Railroad 1900, LLC v. City of Sacramento

Filing 58

ORDER signed by Senior Judge William B. Shubb on 11/14/23 GRANTING 47 City's Motion for Summary Judgment on its federal claims brought under Section 1983 (Claims 1-3). Claims 4-7 are DISMISSED pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c), without prejudice to plaintiff's right to refile its remaining state law claims in state court. CASE CLOSED (Benson, A.)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 ----oo0oo---- 11 12 RAILROAD 1900, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, 13 14 15 16 17 No. 2:21-cv-01673 WBS DB Plaintiff, ORDER RE: DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT v. CITY OF SACRAMENTO, a municipal entity, Defendant. 18 19 20 ----oo0oo---Plaintiff Railroad 1900, LLC (“Railroad 1900”) brings 21 this action against defendant the City of Sacramento (“City”), 22 alleging violations of due process (Claims 1-2), municipal 23 liability for unconstitutional customs and policies (Claim 3), 24 and various state law claims (Claims 4-7). 25 plaintiff’s claims challenges the City’s alleged failure to 26 enforce anti-camping and other ordinances against homeless 27 individuals in the area surrounding plaintiff’s property. 28 (Second Am. Compl. (“SAC”) (Docket No. 34).) 1 The core of The City now moves 1 for summary judgment. 2 47).) 3 I. (Mot. for Summ. J. (“MSJ”) (Docket No. Factual Background 4 Plaintiff owns commercial real estate at 1900, 1955, 5 and 1957 Railroad Drive in Sacramento, California, which 6 plaintiff acquired in May 2018. 7 2.) 8 property, the City opened an emergency homeless shelter on 9 Railroad Drive. 10 (Eaton Decl. (Docket No. 55-6) ¶ In December 2017, shortly before plaintiff purchased the 2019. (Id. ¶ 3.) The City closed it around April (Id.) 11 At around the time the shelter closed, Railroad Drive 12 experienced a surge in homeless encampments and abandoned 13 vehicles. 14 extensive property damage and economic loss, inflicted 15 principally by the homeless population encamped in Railroad 16 Drive. 17 contacted the City hundreds of times, repeatedly requesting that 18 the City enforce its laws and ordinances on Railroad Drive. 19 ¶ 10 and Ex. 4.) 20 concerned vehicles on Railroad Drive that were either wrecked or 21 being used as shelter by homeless individuals. 22 (Docket No. 47-4) Ex. C.) (Id. ¶ 6 and Ex. 1.) (Id. ¶ 15.) Plaintiff has since suffered From 2019 to the present, plaintiff has (Id. A significant portion of plaintiff’s requests (Mendez Decl. 23 The City has various units and divisions that process 24 complaints and concerns about Sacramento’s homeless population. 25 One is the Sacramento Police Department’s Impact Unit. 26 Decl. (Docket No. 47-6) ¶ 2.) 27 complaints of illegal activity in and around encampments. 28 It is also responsible for enforcing Sacramento’s Critical (Heinlein The Impact Unit responds to 2 (Id.) 1 Infrastructure Ordinance (S.C.C. c. 8.140) and the Sidewalk 2 Obstructions and Pedestrian Interference Ordinance (id. c. 3 12.24), which prohibit camping on or otherwise obstructing 4 sidewalks and critical city infrastructure. 5 that capacity, the Impact Unit seeks voluntary removal of 6 encampments in violation of city ordinances; as a second resort, 7 it will move individuals and their possessions forcibly. 8 9 (Id. ¶¶ 3-6.) In (Id.) Another City entity that interacts with the homeless population is the Department of Community Response (“DCR”). DCR 10 employees are trained to answer various emergency calls, 11 including those regarding homeless encampments. 12 (Docket No. 47-5) ¶ 3.) 13 homeless individuals to use. 14 to homeless individuals when they indicate they want to clean 15 their area. 16 individual water bottles to homeless individuals, but not as a 17 regular service or at large scale. 18 (Id.) (Worrall Decl. DCR does not provide sterile needles for (Id. ¶ 5.) DCR provides trash bags During high temperatures, DCR will hand out (Id.) Another City entity is the Community Development 19 Department, which has a Code Compliance Division (“Code 20 Compliance”). 21 administers a vehicle abatement program. 22 tow and dispose of vehicles that are a public nuisance. 23 3.) 24 wrecked, dismantled, or otherwise illegally parked. 25 Code Compliance receives a complaint about an unmoved vehicle, 26 Code Compliance tags it, then tows it 72 hours later if it 27 remains unmoved. 28 (Mendez Decl. ¶¶ 1-2.) Code Compliance This program seeks to (Id. ¶ Nuisance vehicles include those vehicles are abandoned, (Id.) If (Id. ¶ 4.) In the past five years, Code Compliance has received 3 1 around 20,000 abandoned vehicle complaints per year. 2 Decl. ¶ 6.) 3 abatement. 4 enforcement officers. 5 complaints and abandoned vehicles, Code Compliance utilizes a 6 triage system that prioritizes complaints posing possible life 7 and safety concerns. 8 9 (Mendez Around 10% of complaints ultimately ended in vehicle (Id. ¶ 5.) Code Compliance employs around 12 to 15 (Id. ¶ 6.) Due to the sheer volume of (Id. ¶ 7.) On March 19, 2020, Sacramento County’s Public Health Officer issued a stay-at-home order due to the arrival of the 10 COVID-19 pandemic. (Mendez Decl. ¶ 8 and Ex. A.) The order did 11 not prevent the performance of “Essential Governmental Functions” 12 as determined by each governmental entity. (Id. Ex. A § 10(e).) 13 On June 1, 2021, the Public Health Officer issued 14 another order, this time advising local governments against 15 citing homeless individuals living in vehicles during community 16 spread of COVID-19, except where encampments pose a public safety 17 hazard or threaten critical infrastructure. 18 The order expired two weeks later, on June 15, 2021. 19 ¶ 7.) 20 (Id. Ex. B ¶ 6.) (Id. Ex. B In response to these two orders, Code Compliance did 21 not tow any nuisance vehicles being used as shelter between March 22 19, 2020 and June 15, 2021, except in cases involving public 23 safety concerns. 24 Compliance responded to complaints about nuisance vehicles not 25 used for shelter. 26 responded to complaints from plaintiff about nuisance vehicles on 27 Railroad Drive on thirteen occasions between January and (Id. ¶ 10.) Notwithstanding the orders, Code (Id. ¶¶ 12-13.) 28 4 Code Compliance specifically 1 September of 2021.1 2 II. (Id. ¶ 12.) Legal Standard 3 Summary judgment is proper “if the movant shows that 4 there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the 5 movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” 6 P. 56(a). 7 of the suit, and a genuine issue is one that could permit a 8 reasonable trier of fact to enter a verdict in the non-moving 9 party's favor. 10 Fed. R. Civ. A material fact is one that could affect the outcome Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). 11 The movant bears the initial burden of demonstrating 12 the absence of a genuine issue of material fact as to the basis 13 for the motion. 14 (1986). 15 evidence that negates an essential element of the nonmoving 16 party's case. 17 the movant can demonstrate that the non-moving party cannot 18 provide evidence to support an essential element upon which it 19 will bear the burden of proof at trial. 20 shifts to the non-moving party to set forth specific facts to 21 show that there is a genuine issue for trial. 22 Any inferences drawn from the underlying facts must, however, be 23 viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. 24 Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 25 587 (1986). Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 The moving party can satisfy its burden by presenting Celotex Corp, 477 U.S. at 322–23. Id. Alternatively, The burden then See id. at 324. See 26 27 28 What constituted a “response,” and whether it involved towing any vehicles, is left unclear. (See Eaton Decl. ¶ 12.) 1 5 1 III. Evidentiary Objections 2 Plaintiff and the City assert various evidentiary 3 objections against each other’s statements of material facts. 4 (Docket Nos. 55-3, 56-2.) 5 As a preliminary matter, the court will disregard any 6 objections that are duplicative of the summary judgment standard. 7 Under Federal Rule of Evidence 401, evidence is relevant if it 8 “has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable” and that 9 fact “is of consequence in determining the action.” Fed. R. 10 Evid. 401. The action before the court now is a motion for 11 summary judgment. 12 whether the evidence presented, viewed in the light most 13 favorable to the non-moving party, creates a “genuine dispute as 14 to any material fact” that must be resolved at trial. 15 Civ. P. 56(a). 16 consider, evidence bearing on (1) facts that are (2) material. 17 If the evidence offered does not bear on a material fact (e.g., 18 comprises baseless speculation, bears on a legal conclusion, or 19 bears on a fact not necessary to dispose of any claim), it is by 20 definition not relevant to the present action for summary 21 judgment. 22 Cir. 2021) (“[O]bjections for relevance are generally unnecessary 23 on summary judgment because they are “‘duplicative of the summary 24 judgment standard itself.’ . . . [P]arties briefing summary 25 judgment motions would be better served to ‘simply argue’ the 26 import of the facts reflected in the evidence rather than 27 expending time and resources compiling laundry lists of relevance 28 objections.”) (citing Burch v. Regents of Univ. of Cal., 433 F. On summary judgment, the court determines Fed. R. The court must therefore consider, and only Sandoval v. Cnty. of San Diego, 985 F.3d 657, 665 (9th 6 1 Supp. 2d 1110, 1119 (E.D. Cal. 2006) (Shubb, J.)). 2 Additionally, “if the contents of a document can be 3 presented in a form that would be admissible at trial -- for 4 example, through live testimony by the author of the document -- 5 the mere fact that the document itself might be excludable 6 hearsay provides no basis for refusing to consider it on summary 7 judgment.” 8 9 Id. at 666. Accordingly, the court will overrule plaintiff’s objections to portions of the City’s declarations and exhibits 10 attached to them.2 11 personal knowledge of the facts stated within their declaration 12 and that they are able to competently testify to them at trial. 13 (See Mendez Decl. ¶ 1; Worrall Decl. ¶ 1; Heinlein Decl. ¶ 1.) 14 Further, every declarant is employed in a managerial/oversight 15 capacity at their respective organizations, and on this basis 16 attests to their organization’s policies, reports, and data. 17 (Id.) 18 reliability of these declarations, the court will not exclude 19 them from its analysis of plaintiff’s claims. 20 better served if its counsel centered on meaningful problems with 21 the content of the evidence and allowed the court to focus on the 22 merits of its arguments. 23 IV. Absent any challenges to the substantive authenticity or 26 27 28 Plaintiff would be Discussion 24 25 Every declarant represents that they have Plaintiff brings federal and state claims against the City. The federal claims (Claims 1-3) are brought under Section The City’s evidentiary objections to plaintiff’s declaration and exhibits bear on facts that are not material to the court’s disposition of plaintiff’s claims. 2 7 1 1983 and allege substantive due process violations. 2 previously dismissed these claims with leave to amend because 3 plaintiff failed to allege any affirmative acts by the City that 4 could confer plaintiff with standing to sue.3 5 No. 27).) 6 A. The court (See Order (Docket Due Process (Claim 1) 7 It is well established that, as a general principle, 8 plaintiffs cannot sue the government for failing to enforce its 9 laws. Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 754 (1984) (“[The Supreme 10 Court] has repeatedly held that an asserted right to have the 11 Government act in accordance with law is not sufficient, standing 12 alone, to confer jurisdiction on a federal court.”); see also 13 Linda R.S. v. Richard D., 410 U.S. 614, 619 (1973) (“[A] private 14 citizen lacks a judicially cognizable interest in the prosecution 15 or nonprosecution of another.”) (citing Younger v. Harris, 401 16 U.S. 37, 42 (1971)). 17 The court previously dismissed this claim with leave to 18 amend for lack of a cognizable judicial controversy. 19 at 2-6.) 20 still predicated on the City’s alleged failure to perform any 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 (See Order To the extent that plaintiff’s due process claim is Previously, the court dismissed the federal claims in the initial complaint with leave to amend. Those federal claims were all brought under Section 1983, alleging violations of Due Process (Claims 1, 3), Equal Protection (Claim 2), Uncompensated Taking (Claim 4) and Monell (Claim 5). (Docket No. 1.) The court declined supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. (Order.) Plaintiff then amended its complaint. (Docket No. 30.) Thereafter, the parties stipulated to a second amended complaint, which dropped the Equal Protection and Uncompensated Taking claims. (SAC.) The second amended complaint is the operative complaint. The City did not move to dismiss the second amended complaint. 3 8 1 affirmative act, the court still lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate 2 it.4 3 claim. 4 Accordingly, the court will dismiss plaintiff’s Due Process B. 5 State-Created Danger (Claim 2) Plaintiff also alleges that the City committed 6 affirmative acts that placed plaintiff at risk of danger, and 7 accordingly invokes the state-created danger doctrine. 8 state-created danger doctrine provides an exception to the 9 general rule denying plaintiffs standing to sue the government The 10 for failure to act against third parties. Specifically, it opens 11 the government to liability for a failure to act against a third 12 party if the plaintiff can show that (1) the government, by some 13 affirmative conduct, exposed the plaintiff to danger from that 14 third party, and (2) the affirmative conduct was with “deliberate 15 indifference to a known or obvious danger.” 16 61 F.4th 1096, 1111 (9th Cir. 2023); Patel v. Kent Sch. Dist., 17 648 F.3d 965, 974 (9th Cir. 2011)). Murguia v. Langdon, 18 1. Applicability of State-Created Danger Doctrine 19 Before challenging the merits of plaintiff’s state- 20 created danger argument, the City argues that there is no triable 21 issue as to a state-created danger because neither party is an 22 individual. 23 corporation has rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and may 24 bring § 1983 claims when its rights are violated.” (MSJ at 9.) This argument lacks merit. First, “[a] SOC, Inc. v. 25 26 27 28 Any allegations of affirmative acts or concerted policies of inaction are properly raised under plaintiff’s statecreated danger and Monell claims, respectively, and are addressed below. 4 9 1 Las Vegas Metro. Police Dep’t, 319 F. App’x 488, 489–90 (9th Cir. 2 2009) (recognizing corporate right to occupational liberty). 3 also Grosjean v. Am. Press Co., 297 U.S. 233, 244 (1936) (“[A] 4 corporation is a ‘person’ within the meaning of the equal 5 protection and due process of law clauses [of the Fourteenth 6 Amendment] . . . .”). 7 fails to provide, any authority that suspends these rights upon 8 invocation of the state-created danger doctrine. 9 See The court is not aware of, and the City Second, “municipalities and other local government 10 units . . . [are] among those persons to whom § 1983 applies.” 11 Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 690 (1978); see 12 also Bd. of Cnty. Comm’rs v. Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 403 (1997); 13 Hyun Ju Park v. City & Cnty. of Honolulu, 952 F.3d 1136, 1141 14 (9th Cir. 2020) (“A municipality may be held liable as a ‘person’ 15 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 when it maintains a policy or custom that 16 causes the deprivation of a plaintiff’s federally protected 17 rights.”). 18 the state-created danger doctrine exempts state entities from the 19 class of persons to whom § 1983 applies. 20 City of Seattle, 61 F.4th 674 (9th Cir. 2023) (affirming 21 recognition and denial on merits of plaintiff’s claim against 22 city under state-created danger doctrine); Reed v. City of 23 Emeryville, 568 F. Supp. 3d 1029 (N.D. Cal. 2021) (recognizing 24 and denying on merits the same). 25 26 The City offers no arguments why an application of See also Sinclair v. Accordingly, the court will proceed to the merits of plaintiff’s state-created danger claim. 27 2. Affirmative Acts 28 Plaintiff alleges that the City placed plaintiff in a 10 1 more dangerous position than it otherwise would have faced by the 2 following affirmative acts: (1) opening and then closing a 3 homeless shelter along Railroad Drive; (2) providing sustenance 4 and support to homeless individuals residing near Railroad Drive; 5 and (3) affirmatively refusing to enforce laws along Railroad 6 Drive, essentially designating it a “containment zone.” 7 generally Opp’n (Docket No. 5).) 8 turn. 9 i. (See The court addresses each in Homeless Shelter 10 Plaintiff fails to show that there is a triable issue 11 on whether the City closed the homeless shelter with deliberate 12 indifference to a known or obvious danger to plaintiff. 13 Deliberate indifference is “a stringent standard of fault, 14 requiring proof that a municipal actor disregarded a known or 15 obvious consequence of his action.” 16 U.S. 397, 410 (1997). 17 F.3d 965, 974 (9th Cir. 2011) (“deliberate indifference requires 18 a culpable mental state.”) (citing L.W. v. Grubbs, 92 F.3d 894, 19 898–900 (9th Cir. 1996)). 20 ] to expose the plaintiff to such risks without regard to the 21 consequences to the plaintiff.” 22 quotation marks omitted). 23 Bryan Cnty. v. Brown, 520 See also Patel v. Kent Sch. Dist., 648 The state actor must “actually intend[ Grubbs, 92 F.3d at 899 (internal In this case, even assuming the City’s actual knowledge 24 of the condition that would befall Railroad Drive upon the 25 shelter’s closure, plaintiff fails to establish a genuine issue 26 of deliberate indifference because it introduces no evidence 27 probative of the City’s “culpable mental state” regarding the 28 shelter’s closure. See Patel, 638 F.3d at 974. 11 In fact, 1 plaintiff offers no evidence at all even bearing on the question 2 of why the City closed the shelter. 3 City of Seattle, 650 F. Supp. 3d 1187 (W.D. Wash. 2023) (granting 4 summary judgment in part because “Plaintiffs have presented no 5 evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that the 6 City acted with deliberate indifference to expose Plaintiffs to 7 certain unreasonable risks, and actually intended to expose them 8 to such risks, without regard to the consequences to them.”). 9 See Hunters Cap., LLC v. Accordingly, the City’s closing of the shelter cannot 10 serve as the factual predicate for plaintiff’s state-created 11 danger claim. 12 ii. 13 Sustenance/Support No reasonable trier of fact could conclude that DCR’s 14 provision of trash bags and water bottles to the homeless placed 15 plaintiff in greater danger. 16 individuals who express a desire to clean up after themselves in 17 fact implies the mitigation of the precise kind of danger for 18 which plaintiff seeks to hold the City accountable. 19 Providing trash bags to homeless Even if the court were to construe this form of aid as 20 a danger to plaintiff, plaintiff submits no evidence that the 21 City’s policy of providing trash bags and water bottles and 22 allowing non-profit private entities to give homeless individuals 23 food and other comfort is anything other than a generalized 24 policy applicable across Sacramento, as opposed to applicable 25 specifically to the homeless population around plaintiff’s 26 property. 27 (9th Cir. 2023) (“[A]ny danger the City created or contributed to 28 . . . affected all [] visitors [to city precinct] equally; the See Sinclair v. City of Seattle, 61 F.4th 674, 682 12 1 danger was not specifically directed at [plaintiffs]” and claim 2 therefore dismissed). 3 Accordingly, there is no genuine issue as to whether 4 such generalized, rudimentary aid can ground a successful state- 5 created danger claim. 6 iii. Affirmative Non-Enforcement 7 As the court previously explained in its order 8 dismissing the original complaint, “[i]nserting the word 9 ‘refusal’ . . . does not transform an omission into an 10 affirmative act.” 11 MMM (RCx), 2006 WL 4959780, at *14 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 30, 2006). 12 Ninth Circuit precedent recognizing claims for state-created 13 danger makes clear that the official conduct in question must be 14 affirmative in a more literal sense. 15 City of San Jose, 897 F.3d 1125, 1133-35 (9th Cir. 2018) 16 (directing rally attendees toward violent crowd and then 17 physically blocking them). 18 instances of the City refusing or failing to respond to its 19 requests for code enforcement, they cannot support a state- 20 created danger claim as a matter of law.5 21 Such a showing would also preclude standing to sue, as discussed in the standing analysis regarding plaintiff’s first claim, supra, at § IV.A. However, a concerted policy or custom of inaction may be an affirmative act for which the City may be liable. See Brown v. Lynch, 831 F.3d 1146, 1152 (9th Cir. 2016) (“A ‘policy’ is a deliberate choice to follow a course of action . . . . A plaintiff can prevail by pointing to both policies of ‘action’ and of ‘inaction.’”) (citations omitted); Horton by Horton v. City of Santa Maria, 915 F.3d 592, 604 (9th Cir. 2019) (“[C]onstitutional deprivations may occur not . . . as a result of actions of the individual officers, but as a result of the collective inaction of the municipal defendant.”) (citations omitted). To the extent that plaintiff alleges a sustained, 13 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5 Estate of Gonzales v. Hickman, ED 05-cv-660 See, e.g., Hernandez v. To the extent that plaintiff shows 1 Accordingly, the court will grant summary judgment on 2 this claim. 3 C. 4 Municipal Liability for Custom or Practice (Claim 3) “In order to establish municipal liability, a plaintiff 5 must show that a ‘policy or custom’ led to the plaintiff’s 6 injury.” 7 (9th Cir. 2016) (en banc) (quoting Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. 8 Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978)). 9 Orange, 6 F.4th 961, 974 (9th Cir. 2021) (“An unconstitutional Castro v. Cnty. of Los Angeles, 833 F.3d 1060, 1073 See also Gordon v. Cnty. of 10 policy need not be formal or written to create municipal 11 liability under Section 1983; however, it must be so permanent 12 and well settled as to constitute a custom or usage with the 13 force of law.”) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 14 Plaintiff alleges that the City adopted a policy of 15 non-enforcement around plaintiff’s property, compelled by the 16 City’s interpretation of the Ninth Circuit case Martin v. City of 17 Boise, 902 F.3d 1031 (9th Cir. 2018), opinion amended and 18 superseded on denial of reh'g, 920 F.3d 584 (9th Cir. 2019).6 19 (Opp’n at 8.) 20 reasonable factfinder to conclude that the City adopted a policy 21 to categorically “preclude[] it from prosecuting any homeless 22 persons or even being able to relocate the homeless persons However, the undisputed facts do not permit a 23 24 25 26 27 28 affirmative policy or custom of inaction, the court addresses it in its discussion of plaintiff’s Monell claim below. The Ninth Circuit in Martin held, in relevant part, that “the Eighth Amendment prohibits the imposition of criminal penalties for sitting, sleeping, or lying outside on public property for homeless individuals who cannot obtain shelter.” Id. at 1048. 6 14 1 outside of the area surrounding Railroad Drive or to clean up the 2 debris, including abandoned and burned vehicles, left in their 3 wake.”7 4 doing as much as plaintiff would reasonably expect it to do in 5 prosecuting crimes committed by homeless persons, the undisputed 6 facts show that the City has in place official policies for 7 triaging and prioritizing the countless complaints it receives 8 from its citizens stemming from the homelessness crisis, with 9 resolutions up to and including clearing encampments and towing 10 (See Eaton Decl. ¶ 8.) While the City might not be vehicles deemed to be a nuisance.8 (See Worrall Decl. ¶¶ 7-8 and 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Plaintiff also cites to its correspondence with Sacramento Police Sergeant William Wann for the proposition that the City, pursuant to Martin, directed all of its enforcement agencies “to stop policing and enforcing the laws around Plaintiff’s Property.” (Opp’n at 15 (Wann writing “Soon, I think we will be sending social workers out to try to connect the campers with services and my team will only be needed when there is a nexus to some criminal activity. We are pretty much there now.”).) In context, Wann merely informs plaintiff of the Police Department’s shrinking purview (“Code Enforcement, Parking Enforcement, Animal Control, Arson Investigations and probably more stuff is not part of the Police Department”) and explains that “I think the days are gone in which we consider tents to be a police problem if they are only an eye sore.” (Eaton Decl. Ex. 4, 1900RR_000900 (emphasis added).) He further explains that if tents are on plaintiff’s private property, then the Police Department will help remove them. (Id.) 7 At best, plaintiff’s evidence shows that Sacramento politicians use Martin to deflect complaints from its constituents about inadequate code enforcement. (See Eaton Decl. Ex. 2, RR1900_000184 (email from mayor’s office stating “Martin V. Boise[] places restrictions on moving people experiencing homelessness, which includes people living in their vehicles, unless there is adequate shelter space available . . . . There are exceptions to this which include updates to essential infrastructure as well as public safety concerns.”), RR1900_000186 (email from councilmember’s office stating “we are still subject to the Martin v. Boise decision, which limits our ability to enforce anticamping ordinances without providing 15 8 1 Exs. B, C.) 2 Neither do the undisputed facts permit the conclusion 3 that the City maintained a municipal custom of inaction that 4 rises to the level of a constitutional violation. 5 record shows the City taking at least some affirmative actions to 6 respond to plaintiff’s complaints. 7 responded to complaints from plaintiff about Railroad Drive on 13 8 occasions in 2021. 9 shows, for instance, that the City conducted a vehicle sweep of Instead, the For example, Code Compliance (See Mendez Decl. ¶¶ 12-13.) The record also 10 Railroad Drive on January 2021, during which several vehicles 11 were either towed, marked for tow, or voluntarily removed (see 12 Eaton Decl. Ex. 4, 1900RR_000420); removed an abandoned vehicle 13 from the Railroad Drive cul-de-sac on December 2020 (see id., 14 1900RR_000490); and had Jose Mendez, Code Enforcement Manager for 15 the City of Sacramento, respond personally to plaintiff’s 16 complaints and promise to send code enforcement officers out to 17 Railroad Drive (see id., 1900RR_000545; see also Mendez Decl. ¶ 18 13). 19 These responses may be far from what plaintiff had a 20 right to expect from the City for its tax dollars, but they 21 negate any contention that the City was accustomed to inaction 22 “so permanent and well settled as to constitute a custom or usage 23 with the force of law.” 24 there is no triable issue on whether the City implemented an 25 unconstitutional policy or custom of non-enforcement pursuant to 26 Monell, and the court will grant summary judgment on this claim. 27 Gordon, 6 F.4th at 974. shelter options for the unhoused population.”).) 28 16 Accordingly, 1 D. 2 State Law Claims (Claims 4-7) After initially dismissing plaintiff’s federal claims, 3 the court concluded that the balance of judicial economy, 4 convenience, fairness, and comity factors weighed strongly in 5 favor of declining supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff’s 6 state law claims. 7 Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350 n.7 (1988).) 8 has changed significantly to disturb this analysis, including the 9 still-predominant comity interest in referring decisions on (See Order at 14-15; see also Carnegie-Mellon Nothing since 10 complex questions of California statutory and constitutional law 11 to California courts.9 12 supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff’s state law claims 13 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). 14 Accordingly, the court will again decline IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the City’s motion for 15 summary judgment be, and the same hereby is, GRANTED on its 16 federal claims brought under Section 1983 (Claims 1-3). 17 4-7 are DISMISSED pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 18 1367(c), without prejudice to plaintiff’s right to refile its 19 remaining state law claims in state court. 20 Dated: Claims November 14, 2023 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 See also California v. Sacramento, No. 23-cv-8658 (Sacramento Super. Ct. Sept. 19, 2023), filed by the Sacramento County District Attorney against the City and bringing similar state law claims in response to Sacramento’s homelessness crisis. 9 17

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