United States District Court, S.D. California
D.C., J.C., and T.C., by and through their guardian, MELANIE CABELKA; and MELANIE CABELKA, individually, Plaintiffs,
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO; SARAH WILSON; CARLOS OMEDA; FATIMAH ABDULLAH; MARILYN SPROAT, and DOES 1-100, Defendants.
William Q. Hayes, United States District Court
matters before the Court are 1) the Motion to Dismiss the
Second Amended Complaint filed by Defendants Sarah Wilson,
Carlos Olmeda, Fatimah Abdullah, and Marilyn Sproat (ECF
No. 75); 2) the Motion to Strike a Non-Party Minor’s
Confidential Information and Seal the Complaints filed by all
Defendants (ECF No. 76); 3) the Motion to Dismiss the Second
Amended Complaint filed by Defendant County of San Diego (ECF
No. 77); 4) the Motion to Appoint a Neutral Guardian Ad Litem
filed by Defendants (ECF No. 74); and 5) the Ex
Parte Motion to Appoint Melanie Cabelka as Guardian Ad
Litem filed by Plaintiffs (ECF No. 81).
February 28, 2019, Plaintiffs Melanie Cabelka and her minor
children, D.C., T.C., and J.C., filed a Second Amended
Complaint against Defendants County of San Diego (the
“County”), Sarah Wilson, Carlos Olmeda, Fatima
Abdullah, Marilyn Sproat, and Does 1 through 100 (the
“SAC”). (ECF No. 67). The SAC is the operative
complaint in this matter. Plaintiffs allege 1) first claim
against Wilson, Olmeda, Abdullah, and Sproat (collectively,
the “Social Services Defendants”) for
“Violation of Federal Civil Rights Pursuant to United
States Code, Title 42, § 1983” (id. at
28); 2) second claim against the County for
“Monell Related Claims 42 U.S.C. §
1983” (id. at 34) and negligence (id.
at 38); and 3) state law claims against all Defendants for
direct negligence (id. at 38), negligent and/or
intentional misrepresentation (id. at 41), and
intentional infliction of emotional distress (id. at
43). Plaintiffs seek general damages, special damages,
punitive damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, and costs.
Id. at 44.
29, 2019, Motions to Dismiss the SAC were filed by the Social
Services Defendants (ECF No. 75) and the County (ECF No. 77).
On May 29, 2019, Defendants collectively filed a Motion to
Strike and Seal the Complaints (ECF No. 76) and a Motion to
Appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (ECF No. 74). On June 12, 2019,
Plaintiffs filed an Ex Parte Motion to Appoint a
Guardian Ad Litem. (ECF No. 81). On the same day, Defendants
filed a Response to Plaintiffs’ Ex Parte
Motion. (ECF No. 82).
24, 2019, Plaintiffs filed Responses to Defendants’
Motion to Appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (ECF No. 86) and Motion
to Strike (ECF No. 87). On July 1, 2019, Defendants filed
Replies in support of their Motion to Appoint a Guardian Ad
Litem (ECF No. 88) and Motion to Strike. (ECF No. 89). On
July 23, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a Response to the Social
Services Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 92), a
Response to the County’s Motion to Dismiss (ECF No.
93), and Requests for Judicial Notice in support of both
Responses (ECF Nos. 92-1, 93-1).
August 16, 2019, both the Social Services Defendants (ECF No.
96) and the County (ECF No. 97) filed Replies in support of
their respective Motions to Dismiss. Defendants also
collectively filed a Response to Plaintiffs’ Requests
for Judicial Notice. (ECF No. 98). On August 21, 2019,
Defendants filed a Request for Judicial Notice in support of
their Motions to Dismiss (ECF No. 99).
Factual Allegations in the SAC
Melanie Cabelka adopted her children, T.C., D.C., and J.C.,
prior to March 2015 after their successful foster or adoptive
placements in Cabelka’s home. (ECF No. 67 ¶¶
23, 27). T.C. was born in 2003 (id. ¶ 4), D.C.
was born in 2004 (id. ¶ 5), and J.C. was born
in 2009 (id. ¶ 6).
allege that prior to March 2015, D.G., who is not a party to
this action, was a dependent of the Court “in the
foster system.” Id. ¶¶ 30, 118.
Plaintiffs allege that Defendants were “responsible for
the evaluation, placement, supervision, and well-being”
of D.G. Id. at ¶ 118. D.G. allegedly had a
history of “fecal smearing, expressed suicidal
thoughts, violent physical outbursts culminating in the
destruction of property, and sexually aggressive and deviant
behaviors.” Id. ¶ 45. Plaintiffs allege
D.G. had “been exposed to sexual abuse”
(id. ¶ 36) and “had been removed from his
immediately prior adoptive placement . . . because he had
been sexually molesting another male child . . . .”
Id. at 36. Plaintiffs allege Defendants had access
to information about D.G.’s history of medical,
behavioral, and psychological problems, including
“CWS/CMS records” (id. ¶¶ 37,
45, 50, 63) and “reports from both prior foster parents
and D.G.’s school” (id. ¶ 35).
accepted D.G. into her home as a foster child in March 2015.
Id. ¶ 29. Plaintiffs allege that before Cabelka
accepted D.G. into her home, she asked Sproat, a County
placement worker, how many prior placements D.G. had been in
and why the prior placements failed. Id. ¶ 33.
Sproat allegedly told Cabelka that “there was no issue
with [D.G.], it was not [his] fault . . . ”
(id.) and that D.G. had “great
behaviors.” (id. ¶ 30). Plaintiffs allege
Cabelka asked D.G.’s social worker’s supervisor,
. . . if she knew anything about the history of [D.G], and if
there was anything [Cabelka] should know about [him] before
she committed to [his] placement in her home. Specifically,
[Cabelka] asked Abdullah if she had any information regarding
why D.G.’s prior adoptive placement failed. Abdullah
refrained from telling [Cabelka] the truth and instead stated
that the prior adoptive placements had not
‘failed.’ Abdullah reiterated - falsely, what a
great kid D.G. was, and how he had no problems other than
those medical problems already disclosed by Sproat, i.e.,
spina bifida, which was well in hand.
Id. ¶ 38. Plaintiffs allege that all of the
Defendants knew or should have known D.G.’s history and
“actively conceal[ed] D.G.’s past aberrant
behaviors,” placing Cabelka and her children at risk.
Id. ¶¶ 120-122. Defendants allegedly
“actively suppressed this information from [Cabelka]
and refrained from disclosing it out of concern that if they
had disclosed all of the relevant ...