United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
B. Leighton United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Christopher
Koch's Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. #45. Koch
arrested Plaintiff Christian Tarsia for bringing a firearm
onto Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM). During the arrest, Koch
collected a DNA sample from Tarsia. Tarsia sued Koch, two other
officers involved, and JBLM for unconstitutionally collecting
his DNA and for threatening him with physical force. Dkt. #1.
Koch seeks summary judgment on Tarsia's claims against
him, arguing that he acted pursuant to federal statutes and
Department of Defense (DOD) policy. Koch does not, however,
cite or discuss any authority directly addressing the
constitutionality of these laws, or of his actions. By
focusing on statutes and policies instead of directly
addressing the constitutionality of the DNA collection, Koch
has failed to establish that he is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Furthermore, there remains a factual issue as
to whether Koch threatened Tarsia or not. For these reasons,
Koch's motion for summary judgment is denied.
December 2, 2013, Tarsia drove onto JBLM from the DuPont Gate
to drop his wife off at work. His car was selected for a
random search, which was conducted by Charles Sikes. During
the search, Sikes found a 9mm pistol in a pocket behind the
passenger seat and learned that it had a round in the
chamber. A desk sergeant told Tarsia that he would be charged
with violating 18 U.S.C. § 930. Christopher Koch then
drove Tarsia to the Provost Marshal Office and gave him a
form stating, “It is mandatory that U.S. Persons who
are arrested . . . cooperate in the collection of a sample of
his or her DNA. Failure to do so may result in samples taken
by the minimum force necessary and (additional legal
punishment).” Tarsia did not consent to a collection of
his DNA, but allowed a sample to be taken.
judgment is proper “if the pleadings, the discovery and
disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that
there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). In determining whether an issue of fact
exists, the Court must view all evidence in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all
reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-50, 106 S.Ct.
2505 (1986) (emphasis added); Bagdadi v. Nazar, 84
F.3d 1194, 1197 (9th Cir. 1996). A genuine issue of material
fact exists where there is sufficient evidence for a
reasonable factfinder to find for the nonmoving party.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. The inquiry is
“whether the evidence presents a sufficient
disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is
so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of
law.” Id. at 251-52.
moving party bears the initial burden of showing that there
is no evidence which supports an element essential to the
nonmovant's claim. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (1986). Once the movant has met
this burden, the nonmoving party must show that there is a
genuine issue for trial. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.
If the nonmoving party fails to establish the existence of a
genuine issue of material fact, “the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323-24.
is no requirement that the moving party negate elements of
the non-movant's case. Lujan v. National Wildlife
Federation, 497 U.S. 871 (1990). Once the moving party
has met its burden, the non-movant must then produce concrete
evidence, without merely relying on allegations in the
pleadings, that there remain genuine factual issues.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. “When the nonmoving
party relies only on its own affidavits to oppose summary
judgment, it cannot rely on conclusory allegations
unsupported by factual data to create an issue of material
fact.” Hansen v. United States, 7 F.3d 137,
138 (9th Cir. 1993). A mere “scintilla of
evidence” is also not enough; the nonmoving party must
present “evidence on which the jury could reasonably
find for the [non-moving party].” Anderson,
477 U.S. at 252.
contends that Koch violated his constitutional rights by
taking a sample of his DNA. Koch argues that the DNA
collection was lawful because federal law and DOD
instructions permitted it. Indeed, Congress allows for the
collection of DNA from pre-trial arrestees, no matter the
extent of the federal crime. 34 U.S.C. § 40702(a)(1)(A).
Post-conviction felons, on the other hand, receive more
protections. 34 U.S.C. § 40702(a)(1)(B), (b), (d)
(requiring conviction of a “qualifying” federal
offense for legitimate DNA collection and retention in the
Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)).
this may seem counterintuitive, the Supreme Court upheld the
constitutionality of a similarly structured Maryland
statute authorizing DNA collection from arrestees
of serious crimes:
[T]he Court concludes that DNA identification of arrestees is
a reasonable search that can be considered part of a routine
booking procedure. When officers make an arrest supported by
probable cause to hold for a serious offense and they bring
the suspect to the station to be detained in custody, taking
and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee's DNA is, like
fingerprinting and ...