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Whaley v. Clark County

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

January 24, 2014

JENNIFER L. WHALEY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CLARK COUNTY, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO CONTINUE

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Clark County's motion for summary judgment or to dismiss the case pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) (Dkt. 11) and Plaintiffs' motion to continue (Dkt. 16). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motions, and the remainder of the file. For the reasons stated herein, the Court denies Whaley's motion to continue and grants Clark County's motion for summary judgment.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On July 22, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging state and federal causes of action against Clark County. Dkt. 1. On November 25, 2013, Clark County filed a motion for summary judgment or motion for an order pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) dismissing Plaintiffs' claims against it. Dkt. 11. The noting date for that motion was December 27, 2013. W.D. Local Rule 7(d). Accordingly, Plaintiffs' response was due Monday, December 23, 2013. Id.

Plaintiffs did not respond to Defendant's motion. Fifteen days after receiving Defendant's motion, Plaintiffs' counsel attempted to withdraw from the case. Dkt. 14. His withdrawal notice was rejected by this Court the same day. Dkt. 15.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND[1]

This lawsuit arises from a series of events regarding two separate criminal matters in which Whaley was involved. Dkt. 12 (Declaration of Jane E. Vetto). First, on February 15, 2006, Whaley was cited for driving while suspended and bail jumping by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). Dkt. 12, Ex. A (Clark County District Court Docket 62969A). Whaley pled not guilty, and on February 21, 2006, Case No. 62969A VPD (hereinafter "Criminal Case No. 1)" was filed. Id.

Meanwhile, on March 5, 2006, Whaley was cited by Washington State Patrol for once again driving while suspended. Dkt. 12, Ex. B (Clark County District Court Docket 588413WSP). Whaley pled not guilty and Case No. 588413WSP (hereinafter "Criminal Case No. 2") was filed. Id. An arraignment was scheduled for March 10, 2006, on Criminal Case No. 2. Id. Whaley failed to appear for the arraignment, and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest. Id. Whaley was booked on the warrant and released on May 26, 2006, with an arraignment scheduled for May 31, 2006. Id. Whaley again failed to show for the arraignment, and a bench warrant for Criminal Case No. 2 was issued on June 7, 2006. Id.

A sentencing hearing was scheduled for August 3, 2006, for Criminal Case No. 1. Dkt. 12, Exs. A & B. Whaley failed to show, and a bench warrant was issued for failure to appear and post bail, resulting in Whaley having two outstanding warrants on two different criminal matters at the same time. Id. On January 22, 2010, Whaley was jailed in Cowlitz County on the warrant for Criminal Case No. 2 and arraigned the same day, during which proceeding she pled not guilty. Dkt. 12, Ex. B.

After several postponements, a hearing was held in Criminal Case No. 2 on June 3, 2010, at which time Whaley was sentenced to five days on work crew. Dkt. 12, Ex. B. On the same day, Whaley was sentenced to three days' work crew for Criminal Case No. 1. Id. Whaley failed to complete her work crew sentence in either matter, and on December 7, 2010, a bench warrant for failure to appear for a "show work" hearing was issued in Criminal Case No. 1. Id. A bench warrant was issued for failure to complete three days of work crew in Criminal Case No. 1 on January 26, 2011, resulting in Whaley again having two separate bench warrants for two separate criminal matters. Id.

In March of 2011, Whaley completed both of her work crew sentences, working a total of eight days, or 64 hours; 40 hours for Criminal Case No. 2 and 24 hours for Criminal Case No. 1. Dkt. 12, Ex. C (Bergman Letter of May 2, 2011). On May 3, 2011, Whaley appeared at a "show work" hearing in Criminal Case No. 2 and presented proof of work crew completion for that case. Dkt. 12, Ex. D (Memorandum of Disposition Case No. 588413WSP). On the Memorandum Disposition, the cause number listed was that of Criminal Case No. 2 only, and the Judge wrote in "DEF provided proof of completing 40 hours ACS." Id.

The May 3, 2011, "show work" hearing was noted for Criminal Case No. 2 only. Id. The May 3, 2011, Disposition Order, signed by both the judge and Whaley, disposed of only Criminal Case No. 2. Id. The warrant for Criminal Case No. 1 remained in effect after this May 3, 2011, hearing on Criminal Case No 2. Dkt. 12, Ex. A.

On September 9, 2011, Whaley attempted to enter the visiting area of the King County jail to visit her uncle who was incarcerated there. See Dkt. 1. The jail ran a search, found the outstanding warrant on Criminal Case No. 1 and arrested Whaley. Dkt. 12, Ex. E (Excerpts of Records from King County Jail). She was transported to Clark County two days later where, on September 12, 2012, the court was asked for the first time to determine completion by plaintiff of the three days' work crew sentence in Criminal Case No. 1. Dkt. 12, ...


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