Bauldry v. Cnty. of Contra Costa, No. C 12-03943 CRB

CourtUnited States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
Writing for the CourtCHARLES R. BREYER
Decision Date23 April 2013
PartiesLANE BAULDRY, Plaintiff, v. COUNTY OF CONTRA COSTA, et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. C 12-03943 CRB

LANE BAULDRY, Plaintiff,
COUNTY OF CONTRA COSTA, et al., Defendants.

No. C 12-03943 CRB


Dated: April 23, 2013


Plaintiff Lane Bauldry ("Plaintiff") brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and California tort law, based on his arrest during a "Dirty DUI." Defendants Sergeant Andrew Wells ("Sgt. Wells") and the City of Piedmont (collectively, "Defendants") filed this Motion to Dismiss ("MTD") (dkt. 60), moving to dismiss all claims in Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") (dkt. 39).


Before October 2010, Defendants Christopher Butler and Stephen Tanabe agreed to work together to effectuate a "Dirty DUI" scheme. SAC ¶ 16. Butler is a private investigator and Tanabe is a deputy in the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office. Id. ¶¶ 7, 8. Butler and Tanabe planned to set up unsuspecting husbands by plying them with alcohol and then having them arrested when they drove under the influence. Id. ¶¶ 16, 34. Their wives would

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then use the arrests against them in court proceedings. Id. Plaintiff was one of the husbands set up by Butler and Tanabe. See id.

In late 2010, Plaintiff's former wife, Mona Daggett, filed for divorce from Plaintiff in Alameda County Superior Court. Id. ¶ 17. Daggett met with Butler in October 2010 in order to hire Butler to effectuate the Dirty DUI involving Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 19. Daggett paid Butler $600 at that meeting. Id. ¶ 23.

Butler's initial attempt at the Dirty DUI occurred on October 21, 2010 and was unsuccessful. Id. ¶¶ 26-41. Butler learned that Plaintiff would be at an Oakland, California bar named Crogan's that night. Id. ¶ 26. Butler did not know any Oakland police officers who would agree to arrest Plaintiff, so he asked Sgt. Wells of the Piedmont Police Department to assist with the plan. Id. Butler hoped to entice Plaintiff to drink at Crogan's, leave the establishment, and drive through Piedmont, where Sgt. Wells would then arrest Plaintiff. Id. ¶¶ 28, 33.

Butler, Tanabe, and others approached Sgt. Wells about the Dirty DUI plan before October 21. Id. ¶ 33. Sgt. Wells had previously helped Butler coordinate unrelated events in Piedmont. Id. ¶ 31. He knew that Butler was untrustworthy and unreliable. Id. ¶ 32. Sgt. Wells agreed to be a part of the plan, telling Butler that he would be on duty and would be willing to arrest Plaintiff for drunk driving. Id. ¶ 33. On October 21, 2010, Butler, Tanabe, and two women went to Crogan's to effectuate the Dirty DUI, planning to have the two women convince Plaintiff to drink excessively and then have Plaintiff drive them elsewhere. Id. ¶ 36. However, for reasons unknown to Plaintiff, the October 21 Dirty DUI attempt ended prematurely. Id. ¶ 36. Sgt. Wells learned that the Dirty DUI scheme ended unsuccessfully. Id. ¶ 39. He continued to keep the scheme a secret and did not take any steps to stop the Dirty DUI. Id.

Daggett met with Butler again on October 26, 2010 and learned that the first attempt at arresting Plaintiff was unsuccessful. Id. ¶ 42. Daggett paid Butler another $600 so that Butler could again try to have Plaintiff arrested. Id. On November 2, 2010, Plaintiff went to Meenars, a bar located in Danville, California. Id. ¶ 43. Butler, Tanabe, and the two women

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who had been present at Crogan's were also at Meenars. Id. ¶ 44. Defendant Tom Henderson, a Deputy in the Contra Costa Sheriff's Department, had previously agreed to make the arrest for the second attempt. Id. ¶¶ 9, 48. Henderson knew that the call about the DUI would not go through dispatch and that the purpose was inappropriate and illegal. Id. ¶ 49. He waited outside Meenars for Plaintiff to return to his car, at which point he pulled Plaintiff over and arrested Plaintiff for driving under the influence in violation of California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) and (b). Id. ¶ 52.

The arrest was reported to Alameda County Superior Court and used to restrict Plaintiff's time with his daughter. Id. ¶ 55. The District Attorney's office either never brought or dismissed the criminal charges. Id. ¶ 57.

Plaintiff filed suit on July 26, 2012. See Original Compl. (dkt. 1). Sgt. Wells and Piedmont filed a Motion to Dismiss on October 8, 2012, which Judge Illston granted with leave to amend. See MTD (dkt. 15); Order (dkt. 28). Plaintiffs then filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC") on December 6, 2012, see FAC (dkt. 33), and an SAC pursuant to the joint stipulation of all parties on January 4, 2013.2 The SAC contains nine Federal and State claims: (1) Bad Faith Arrest in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Sgt. Wells and Piedmont; (2) Bad Faith Arrest in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Butler and Tanabe; (3) Conspiracy to Commit Bad Faith Arrest in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Daggett, Butler, Tanabe, Henderson, Sgt. Wells, Contra Costa County, and Piedmont; (4) Egregious Official Conduct Intended to Injure Unjustified by Any Governmental Interest in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Sgt. Wells, Piedmont, Tanabe, and Henderson; (5a)3 Conspiracy to Commit Egregious Official Conduct Intended to Injure Unjustified by Any Governmental Interest in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Daggett, Butler, Tanabe, Henderson, and Sgt. Wells; (5b) False Arrest and Imprisonment against Daggett, Butler, Tanabe, Henderson,

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Sgt. Wells, Contra Costa County, and Piedmont; (6) Abuse of Process against Butler, Tanabe, Henderson, Sgt. Wells, Contra Costa County, and Piedmont; (7) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress against Daggatt, Butler, Tanabe, Henderson, Sgt. Wells, Contra Costa County, and Piedmont; and (8) Negligence against Daggett, Butler, Tanabe, Henderson Sgt. Wells, Contra Costa County, and Piedmont. See SAC.

Defendants Sgt. Wells and Piedmont again move to dismiss all claims against them under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See MTD.4


A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the claims alleged in a complaint. Ileto v. Glock, Inc., 349 F.3d 1191, 1199-1200 (9th Cir. 2003). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(2), a complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." "Detailed factual allegations" are not required, but the Rule does call for sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007)). According to the Supreme Court, "a claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. at 678. In determining facial plausibility, whether a complaint states a plausible claim is a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.


Defendants move to dismiss on the following grounds: (A) Plaintiff does not allege a conspiracy involving Sgt. Wells, and even if he did, Sgt. Wells was not a part of the second conspiracy that resulted in Plaintiff's arrest; (B) state law immunities bar Plaintiff's state claims against Sgt. Wells and Piedmont; (C) Plaintiff did not adequately plead the Federal "direct action" claims against Defendants and the Monell doctrine bars all Federal claims

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against Defendants; and (D) Plaintiff did not allege facts sufficient to support a claim for punitive damages.5

A. Conspiracy

The previous order issued by Judge Illston granted Sgt. Wells's last motion to dismiss because Plaintiff failed to allege any agreement by Sgt. Wells to participate in the conspiracy or action by Sgt. Wells in furtherance of the conspiracy.6 Order (dkt. 38) at 4. Defendants again argue that Plaintiff fails to state a claim for conspiracy. First, they argue that Sgt. Wells did not agree to participate or actually participate in a conspiracy. Second, they argue that Plaintiff alleges two separate conspiracy schemes, instead of one ongoing conspiracy. Because Plaintiff alleges Sgt. Wells's participation in one conspiracy, the MTD is denied with respect to the third, fifth(a), fifth(b), sixth, and seventh claims.

1. Plaintiff Alleges that Sgt. Wells Agreed to Participate in the Conspiracy for the Common Purpose of Arresting Plaintiff in Order for the Arrest to Be Used Against Plaintiff in Family Court Proceedings

To plead a civil conspiracy under § 1983, Plaintiff must show "an agreement or 'meeting of the minds' to violate constitutional rights." Franklin v. Fox, 312 F.3d 423, 441 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting United Steelworkers of Am. v. Phelps Dodge Corp., 865 F.2d 1539, 1540-41(9th Cir. 1989)). A complaint must be pled with sufficient particularity to show a meeting of the minds. Margolis v. Ryan, 140 F.3d 850, 853 (9th Cir. 1998); Burns v. Cnty. of King, 883 F.2d 819, 821 (9th Cir. 1989). Each participant does not need to know each detail of the conspiracy but all must share a common objective. United Steelworkers, 865 F.2d at 1541; Fonda v. Gray, 707 F.2d 435, 438 (9th Cir. 1983) (no common...

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