Koistra v. Cnty. of San Diego, Case No.: 16cv2539–GPC(AGS)

CourtUnited States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
Writing for the CourtHon. Gonzalo P. Curiel, United States District Judge
Citation310 F.Supp.3d 1066
Parties Trina KOISTRA; and Larry Ford, Plaintiffs, v. COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO; Plutarco Vail, and Does 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants.
Decision Date19 April 2018
Docket NumberCase No.: 16cv2539–GPC(AGS)

310 F.Supp.3d 1066

Trina KOISTRA; and Larry Ford, Plaintiffs,
v.
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO; Plutarco Vail, and Does 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants.

Case No.: 16cv2539–GPC(AGS)

United States District Court, S.D. California.

Signed April 19, 2018


310 F.Supp.3d 1070

Gregory Paul Peacock, D'Egidio, Licari, Townsend, & Shah, APC, Newport Beach, CA, for Plaintiffs.

Juan Fernando Kish, County Counsel, San Diego, CA, for Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

[Dkt. No. 52.]

Hon. Gonzalo P. Curiel, United States District Judge

Before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 52.) Plaintiff filed a reply and Defendants replied. (Dkt. No. 58, 60.) Based on a careful review of the briefs, the supporting documentation and the applicable law, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

Background

The original complaint was filed on October 12, 2016. (Dkt. No. 1.) After the Court granted Plaintiffs' ex parte application to amend the complaint, (Dkt. No. 25), on August 16, 2017, Plaintiffs Trina Koistra ("Koistra") and Larry Ford ("Ford") filed an amended complaint ("FAC") against the County of San Diego ("County") and Sheriff's Deputy Plutarco Vail ("Deputy Vail") (collectively "Defendants"). (Dkt. No. 26.) On October 19, 2017, in ruling on Defendants' motion to dismiss the FAC, the Court granted in part and denied in part the motion with leave to amend. (Dkt. Nos. 34, 42.) Plaintiffs Koistra and Ford filed a second amended complaint ("SAC") on October 26, 2017.1 (Dkt. No. 43, SAC.) Defendants

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move for summary judgment solely on Koistra's causes of action and include the following:

1. First Cause of Action— 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim for excessive force under the Fourth Amendment;

2. Third Cause of Action— Monell 2 liability for the County's unconstitutional custom, practice or policy;

3. Fourth Cause of Action—violation of California Civil Code section 52.1 ;

4. Fifth Cause of Action—false arrest/false imprisonment;

5. Sixth Cause of Action—battery;

6. Seventh Cause of Action—assault;

7. Eighth Cause of Action—intentional infliction of emotional distress; and

8. Ninth Cause of Action—negligence.

(Dkt. No. 43, SAC.)

Factual Background

The San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force ("FTF") is a multi-agency task force that pursues persons wanted for violent crimes and significant narcotic offenses in the San Diego Area. (Dkt. No. 58–1, P's Response to Ds' SSUF, No. 1.) On December 22, 2015, the Superior Court of California issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Rory Fay ("Fay") for violating the terms of his probation. (Id., No. 2.) FTF was assigned to search for Fay, who was identified as a person of interest in connection with the homicide of Bren Fisher that occurred around January 7, 2016. (Id., Nos. 3, 4.) Based on database searches, FTF detectives learned that "Mr. Fay had an active no-bail felony warrant for his arrest for possession of a controlled substance while armed, was on probation as a post release offender, had two prior felony strikes, had a psychiatric inmate history, and had a history of drug and steroid abuse." (Id., No. 5.)

Using cell phone tracking technology, the FTF learned that Fay's cell phone was in the mobile home residence located at 250 La Cresta Heights Road, No. 3, El Cajon, California 92021 which is where Plaintiff Koistra lived. (Id., Nos. 6, 7.) FTF also learned that Koistra was a convicted felon with drug and theft history, was subject to arrest for violating her probation and waived her Fourth Amendment right as a condition of her probation. (Id., No. 8.)

From 2008 to April 2, 2016, Deputy Plutarco Vail was a canine handler with the County of San Diego Sheriff's Department ("Sheriff's Department"). (Id., No. 9.) As a canine handler, Deputy Vail was regularly called upon to participate in hot calls and high risk searches for wanted and dangerous felons. (Id., No. 10.)

On the evening of January 8, 2016, Fay helped Koistra get a ride home from a nail salon with a man unknown to her. (Id., No. 13.) Fay was an acquaintance of Koistra who had met her once or twice about a year ago. (Id., No. 12; Dkt. No. 52–2, Ds' NOL, Ex. F, Koistra Depo. at 26:12–20; 29:4–24.) Koistra, Fay and this unknown man drove to Koistra's home and spent about one hour in her bedroom looking at decorations. (Dkt. No. 58–1, P's Response to Ds' SSUF, No. 14.) Koistra does not remember if she, Rory Fay or this unknown man used any drugs that evening. (Id., No. 15.) The unknown man left but Fay spent the night at Koistra's residence with her permission. (Id., No. 16.)

On the morning of January 9, 2016, Deputy Vail, and his canine Hank, were called upon to assist the FTF in the search for Fay. (Id., No. 17.) That morning, the FTF

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briefed Deputy Vail informing him that Fay was a wanted felon, a person of interest in a recent homicide, had two prior felony strikes, was considered to be armed and dangerous, and had a history of drug abuse and had a psychiatric inmate history. (Id., No. 18.) Immediately after a briefing, Deputy Vail looked Fay up on the Sheriff Department's Jail Inmate Management System and learned that Fay was on parole, was a two-striker, and had numerous arrests for narcotics, firearm possession and acts of violence. (Id., No. 19.) On that morning, Probation Officer Bobbitt informed Deputy Vail that the residence to be searched was the home of Koistra, who was a convicted felon with drug and theft history, was on probation, had waived her Fourth Amendment rights as a condition of that probation, and if found during the search, was subject to arrest for violating the terms of her probation. (Id., No. 20.) When the FTF team and Deputy Vail arrived on the scene, a perimeter had been set up around the residence. (Id., No. 21.) A helicopter from the Department's Aerial Support to Regional Enforcement Agencies ("ASTREA") was flying overhead to assist the FTF to monitor perimeter positions and provide aerial surveillance in the event Fay fled out of the perimeter. (Id., No. 22.) There were approximately five law enforcement vehicles, plus approximately ten deputies and/or police officers on scene at that time. (Id., No. 23.)

Standing approximately fifteen feet from the front door, Sergeant Christopher Davis ("Sergeant Davis") of the FTF used a handheld Public Announcement ("PA") system to make the following announcements:

"Sheriff's department on a probation check, exit the trailer now"

"If anyone is inside, you need to exit now"

"Sheriff's department we have a canine, if you do not come out you will be bit."

(Id., No. 24.) These commands were repeated for about ten to fifteen minutes. (Dkt. No. 52–2, Ds' NOL, Ex. A, Vail Decl. ¶ 5; id., Ex. B, Perata Decl. ¶ 6; id., Ex. C, Davis Decl. ¶ 6; id., Ex. D, Bobbit Decl. ¶ 6; id., Ex. E, Miller Decl.3 ¶ 4.) Koistra testified that she did not hear these announcements. (Dkt. No. 58–2, Peacock Decl., Ex. D, Koistra Depo. at 69:21–23; 71:20–25; 72:7–11.) Koistra was prescribed and may have taken Lithium, Depakote, Xanax, and Norco within 24 hours of this incident. (Dkt. No. 58–1, P's Response to Ds' SSUF, No. 37.)

After Sergeant Davis's announcements, Larry Ford, Koistra's boyfriend, voluntarily exited the front door of residence. (Dkt. No. 52–2, Ds' NOL, Ex. A, Vail Decl. ¶ 6; id., Ex. B, Perata Decl. ¶ 6; id., Ex. C, Davis Decl. ¶ 6; id., Ex. D, Bobbitt Decl. ¶ 6; id., Ex. E, Miller Decl. ¶ 5; Dkt. No. 52–2, Ds' NOL, Ex. F, Koistra Depo. at 39:5–6.) Ford reported that the only other person in the trailer was an elderly white female. (Dkt. No. 58–1, P's Response to Ds' SSUF, No. 26.) After Ford came out, Sergeant Davis repeated the same announcement for about another ten minutes. (Dkt. No. 52–2, Ds' NOL, Ex. A, Vail Decl. ¶ 5; id., Ex. B, Perata Decl. ¶ 6; id., Ex. C, Davis Decl. ¶ 6; id., Ex. D, Bobbitt Decl. ¶ 6; id., Ex. E, Miller Decl. ¶ 6.) Koistra testified she did not hear this set of commands. (Dkt. No. 58–2, Peacock Decl., Ex. D, Koistra Depo. at 69:21–23; 71:20–25; 72:7–11.) However, Koistra admitted in her response to a request for admission that she heard law enforcement announcing their presence before they entered the

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home. (Dkt. No. 52–2, Ds' NOL, Ex. N at 110, id., Ex. O at 116.)

On the day of the incident, Koistra was awoken by the sound of a helicopter flying overhead and when she looked out her living room window, she saw more than ten police officers surrounding her house. (Dkt. No. 58–1, P's Response to Ds' SSUF, Nos. 29, 30.) Koistra believed the officers were there for her because she had violated the terms of her probation. (Id., No. 31.) She went to hide in the closet of her mother's bedroom. (Id., No. 32.)

A team of five officers, including Deputy Perata, Deputy Vail, and his canine, lined up in a single file at the front door of the residence with the intent to enter and search for Fay. (Id....

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16 practice notes
  • Rapinoe v. Gore, 21-CV-1779 TWR (WVG)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • March 8, 2022
    ...causation-in-fact and proximate causation.”). “This inquiry has been described as a difficult one.” See Koistra v. Cty. of San Diego, 310 F.Supp.3d 1066, 1086 (S.D. Cal. 2018) (citing City of Canton, 489 U.S. at 385-86). Here, Rapinoe has failed to allege sufficient facts to allege “a ‘dire......
  • Strauss v. Magana, 3:21-cv-01145-WQH-LL
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • October 7, 2021
    ...F.3d 739, 745 (9th Cir. 2021) (citing Watkins v. City of Oakland, 145 F.3d 1087, 1093 (9th Cir. 1998); Koistra v. County of San Diego, 310 F.Supp.3d 1066, 1082-84 (S.D. Cal. 2018)). Thus, without more, this detail only “permit[s] the court to infer … the mere possibility of misconduct.” Iqb......
  • Goolsby v. Cnty. of San Diego, Case No.: 3:17-cv-564-WQH-NLS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • September 26, 2018
    ...per se." Chew v. Gates, 27 F.3d 1432, 1444 (9th Cir. 1994) (citations omitted); see also Koistra v. Cnty. of San Diego, 310 F. Supp. 3d 1066, 1085 (S.D. Cal. 2018). The Ninth Circuit held "some conditions of confinement may establish an Eighth Amendment violation 'in combination' when each ......
  • Rosenbaum v. City of San Jose, 20-CV-04777-LHK
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • December 23, 2021
    ...when officers continued to deploy a police canine after suspect surrendered and showed his hands); Koistra v. Cnty. of San Diego, 310 F.Supp.3d 1066 (S.D. Cal. 2018) (finding that Watkins clearly established that prolonged use of a police canine for thirty seconds after suspect put his hand......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Rapinoe v. Gore, 21-CV-1779 TWR (WVG)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • March 8, 2022
    ...causation-in-fact and proximate causation.”). “This inquiry has been described as a difficult one.” See Koistra v. Cty. of San Diego, 310 F.Supp.3d 1066, 1086 (S.D. Cal. 2018) (citing City of Canton, 489 U.S. at 385-86). Here, Rapinoe has failed to allege sufficient facts to allege “a ‘dire......
  • Strauss v. Magana, 3:21-cv-01145-WQH-LL
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • October 7, 2021
    ...F.3d 739, 745 (9th Cir. 2021) (citing Watkins v. City of Oakland, 145 F.3d 1087, 1093 (9th Cir. 1998); Koistra v. County of San Diego, 310 F.Supp.3d 1066, 1082-84 (S.D. Cal. 2018)). Thus, without more, this detail only “permit[s] the court to infer … the mere possibility of misconduct.” Iqb......
  • Goolsby v. Cnty. of San Diego, Case No.: 3:17-cv-564-WQH-NLS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • September 26, 2018
    ...per se." Chew v. Gates, 27 F.3d 1432, 1444 (9th Cir. 1994) (citations omitted); see also Koistra v. Cnty. of San Diego, 310 F. Supp. 3d 1066, 1085 (S.D. Cal. 2018). The Ninth Circuit held "some conditions of confinement may establish an Eighth Amendment violation 'in combination' when each ......
  • Rosenbaum v. City of San Jose, 20-CV-04777-LHK
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • December 23, 2021
    ...when officers continued to deploy a police canine after suspect surrendered and showed his hands); Koistra v. Cnty. of San Diego, 310 F.Supp.3d 1066 (S.D. Cal. 2018) (finding that Watkins clearly established that prolonged use of a police canine for thirty seconds after suspect put his hand......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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