United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Jean Johnston, Caron Pruiett, and Washington State Patrol Crime Lab's ("State Defendants") motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 14) and Plaintiff Van Cameron Burkhardsmeier's ("Burkhardsmeier") motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 16). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby grants in part and denies in part the State Defendants' motion and denies Burkhardsmeier's motion for the reasons stated herein.
I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On May 1, 2014, Burkhardsmeier filed a complaint against State Defendants, Clark County Sheriff's Office, and K. Jones ("County Defendants") in Clark County Superior Court for the State of Washington. Dkt. 1, Exh. 2 ("Comp."). Burkhardsmeier asserts a federal law cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights and state law causes of action for violation of his state common law right to privacy and violation of his rights under Washington's Constitution. Id.
On June 11, 2014, County Defendants removed the matter to this Court based on the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim. Id.
On April 8, 2015, State Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on Burkhardsmeier's state law claims. Dkt. 14. On April 23, 2015, Burkhardsmeier filed a motion for summary judgment on his federal law and state law claims. Dkt. 16. On April 29, 2015, Burkhardsmeier responded to State Defendants' motion. Dkt. 17. On April 30, 2015, County Defendants objected to Burkhardsmeier's motion. Dkt. 18. On May 1, 2015, State Defendants replied to Burkhardsmeier's response. Dkt. 19. On May 11, 2015, State Defendants responded to Burkhardsmeier's motion. Dkt. 20.
II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
On September 21, 2011, Burkhardsmeier was booked into Clark County jail on charges of fourth degree assault (domestic violence), reckless endangerment, reckless driving, harassment, and violation of a domestic violence court order. Comp., ¶ 2. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Burkhardsmeier was convicted of violating a domestic violence court order, and the charge of harassment was dismissed. Comp., ¶ 3. On September 29, 2011, after this conviction, Clark County jail staff obtained a DNA sample from Burkhardsmeier by applying a cotton swab (known as a buccal swab) to the inside of Burkhardsmeier's cheek. Dkt. 14-2, Declaration of Jean Johnston (Johnston Decl.), ¶
9. Burkhardsmeier concedes that no Washington State Patrol ("WSP") employee took, oversaw, supervised, or directed the September 29, 2011 taking of his DNA.
Clark County placed Burkhardsmeier's sample on a collection card and forwarded that card to WSP. On November 29, 2011, relying on Clark County's representation that Burkhardsmeier had been convicted of a qualifying offense, WSP entered Burkhardsmeier's DNA sample into its Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The following day, the CODIS system determined that Burkhardsmeier's DNA matched the DNA taken from a semen stain on the underwear of an alleged rape victim in a case under investigation by Vancouver Police Detective Darren McShea. Johnston Decl., ¶¶ 10-11. Following its established standards and practices, WSP shared the CODIS match with Detective McShea. Dkt. 14-3, Declaration of Caron Pruiett, ¶ 5.
Burkhardsmeier was later charged with rape. On April 19, 2013, Burkhardsmeier signed a "Statement of Defendant on Plea of Guilty" in which he admitted the
State can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I committed the crime of assault in the fourth degree.... Jennifer Replogle was raped or otherwise had illecit (sic) sexual contact. She has mental capacity issues, my DNA is on her underwear, and a jury could believe I had non-consensual contact with her.
Dkt. 15, Declaration of Steve Puz, Exh. 1(a). On May 3, 2013, Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis entered Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment and Sentence that found Burkhardsmeier guilty of fourth degree assault, and sentenced him to 327 days of confinement in the Clark County jail. Id., Exh. 1(b). Burkhardsmeier did not appeal the judgment or sentence. ...