Maldonado et al v. City of San Leandro Police Department et al

Filing 50

ORDER by Judge Hamilton Granting 44 Motion for Summary Judgment (pjhlc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/17/2010) (Additional attachment(s) added on 12/17/2010: # 1 Certificate of Service) (nah, COURT STAFF).

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Maldonado et al v. City of San Leandro Police Department et al Doc. 50 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 v. CITY OF SAN LEANDRO, et al., Defendants. _______________________________/ Before this court is defendant Stanislaus County, and individual defendants Beth Morrison, Erin Cary, Nichole Cunningham, Richard Allen, and Bryan Hixson's (collectively "defendants") motion for summary judgment. Pro se plaintiffs, despite engaging in recent litigation activity before the court since the filing of defendants' summary judgment motion, have failed to oppose the motion. Having read the moving parties' papers and considered the relevant legal authority, and in view of both plaintiffs' failure to file an opposition to the motion and the absolute nature of the defense presented in defendants' papers, the court hereby GRANTS defendants' motion for summary judgment, for the following reasons. Plaintiffs have asserted three claims against defendants: (1) violation of 42 U.S.C. 1983 (against Stanislaus County only); (2) conspiracy alleged pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1985 (against all defendants); and (3) civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. 1985 et seq. See Civil Complaint, 20-22, 25-33. As defendants correctly note, all three claims are barred by the applicable two year statute of limitations. See, e.g., Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261 (1985)(forum state's statute of limitations for personal injury torts sets forth appropriate period for determining statute of limitations under sections 1983 and 1985), superseded by statute on other grounds, as stated in Jones v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 541 U.S. 369 ELSA MALDONADO, et al., Plaintiffs, No. C 09-0470 PJH ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA United United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Dockets.Justia.com 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (2004); see also Cal. Civ. Proc Code 335.1 (establishing two year limitation for the filing of civil claims alleging personal injury). Plaintiffs allege that defendants' unlawful conduct consisted of failing to conduct an independent investigation of the dependency proceedings undertaken by Alameda County prior to plaintiffs' relocation to Stanislaus County. Complaint, 17-18. While plaintiffs do not allege any specific date ranges for the conduct of the Stanislaus County defendants, each Stanislaus County defendant has submitted declarations demonstrating that no defendant had any contact or involvement with plaintiffs since October 31, 2006. See Declaration of Richard Allen, 4 (no involvement in plaintiffs' case since October 31, 2006); Declaration of Nichole Cunningham, 4 (no involvement since October 31, 2006); Declaration of Bryan Hixson, 5 (no involvement since June 1, 2006); Declaration of Beth Morrison, 5 (no involvement since June 1, 2006); Declaration of Erin Webster, 5-6 (assigned to case from December 19, 2005 through May 5, 2006; no involvement since June 1, 2006). Moreover, as plaintiffs do allege, their claims against the Stanislaus County defendants arise from the dependency proceedings that resulted in the termination of plaintiffs' parental rights. This termination took place on September 26, 2006. See Declaration of Carrie Stephens, 7. Construing plaintiffs' complaint liberally, even if the court were to utilize the September 26, 2006 termination date as the outside date triggering the statute of limitations for purposes of plaintiffs' claims against defendants, plaintiffs' claims are timebarred. In order to be timely, plaintiffs would have needed to file their complaint against the instant defendants no later than September 26, 2008. Plaintiffs' complaint was instead filed on February 2, 2009 nearly 5 months too late. This deficiency is fatal to plaintiffs' claims against defendants, particularly as plaintiffs have not pled the existence of any tolling. Accordingly, and on this basis alone, the court hereby GRANTS defendants' motion for summary judgment against plaintiffs. United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The court having previously dismissed the Country of Alameda and City of San Leandro municipal defendants from the action, there are no defendants remaining in the case. Accordingly, a judgment shall also be entered contemporaneously with the filing of this order, and the action shall be terminated. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: December 17, 2010 ______________________________ PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON United States District Judge United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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