Ganley v. Jojola, No. CIV 17-0432 JB\SMV

CourtUnited States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
Writing for the CourtJames O. Browning, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Citation402 F.Supp.3d 1021
Parties John GANLEY, Plaintiff, v. Eric JOJOLA, in his individual capacity, and City of Albuquerque, Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. CIV 17-0432 JB\SMV
Decision Date30 August 2019

402 F.Supp.3d 1021

John GANLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
Eric JOJOLA, in his individual capacity, and City of Albuquerque, Defendants.

No. CIV 17-0432 JB\SMV

United States District Court, D. New Mexico.

Filed August 30, 2019


402 F.Supp.3d 1032

Nicole Moss, The Law Office of Nicole W. Moss, Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Marshall J. Ray, Law Offices of Marshall J. Ray LLC, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for the Plaintiff

Jessica Lynn Nixon, Office of the City Attorney, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorney for the Defendants

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

James O. Browning, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

402 F.Supp.3d 1033

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on: (i) Defendants Eric Jojola and City of Albuquerque's Motion for Summary Judgment on Qualified Immunity and Other Grounds, filed December 21, 2017 (Doc. 32)("MSJ"); and (ii) Plaintiff John Ganley's Motion for a Continuance of the Motion for Summary Judgment to Permit Discovery Pursuant to Rule 56(d) and Affidavit at 1, filed January 1, 2018 (Doc. 35)("Rule 56(d) Motion"). The Court held a hearing on June 4, 2018. The primary issues are: (i) whether Defendant Eric Jojola violated Ganley's constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution of the United States by securing an arrest warrant based on the Criminal Complaint -- Arrest Warrant Affidavit (executed March 14, 2016), filed December 21, 2017 (Doc. 32-1)("Warrant Aff."), which Jojola authored, that incorrectly identifies Ganley as having committed check fraud; (ii) whether Jojola violated Ganley's constitutional rights by not uncovering evidence of Ganley's innocence; (iii) whether Jojola would have violated Ganley's constitutional rights if he did not achieve Ganley's release immediately upon finding exculpatory evidence in Ganley's booking sheet; and (iv) whether Ganley needs further discovery to defend against the MSJ. The Court concludes that: (i) Jojola did not violate Ganley's constitutional rights by submitting the Warrant Aff., because the Warrant Aff. cured of its alleged inaccuracies establishes probable cause for Ganley's arrest; (ii) Jojola did not violate Ganley's constitutional rights by not uncovering exonerating evidence, because Jojola did not act recklessly or deliberately; (iii) Jojola would not have violated Ganley's constitutional rights if he had ignored exonerating evidence on Ganley's booking sheet, because Ganley was already released from detention before Jojola could have acted on the booking sheet's exonerating evidence; and (iv) further discovery is not necessary to defend against the MSJ, because Ganley does not identify specific information necessary to establish a constitutional violation. Accordingly, the Court grants the MSJ's requests to dismiss Ganley's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims in Count I of Ganley's First Amended Complaint for Damages for Violation of Civil Rights and Tort Claims, filed August 8, 2017 (Doc. 22)("Complaint"), and denies the Rule 56(d) Motion. The Court also dismisses the Complaint's municipal liability claim in Count III, because that claim requires that Ganley prove a city employee violated Ganley's federal constitutional rights, and the Court determines that Jojola did not violate Ganley's constitutional rights. Having granted summary judgment on all the Complaint's federal claims, the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims and remands them to the County of Bernalillo, Second Judicial District Court, State of New Mexico.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The Court draws the factual background from the parties' undisputed material facts in their MSJ briefing. See MSJ ¶¶ 1-23, at 2-5; Plaintiff's Response to Defendants Eric Jojola and the City of Albuquerque's Motion for Summary Judgment on Qualified Immunity and Other Grounds ¶¶ 2-23, at 2-6, filed June 18, 2018 (Doc.

402 F.Supp.3d 1034

47)("MSJ Response"); Defendants Eric Jojola and City of Albuquerque's Reply in Support of Their Motion for Summary Judgment on Qualified Immunity and Other Grounds ¶¶ 1-13, at 1-5, filed July 11, 2018 (Doc. 51)("MSJ Reply"). Jojola, a law enforcement officer for the City of Albuquerque, began investigating a "large amount of stolen mail" in October, 2015. MSJ ¶ 3, at 2 (asserting this fact). See MSJ Response ¶ 3, at 2 (admitting this fact). During Jojola's investigation, Postal Inspector Brad Specht told Jojola that a man named Ganley cashed a forged check ("Ganley Check") on September 4, 2015. See MSJ ¶ 4, at 2 (asserting this fact); Warrant Aff. at 1; Affidavit of Detective Eric Jojola ¶ 3, at 1 (executed December 21, 2017), filed December 21, 2017 (Doc. 32-2)("Jojola Aff.").1 Jojola contacted an investigator, Steve Torbett,2 on March 3, 2016, about the Ganley Check, and Torbett gave Jojola a copy of the Ganley Check. See MSJ ¶ 6, at 2-3 (asserting this fact); Warrant Aff. at 1; Jojola Aff. ¶¶ 5-6, at 1.3 Torbett also gave Jojola still photographs

402 F.Supp.3d 1035

from a surveillance video showing a white male with brown hair cashing the Ganley Check. See MSJ ¶ 7, at 3 (asserting this fact); MSJ Response ¶ 7 at 3 (not disputing this fact);4 Warrant Aff. at 1; Jojola Aff. ¶ 7 at 1.

In his investigation, Jojola learned that a bank teller wrote down a driver's license number associated with the Ganley Check. See MSJ ¶ 8, at 3 (asserting this fact); MSJ Response ¶ 8, at 4 (admitting this fact). Jojola also learned that the person cashing the Ganley Check left a fingerprint on the check. See MSJ Response ¶ 8, at 4 (asserting this fact); Warrant Aff. at 1.5 Jojola did not analyze the fingerprint before executing the Warrant Aff. See MSJ Response ¶ 8, at 4 (asserting this fact); MSJ Reply ¶ 6, at 3 (not disputing this fact); Warrant Aff. at 1 (stating that "a forensic comparison will be ordered to match the fingerprint on the check to John's fingerprint").

Jojola searched New Mexico's Motor Vehicle Department ("MVD") records for the driver's license number. See MSJ ¶ 9, at 3 (asserting this fact); Jojola Aff. ¶ 9, at 2.6 The driver's license number belongs to Ganley. See MSJ ¶ 10, at 3 (asserting this fact); MSJ Response ¶ 10, at 4 (admitting this fact); Jojola Aff. ¶ 10, at 2. Jojola obtained a MVD photograph of Ganley. See MSJ ¶ 11, at 3 (asserting this fact); MSJ Response ¶ 11, at 4 (admitting this fact); Warrant Aff. at 1; Jojola Aff. ¶ 11, at 2. Ganley's MVD photograph shows Ganley with short brown hair. See MSJ ¶ 12, at 3 (asserting this fact); MSJ Response ¶ 12, at 4 (admitting this fact); Jojola Aff. ¶ 12, at 2. Jojola compared Ganley's MVD photograph with the surveillance video photographs of the man cashing the Ganley Check. See MSJ ¶ 12, at 3 (asserting this fact); MSJ Response ¶ 12, at 4 (admitting this fact); Jojola Aff. ¶ 12, at 2. Ganley in his MVD photograph and the man in the surveillance video photographs are both white men with short brown hair. See MSJ ¶ 12, at 3 (asserting this fact); MSJ Response ¶ 12, at 4 (admitting this fact); Jojola Aff. ¶ 12, at 2. Jojola thought that the person in the surveillance video "appeared to be of a similar age" to Ganley in his MVD photograph. MSJ ¶ 13, at 5 (asserting this fact); Jojola Aff. ¶ 13, at 2.7 Ganley was thirty-nine years old when the Ganley Check was cashed; the man cashing the Ganley check was about

402 F.Supp.3d 1036

twenty-nine years old at that time. See MSJ Response ¶ 13, at 5 (asserting this fact); New Mexico Driver License Inquiry at 1, filed December 21, 2017 (Doc. 32-5)(stating that Ganley was born on March 18, 1976).8 The man cashing the check had tattoos on his arms, but Ganley's MVD photograph does not show his arms. See MSJ ¶ 14, at 4 (asserting this fact); New Mexico Driver License Inquiry at 1; Surveillance Video Images at 1-7, filed December 21, 2017 (Doc. 32-4).9 Jojola concluded that Ganley was the man in the surveillance video cashing the check. MSJ ¶ 15, at

402 F.Supp.3d 1037

4 (asserting this fact); Jojola Aff. ¶ 15, at 2.10 On March 7, 2017, Jojola spoke with the check's true owner -- Nancy Starr -- and the owner told Jojola that Ganley did not have permission to cash the check. See MSJ ¶ 16, at 4 (asserting this fact); Warrant Aff. at 1; Jojola Aff. ¶ 16 at 2.11

Jojola attempted to call Ganley on the telephone but was unable to reach him. See MSJ ¶ 17, at 4 (asserting this fact); Jojola Aff. ¶ 17, at 3.12 When Jojola examined the check, Jojola concluded that "John Ganley appeared to have signed the back of the check." MSJ ¶ 18, at 4 (asserting this fact); Warrant Aff. at 1; Jojola Aff. ¶ 18, at 3; Check Copy at 2, filed December 21, 2017 (Doc. 32-3)(showing a signature on the back of the check).13

Jojola submitted the Warrant Aff. to a judge in the Metropolitan Court for the

402 F.Supp.3d 1038

County of Bernalillo, State of New Mexico, on March 14, 2016, swearing that Ganley had committed forgery and violated the Remote Financial Services Act, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 58-16-16. See MSJ ¶ 19, at 4 (asserting this fact); MSJ Response ¶ 19, at 6 (admitting this fact); Warrant Aff. at 1; Jojola Aff. ¶ 19, at 3. That same...

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5 practice notes
  • Cole v. Goossen, Case No. 5:19-CV-4028-HLT-ADM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Kansas
    • August 30, 2019
    ...Police and that is the standard that currently applies to imposing premises bans, which is why he reversed the ban Whitsell issued to 402 F.Supp.3d 1021 Plaintiffs. Tr. at 284:6-24 (noting that Hatcher has the authority to unilaterally lift bans).Given this, and given Plaintiffs' desire for......
  • Curry v. Gonzales, Civ. 20-0116 RB/SCY
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • June 24, 2022
    ...say that the requested discovery is necessary for [her] to defend against the [motion for summary judgment].” See Ganley v. Jojola, 402 F.Supp.3d 1021, 1098 (D.N.M. 2019). Further, while Gonzales could not testify to Martinez's observations regarding Gonzales's counsel or discipline of COs,......
  • Nocella v. Gardner, 2:21-cv-00476-TC-DAO
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Utah
    • November 29, 2021
    ...(2014)). [5] “[Q]ualified immunity is a creature of federal law-and therefore does not apply to state tort claims.” Ganley v. Jojola, 402 F.Supp.3d 1021, 1101 (D.N.M. 2019). --------- ...
  • Moore v. Garnand, CV 19-0290 TUC RM (LAB)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Arizona
    • March 8, 2022
    ...uncover by further discovery. A general assertion that material information may be forthcoming is insufficient. See Ganley v. Jojola, 402 F.Supp.3d 1021, 1100 (D.N.M. 2019) (“Ganley's assertion -- that Ganley ‘is informed and believes that there are statements in the [defendant's warrant af......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Cole v. Goossen, Case No. 5:19-CV-4028-HLT-ADM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Kansas
    • August 30, 2019
    ...Police and that is the standard that currently applies to imposing premises bans, which is why he reversed the ban Whitsell issued to 402 F.Supp.3d 1021 Plaintiffs. Tr. at 284:6-24 (noting that Hatcher has the authority to unilaterally lift bans).Given this, and given Plaintiffs' desire for......
  • Curry v. Gonzales, Civ. 20-0116 RB/SCY
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • June 24, 2022
    ...say that the requested discovery is necessary for [her] to defend against the [motion for summary judgment].” See Ganley v. Jojola, 402 F.Supp.3d 1021, 1098 (D.N.M. 2019). Further, while Gonzales could not testify to Martinez's observations regarding Gonzales's counsel or discipline of COs,......
  • Nocella v. Gardner, 2:21-cv-00476-TC-DAO
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Utah
    • November 29, 2021
    ...(2014)). [5] “[Q]ualified immunity is a creature of federal law-and therefore does not apply to state tort claims.” Ganley v. Jojola, 402 F.Supp.3d 1021, 1101 (D.N.M. 2019). --------- ...
  • Moore v. Garnand, CV 19-0290 TUC RM (LAB)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Arizona
    • March 8, 2022
    ...uncover by further discovery. A general assertion that material information may be forthcoming is insufficient. See Ganley v. Jojola, 402 F.Supp.3d 1021, 1100 (D.N.M. 2019) (“Ganley's assertion -- that Ganley ‘is informed and believes that there are statements in the [defendant's warrant af......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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