United States District Court, E.D. California
CINDY M. ALEJANDRE; and DAVID GONZALEZ II, as co-successors-in-interest to decedent David Gonzalez III, Plaintiffs,
COUNTY OF SAN JOAQUIN, a municipal corporation; and DOES 1-50, inclusive, individually and in their official capacity as Sheriff's Deputies for the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: DEFENDANT COUNTY OF SAN
JOAQUIN'S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFFS' FIRST AMENDED
WILLIAM B.SHUBB UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Cindy M. Alejandre and David Gonzalez II brought this
survival and wrongful death action against the County of San
Joaquin (“the County”) and unidentified
individual defendants for their conduct in connection with
the death of David Gonzalez III. Before the court is the
County's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”). (Docket No. 18.)
court described much of the factual and procedural background
to this lawsuit in its prior order granting the County's
motion to dismiss the original complaint. (Mem. & Order
Re: Mot. to Dismiss (“MTD Order”) (Docket No.
12).) The court found that plaintiffs failed to state a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for municipal liability --
plaintiffs' only claim against the County. The court gave
plaintiffs thirty days to file an amended complaint and the
affidavits needed to comply with California Code of Civil
Procedure § 377.32. (See id.) On July 3, 2019,
plaintiffs filed the necessary affidavits and their FAC,
which alleges one cause of action against the County under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. (Docket No. 17.) The County again moves
to dismiss this cause of action.
municipality may not be held liable under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, unless a policy, practice, or custom of the
municipality is “the moving force of the constitutional
violation.” Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City
of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978). Liability attaches for
the municipality when a violation of a federally protected
right can be attributed to (1) an official municipal policy,
id.; (2) “a widespread practice that, although not
authorized by written law or express municipal policy, is so
permanent and well settled as to constitute a custom or usage
with the force of law, ” City of St. Louis v.
Praprotnik, 485 U.S. 112, 127 (1988) (citation and quotations
omitted); (3) a decision made or ratified by a person with
“final policymaking authority, ” Id. at
123 & 127; or (4) inadequate training or supervision that
is deliberately indifferent to an individual's
constitutional rights, City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S.
378, 389 (1989).
their FAC, plaintiffs have not changed their allegations from
those in the original complaint with respect to their
ratification (compare FAC ¶¶ 18, 21, 29-30 &
60-67, with Compl. ¶¶ 18, 21, 29-30 & 60-67
(Docket No. 1)) or inadequate training or supervision
(compare FAC ¶¶ 15, 21 & 63-64, with Compl.
¶¶ 15, 21 & 63-64) theories of liability.
Plaintiffs modified their allegations as to their policy or
custom theory only superficially. (Compare FAC ¶¶
63-64, with Compl. ¶¶ 63-64.) These modifications
did not substantively change the factual basis for this
theory of liability. The court therefore finds that the FAC
does not state a claim for municipal liability under these
three theories for the same reasons identified in the
court's previous order. (See MTD Order at
plaintiffs have failed to allege sufficient facts for any
theory of municipal liability, the court will dismiss
plaintiffs' only cause of action against the County.
Further, because plaintiffs failed to meaningfully amend
their complaint notwithstanding the court's prior order,
the court finds that further amendment would be futile. See
Gompper v. VISX, Inc., 298 F.3d 893, 898 (9th Cir. 2002).
THEREFORE ORDERED THAT the County's Motion to Dismiss
(Docket No. 18) be, and the same hereby is, GRANTED.
Plaintiffs' fourth cause of action as against the County
is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
 Plaintiffs do not argue for municipal
liability based on an official municipal policy.
 Plaintiffs again ask this court to
apply a relaxed pleading standard and accept allegations that
lack elaborate factual detail. The court rejects this
argument for the same reasons it ...