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Alexanderson v. Langton

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

August 18, 2014

DAVE ALEXANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTT LANGTON, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND

JAMES L. ROBART, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the court on Plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint. (Mot. (Dkt. # 19).) The court has considered the submissions of the parties, the governing law, and the record in this case. Having done so, and considering itself fully advised, the court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

One evening in June, 2011, Plaintiff Dave Alexanderson and his neighbor had a dispute over the ownership of a toy car. (Compl. (Dkt. # 1) ¶¶ 3.1-3.6.) Plaintiff's neighbor called the police, and Defendant Scott Langton, a police officer for Defendant City of Blaine, responded. ( See id. ) Plaintiff alleges that, without provocation, Officer Langton yelled at him, pushed him, told him he was under arrest, struck him on the head, neck, and back, drug him across the parking lot, and threw him on the ground. ( Id. ¶¶ 3.7-3.11.) Plaintiff is 54 years old, legally blind, and has several crushed vertebra in his spine that limit his mobility. ( Id. ¶ 3.12.) After the arrest, Plaintiff filed this action against the City of Blaine ("City") and Officer Langton, alleging claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of N. Y., 436 U.S. 658, 669 (1978).

In its scheduling order, the court set the deadline for expert disclosures and reports for July 30, 2014, the deadline for amending the pleadings for July 30, 2014, the discovery deadline for September 29, 2014, and trial for January 26, 2015. (Sched. Order (Dkt. # 16).) Plaintiff filed a motion to amend his complaint on July 30, 2014. ( See Mot.) On that day, Plaintiff also disclosed an expert witness who will testify regarding, among other things, probable cause, excessive force, and the City's police force customs and policies. (Plf. Disclosure (Dkt. # 21).) For their part, Defendants disclosed an expert witness who it appears will testify only as to excessive force. (Def. Disclosure (Dkt. # 18).) Defendants oppose Plaintiff's motion to amend. (Resp. (Dkt. # 22).) That motion is now before the court.

B. Proposed Amendments

In his original complaint, Plaintiff alleged:

4.2 Langton arrested Dave without probable cause and without a warrant in violation of his civil rights.
4.3 Langton used excessive force when he placed Dave under arrest and after the arrest.
...
4.6 Langton's arrest and use of excessive force was pursuant to a custom or policy of the Blaine Police Department. As such, the City of ...

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