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Jones v. Grant County

United States District Court, E.D. Washington

May 27, 2014

ALEXANDER N. JONES; KEN JONES; and JO ANNE JONES, Plaintiffs,
v.
GRANT COUNTY, WASHINGTON; LEROY C. ALLISON and BENAYA ALLISON, his wife; TIM SNEAD and

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTIONS TO EXCLUDE AND FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

EDWARD F. SHEA, Senior District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to Exclude Richard Alldredge, ECF No. 106, Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment Re: Collateral Estoppel, ECF No. 108, and Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 111. Plaintiffs Alexander, Ken, and Jo Anne Jones seek to exclude Defendants' statistician Richard Alldredge and ask the Court give preclusive effect to the Washington Supreme Court decision in State v. ANJ, 225 P.3d 956 (2010). Defendants Leroy Allison, Tim Snead, Deborah Kay More (the "County Commissioners"), their respective spouses, and Grant County (collectively, the "County Defendants") seek summary judgment on all of Plaintiffs remaining claims. To date, Defendants Douglas Anderson and Kirsten Anderson have not joined the County Defendants' motion or filed their own dispositive motion. On February 4, 2014, the Court heard from the parties and reserved ruling on the pending motions.

The Court, having reviewed the pleadings, legal authority, and the arguments of counsel, is fully informed. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Plaintiffs' Motion to Exclude, denies Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, and grants in part and denies in part County Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual History[1]

On July 2, 2004, at twelve years of age, Plaintiff Alex Jones - the son of Plaintiffs Ken and Jo Anne Jones - was charged with First Degree Child Molestation in the Juvenile Division of Grant County Superior Court.[2] Grant County public defender Douglas Anderson, an independent contractor, was appointed to represent Alex. Mr. Anderson had been under contract with Grant County to provide legal defense services in the Juvenile Division of Grant County Superior Court since December 2000. Pursuant to that contract, he was appointed by judges of the Grant County Superior Court to represent minor defendants who could not afford to hire their own attorney.

The Board of County Commissioners is the primary legislative and executive authority for the county, with the authority and responsibility to make and enforce all laws within the county. ECF No. 136. Grant County passed two Resolutions 92-115-C and 97-29-CC to set forth the standards for the delivery of legal services to indigent juveniles.

Mr. Anderson represented Alex throughout the September 15, 2004 pretrial conference and entry of a guilty plea to the reduced charge of Second Degree Child Molestation. After entering a guilty plea on September 22, 2004, Alex hired a new lawyer in November 2004 and within five weeks moved to withdraw his guilty plea. After the Superior Court denied Alex's motion to withdraw his plea, he appealed. The Washington Supreme Court in State v. ANJ, 168 Wash.2d 91 (2010) reversed the Superior Court decision finding that Mr. Johnson had rendered deficient assistance by failing to conduct an investigation before proceeding to a guilty plea, and permitted Alex to withdraw his plea based upon a finding the plea was involuntary due to misinformation about the impact of a juvenile sex conviction.

B. Procedural History

Plaintiffs filed this action in Chelan County Superior Court on March 5, 2012, alleging claims against the State of Washington and Governor Christine O. Gregoire (collectively, the "State Defendants"), the County Defendants, and Douglas and Kirsten Anderson, ECF No. 2, at 7-21. The Complaint asserts the following claims for relief:

(a) two claims against all Defendants for declaratory judgment, pursuant to RCW 7.24.010 and 7.24.050 (First and Second Claims);
(b) a claim against all Defendants for violating Mr. Jones's rights under Article I, section 22 of the Washington Constitution (Third Claim);
(c) one claim each against Defendants Gregoire, the County Commissioners, Douglas Anderson, and Grant County, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, for violating Mr. Jones's Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel (Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Claims, respectively);
(d) two additional claims against Defendant Douglas Anderson, one for professional negligence (Eighth Claim), and one for breach of fiduciary duty (Ninth Claim);
(e) one claim against Defendants Grant County and the County Commissioners for negligent hiring, supervision, and retention (Tenth Claim);
(f) one claim against the County Commissioners and Defendant Douglas Anderson for "concerted action, " or civil conspiracy (Eleventh Claim);
(g) one claim against the spouses of the County Commissioners for community liability (Twelfth Claim); and
(h) one claim against all Defendants for injury to child, pursuant to RCW 4.24.010 (Thirteenth Claim).

Defendants removed the case to this Court on May 4, 2012. ECF No. 1.

On June 26, 2012, the State Defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings. ECF No. 17. On August 8, 2012, the Court granted the State Defendants' motion and dismissed all claims against the State Defendants. ECF Nos. 41 & 45 at 7 n.5. On July 10, 2012, the County Defendants also moved for judgment on the pleadings. ECF No. 20. On October 31, 2012, the Court denied the County Defendants' motion as to Plaintiffs' Fifth, Seventh, and Thirteenth Claims, but granted the motion as to Plaintiffs' First, Second, and Third Claims. ECF No. 45. Accordingly, Plaintiffs' First, Second, and Third Claims were dismissed as to the County Defendants. ECF No. 45. However, Plaintiffs' First, Second, and Third Claims remained as to Defendants Douglas and Kirsten Anderson. ECF No. 45 at 11 n.6. On April 8, 2013, Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint, which listed the First, Second, and Third Claim as "[a]gainst all defendants" and as "dismissed per ECF No. 41 & 45." ECF No. 85 at 10. The Amended Complaint also withdrew Plaintiffs' Eight, Ninth, and Tenth Claims. ECF No. 85 at 13-14. Based upon the Courts' previous Orders and the parties' Notice of To-Be-Adjudicated Claims, remaining before this Court is Plaintiffs' Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Claims.

III. PLAINTIFFS' MOTION ...


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