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Narcisse v. Tafesse

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

September 16, 2019

EZRA TAFESSE, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff moves for reconsideration of this Court's order granting Defendants Tafesse, Vasquez, and Kim's motion for summary judgment with respect to Plaintiff's deliberate indifference claim. Plaintiff's motion will be DENIED. I. BACKGROUND The facts remain disputed. Both parties, however, agree that on January 29, 2012, at Hercules Police Department (“HPD”) a blood draw occurred after which Plaintiff was taken to the Martinez Detention Facility.

         A. Facts According to Plaintiff

          Plaintiff claims he was taken to the HPD booking room and then handcuffed to a bench. See Narcisse Decl. ¶ 45, Dkt. No. 95. About an hour later, he was ordered to sit “like a seesaw” on the bench, with his right leg, knee, arm and shoulder pressed against a concrete wall. Id. ¶¶ 62-63. He was put into a “lock position” by Officer Kim and was unable to move his arms. Id. ¶ 64. Before the blood draw, Defendants did not ask Plaintiff if he had any allergies, or blood, heart or other relevant conditions that would make a blood draw dangerous. Id. ¶ 67.

         Next, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Kim pushed his face and right shoulder against the concrete wall. Id. ¶ 71. Defendant Kim continued to slam and squeeze Plaintiff against this wall. Id. ¶ 73. Defendant Tafesse then punched Plaintiff on the back of his head, back, ribs, stomach, pelvis, and hips. Id. ¶ 74. Defendant Vasquez next punched Plaintiff several times over the head. Id. ¶ 75. This resulted in Plaintiff's “nose slit” opening and several contusions to his head and body. Id.

         Plaintiff further contends that he had an asthma attack due to the blood draw, beating, and restraint. Id. ¶ 80. He faded in and out of consciousness, convulsing, while repeating “in a faint voice” that he could not breathe and needed medical attention. Id. But, Defendants did not offer him medical attention and intentionally denied him this attention. Id. ¶ 81.

         On January 30, 2012-the day after the attack-Plaintiff was released on bail and went to the Emergency Room of Contra Costa Hospital for medical treatment. Id. ¶ 104. Because of these events, Plaintiff now suffers from sleep apnea with an increase of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. Id. ¶ 106.

         B. Facts According to Defendants

          Defendants allege that Plaintiff was verbally abusive and repeatedly refused to sit down, despite requests, for the blood draw. See Tafesse Decl. ¶ 12, Dkt. No. 80. When the phlebotomist arrived, Plaintiff declined to stay seated and yelled that he would not comply. Id. Because of this verbal and physical noncompliance, Defendant Tafesse believed Plaintiff posed a threat of harm to himself, to officers, and to the phlebotomist. Id. So, Defendants Vasquez and Kim held Plaintiff to the bench to complete the blood draw. Id. ¶ 13. Defendants used just enough force to secure Plaintiff for the blood draw and released Plaintiff once the blood was collected. Id.

         Plaintiff sustained a small bruise above his right eyebrow and a small cut on the bridge of his nose from being held down for the blood draw. Id.

         C. Procedural History

         On May 31, 2018, this Court issued an order denying in part Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. There, the Court granted summary judgment for the deliberate indifference claim but denied summary judgment for Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment (excessive force and unreasonable search and seizure[1]) claims.

         On January 25, 2019, as required by Local Rule 7-9(a), Plaintiff moved for leave to file a motion for reconsideration. On January 29, 2019, this Court granted Plaintiff leave to file this motion due to “good cause, ” but only regarding the Court's grant of summary judgment to Defendants on Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment deliberate indifference claim. The Court now rules on Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration.


         A. Motion for Reconsideration

         Reconsideration of a final judgment, order, or proceeding is appropriate if the district court (1) is presented with newly discovered evidence; (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust; or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law. See, e.g., School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah Cty., Or. v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) (listing these, and additional, grounds for reconsideration of an order). However, absent these three things, “a motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances.” Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000)). A motion for reconsideration may not be used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when they could reasonably have been raised ...

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