Frary et al v. County of Marin et al

Filing 25

ORDER by Judge Maria-Elena James granting in part and denying in part 11 Motion to Dismiss (cdnS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/13/2012)

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1 2 3 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 7 8 LYNETTE FRARY, Individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Anthony Brandon Carmignani, Deceased, JAMIE BALL, as Natural Guardian of Amaya Carmignani, a minor, and HEATHER HOWARD, No. C 12-3928 MEJ ORDER RE: DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS TO DISMISS (Docket Nos. 11, 20) 9 Plaintiffs, United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 vs. 11 12 13 14 COUNTY OF MARIN; CITY OF NOVATO; SHERIFF ROBERT T. DOYLE, CHIEF JOSEPH KREINS, DEPUTY RACHEL HAMMER, OFFICER THOMAS MACKENZIE, OFFICER MICHAEL DUNN, OFFICER STEPHANIE COMMISTO, and DOES 1 to 50, Inclusive, 15 Defendants. 16 / 17 18 19 INTRODUCTION Plaintiffs Lynette Frary, Jamie Ball as guardian on behalf of minor Amaya Carmignani, and 20 Heather Howard (“Plaintiffs”) bring this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against 21 Defendants County of Marin, Sheriff Robert T. Boyle, and Deputy Rachel Hammer (the “County 22 Defendants”), and City of Novato, Chief Joseph Kreins, and City of Novato Police Officers Thomas 23 Mackenzie, Michael Dunn, and Stephanie Commisto (the “City Defendants”) stemming from the 24 death of Anthony Brandon Carmignani, who died of a drug overdose while in custody at the Marin 25 County Jail. Compl., Dkt. No. 1. Before the Court is the City Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss 26 Plaintiffs’ Complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 27 12(b)(6), (Dkt. No. 11 - “City Motion”), and the County Defendants’ Joinder in the City Defendants’ 28 Motion and Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), (Dkt. No. 20 - “County Motion”). Plaintiffs 1 have filed Oppositions, to which the City Defendants and County Defendants have each filed 2 Replies. Dkt. Nos. 21-24. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds this matter suitable 3 for disposition without oral argument and VACATES the January 10, 2013 hearing. After carefully 4 considering the parties’ briefs and the controlling legal authorities, the Court hereby GRANTS IN 5 PART and DENIES IN PART the Defendants’ motions for the reasons set forth below. 6 7 BACKGROUND The relevant facts as taken from Plaintiffs’ Complaint are as follows. On July 29, 2011, Officer Dunn investigated a reported domestic dispute between decedent Anthony Brandon 9 Carmignani and his wife, Heather Howard, for his vandalism of her automobile. Compl. ¶ 32. 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 During the course of the vandalism report, Howard advised Officer Dunn that Carmignani had 11 narcotics in his possession. Id. ¶ 33. Officer Dunn broadcast a request for all City of Novato 12 officers to locate and arrest Carmignani. Id. ¶ 34. 13 Officer Mackenzie saw Carmignani walking in front of a local store and went to arrest him. 14 Id. ¶ 35. Carmignani tried to flee, then submitted to arrest and was handcuffed, pat searched for 15 weapons, and placed in the rear of Officer Mackenzie’s squad car. Id. ¶¶ 36-37. Officer Mackenzie 16 failed to detect several controlled substances and other pills in Carmignani’s pockets during the pat 17 search for weapons. Id. ¶ 38. Officer Mackenzie then transferred Carmignani to Officer Dunn, 18 who placed him in the back of his patrol car for transport to the Marin County Jail. Id. ¶ 39. Officer 19 Dunn assumed Officer Mackenzie thoroughly searched Carmignani and did not conduct a separate 20 search of his own. Id. ¶ 40. Officer Dunn did not attempt to locate or seize the narcotics Howard 21 said were in Carmignani’s possession. Id. ¶ 41. Neither officer searched Carmignani for items, 22 other than weapons, that might be dangerous to himself or others. Id. ¶ 42. Medications in 23 Carmignani’s possession remained undetected in his front pockets as Officer Dunn drove 24 Carmignani to the jail facility. Id. ¶ 43. 25 During transport to the jail, Carmignani moved his handcuffed hands from behind his back to 26 the front of his body and nearly removed his shirt. Id. ¶ 44. Officer Dunn did not return 27 Carmignani’s hands to behind his back. Id. ¶ 45. Carmignani asked Officer Dunn to open the car 28 Page 2 of 18 1 window, which Plaintiffs allege is a telltale sign that Carmignani was hoping to dispose of 2 something. Id. ¶ 46. Plaintiffs contend Carmignani retrieved several pills from his pockets and 3 ingested them, and they contend Officer Dunn either saw this or could have seen it if he had been 4 properly monitoring Carmignani. Id. ¶ 47. 5 When they arrived at the Marin County Jail at approximately 3:30 p.m., Carmignani was cooperative with deputies processing him. Id. ¶ 48. County jail staff searched Carmignani and 7 found several pills he was unable to retrieve from his pockets. Id. ¶ 49. Carmignani admitted to jail 8 staff he had ingested some of the pills before his arrival at the jail. Id. ¶ 50. Plaintiffs contend 9 County jail staff observed Carmignani’s eyes were dilated, that he was red and “loopy”, and they 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 6 knew he had a history of substance abuse that was noted in his jail records. Id. ¶¶ 51-54. In the 11 early evening, a jail nurse noticed Carmignani appeared drowsy, and he told jail staff he would 12 “crash hard” because of pills he had taken. Id. ¶¶ 56-57. Carmignani was placed alone in a cell in 13 the Administrative Segregation portion of the jail rather than with another inmate. Id. ¶ 58. No 14 special efforts were made to monitor his medical condition after he was placed alone in the cell. Id. 15 ¶ 59. Guards monitoring the area could see into only a small portion of the cell in which Carmignani 16 was placed. Id. ¶ 60. 17 At approximately 10:24 p.m., seven hours after Carmignani was in custody, Officer 18 Commisto was at the jail to serve papers on Carmignani, and she had a conversation with him at that 19 time. Id. ¶¶ 61, 69. Plaintiff Frary, Carmignani’s mother, previously advised Officer Commisto that 20 he had taken a large number of narcotics and other medications from her home, that she worried he 21 was in danger if he ingested a large number of the missing pills, that she believed Officer Commisto 22 should determine the number of pills found on Carmignani after his arrest to determine how many he 23 ingested, and that Officer Commisto should presume Carmignani ingested whatever number of pills 24 were not recovered. Id. ¶¶ 63-66. Officer Commisto promised to communicate Frary’s information 25 to the jail staff, but either she failed to convey such information or such information was ignored by 26 jail personnel. Id. ¶¶ 67-68. Carmignani’s conversation with Officer Commisto was the last time he 27 was seen conscious or moving within his cell. Id. ¶ 69. 28 Page 3 of 18 1 At approximately 3:00 a.m. on July 30, 2011, an inmate in a neighboring cell heard 2 Carmignani snoring. Id. ¶ 70. Soon thereafter, sometime between 5:00 to 6:00 a.m., Deputy 3 Hammer and two volunteer inmates attempted to serve Carmignani breakfast. Id. ¶ 71. One inmate 4 said he saw Carmignani breathing and the other inmate observed and stated out loud that he did not 5 look well. Id. ¶¶ 72-73. Carmignani displayed no reaction to their shouts and banging, which 6 continued for about a minute. Id. ¶ 74. Deputy Hammer made no attempt to further investigate 7 Carmignani’s medical condition or have others do so; instead, she reported that Carmignani had 8 refused breakfast and moved to the next cell. Id. ¶¶ 75-76. 9 At approximately noon, “Sergeant Hernandez” (who is not a party in this case) found that United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 although Carmignani’s body was warm to the touch and his lips appeared moist, he was 11 unresponsive, not breathing, and had no pulse. Id. ¶¶ 78-79. Carmignani could not be revived and 12 was declared dead shortly after arriving at the Kaiser Medical Center emergency room in San 13 Rafael. Id. ¶¶ 80-81. 14 Plaintiffs filed the present Complaint on July 26, 2012. In their Complaint, Plaintiffs allege 15 that Defendants utilized improper arrest procedures, failed to act upon information relating to 16 Carmignani’s health that had been provided by his wife and mother, failed to convey vital 17 information to those responsible for ensuring his health and safety while in the jail, failed to provide 18 competent medical care and treatment, manifested a deliberate indifference to Carmignani’s rights 19 under the United States Constitution and California law, and caused his wrongful death. Id. ¶ 83. 20 Plaintiffs bring seven causes of action: (1) violations of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 21 Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Hammer, 22 Mackenzie, Dunn, and Commisto in their individual capacities; (2) supervisory liability under 42 23 U.S.C. § 1983 against Sheriff Doyle and Chief Kreins; (3) municipal liability under 42 U.S.C. § 24 1983 against Marin County and the City of Novato; (4) wrongful death under California 25 Government Code section 845.6 against Hammer and Marin County; (5) violation of California 26 Civil Code section 52.1 against all Defendants; (6) negligence against all Defendants; and (7) 27 survival damages against all Defendants. 28 Page 4 of 18 1 On September 24, 2012, the City Defendants filed their Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. No. 11. 2 The City Defendants argue that the Complaint is subject to dismissal because: (1) Plaintiffs’ first 3 count for violation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 fails to state a claim against the City 4 Defendants; (2) Plaintiffs’ second count for supervisory liability fails to state a claim against Chief 5 Kreins; (3) Plaintiffs’ third count for municipal liability under § 1983 fails to state facts sufficient to 6 state a claim against the City of Novato; (4) the fifth count for violation of California Civil Code 7 section 52.1 fails to state facts sufficient to state a claim; and (5) Plaintiffs’ sixth and seventh counts 8 for negligent wrongful death and survivorship fail to state facts sufficient to state a claim. Id. at 1-2. 9 On October 9, 2012, the County Defendants filed their Joinder in the City Defendants’ United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Motion, as well as their Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. No. 20. The County Defendants incorporate the 11 arguments made by the City Defendants and add that: (1) the Complaint does not implicate the 12 County Defendants regarding any violation of the Fourth Amendment; (2) Carmignani was not a 13 post-conviction prisoner within the meaning of the Eighth Amendment; (3) Plaintiffs set forth no 14 Fourteenth Amendment violation under § 1983 because they cannot demonstrate either County 15 Defendants’ intent to punish Carmignani or that his pretrial detention was unrelated to a legitimate 16 government goal; (4) Plaintiffs’ Complaint alleges no facts demonstrating Sheriff Doyle engaged in 17 wrongful conduct or that such conduct was connected to any constitutional violations suffered by 18 Carmignani; (5) the Complaint fails to support municipal liability; (6) the fourth cause of action 19 under California Government Code section 845.6 fails to allege the requisite facts establishing the 20 County Defendants knew or had reason to know Carmignani needed immediate medical care; and 21 (7) the fifth, sixth, and seventh causes of action (under California Civil Code section 52.1 and 22 general negligence) fail for lack of allegations of violence or intimidation, unavailability in a 23 wrongful death action, and lack of allegation of breach of mandatory statutory duty. Id. at 4-9. 24 LEGAL STANDARD 25 A court may dismiss a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) when it does not contain enough facts 26 to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 27 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the 28 Page 5 of 18 1 court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” 2 Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “The plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability 3 requirement,’ but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. 4 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). “While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to 5 dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff’s obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of 6 his ‘entitle[ment] to relief’ requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of 7 the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to 8 relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal citations and parentheticals 9 omitted). United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 In considering a motion to dismiss, a court must accept all of the plaintiff’s allegations as 11 true and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Id. at 550; Erickson v. Pardus, 12 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007); Vasquez v. Los Angeles Cnty., 487 F.3d 1246, 1249 (9th Cir. 2007). If 13 the court dismisses the complaint, it should grant leave to amend even if no request to amend is 14 made “unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other 15 facts.” Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting Cook, Perkiss and Liehe, Inc. 16 v. N. Cal. Collection Serv. Inc., 911 F.2d 242, 247 (9th Cir. 1990)). 17 18 DISCUSSION A. Claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 19 In their first cause of action against Deputy Hammer and Officers Mackenzie, Dunn, and 20 Commisto (the “Individual Officers”), Plaintiffs allege that the Individual Officers violated their 21 First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Compl. 22 ¶¶ 85-94. In their second cause of action, Plaintiffs allege that Sheriff Doyle and Chief Kreins 23 violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments by failing to properly train, assign, supervise, and 24 guide their staff and medical personnel to take necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of 25 arrested persons and to ensure that they are provided with all necessary monitoring and medical care. 26 Id. ¶¶ 95-101. In their third cause of action, Plaintiffs allege that Marin County and the City of 27 Novato are liable for the actions of the individual defendants because they were committed to 28 Page 6 of 18 1 customs, policies, practices and/or procedures adopted or ratified by the municipalities. Id. ¶¶ 102- 2 109. 3 To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two elements: (1) that a right 4 secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated; and (2) that the violation was 5 committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). 6 “Section 1983 ‘is not itself a source of substantive rights,’ but merely provides ‘a method for 7 vindicating federal rights elsewhere conferred.’ . . . The first step in any such claim is to identify the 8 specific constitutional rights allegedly infringed.” Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994). In their Oppositions, Plaintiffs state that they “make no argument that the defendants violated 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 9 any of Anthony’s or their rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth or Eighth Amendments” City Opp’n at 11 7; County Opp’n at 7. Plaintiffs go on to state that “since what is before the Court is a Motion to 12 Dismiss rather than a Motion to Strike as to particular allegations, this concession has no practical 13 effect.” City Opp’n at 7 n. 3. Plaintiffs also state that “the Novato defendants correctly argue at 14 length that Ms. Frary, Ms. Ball (as guardian of Amaya) and Ms. Howard are not entitled to pursue 15 claims for deprivation of their associational rights with the decedent under the First Amendment, but 16 that does not defeat their claims.” Id. 17 Plaintiffs cite no authority whatsoever in support of the proposition that their First, Fourth, 18 Fifth, and Eighth Amendment claims can only be eliminated by way of a motion to strike and not the 19 City and County Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss. As the Defendants’ note, Plaintiffs appear to 20 assert that because dismissal of these claims does not dismiss the entire first count, these claims can 21 only be attacked by a motion to dismiss. However, Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes dismissal where a 22 complaint fails to state a “claim” upon which relief can be granted. There is no requirement that a 23 motion to dismiss apply to an entire cause of action. See, e.g., Jawien v. Cnty. of San Bernardino, 24 2012 WL 1204360, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 5, 2012) (granting dismissal of § 1983 and other claims 25 contained in certain causes of action but leaving other claims within the same causes of action intact; 26 Cox v. Comm. PCS, L.P. v. City of San Marcos, 204 F. Supp. 2d 1272, 1285 (S.D. Cal. 2002) (same); 27 Sullivan v. City of San Rafael, 2012 WL 3236058, at *10-11 (same). Accordingly, because Plaintiffs 28 Page 7 of 18 1 have failed to meet their obligation to provide any grounds for their entitlement to relief, the Court 2 GRANTS the City Defendants’ and County Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss the First, Fourth, Fifth, 3 and Eighth Amendment claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in Plaintiffs’ first, second, and third causes 4 of action. Thus, the Court need only address Plaintiffs’ Fourteenth Amendment claims under § 5 1983. 6 1. 7 Plaintiffs’ first cause of action alleges that the Individual Officers violated their Fourteenth 8 Amendment rights through deliberate indifference and callous disregard of Carmignani’s need for 9 medical care and treatment. Compl. at 12-14. In their Oppositions, Plaintiffs add that Officers Dunn First Cause of Action United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 and Mackenzie, as the officers who had custody of Carmignani prior to his arrival at the Marin 11 County Jail, had a duty to protect him from harm, including self-harm, because they knew he had 12 drugs on him. City Opp’n at 2. As to Officer Commisto, Plaintiffs allege that by promising 13 Carmignani’s mother that she would convey vital information about the medications to jail 14 personnel and then failing to do so, she committed an affirmative act that induced reliance, which 15 significantly raised the risk of harm. Id. Plaintiffs also argue that Deputy Hammer violated the 16 Fourteenth Amendment when she “callously walked away as Anthony lay inert and unresponsive 17 despite her and her assistants’ efforts to rouse him for breakfast.” County Opp’n at 2. 18 Claims of failure to provide care for serious medical needs, when brought by a detainee who 19 has been neither charged nor convicted of a crime, are analyzed under the substantive due process 20 clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Lolli v. County of Orange, 351 F.3d 410, 418–89 (9th Cir. 21 2003). Even though such detainees’ rights arise under the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth 22 Amendment, the guarantees of the Eighth Amendment guide the Court and provide a minimum 23 standard of care for determining their rights, including the right to medical care. Oregon Advocacy 24 Ctr. v. Mink, 322 F.3d 1101, 1120 (9th Cir. 2003). In the Ninth Circuit, the test for “deliberate 25 indifference” consists of two parts: (1) the plaintiff must show a “serious medical need”; and (2) the 26 plaintiff must show that the defendant’s response to the need was deliberately indifferent. Jett v. 27 Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 (9th Cir. 2006). Indifference may appear where officials deny, delay, 28 Page 8 of 18 1 2 or intentionally interfere with medical treatment. Id. Here, accepting the facts in Plaintiffs’ Complaint as true, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have 3 pled factual content that allows the Court to draw the reasonable inference that the Individual 4 Officers are liable for the misconduct alleged. Plaintiffs allege that Howard advised Officer Dunn 5 that Carmignani had narcotics in his possession, but Dunn made no attempt to locate and seize the 6 narcotics. Compl. ¶¶ 33, 41. Plaintiffs further allege that Officer Mackenzie failed to conduct a 7 proper search of Carmignani, and he therefore failed to detect several controlled substances and 8 other pills in Carmignani’s pockets. Id. ¶¶ 38, 43. Although it is not clear whether Dunn informed 9 Mackenzie (or any other officers) of the potential narcotics, the Court finds it improper to make that United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 factual determination at this stage in the proceedings. Upon arrival at the hospital, Plaintiffs allege that several pills were retrieved from 12 Carmignani’s pocket, he admitted to prison staff that he had ingested some of those pills prior to his 13 arrival, and that deputies and staff noticed he was “loopy.” Id. ¶¶ 49-53. Despite this, Carmignani 14 was placed alone in a cell in the Administrative Segregation portion of the jail rather than with 15 another inmate. Id. ¶ 58. No special efforts were made to monitor his medical condition after he 16 was placed alone in the cell. Id. ¶ 59. 17 As to Officer Commisto, Plaintiffs allege that Frary informed her that Carmignani had taken 18 a large number of narcotics and other medications from her home; that she worried he was in danger 19 if he ingested a large number of the missing pills; that she believed Officer Commisto should 20 determine the number of pills found on Carmignani after his arrest to determine how many he 21 ingested, and that Officer Commisto should presume Carmignani ingested whatever number of pills 22 were not recovered. Id. ¶¶ 63-66. Plaintiffs allege Officer Commisto promised to communicate 23 Frary’s information to the jail staff, but either she failed to convey such information or such 24 information was ignored by jail personnel. Id. ¶¶ 67-68. 25 Finally, as to Deputy Hammer, Plaintiffs allege that she and two volunteer inmates attempted 26 to serve Carmignani breakfast. Id. ¶ 71. One inmate said he saw Carmignani breathing and the 27 other inmate observed and stated out loud that he did not look well. Id. ¶¶ 72-73. Carmignani 28 Page 9 of 18 1 displayed no reaction to their shouts and banging, which continued for about a minute. Id. ¶ 74. 2 Deputy Hammer made no attempt to further investigate Carmignani’s medical condition or have 3 others do so; instead, she reported that Carmignani had refused breakfast and moved to the next cell. 4 Id. ¶¶ 75-76. 5 Based on these allegations, the Court finds that Plaintiffs’ factual allegations are enough to 6 raise a right to relief under the Fourteenth Amendment above the speculative level. Accordingly, the 7 City Defendants’ and County Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ first cause of action are 8 DENIED as to Plaintiffs’ Fourteenth Amendment claim. 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 2. Second Cause of Action Plaintiffs’ second cause of action alleges that Sheriff Doyle and Chief Kreins, as policy 11 making officials, were responsible for the individual Officers’ actions in that they either participated 12 in or knew of “their subordinates’ deliberate indifference in failing to take immediate measures to 13 ensure that a person in custody be provided with all necessary monitoring and medical care to 14 protect his or her health and safety, subsequently causing injuries or deaths.” Compl. ¶¶ 97, 99. 15 Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, government officials may not be held liable for the unconstitutional 16 conduct of their subordinates under a theory of respondeat superior. Monell v. New York Dept. of 17 Soc. Serv., 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978); Jeffers v. Gomez, 267 F.3d 895, 915 (9th Cir. 2001). A 18 supervisor may be liable under § 1983 only if there exists either “‘(1) his or her personal 19 involvement in the constitutional deprivation, or (2) a sufficient causal connection between the 20 supervisor’s wrongful conduct and the constitutional violation.’” Jeffers, 267 F.3 at 915 (quoting 21 Redman v. Cnty. of San Diego, 942 F.2d 1435, 1446 (9th Cir. 1991)). Thus, “[a] supervisor is only 22 liable for constitutional violations of his subordinates if the supervisor participated in or directed the 23 violations, or knew of the violations and failed to act to prevent them.” Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 24 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). 25 “[T]o be held liable, the supervisor need not be ‘directly and personally involved in the same 26 way as are the individual officers who are on the scene inflicting constitutional injury.’” Starr v. 27 Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1205 (9th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 132 S. Ct. 2101 (2012) (quoting Larez v. 28 Page 10 of 18 City of Los Angeles, 946 F.2d 630, 645 (9th Cir. 1991). “Rather, the supervisor’s participation could 2 include his ‘own culpable action or inaction in the training, supervision, or control of his 3 subordinates,’ ‘his acquiescence in the constitutional deprivations of which the complaint is made,’ 4 or ‘conduct that showed a reckless or callous indifference to the rights of others.’ Id. at 1205-06 5 (quoting Larez, 946 F.2d at 646). “The law clearly allows actions against supervisors under section 6 1983 as long as a sufficient causal connection is present and the plaintiff was deprived under color 7 of law of a federally secured right.” Id. at 1207 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 8 “The requisite causal connection can be established . . . by setting in motion a series of acts by 9 others,” Redman, 942 F.2d 1435, 1447 (9th Cir. 1991) (alteration in original; internal quotation 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 1 marks omitted), or by “knowingly refus[ing] to terminate a series of acts by others, which [the 11 supervisor] knew or reasonably should have known would cause others to inflict a constitutional 12 injury,” Dubner v. City & Cnty. of San Francisco, 266 F.3d 959, 968 (9th Cir. 2001). 13 Here, accepting Plaintiffs’ allegations as true, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have stated a 14 valid claim against Chief Kreins. Plaintiffs allege that Kreins failed to properly train, assign, 15 supervise, and guide his staff to take the necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of 16 arrested persons. Compl. ¶ 96. Chief Kreins’ inaction in the training, supervision, or control of his 17 subordinates is enough to hold him liable under § 1983. Starr, 652 F.3d at 1205. Further, Plaintiffs 18 specifically allege that Kreins has either participated in or knew of his subordinates’ deliberate 19 indifference to arrestees such as Carmignani’s health and safety, and that this deliberate indifference 20 caused the failure to take immediate measures to ensure that a person in custody be provided with all 21 necessary monitoring and medical care to protect his or her health and safety. Compl. ¶ 97. 22 Accordingly, the City Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ second cause of action under the 23 Fourteenth Amendment is DENIED as to Chief Kreins. 24 The Court also finds that Plaintiffs have stated a valid claim against Sheriff Doyle. Under 25 California law, “[t]he sheriff is required by statute to take charge of and keep the county jail and the 26 prisoners in it, and is answerable for the prisoner’s safekeeping.” Redman, 942 F.2d at 1446 (citing 27 Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 26605, 26610; Cal. Pen. Code § 4006). The Ninth Circuit has held that 28 Page 11 of 18 “acquiescence or culpable indifference” may suffice to show that a supervisor “personally played a 2 role in the alleged constitutional violations.” Menotti v. City of Seattle, 409 F.3d 1113, 1149 (9th 3 Cir. 2005); Redman, 942 F.2d at 1446. A plaintiff’s allegations that the actions or inactions of the 4 person “answerable for the prisoner’s safe-keeping” caused their injuries are therefore sufficient to 5 state a claim of supervisory liability for deliberate indifference. Starr, 652 F.3d at 1208. Here, 6 Plaintiffs allege that Sheriff Doyle failed to properly train, assign, supervise, and guide his staff and 7 medical personnel at the Marin County Jail to take the necessary measures to ensure the health and 8 safety of arrested persons, including Carmignani. Compl. ¶ 96. Plaintiffs further allege that Doyle 9 failed to properly supervise the medical services at the Marin County Jail in that jail personnel were 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 1 not trained to properly classify, house, or monitor inmates suffering from health conditions. Id. ¶ 98. 11 Accordingly, Plaintiffs have set forth enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its 12 face, and the City Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ second cause of action under the 13 Fourteenth Amendment is DENIED as to Sheriff Doyle. 14 3. 15 Plaintiffs’ third cause of action alleges that the City of Novato and Marin County are liable Third Cause of Action 16 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the actions of the Individual Officers. Id. ¶¶ 102-09. Pursuant to 17 Monell, a local government may not be sued under § 1983 for an injury inflicted solely by its 18 employees or agents. 436 U.S. at 694. “Instead, it is when execution of a government’s policy or 19 custom, whether made by its lawmakers or by those whose edicts or acts may fairly be said to 20 represent official policy, inflicts the injury that the government as an entity is responsible under § 21 1983.” Id. “As long as the government entity receives notice and an opportunity to respond, an 22 official-capacity suit is, in all respects other than name, to be treated as a suit against the entity.” 23 Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 165-66 (1985). 24 To establish municipal liability under § 1983, a plaintiff must show that (1) he was deprived 25 of a constitutional right; (2) the municipality had a custom or policy; (3) that amounted to a 26 deliberate indifference to the plaintiff’s constitutional right; and (4) the policy was the moving force 27 behind the constitutional violation. East v. City of Richmond, 2010 WL 4580112, at *3 (N.D. Cal. 28 Page 12 of 18 1 Nov. 3, 2010). This municipal liability may be based on (1) an express municipal policy, such as an 2 ordinance, regulation, or policy statement; (2) a widespread practice that, although not authorized by 3 written law or express municipal policy, is so permanent and well settled as to constitute a custom or 4 usage with the force of law; or (3) the decision of a person with final policymaking authority. City 5 of St. Louis v. Praprotnik, 485 U.S. 112, 123-27 (1988). 6 Here, Plaintiffs allege that the Individual Officers were fully aware that Carmignani was in emergent need of access to medical care, but acted in conformity with the City of Novato’s and 8 Marin County’s customs, policies, and practices in failing to conduct proper searches of arrestees, 9 and failing to convey information to other agencies of government. Id. ¶ 103. As to Marin County, 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 7 Plaintiffs further allege that the custom or policy includes denying inmates access to medical care, 11 failing to properly classify, house, or monitor inmates suffering from health conditions, and failing 12 to provide medical care for serious medical conditions. Id. Plaintiffs further allege that the City of 13 Novato and Marin County failed to institute proper and adequate training, supervision, and 14 procedures for monitoring inmates such as Carmignani who have ingested narcotics or other 15 dangerous substances. Id. ¶ 105. Plaintiffs allege that the authorized policymakers for the City of 16 Novato and Marin County have direct knowledge of the fact that Carmignani was unlawfully denied 17 necessary care, but they made a deliberate choice to endorse the Individual Officers’ conduct. Id. ¶ 18 107. In so doing, Plaintiffs allege that the municipalities showed affirmative agreement with the 19 Individual Officers’ actions and ratified their unconstitutional acts. Id. “A municipality may be held 20 liable for a constitutional violation under the theory of ratification if authorized policymakers 21 approve a subordinate’s decision and the basis for it.” East, 2010 WL 4580112, at *4 (internal 22 quotations and citation omitted). “In particular, the policymaker must have knowledge of the 23 constitutional violation and actually approve of it.” Id. (internal quotations and citation omitted). 24 Thus, accepting Plaintiffs’ allegations as true, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have set forth enough 25 facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face, and the City Defendants’ and County 26 Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ third cause of action under the Fourteenth Amendment 27 are DENIED. 28 Page 13 of 18 1 2 B. Fourth Cause of Action under California Government Code section 845.6 Plaintiffs’ fourth cause of action alleges that Deputy Hammer and Marin County are liable 3 under California Government Code section 845.6 for failure to take reasonable action to provide 4 Carmignani with access to proper medical treatment and housing based on his known condition. 5 Compl. ¶ 111. 6 Section 845.6 provides that “a public employee, and the public entity where the employee is 7 acting within the scope of his employment, is liable if the employee knows or has reason to know 8 that the prisoner is in need of immediate medical care and he fails to take reasonable action to 9 summon such medical care.” Cal. Gov’t Code § 845.6.1 Accordingly, “[i]n order to state a claim United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 under [section] 845.6, a prisoner must establish three elements: (1) the public employee knew of or 11 had reason to know of the need (2) for immediate medical care, and (3) failed to reasonably summon 12 such care.” Jett, 439 F.3d at 1099 (citing Cal. Gov’t Code § 845.6). “‘Liability under section 845.6 13 is limited to serious and obvious medical conditions requiring immediate care.’” Lucas v. Cnty. of 14 Los Angeles, 47 Cal. App. 4th 277, 287-88 (1996) (quoting Watson v. State, 21 Cal. App. 4th 836, 15 841 (1993)). The term “immediate medical care” includes both diagnosis and treatment. Jett, 439 16 F.3d at 1099. 17 Here, based on the facts stated above, Plaintiffs allege that Deputy Hammer and Marin 18 County knew or had reason to know that Carmignani was in need of immediate medical care, 19 treatment, observation and monitoring, and that he required special housing for his own safety and 20 well-being. Compl. ¶ 111. Plaintiffs further allege that the Defendants failed to take reasonable 21 action to summon and/or provide him access to such medical care and treatment and provide him 22 proper housing. Id. Accepting Plaintiffs’ allegations as true, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have set 23 forth enough facts to state a claim for relief under section 845.6 that is plausible on its face. In their 24 Motion, the County Defendants argue that Plaintiffs cannot allege facts supporting a claim against 25 1 27 As to the County, section 815.2 creates liability on the part of a public entity for injury caused by an action or omission of an employee if the action or omission would give rise to a cause of action against that employee. Cal. Gov’t Code § 815.2. Thus, sections 845.6 and 815.2 together create the potential for liability on the part of a public entity. 28 Page 14 of 18 26 1 them because they could not have known Carmignani needed immediate medical care until they 2 entered his cell around noon on July 30, 2011. County Mot. at 8. However, as stated above, 3 Plaintiffs allege facts which, taken as true, show that the County Defendants knew or had reason to 4 know of Carmignani’s medical needs much earlier. Compl. ¶¶ 49-54, 56-57, 72-76. It would be 5 improper for the Court to resolve any factual disputes at this stage in the proceedings. Accordingly, 6 the County Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ fourth cause of action under California 7 Government Code section 845.6 is DENIED. 8 C. 9 Fifth Cause of Action under California Civil Code section 52.1 Plaintiffs’ fifth cause of action alleges that all named Defendants violated California Civil United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Code section 52.1 by acting in a conspiracy. Compl. ¶¶ 113-115. Section 52.1 permits a civil action 11 against a person who interferes or attempts to interfere by threats, intimidation or coercion with 12 “exercise or enjoyment” of rights secured by the United States and California Constitutions and 13 laws. Meyers v. City of Fresno, 2011 WL 902115, at *6 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 15, 2011). “Section 52.1(b) 14 provides a cause of action to any person who has been denied rights under the laws of California.” 15 Winarto, 274 F.3d 1276, 1289, n. 13 (9th Cir. 2001), cert. denied, 537 U.S. 1098 (2003). A section 16 52.1 plaintiff must demonstrate that the constitutional violation “occurred and that the violation was 17 accompanied by threats, intimidation or coercion within the meaning of the statute.” Barsamian v. 18 City of Kingsburg, 597 F. Supp. 2d 1054, 1057 (E.D. Cal. 2009). The necessary elements for a 19 section 52.1 claim are: “(1) defendants interfered with plaintiff’s constitutional rights by threatening 20 or committing violent acts; (2) that plaintiff reasonablely believed that if she exercised her 21 constitutional rights, defendants would commit violence against her property; (3) plaintiff was 22 harmed; and (4) defendants’ conduct was a substantial factor in causing plaintiff’s harm.” Tolosko- 23 Parker v. County of Sonoma, 2009 WL 498099, at *5 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 26, 2009). Here, Plaintiffs 24 admit that they failed to allege any acts of violence or intimidation or threats of such acts against any 25 Defendants. City Opp’n at 22; County Opp’n at 23. Accordingly, the City Defendants’ and County 26 Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss are GRANTED as to Plaintiffs’ fifth cause of action. 27 28 Page 15 of 18 1 D. Sixth and Seventh Causes of Action for Negligence & Wrongful Death Based on Negligence 2 3 Plaintiffs’ sixth cause of action for wrongful death based on negligence is brought by 4 Plaintiff Lynnette Frary against all named Defendants. Compl. ¶¶ 116-120. Frary alleges that each 5 Defendant owed her the duty to act with due care in the execution and enforcement of any right, law, 6 or legal obligation. Id. ¶ 117. Plaintiffs’ seventh cause of action is brought by Frary against all 7 named Defendants for survival damages based on negligence. Id. ¶¶ 121-22. 8 9 The City Defendants argue that Frary’s claims fail as to the City because the Complaint fails to allege any statute imposing a duty on a public entity to “act with due care” or “act with reasonable United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 care.” City Mot. at 19. The City Defendants further argue that the sixth and seventh causes of 11 action are subject to dismissal as to the Individual City Defendants because the Complaint fails to 12 state facts showing that City personnel owed any legal duty to Carmignani. Id. The County 13 Defendants raise the same arguments as the City Defendants. County Mot. at 9. 14 In their Opposition, Plaintiffs argue that Frary’s claims are valid because the Complaint 15 alleges that Defendants violated California Government Code section 845.6. County Opp’n at 22. 16 However, to the extent that Plaintiffs’ fourth cause of action is also brought under section 845.6, any 17 such claim here is redundant. See Zelig v. Cnty. of Los Angeles, 27 Cal.4th 1112, 1132 (2002) 18 (finding it impermissible for a plaintiff to add a general tort claim to a statutory claim they may have 19 against public employees and public entities, so as to expand the circumstances where there is 20 potential liability). Thus, Frary’s sixth and seventh causes of action cannot withstand dismissal on 21 this ground alone. 22 Plaintiffs further argue that Defendants are liable under California Government Code section 23 844.6. County Opp’n at 22-23. Although not alleged in their Complaint, section 844.6 states, in 24 relevant part: “Nothing in this section exonerates a public employee from liability for injury 25 proximately caused by his negligent or wrongful act or omission.” Cal. Gov’t Code § 844.6(d). 26 California has recognized that “there is a special relationship between jailer and prisoner which 27 imposes a duty of care on the jailer to the prisoner.” Giraldo v. CDCR, 168 Cal. App. 4th 231, 252- 28 Page 16 of 18 1 53 371 (2008). Federal courts recognizing this duty have cited to section 844.6. See Kodimer ex rel. 2 Lyn Ramskill v. Cnty. of San Diego, 2010 WL 2635548, *10 (S.D. Cal. 2010); Hightower v. Tilton, 3 2012 WL 1194720, at *10 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 10, 2012). Thus, “[a] plaintiff may maintain a negligence 4 action under California law against individual government employees for breach of a legal duty.” 5 Kodimer, 2010 WL 2635548, *10 (citing Cal. Gov’t Code § 844.6(d)). With this in mind, the Court 6 shall permit Plaintiffs to amend their Complaint as to the Individual Defendants, but only if they can 7 allege sufficient facts to establish a claim that is not duplicative of their section 845.6 claim. See 8 Baker v. Cnty. of Sonoma, 2009 WL 330937, at *4 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 10, 2009) (permitting negligence 9 claim against individual defendants pursuant to section 844.6); Holland v. City of San Francisco, United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 2010 WL 5071597, at *10-11 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 7, 2010); Hernandez v. Jordan, 2009 WL 937960, at 11 *2 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 7, 2009). Accordingly, the City Defendants’ and County Defendants’ Motions to 12 Dismiss Plaintiffs’ sixth and seventh causes of action are GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND 13 as to the Individual Defendants.2 14 As to the public entity Defendants, “[e]xcept as provided in California Government Code § 15 845.6, a public entity cannot be liable for an injury to a prisoner.” Irvine v. City & Cnty. of San 16 Francisco, 2001 WL 967524, at *14 (N.D. Cal. July 12, 2001) (citing Cal. Gov’t Code § 844.6). 17 Thus, the City Defendants’ and County Defendants’ are entitled to immunity and their Motion to 18 Dismiss the sixth and seventh causes of action are GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND as 19 to the public entity Defendants. 20 CONCLUSION 21 Based on the analysis above, the Court hereby GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART 22 the City Defendants’ and County Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss as follows: 23 1) Defendants’ Motions are GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND as to Plaintiffs’ first, 24 second, and third causes of action under the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments 25 under the United States Constitution. Defendants’ Motions are DENIED as to Plaintiffs’ 26 2 27 If Plaintiffs choose to file an amended claim, they must specify which Defendants the claim is brought against and which specific facts support that claim as to each Defendant. 28 Page 17 of 18 1 first, second, and third causes of action under the Fourteenth Amendment. 2 2) The County Defendants’ Motion is DENIED as to Plaintiffs’ fourth cause of action. 3 3) Defendants’ Motions are GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND as to Plaintiffs’ fifth 4 5 cause of action. 4) Defendants’ Motions are GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND as to Plaintiffs’ sixth and 6 seventh causes of action as to the Individual Defendants, as limited above. Defendants’ 7 Motions are GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND as to Plaintiffs’ sixth and seventh 8 causes of action as to the public entity Defendants. 9 Plaintiffs shall file any amended complaint, consistent with this Order, by January 3, 2013. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 12 13 Dated: December 13, 2012 MARIA-ELENA JAMES United States Magistrate Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Page 18 of 18

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