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Estate of Alvarado v. Tackett

United States District Court, S.D. California

September 20, 2019

THE ESTATE OF VALERIA TACHIQUIN ALVARADO, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
JUSTIN TACKETT, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ UNOPPOSED EX PARTE PETITION TO CONFIRM MINOR’S COMPROMISE [ECF NO. 200]

          Honorable Linda Lopez United States Magistrate Judge

         Currently pending before the Court is Plaintiffs’ “Ex Parte Petition for Order Approving Settlement Involving Minors and Distribution of Settlement Funds” (“Petition” or “Pet.”). ECF No. 200. Plaintiffs request that the Court confirm the proposed settlement entered into on behalf of Israel Alvarado, Analya Alvarado, Isaac Alvarado, and Rebecca Alvarado (the “Minor Plaintiffs”). Id. at 2. The Minor Plaintiffs Israel Alvarado and Analya Alvarado are represented by Gilbert Alvarado, their guardian ad litem. The Minor Plaintiffs Isaac Alvarado and Rebecca Alvarado are represented by Valentin Tachiquin, their guardian ad litem.

         Based upon the Court’s review of the papers and for the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the Petition.

         BACKGROUND

         This instant action arises from a fatal confrontation between Border Patrol Agents and Decedent Valeria Tachiquin Alvarado. Plaintiffs are Decedent’s estate, spouse, children, and parents.

         On May 20, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint against Defendants United States of America (“United States”) and Justin Tackett (“Tackett”). ECF No. 1. On October 1, 2013, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint against Defendants United States and Tackett asserting five causes of action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotic Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) (“Bivens”), and four causes of action under the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”). ECF No. 16. Specifically, Plaintiffs asserted claims for: (1) excessive force under Bivens; (2) wrongful death under Bivens; (3) deprivation of the right of association under Bivens; (4) failure to properly screen and hire under Bivens; (5) failure to supervise and discipline under Bivens; (6) wrongful death pursuant to the FTCA; (7) assault and battery pursuant to the FTCA; (8) negligence pursuant to the FTCA; and (9) excessive force pursuant to the FTCA. Id.

         On January 16, 2014, the Court: (1) denied the United States’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s second, fourth, and fifth claims in their entirety; (2) granted the United States’ request to dismiss Plaintiff’s sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth claims against Defendant Tackett; and (3) denied the United States’ request to dismiss Plaintiff’s ninth claim against the United States. ECF No. 33.

         On August 1, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint against Defendants United States, Tackett, Alex Roozen (“Roozen”), and Stephanie Shavatt (“Shavatt”) asserting nine causes of action under Bivens and nine causes of action under the FTCA. ECF No. 50. Specifically, Plaintiffs asserted claims for: (1) unlawful stop under Bivens; (2) illegal detention under Bivens; (3) illegal arrest under Bivens; (4) excessive force under Bivens: (5) unlawful seizure under Bivens; (6) illegal use of deadly force under Bivens; (7) wrongful death under Bivens; (8) deprivation of the right of association under Bivens; (9) failure to properly screen and hire under Bivens; (10) assault pursuant to the FTCA; (11)-(13) three causes of action for battery under the FTCA; (14) negligence pursuant to the FTCA; (15) negligent screening and hiring pursuant to the FTCA; (16) false imprisonment pursuant to the FTCA; (17) wrongful death pursuant to the FTCA; and (18) violation of Cal. Civ. Code § 52.1 pursuant to the FTCA. Id.

         On November 6, 2014, Defendant Roozen filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. ECF No. 63. On the same day, Defendant Shavatt separately filed an Amended Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. ECF No. 64. On April 27, 2015, the Court granted Defendant Roozen’s motion and denied Defendant Shavatt’s motion. ECF No. 103. On April 17, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the Court’s decision as to Defendant Shavatt and remanded for entry of judgment as to Defendant Shavatt’s claims on the grounds of qualified immunity. ECF No. 115. On August 24, 2017, the Court dismissed all claims against Defendant Shavatt per the Ninth Circuit’s mandate. ECF No. 120.

         On January 14, 2015, the United States moved to dismiss Plaintiffs’ fifteenth cause of action against it. ECF No. 76. The Court denied the motion on May 14, 2015. ECF No. 107.

         On December 18, 2017, Defendant Tackett moved for summary judgment. See ECF No. 122. On December 21, 2017, Defendant United States of America joined in Defendant Tackett’s motion [ECF No. 123] and filed its own Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 124]. At this juncture: (1) claims 1-8, 10-14, 16-18 against Defendant Tackett; (2) claims 10-18 against Defendant United States; and (3) claims 10, 11, 14 and 16 against Defendant Roozen remained in the case. ECF No. 155 at 8.

         On June 4, 2018, the Court granted Defendant Tackett’s motions as to claims 1-8 (the Bivens claims), granted Defendant United States’ motion as to claim 15 (negligent hiring), and denied the remainder of Defendants’ motions. Id. at 21.

         On June 6, 2018, the Court confirmed the substitution of Defendant United States as to Plaintiffs’ state law claims against Defendant Tackett pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2679(d)(1) and terminated the action as to Defendant Tackett. ECF No. 158. On July 2, 2018, the Court confirmed the substitution of Defendant United States as to Plaintiffs’ state law claims against Defendants Roozen and Shavatt pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2679(d)(1) and terminated the action as to Defendants Roozen and Shavatt. ECF No. 163.

         Plaintiffs presently maintain the following causes of action against Defendant United States: (10) assault pursuant to the FTCA; (11)-(13) three causes of action for battery under the FTCA; (14) negligence pursuant to the FTCA; (16) false imprisonment pursuant to the FTCA; (17) wrongful death pursuant ...


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