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Alvarez v. King County

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

July 27, 2017

MOISES E. PONCE ALVAREZ, Plaintiff,
v.
KING COUNTY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          The Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Moises E. Ponce Alvarez's Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint. Dkt. # 39. For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The parties are familiar with the facts of this case. In brief, Plaintiff Moises E. Ponce Alvarez alleges that the Defendants, King County Sheriff's Deputies, subjected him to excessive force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Dkt. # 1.

         The allegations stem from an incident that occurred on May 21, 2014 when Plaintiff pulled his car into an alley in the White Center neighborhood of unincorporated King County after experiencing engine trouble. The events that followed are disputed, but Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants pulled him out of his car, threw him to the ground, and punched and kicked him while he slipped in and out of consciousness. Eventually, Plaintiff was arrested. Dkt. # 1.

         Four months after the deadline for amending the complaint, the Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing in part that Plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to state a claim for excessive force against one of the Defendants, King County Sheriff's Deputy, Cassandra Bertaina-the only woman among the Defendants. Dkt. # 27; see also Dkt. # 18 (Scheduling Order setting February 1, 2017 as the deadline for amending pleadings). Because Defendants' argument concerning Deputy Bertaina rested wholly on the contents of Plaintiff's complaint, the Court construed the Motion for Summary Judgment as a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). See Dkt. #38 at 3.

         Under the Rule 12(c) standard, the Court found “no set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint” that would entitle the Plaintiff to relief. Plaintiff failed to allege in his complaint that Deputy Bertaina used any force against him at all.[1] Dkt. # 38 (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 563 (2007)). The Court therefore dismissed Plaintiff's claim without prejudice, and warned Plaintiff that any subsequent motion for leave to amend should include a showing of good cause under Rule 16, as the deadline for amending pleadings expired on February 1, 2017. Dkt. # 38 at 5.

         On June 30, 2017 Plaintiff filed the instant motion for leave to amend his complaint, seeking to add additional facts demonstrating that Deputy Bertaina used excessive force in the alleyway on May 21, 2014. Dkt. # 39. Specifically, the Plaintiff seeks to amend his complaint to include the following language, emphasized below:

During the incident, Moises was punched, kicked, beaten, and slammed to the gravel pavement by multiple individuals who he understands to be above named defendants Buchan, Hennesy, Bertaina[, ] and Price.
Moises could also tell that the female in the group of individuals, Bertaina, told him to shut up, was using her knees to hit him on his side, punched him and hit him in the head.

Dkt. # 39 at 2.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Motion ...


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