United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL
S. Lasnik United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on “Defendants'
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.” Dkt. # 18.
Summary judgment is appropriate when, viewing the facts in
the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, there is no
genuine issue of material fact that would preclude the entry
of judgment as a matter of law. The party seeking summary
dismissal of the case “bears the initial responsibility
of informing the district court of the basis for its
motion” (Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323 (1986)) and “citing to particular parts of
materials in the record” that show the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact (Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)). Once
the moving party has satisfied its burden, it is entitled to
summary judgment if the non-moving party fails to designate
“specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial.” Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324.
The Court will “view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party . . . and draw all
reasonable inferences in that party's favor.”
Krechman v. County of Riverside, 723 F.3d 1104, 1109
(9th Cir. 2013). Although the Court must reserve for the jury
genuine issues regarding credibility, the weight of the
evidence, and legitimate inferences, the “mere
existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the
non-moving party's position will be insufficient”
to avoid judgment. City of Pomona v. SQM N. Am.
Corp., 750 F.3d 1036, 1049 (9th Cir. 2014); Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252 (1986).
Factual disputes whose resolution would not affect the
outcome of the suit are irrelevant to the consideration of a
motion for summary judgment. S. Cal. Darts Ass'n v.
Zaffina, 762 F.3d 921, 925 (9th Cir. 2014). In other
words, summary judgment should be granted where the nonmoving
party fails to offer evidence from which a reasonable jury
could return a verdict in its favor. FreecycleSunnyvale
v. Freecycle Network, 626 F.3d 509, 514 (9th Cir. 2010).
reviewed the memoranda, declarations, and exhibits submitted
by the parties, and considering the evidence in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff, the Court finds as follows:
night of September 14, 2014, two trucks collided at South
320th Street and Pacific Highway South in Federal Way,
Washington. At the time of the collision, plaintiff Josiah
Hunter and his friend Junior Beausilien were in Mr.
Hunter's car in the AM/PM store parking lot. Hearing the
crash, the two men went to make sure that everyone was okay.
Mr. Hunter and Mr. Beausilien approached the first vehicle,
the driver Mr. Wells appeared to be intoxicated. Dkt. # 19 at
11 (Dep. of Josiah Hunter). He exited the vehicle and began
walking around and talking on his cell phone. Id. A
third man named Michael Anderson also approached the accident
and identified himself as an off-duty cop. Id.
Concerned that the intoxicated driver was attempting to flee
the scene, Mr. Anderson instructed the two men to watch the
driver. Id. Mr. Hunter and Mr. Beausilien stayed
with the driver until the police arrived. Id. at 13.
Kris Durell was the first police officer to arrive. When
Officer Durell approached the driver, Mr. Wells became
agitated and began arguing. Id. at 14-15. Shortly
thereafter, Officer Durell placed Mr. Wells under arrest.
Id. While being handcuffed, Mr. Wells' wallet
was on the ground next to him. Id. at 16. Mr. Wells
asked Mr. Hunter to pick it up. Id. at 17. Mr.
Hunter picked up the wallet, at which time Officer Durell
told him, “hey, what are you doing? Drop the wallet and
back up.” Id. at 16. Mr. Hunter dropped the
wallet and stepped back. Id.
officers arrived to investigate, they instructed everyone in
the area to step away from the crime scene. Id. at
20. One of the officers, Officer Schmidt, began taking
pictures of the accident. Mr. Hunter and Mr. Beausilien were
in at least one of the pictures, and Mr. Beausilien proceeded
to argue with Officer Schmidt about why his photograph was
being taken. Dkt. # 18 at 6; Dkt. # 19 at 34, 36 (Dep. of
point Officer Schmidt entered the AM/PM store to see whether
the two men had permission to be on the property. Officer
Schmidt returned to the parking lot and told Mr. Hunter to
leave or he would be arrested for trespassing and interfering
with a crime scene. Dkt. # 19 at 18 (Dep. of Josiah Hunter).
Mr. Beausilien also spoke with Mr. Hunter and said that they
needed to leave or they would be arrested. Id. Mr.
Hunter told the police that he would leave after making a
phone call, and he proceeded to walk through the parking lot
before making a U-turn back towards his vehicle. Id.
at 18-19. The officers began to arrest Mr. Beausilien as Mr.
Hunter returned to his car. Id. at 20. As Mr. Hunter
was opening his car door to leave, he was placed in a choke
hold by Officer Durell and arrested for obstruction,
trespass, and resisting arrest. Dkt. # 22 at 13; Dkt. # 19 at
the charges against Mr. Hunter were dropped. Dkt. # 19 at 56.
Mr. Hunter filed suit against the City of Federal Way, the
Federal Way Police Department, and Police Chief Andy Hwang
(collectively “the City”), and Officer Kris
Durell. Mr. Hunter asserts various causes of action related
to his arrest and the choke hold that was employed by Officer
Durell. Presently, defendants ask this Court to dismiss all
but two of Mr. Hunter's claims.
seek a summary determination that they are not liable for
false arrest and imprisonment, negligence, and outrage. The
City defendants also seek dismissal of plaintiff's §
1983 claims of excessive force, false arrest, and failure to
train. Defendants do not address plaintiff's claims of
assault and excessive force against Officer Durell. Each
claim is addressed below.
asserts that he was falsely arrested in violation of state
law and the Fourth Amendment. Dkt. # 1, ¶ 5.6. To
establish a false ...