United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on the parties' motions for
summary judgment and partial summary judgment. Dkt. ## 25,
57, 60. The Court will also address Defendants' motion to
seal and the ACLU of Washington's (ACLU-WA) motion for
leave to file an amicus brief. Dkt. ## 36, 45.
reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS in
part and DENIES in part Defendant
Officers' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Dkt. #
25); GRANTS Defendant City of Tukwila's
Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. # 57); and GRANTS
in part and DENIES in part
Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Dkt. #
60). The Court also GRANTS Defendants'
motion to seal and the ACLU-WA's motion for leave to file
an amicus brief. Dkt. ## 36, 45.
Wilson Rodriguez Macareno claims he was unlawfully arrested
on February 8, 2018 after calling the police about a
trespasser on his property. Dkt. # 1, ¶ 1. Defendants
Peter Tiemann and Art Stephenson, officers with the Tukwila
Police Department (TPD), soon arrived on scene and confronted
the suspected trespasser. Dkt. # 26, Ex. A at 0:00-2:00; Dkt.
# 28, Ex. A at 0:00-2:40; Dkt. # 30, Ex A. at 0:00-0:50.
Minutes later, two more TPD officers, Defendants Joel Thomas
and Craig Gardner, arrived. Dkt. # 29, Ex. A at 0:00-0:50.
While Stephenson talked to the suspect, Thomas requested
identification (ID) from Plaintiff and a person identified
later as Plaintiff's co-worker. Id. at 2:00-20.
Plaintiff and the co-worker, who had initially seen the
suspect on the property, complied by providing Washington
state IDs. Id. at 2:24, 4:46; Dkt. # 60 at 3.
Stephenson continued to investigate the trespass and
eventually issued a warning order prohibiting the suspect
from reentering the property. Dkt. # 26, Ex. A at
this was ongoing, Thomas relayed the identifying information
on the Washington state IDs over police radio dispatch. Dkt.
# 29, Ex. A at 4:48-6:15. The dispatcher found no hits in the
criminal justice database for the co-worker, but reported
that Plaintiff was an alien unlawfully present due to an
order of removal or exclusion from the United States.
Id. at 8:40-9:00. Overhearing what was said, Gardner
told Tiemann to stay with Plaintiff. Id. at 9:29.
Gardner and Thomas then returned to the patrol vehicle where
Thomas used his mobile laptop to review information from
“ACCESS, ” a law enforcement data system. Dkt. #
18, ¶ 2; Dkt. # 18-2. The ACCESS system identified
Plaintiff as having an outstanding administrative warrant for
removal and provided a Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC)
phone number to confirm the warrant and the availability of a
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer. Dkt.
# 29, Ex. A at 9:40-12:36; Dkt. # 18-2; Dkt. # 39, ¶ 7.
After reviewing the information, Thomas proceeded to call
LESC. Dkt. # 29, Ex. A at 13:13.
stayed with Plaintiff as instructed. Dkt. # 30, Ex. A at 25.
The two engaged in conversation and Plaintiff began offering
specifics on his situation-that he was “illegal,
” had three children, and “had [this] problem for
a long time.” Id. at 13:40-13:45. Plaintiff
also made comments about the immigration system, stating
“I break the law but … I don't know what I
did.” Id. at 18:30-35. Tiemann responded that
he “d[id] not know a lot about immigration, ” and
asked Plaintiff whether it made a difference that his
children were born in the U.S. Id. at 19:05-08.
Gardner and Stephenson rejoined soon thereafter, and Gardner
asked Plaintiff if he had this warrant outstanding for a
while. Id. at 26:57-27:27. After some initial
confusion, Plaintiff answered affirmatively. Id.
Gardner said Thomas was “calling [ICE] and seeing what
they want to do, ” but told Plaintiff that “we
don't have you for charges.” Id. at
27:25-27:35. Gardner proceeded to handcuff and search
Plaintiff, and told him that he would be free to go if ICE
did not want to confirm the warrant or send a detainer.
Id. at 27:50-28:00. The officers then led Plaintiff
toward the patrol cars but confirmed that he was not yet
under arrest. Id. at 31:40.
point, Stephenson and Tiemann left the scene to respond to
another call. Dkt. # 26, Ex. B, at 8:00-8:24. Plaintiff
remained with Gardner and Thomas. After receiving
confirmation that the warrant was valid, and that ICE wanted
Plaintiff detained, Thomas agreed to bring him over to the
detention facility. Dkt. # 39 at 14. Thomas searched
Plaintiff, placed him into the back of the patrol car, and
then, together with Gardner, drove him to the detention
facility. Dkt. # 29, Ex. A, at 50:00-60:00. Once there,
Gardner asked the ICE agents if they had a copy of the
detainer. Id. at 59:52-59:55. One responded that he
had “nothing right now.” Id. at 59:57.
The TPD officers elected to remain at the facility until ICE
could obtain a copy of a detainer. Id. at
they waited, Gardner and Thomas gave ICE the identifying
information for Plaintiff's co-worker; they also
commented that their ability to receive photographs of
suspected removable aliens from ICE was “a great
service to have.” Id. at 1:11:47-1:13:00; Dkt.
# 61-5 at 10. Gardner then made comments about the fact that
Washington issues state IDs to everyone, which led to a
discussion on states that issue IDs to “illegals”
and their compliance with the REAL ID Act. Id. at
1:13:30-1:14:00. Gardner expressed his hope that the courts
will settle these issues “during these four years,
” before instructing Thomas to turn off his bodycam.
Id. at 1:14:30-1:15:00. ICE eventually provided
Defendants with a copy of the detainer, concluding the
encounter. Dkt. # 39 at 14.
brings this action and alleges Defendants Thomas, Gardner,
Tiemann, and Stephenson (collectively, “Defendant
Officers”) and Defendant City of Tukwila (altogether,
“Defendants”) wrongfully seized him in violation
of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendant Officers move for partial
summary judgment on the issues of qualified immunity and
punitive damages, and Defendant City of Tukwila moves for
summary judgment on Plaintiff's Monell claim.
Dkt. ## 25, 57. Plaintiff opposes and moves for summary
judgment on his section 1983 claim against all
Defendants. Dkt. # 60.
turning to the parties' summary judgment motions, the
Court will address Defendants' motion to seal and the
ACLU-WA's motion for leave to file an amicus
Defendants' motion to seal
move to seal the order of removal issued for Plaintiff by the
United States Immigration Court, attached as Exhibit B to the
Declaration of Derek Chen. Dkt. # 36.
Rule 5(g) permits sealing where a statute, rule, or prior
court order expressly authorizes the party to file the
document under seal. Defendants note that Local Rule 5.2(c)
requires this Court to seal the administrative record of a
proceeding relating to an order of removal. Dkt. # 36. While
Defendants move to seal the actual order of removal, and not
the underlying record, the Court finds good cause to keep