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Hargrove v. City of Bakersfield

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 16, 2019

TATYANA HARGROVE, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF BAKERSFIELD, et al., Defendants.

          PRETRIAL ORDER

          JENNIFER L. THURSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff seeks monetary damages for their injuries pursuant to the Federal Court Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671. (See Doc. 1)

         A. JURISDICTION/ VENUE

         This Court has original jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345(b), and supplemental jurisdiction for Plaintiff's claims arising under state law pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. In addition, the venue is proper in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391.

         B. UNDISPUTED FACTS

         1. Defendants admit that Plaintiff's claims herein arise out of an incident that took place in the City of Bakersfield, State of California, and within this judicial district.

         2. The City of Bakersfield maintains, operates and controls the Bakersfield Police Department. The City of Bakersfield is a duly organized public entity existing under the laws of the State of California, it is a chartered subdivision of the State of California with the capacity to sue and be sued it is responsible for the actions, omissions, policies, procedures, practices, and customs of its various agents and agencies.

         3. The City of Bakersfield employed Defendants Moore and Vasquez.

         4. Defendants Moore and Vasquez were acting under color of law within the course and scope of their duties as police officers in regard to this incident.

         5. The incident giving rise to this litigation occurred on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

         6. On June 18, 2017, at approximately 12:21 p.m., there was a report of an assault with a deadly weapon at the Grocery Outlet located at 6421 Ming Avenue in Bakersfield, California.

         C. DISPUTED FACTS

         All remaining material facts are disputed, including, but not limited to:

         1. Whether Defendants Moore or Vazquez had reasonable suspicion to detain Tatyana Hargrove;

         2. Whether Defendants Moore or Vazquez had probable cause to arrest Tatyana Hargrove;

         3. Whether, as either a detention or an arrest, the seizure of Tatyana Hargrove was justified;

         4. Whether Defendants Moore and/or Vazquez used excessive or unreasonable force;

         5. Whether Defendants Moore or Vazquez participated in or failed to intervene in the wrongful conduct of the other;

         6. Whether Defendants Moore and/or Vazquez retaliated against Tatyana Hargrove for one or more statements she made during the encounter, such as asking for a warrant or stating that she was being stopped on account of her race, or for attempting to record the encounter on her cellphone.

         7. Whether Defendants Moore and/or Vazquez were negligent;

         8. Whether Defendants Moore and/or Vazquez conspired to deprive Hargrove of her rights, including the right to be free from arrest without probable cause and detention absent reasonable suspicion, the right to be free from excessive and unreasonable force, her rights under the First Amendment to free speech and freedom from retaliation, the right to be free from malicious prosecution; the right to substantive due process, and the right to equal protection;

         9. Whether the Defendant City of Bakersfield ratified the unconstitutional acts of Defendants Moore and/or Vazquez;

         10. Whether the Defendant City of Bakersfield failed to adequately train Defendants Moore and/or Vazquez, and whether that failure to train was a cause of their unconstitutional acts;

         11. Whether Defendants Moore and/or Vazquez acted pursuant to an unconstitutional custom, practice, or policy within the police department;

         12. Whether a substantial motivating reason for the conduct of Defendants Moore and/or Vazquez was Hargrove's race;

         13. The nature and extent of Plaintiff's damages, including economic and non-economic damages, both past and future; and

         14. Whether punitive damages should be imposed and, if so, the amount.

         Defendants submit that the following additional issues are in dispute:

         1. Whether the use of force by Defendant Christopher Moore was excessive;

         2. Whether the use of force by Defendant George Vasquez was excessive;

         3. Whether Tatyana Hargrove resisted detention and/or arrest;

         4. Whether the detention of Plaintiff Hargrove by Defendant Christopher Moore was unlawful;

         5. Whether the detention of Plaintiff Hargrove by Defendant George Vasquez was unlawful;

         6. Whether the Defendant Officers had probable cause to stop and/or detail and/or arrest Plaintiff;

         7. Whether Defendant Christopher Moore violated the Plaintiff's Substantive Due Process Claim (and if such claim can even be made under the Fourteenth Amendment);

         8. Whether Defendant George Vasquez violated the Plaintiff's Substantive Due Process Claim (and if such claim can even be made under the Fourteenth Amendment);

         9. Whether Defendant Christopher Moore violated the Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment Rights under the Equal Protection clause;

         10. Whether Defendant George Vasquez violated the Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment Rights under the Equal Protection clause;

         11. Whether Defendants' actions were motivated by Plaintiff's race;

         12. Whether Plaintiff was treated differently from those who are/were similarly situated;

         13. Whether Defendant Christopher Moore retaliated against the Plaintiff thereby violating her First Amendment Rights;

         14. Whether Defendant George Vasquez retaliated against the Plaintiff thereby violating her First Amendment Rights;

         15. Whether Defendant Christopher Moore and Defendant George Vasquez conspired to violate the Plaintiff's civil rights;

         16. Whether Plaintiff's civil rights were violated;

         17. Whether the Defendant Officers violated the Plaintiff's civil rights and whether the City of Bakersfield ratified the conduct of the Defendant Officers;

         18. Whether the Defendant Officers violated the Plaintiff's civil rights and whether the City of Bakersfield had inadequate training which caused such violation;

         19. Whether the Defendant Officers violated the Plaintiff's civil rights and whether the City of Bakersfield maintained an Unconstitutional Custom, Practice or Policy which caused the violation of Plaintiff's civil rights;

         20. Whether the Defendants committed violent acts against the Plaintiff which were motivated by the Plaintiff's race;

         21. Whether the Defendants violated the Plaintiff's civil rights by use of threats, intimidation or violence (or other Bane Act factors);

         22. Whether Defendant Moore is liable to Plaintiff for Battery;

         23. Whether Defendant Vasquez is liable to Plaintiff for Battery;

         24. Whether the detention and/or arrest of Plaintiff was lawful;

         25. Whether Defendant Christopher Moore was negligent;

         26. Whether Defendant George Vasquez was negligent;

         27. Whether Defendants Moore and Vasquez are entitled to Qualified Immunity;

         28. Whether there is any evidence of racial animus;

         29. Whether Ms. Hargrove mitigated her damages, if any;

         30. Whether the use of force was justified based on Ms. Hargrove's resistance;

         31. Whether Ms. Hargrove was comparatively negligent;

         32. Whether Ms. Hargrove was resisting detention and/or arrest;

         33. Whether Defendants are immune under the Government Code and/or Penal Code;

         34. Whether Ms. Hargrove's claimed injuries are the result of her own intentional acts;

         35. Whether Defendants had probable cause to stop;

         36. Whether Defendants had probable cause to detain;

         37. Whether Defendants had probable cause to arrest;

         38. Whether Defendants are immune from liability pursuant to Cal. Civ. Code § 3342(b);

         39. Whether Defendants are entitled to an award of attorneys fees and costs.

         D. DISPUTED LEGAL ISSUES

         None.

         E. DISPUTED EVIDENTIARY ISSUES

         Plaintiffs:

         1. Plaintiff will move to exclude all information not known to the officers at the time of the incident, to include without limitation all information about Tatyana Hargrove's background that was not known to the officers at the time. In addition to being irrelevant because the officers did not know it at the time of the incident, it is inadmissible character evidence to the extent that the Defendants intend to argue that it makes it more likely that the incident transpired one way as opposed to another. Finally, this evidence poses the danger of unfair prejudice. The information not known to the officers at the time of the incident includes all information regarding Tatyana Hargrove's background, school grades, disciplinary history at school, therapy for unrelated behavioral issues as a juvenile, prior history of fighting, or other alleged prior bad acts.

         2. Plaintiff will also move to exclude information subsequent to the incident relating to the machete wielding-man, which was not known to the police at the time of the incident and is therefore irrelevant.

         3. Plaintiff will move to exclude any reference to gangs, drugs, or weapons other than the machetes identified in the dispatch recordings.

         4. Plaintiff will move to exclude the testimony of expert Kris Mohandie, on the grounds that his opinions are irrelevant, character evidence, misleading, unreliable, lacking in foundation, unhelpful to the jury, and pose the danger of unfair prejudice.

         5. Plaintiff will move to preclude or limit testimony about the officers' subjective states of mind, beliefs, or fears.

         6. Plaintiff will move to exclude references to any other crime or incident other than the one to which the officers were directed to respond. This motion would also comprehend references to the area where the incident took place as a “gang neighborhood” or a “high-crime area.”

         7. Plaintiff will move to exclude certain opinions and testimony by Defendants' police practices expert.

         8. Plaintiff will move to exclude certain opinions and testimony by Defendants' medical expert.

         9. Plaintiff will file motions regarding the qualified immunity and comparative negligence defenses, to establish how these defenses will (and will not) be handled at trial and in front of the jury.

         Defendant:

         1. Motion to Exclude the fact that Christopher Moore is no longer paired with his K9 partner.

         2. Motion to Exclude Any alleged Statements Purportedly Given By The Chief of Police Subsequent to this Incident.

         3. Motion to Exclude Any Discipline of Either Officer.

         4. Motion to Exclude other IA Reports Pertaining to Other Matters.

         5. Motion to exclude reference to the Bakersfield Police Department or its officers as the “deadliest police force in America” and/or the use of such other inflammatory terms.

         6. Motion to exclude any reference to any settlement reached on behalf of any of the Defendants in any other case.

         7. Motion to exclude any alleged statistics regarding the use of force or deadly force by the Bakersfield Police Department.

         8. Motion to exclude any reference to the recent report issued by the ACLU.

         9. Motion to exclude any reference to the ...


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