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Ouma v. Clackamas County

United States District Court, D. Oregon

May 7, 2014

WASHIE OUMA, Plaintiff,
v.
CLACKAMAS COUNTY, WASHINGTON COUNTY, and JOHN DOES 1-9, Defendants.

Marianne G. Dugan, Attorney at Law, Eugene, OR, Attorney for Plaintiff

Alexander Gordon, Stephen Lewis Madkour, Clackamas County Counsel, Oregon City, OR, Chelsea J. Glynn, Elmer Manuel Dickens, Jr., Washington County Counsel, Hillsboro, OR, Attorneys for Defendants.

OPINION & ORDER

MARCO A. HERNNDEZ, District Judge.

Plaintiff Washie Ouma brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Clackamas County, Washington County, and John Does 1-9. Plaintiff claims that he was falsely arrested and mistreated during his imprisonment in Clackamas County and Washington County jails. Defendants Clackamas County and Washington County have moved for summary judgment. A hearing on the motions was held on May 6, 2014. I grant Clackamas County's motion [37] because Plaintiff has not been able to identify John Does 1, 2, or 3, and has not identified a constitutional violation to support his § 1983 claim for municipal liability. I also grant Washington County's motion [45] because there is no constitutional violation to support Plaintiff's § 1983 claim for municipal liability.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Ouma was charged with Sexual Abuse in the first and third degrees by the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office. Dugan Decl. [56] Ex. M. An arraignment letter from the District Attorney's Office notified Ouma that his arraignment was set for May 12, 2010. Id . Ouma was warned that if he did not appear, an arrest warrant would issue. Id . Ouma did not appear for his arraignment, and that day, and the judge issued an arrest warrant charging Ouma with Sexual Abuse III. Clackamas Cnty. MSJ Exs. 1 and 3. The warrant was based on sworn testimony from the deputy district attorney regarding the basis for the Sexual Abuse III charge. Clackamas Cnty. MSJ Ex. 3.

On August 11, 2010, Ouma was arrested and brought to Washington County jail. Wiley Decl. [49] ¶ 7. Corporal Heather Wiley recommended that Ouma be placed on suicide watch based on several factors, including Ouma's statement that he was sad. Id . at ¶ 9; Ouma Decl. ¶ 2. Ouma denies being suicidal at the time of his arrest. Ouma Decl. ¶ 6. Ouma was strip searched, given a safety smock to wear, and placed in the medical observation unit. Medlen Decl. ¶¶ 3-9. Ouma remained at Washington County jail for two days. Ouma Decl. ¶ 5.

On August 13, 2010, Ouma was transferred to Clackamas County jail and was arraigned in court that same day. Dugan Decl. Ex. L at 3. At the arraignment, Ouma stated that he never received the letter regarding his May 12, 2010 arraignment. Id . Ex. K. The deputy district attorney confirmed that the arraignment letter had been returned. Id . Ouma provided his current address, which differed from the address on the arraignment letter. Id.

STANDARDS

Summary judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party bears the initial responsibility of informing the court of the basis of its motion, and identifying those portions of "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, ' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).

Once the moving party meets its initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to present "specific facts" showing a "genuine issue for trial." Fed. Trade Comm'n v. Stefanchik , 559 F.3d 924, 927-28 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). The nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and designate facts showing an issue for trial. Bias v. Moynihan , 508 F.3d 1212, 1218 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Celotex , 477 U.S. at 324).

The substantive law governing a claim determines whether a fact is material. Suever v. Connell , 579 F.3d 1047, 1056 (9th Cir. 2009). The court draws inferences from the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Earl v. Nielsen Media Research, Inc. , 658 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2011).

If the factual context makes the nonmoving party's claim as to the existence of a material issue of fact implausible, that party must come forward with more persuasive evidence to support his claim than would otherwise be necessary. Matsushita ...


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