recommendations concerning Plaintiff's first and second causes of action and claim that Plaintiff has not stated a viable claim against either the County of Sheriff Gore. See generally ECF No. 99. Plaintiff separately objects to Magistrate Judge Montenegro's recommendations concerning the termination of individual defendants Froistad, Lovelace, and Gore and dismissal of his claims for declaratory and injunctive relief. The Court reviews de novo those portions of Magistrate Judge Montenegro's R&R to which the Parties object and reviews for clear error those portions to which the Parties do not object.

         I. The First Cause of Action Against the County

         Plaintiff first alleges violation of his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment arising from his placement in solitary confinement without notice or opportunity for a non-adversarial hearing. See SAC ¶¶ 44-51. The Court previously denied a motion to dismiss this claim. See ECF No. 73 at 3-5. Nonetheless, the Moving Defendants again argue that Plaintiff's due process claim against the County should be dismissed because “Plaintiff fails to establish the County's liability under any of the Gilette[ v. Delmore, 979 F.2d 1342 (9th Cir. 1992)] prong[s].” Mot. at 6. Magistrate Judge Montenegro again recommends that the Court deny the Moving Defendants' Motion. See R&R at 7-11.

         A. Deprivation of Plaintiff's Right to Due Process

         Magistrate Judge Montenegro concludes that Plaintiff's allegations that Defendants did not provide Plaintiff with an informal, nonadversary hearing within a reasonable time after being placed in Ad-Seg; a written decision describing the reasons for placing him in Ad-Seg; and an opportunity to present his view amount to a constitutional violation. See R&R at 8-9 (citing Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080, 1100 (9th Cir. 1986), abrogated in part on other grounds by Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995)). Neither Party appears to object to this portion of Magistrate Judge Montenegro's R&R, see generally Defs.' Obj. at 1-3; Pl.'s Obj. at 2, and the Court finds no clear error in the recommendation.

         B. Wide-Settled City Policy

         Magistrate Judge Montenegro finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently stated a claim that Plaintiff's alleged due process violation was caused by a de facto County policy because “Plaintiff has alleged a widespread practice that is so permanent and well settled as to constitute a custom or usage with the force of law.” R&R at 10. The Moving Defendants object that “the R&R did not point to any authority providing a clear standard in alleging a viable section 1983 claim under the ‘de facto policy' theory.” Defs.' Obj. at 2. Further, “Plaintiff did not sufficiently allege a pattern or custom of the constitutional deprivation.” Id. at 3.

         In short, the Moving Defendants attempt to distinguish Plaintiff's situation, which involves multiple alleged due process violations against Plaintiff, from cases in which multiple plaintiffs alleged separate due process violations. The Moving Defendants, however, cite no authority that would require the Court to conclude that Plaintiff's allegations are insufficient to establish a pattern or custom as necessary to state a claim against the County. To the contrary, it would appear that other district courts have found such allegations sufficient to state a claim. See, e.g., Kirk v. Foster, No. 3:13-CV-00296-RCJ, 2014 WL 6792028, at *15 (D. Nev. Dec. 1, 2014) (“Plaintiff avers Plaintiff that he was written up more than fifty times for more than 100 alleged rule violations, which resulted in the loss of liberties, including four months in punitive segregation, for which he was seldom afforded due process. He has sufficiently alleged a claim for denial of his procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment against [the defendant] County . . . .”). On de novo review, the Court therefore OVERRULES the Moving Defendants' objection and ADOPTS Magistrate Judge Montenegro's recommendation that Plaintiff sufficiently alleges that the County maintains a policy resulting in the deprivation of Plaintiff's due process rights in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

         C. Deliberate Indifference

         Finally, Magistrate Judge Montenegro concludes that “Plaintiff's allegations of repeated failures to respond to his grievances and the lack of process afforded him are sufficient to allege that th[e County's] de facto policy was widely adhered to with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights.” R&R at 10-11. Neither Party appears to object to this portion of Magistrate Judge Montenegro's R&R, see generally Defs.' Obj. at 1-3; Pl.'s Obj. at 2, and the Court finds no clear error in the recommendation. The Court therefore ADOPTS Magistrate Judge Montenegro's R&R and DENIES the Moving Defendants' Motion as to Plaintiff's first cause of action.

         II. The Second Cause of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.