United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER ADOPTING IN PART AS MODIFIED AND REJECTING IN
PART REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on the Amended Report and
Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Michelle L.
Peterson (R&R (Dkt. # 79) (“Report and
Recommendation”) and Defendants Travis Hauri and
Sergeant David Johnson's (collectively,
“Defendants”) objections thereto (Obj. (Dkt. # 80)).
Plaintiff Katherine Wren Katzenjammer filed a response to
Defendants' objections. (See Resp. (Dkt. # 82).)
Having carefully reviewed all of the foregoing, along with
all other relevant documents, and the governing law, the
court ADOPTS in part as modified and REJECTS in part the
Report and Recommendation.
remaining claims in this case relate to the actions of
Bellingham Police Officer Travis Hauri and his superior, Sgt.
David Johnson, at the hospital on the evening of June 2,
2016. On that date, Ms. Katzenjammer was involved in an
incident with Bellingham Police Officers and others at her
father's apartment on Maplewood Avenue. (See
Sturlaugson Decl. (Dkt. # 12) ¶¶ 3-5; Peña
Decl. (Dkt. # 13) ¶¶ 3-5.) She was tased twice by
officers after she failed to comply with their directives.
(See Sturlaugson Decl. ¶¶ 9-11;
Peña Decl. ¶¶ 8-11.) Although Ms.
Katzenjammer's father, Richard Young, was arrested for
assaulting an officer and booked into the Whatcom County
Jail, Ms. Katzenjammer was never arrested or booked into
jail. (See Sturlaugson Decl. at ¶ 17;
Peña Decl. ¶ 19.)
Katzenjammer was sedated by medics and transported to the
hospital for treatment. (See 1st Hauri Decl. (Dkt. #
17) ¶ 11.) After their investigative duties on Maplewood
Avenue were completed, Sgt. Johnson and Officer Hauri went to
the emergency department at St. Joseph Hospital to speak with
Ms. Katzenjammer about the incident. (See 1st
Johnson Decl. (Dkt. # 18) ¶ 11.) Officer Hauri asserts
that his purpose in going to the hospital was to
“possibly discuss the incident if [Ms. Katzenjammer]
was willing and to document via photograph any physical
injuries he suffered from the incident.” (See
2d Hauri Decl. (Dkt. # 65) ¶ 7.) Sgt. Johnson
similarly asserts that his purpose in going to the hospital
was to complete the use of force investigation, which would
have included speaking with Ms. Katzenjammer about the
incident and documenting via photography any physical
injuries she suffered from the incident. (See 2d
Johnson Decl. (Dkt. # 62) ¶ 7.)
staff allowed Defendants to see Ms. Katzenjammer, who was
unconscious, and to photograph her injuries. (2d Decl. ¶
12; 2d Decl. ¶ 12.) Photographic evidence in the record
shows that Ms. Katzenjammer's hospital gown was
manipulated to reveal her bare torso, shoulder, and thigh.
Both officers assert that they do not recall moving or
manipulating the hospital gown that Ms. Katzenjammer was
wearing. (2d Johnson Decl. ¶ 16; 2d Hauri Decl. ¶
16.) Both officers assert that if Ms. Katzenjammer's gown
“was moved or manipulated in some way, that would have
been done by or with the supervision of the hospital staff on
scene.” (2d Johnson Decl. ¶ 16; 2d Hauri Decl.
¶ 16.) After taking the photographs, Sgt. Johnson and
Officer Hauri left the hospital. (Id. ¶ 18.)
Katzenjammer's remaining claims in this case are for
unlawful search under the Fourth Amendment, and a claim for
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
(“IIED”), also referred to as the tort of
Outrage. Defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that
they are entitled to qualified immunity, and entitled to
summary judgment on the merits of Ms. Katzenjammer's
Fourth Amendment and IIED claims. (See MSJ (Dkt. #
61) at 6, 21-25.)
Judge Peterson recommended denying Defendants' summary
judgment motion in full. (See R&R at 27.)
Magistrate Judge Peterson concluded that Defendants are not
entitled to summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds or
on the merits of Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim,
because when viewing the facts in the light most favorable to
Plaintiffs, Defendants' unauthorized search of Ms.
Katzenjammer's body violated her Fourth Amendment right
to be free from such an invasive search, and that right was
clearly established. (See R&R at 18-19; 25.)
Magistrate Judge Peterson also recommended denying summary
judgment on Plaintiffs' IIED claim because, viewing the
facts in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs, Defendants
“should have been aware of a high probability that such
conduct would cause severe emotional distress.”
(See R&R at 26-27.)
submitted objections to the court. (See Obj.)
Defendants contend that the Report and Recommendation errs in
denying summary judgment on qualified immunity, the merits of
the Fourth Amendment claim, and the merits of the IIED claim.
(See generally id.) Ms. Katzenjammer filed a
response to the objections that largely mirrors the
conclusions in the Report and Recommendation. (See
STANDARD OF REVIEW
district court has jurisdiction to review a Magistrate
Judge's report and recommendation on dispositive matters.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). “The district judge must determine
de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition
that has been properly objected to.” Id.
“A judge of the court may accept, reject, or modify, in
whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The
court reviews de novo those portions of the report and
recommendation to which specific written objection is made.
United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121
(9th Cir. 2003) (en banc).
Qualified Immunity and ...