141 F.3d 1178 (9th Cir. 1998), 96-55218, Parra v. City of Chino

Docket Nº:96-55218, 96-55271.
Citation:141 F.3d 1178
Party Name:Manuel PARRA; Vivian Parra; Manuel Parra, Jr.; Roseann Parra; Margaret Parra; Francisco Parra, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. City of Chino; James Anthony; Roger Planas, # 719; Ron Vallejo, # 688; Jeff Allison, # 716; Charles Sample, # 467; Danny Ross Lamaster; Kevin Devey, in both their personal and official capacities, Defendants-Appellees. Manuel PAR
Case Date:March 02, 1998
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 1178

141 F.3d 1178 (9th Cir. 1998)

Manuel PARRA; Vivian Parra; Manuel Parra, Jr.; Roseann Parra; Margaret Parra; Francisco Parra, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

City of Chino; James Anthony; Roger Planas, # 719; Ron Vallejo, # 688; Jeff Allison, # 716; Charles Sample, # 467; Danny Ross Lamaster; Kevin Devey, in both their personal and official capacities, Defendants-Appellees.

Manuel PARRA; Vivian Parra; Manuel Parra, Jr.; Roseann Parra; Margaret Parra; Francisco Parra, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

City of Chino; James Anthony; Roger Planas, # 719; Ron Vallejo, # 688; Jeff Allison, # 716; Charles Sample, # 467; Kevin Devey, in both their personal and official capacities, Defendants-Appellants.

No. 96-55218, 96-55271.

No. CV-94-00003-RT(JRx)

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

March 2, 1998

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA9 Rule 36-3 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Argued and Submitted Jan. 7, 1998.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California Robert J. Timlin, District Judge, Presiding.

Before LAY, [**] GOODWIN and SCHROEDER, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM [*]

Manuel Parra Sr. brought a § 1983 action against the city of Chino and several of its police officers for using excessive force to arrest him. On February 14, 1991, officers went to Parra's home to execute a felony arrest warrant. Mrs. Parra told the officers that her husband would come to the door in a moment and closed the screen door. The officers then broke the screen in the door, entered the house and searched for Parra. Not finding him, officer Planas searched the house again with a police dog. Planas took the police dog into the family's bathroom where Parra's nine-year old daughter was taking a shower. During this time, officer Allison took Parra's six-year old son outside the house and patted him down for weapons. AER at pp. 147-48.

Planas and Devey then searched the backyard area and saw Parra attempting to flee. After instructing Parra to stop, the officers released the police dog and gave the dog a "search" command. The dog found Parra, bit him in the foot and pulled Parra off a truck. While Parra struggled with the dog, the dog bit him five times in the arm, leg and foot. At the same time, Planas hit Parra several times on the back and buttocks with his baton. The incident lasted twenty to twenty-five seconds. Once Parra was subdued, Planas commanded the dog to release its bite, and it released Parra.

Parra brought a § 1983 action against the City of Chino, Chief of Police James Anthony and officers Roger Planas and Kevin Devey, claiming the police officers used unnecessary and unreasonable force in arresting him. Parra also sued Dan LaMaster, who trained the police officers to handle police dogs, claiming inadequate training caused, in part, Parra's injuries. Parra's children brought a § 1983 claim against the City of Chino, Police Chief Anthony and the police officers claiming a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.

The trial court granted LaMaster's motion for summary judgment, finding that LaMaster was entitled to a "good faith" defense. AER at p. 325. The court also granted the city's motion for summary judgment to dismiss the Fourth Amendment claims brought by Parra's children, finding that the searches of the Parra house and the youngest child, Francisco, were reasonable. Id. at pp. 328-29. The jury trial was bifurcated into two liability stages. In the first stage, the jury considered only the liability of officers Devey and Planas. It found the officers did not violate Parra's constitutional rights and returned a verdict in their favor. Thereafter, based upon the jury's answer to the special verdict form that Parra was not subjected to unreasonable force during the course of his arrest on February 14, 1991, the court dismissed the case as to all defendants.

I.

Parra initially appeals the summary judgment dismissal of his claim against LaMaster. To state a claim for relief under § 1983, a plaintiff must establish: (1) the defendant acted under color of state law; and (2) the defendant caused him to be deprived of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Johnson v. Knowles, 113 F.3d 1114, 1117 (9th Cir.1997) (citing Howerton v. Gabica, 708 F.2d 380, 382 (9th Cir.1983)). Parra claims that LaMaster trained Chino police officers to use dogs to attack and bite unreasonably. Parra asserts that LaMaster trains the police to allow the dogs to continue to pursue an individual as long as the individual-arrestee is "fighting, trying to get away ...." Thus, Parra claims LaMaster violated his right to defend himself against a dog's attack.

This court has implicitly recognized that there is no such constitutional or federal right to defend oneself against a dog attack. Quintanilla v. City of Downey, 84 F.3d 353, 354, n. 1 (9th Cir.1996) ( "Plaintiff also argues that the district court erroneously refused to instruct the jury with regards to self-defense. We summarily dispose of this contention because it has no basis in the law, and is therefore without merit."). We conclude Parra failed to establish a § 1983 case against LaMaster because he has not identified a constitutional or federal right LaMaster has allegedly violated. 1 Under the circumstances, we need not pass upon whether LaMaster enjoyed a good faith defense.

II.

Parra's children brought a § 1983 claim against the City of Chino...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP