Lopez et al v. County of San Diego et al

Filing 21

ORDER denying 16 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Judge M. James Lorenz on 4/10/2017. (sjt)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 INES LOPEZ, et al., Case No.: 3:16-cv-00202-L-JMA Plaintiffs, 12 13 v. 14 ORDER DENYING MOTION [Doc. 16] FOR RECONSIDERATION COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 17 Pending before the Court is Defendants’ motion for reconsideration of this Court’s 18 Order (the “Order” [Doc. 15]) denying in part Defendants’ motion to dismiss. The 19 parties are aware of the factual background of this case, which was addressed in the 20 Order. Of relevance to the present motion, the Court’s Order held that (1) Plaintiffs 21 adequately alleged that municipal Defendants were on notice of a pattern of similar 22 constitutional violations and (2) Decedent’s absent children are not necessary parties for 23 purposes of Fed. R. Civ. P. 19. (See Order.) Defendants seek reconsideration of these 24 two holdings. (See Mot. [Doc. 16].) 25 A district court has the power to reconsider and amend a previous order. See Fed. 26 R. Civ P. 59(e). However, a district court generally should not grant a motion for 27 reconsideration unless (1) the moving party presents newly discovered evidence, (2) there 28 1 3:16-cv-00202-L-JMA 1 is an intervening change in the controlling law or (3) the original ruling was clearly 2 erroneous. 389 Orange Street Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999). Defendants’ first argument is that it was clear error for the Court to conclude that 3 4 Plaintiff had accurately alleged a “pattern of similar constitutional violations” because 5 Plaintiffs have not alleged that any similar previous constitutional violations led to 6 judgments. In doing so, Defendants rehash the exact same arguments the Court already 7 gave full consideration to in its previous Order. (See Order 10:5–20.) The Court still finds Defendants’ argument unpersuasive. To wit, from the fact 8 9 that allegations of a “pattern of constitutional violations”1 are necessary to sustain a cause 10 of action for municipal liability based on a failure to train, it does not follow that the 11 individual constitutional violations that make up said pattern must have triggered 12 judgments in previous judicial proceedings. More concisely, an action that violates the 13 Constitution is not any less unconstitutional because it has not been the subject of a 14 previous lawsuit. See Nesmith v. Cnty. of San Diego, No 15-cv-629-JLS, Slip. Op. at 2–5 15 (S.D. Cal. March 30, 2017) (same holding). 16 Next, Defendants argue that the Court committed clear error in concluding that the 17 Decedent’s absent children are not required parties for purposes of Fed. R. Civ. P. 19. 18 Defendants contend the absent children are required because, if they are not joined, 19 Defendants could be subject to inconsistent adjudications on some of Plaintiffs’ claims— 20 for example: by winning this case and losing a future case brought by a currently absent 21 child alleging the same claims and facts. 22 23 The problem with this argument is that it complains of inconsistent adjudications rather than inconsistent obligations. The Ninth Circuit has explained that [i]nconsistent obligations” are not ... the same as inconsistent adjudications or results. Inconsistent obligations occur when a party is unable to comply with one court's order without breaching another court's order concerning the same incident. Inconsistent adjudications or results, by contrast, occur when 24 25 26 27 28 1 Connick v. Thompson, 563 U.S. 51, 62 (2011). 2 3:16-cv-00202-L-JMA 1 2 3 4 5 6 a defendant successfully defends a claim in one forum, yet loses on another claim arising from the same incident in another forum. Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Cmty., 547 F.3d 962, 976 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Delgado v. Plaza Las Americas, Inc., 139 F.3d 1, 3 (1st Cir. 1998). Unlike the possibility of inconsistent obligations, the mere possibility of inconsistent adjudications does not render an absent party necessary. Id. Accordingly, the Court DENIES Defendants’ motion for reconsideration. 7 8 IT IS SO ORDERED. 9 10 Dated: April 10, 2017 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 3:16-cv-00202-L-JMA

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?