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Mateo v. City of Portland

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division

September 3, 2014

JULIO MATEO, ROSALINA JUAN JUAN, and MARIA PEDRO JUAN, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF PORTLAND, AARON SCHMAUTZ, Personally, and ROYCE CURTISS, Personally, Defendants.

Julio Mateo Rosalina Juan Juan Maria Pedro Juan Salem, Ohio, Pro Se Plaintiffs.

William W. Manlove, III, Senior Deputy City Attorney, Office of the City Attorney, Portland, OR, Attorney for Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

GARR M. KING, District Judge.

Plaintiffs Julio Mateo, Rosalina Juan Juan, and Maria Pedro Juan bring this civil rights action against the City of Portland and Portland Police Officers Schmautz and Curtiss. Before the court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [30]. For the reasons below, I grant the motion.

FACTS

Rosalina Juan Juan is the mother of Maria Pedro Juan and Domingo Pedro Juan. Julio Mateo is the father of Eduardo Mateo. Rosalina Juan Juan and Julio Mateo are married, and Domingo and Eduardo are stepbrothers.[1]

On the evening of February 5, 2011, Ms. Juan Juan called 911 to seek help with a fight between Domingo and Eduardo, both sixteen years old at the time, at her home in southeast Portland. Ms. Juan Juan told the 911 dispatcher her son was drunk. Domingo was drinking so heavily that day, he remembers nothing of the incident other than drinking with a friend away from his home earlier in the day and waking up later in the jail.

Officers Schmautz and Carroll responded to the 911 call. They both understood the call concerned a domestic disturbance involving two intoxicated teenaged sons in the same family who were fighting each other. When the officers arrived, the front door of the house was open. Officer Carroll could see into the living room where two women were holding down a man he later identified as Domingo. Domingo was yelling unintelligibly but otherwise giving the women little resistance. Other people in the room were crying and shouting. Officer Carroll stayed in the living room and Officer Schmautz went to a back room of the house with Ms. Juan Juan.

Eduardo was sitting on a bed in the back room, had abrasions on his face and head, and was very dirty. Officer Schmautz asked if he was okay. Before getting an answer, Officer Schmautz heard louder and louder shouting from the front room, causing him to be concerned for Officer Carroll's safety. He asked Eduardo to stay seated and asked Ms. Juan Juan to stay with Eduardo.

When Officer Schmautz returned to the living room, Domingo was becoming agitated. Officers Schmautz and Carroll tried to take control of Domingo by each taking one of his arms. Officer Schmautz held Domingo's wrist down, asked if he had any weapons, and started to pat him down for weapons. During the patdown, Eduardo came into the living room and started yelling words to the effect of "Get the fuck off my brother!" Schmautz Decl. ¶9. Officer Carroll saw Eduardo jump on Officer Schmautz and knock him off Domingo, causing Officer Schmautz to stumble backwards towards the floor. Eduardo began pulling at Officer Schmautz's legs and throwing punches towards him. Several family members grabbed Domingo, who resisted them.

Officer Schmautz saw Eduardo's hand move across the officer's torso towards where his duty pistol was holstered; Eduardo was staring at the pistol. As Officer Schmautz started to turn away, he felt Eduardo's right hand clamp down on top of his pistol holster. The officer spun to the left and put his left hand on the pistol to keep it in the holster. Officer Schmautz believed Eduardo was trying to remove the pistol from the holster, which the officer believed could have turned the incident into a confrontation involving deadly force. To keep Eduardo from gaining control of the pistol, Officer Schmautz struck Eduardo with his fist one time in the face. Mr. Mateo lunged at Officer Schmautz and pushed him in the chest. Officer Schmautz pushed Mr. Mateo a single time in the face and shouted, "Get back now!" Schmautz Decl. ¶ 11. Eduardo continued to tug on Officer Schmautz's duty belt. To keep Eduardo from reaching towards his pistol, Officer Schmautz hit Eduardo in the face three or four more times with his fist. This caused Eduardo to release his grip on the duty belt.

Officer Carroll let go of Domingo to assist Officer Schmautz, who was sitting on the floor. Eduardo was grabbing at Officer Schmautz. Officer Carroll could not pull Eduardo off Officer Schmautz, so he used his Taser in drive stun mode on Eduardo's lower back and yelled at him to stop resisting. Eduardo let go of Officer Schmautz, who yelled to Officer Carroll to back out of the house because Eduardo had been trying to get his pistol.

The two officers went to the front yard to wait for additional officers to come. They continued to hear and see fighting inside the house and tried to verbally command people to come outside. Only a female family friend uninvolved in the fight exited the house.

Once more officers arrived, they reentered the house to take Domingo and Eduardo into custody. Officer Carroll helped Officer Curtiss take Eduardo to the ground. Officer Carroll put his knee across Eduardo's head and other officers tried to pull Eduardo's arms out from underneath him.

Officer Schmautz and Officer Greenlee approached Domingo, who was being restrained by family members. When the officers took Domingo's arms to arrest him, Ms. Pedro Juan began screaming and ran up to Officer Schmautz. Officer Carroll saw her hit Officer Schmautz in the back. When Ms. Pedro Juan was crouched over the back of Officer Schmautz, Officer Carroll continued to hold Eduardo with his right hand and pulled Ms. Pedro Juan's hair with his left hand. She fell to the floor and Officer Carroll let go of her hair. He saw Officer Schmautz push Ms. Pedro Juan away from the two officers. At some point, Officer Curtiss pulled Ms. Pedro Juan off the backs of the other officers by pulling her leg. Officer Curtiss took Ms. Pedro Juan into custody and escorted her to the kitchen. Ms. Juan Juan started tugging Officer Curtiss's shirt and left arm. He blocked her hand with his hand and told her not to grab at police officers. Officer Curtiss arrested Ms. Pedro Juan for Interfering with a Police Officer, ORS 162.247, and Attempted Assault of a Public Safety Officer, ORS 163.208.

Ms. Pedro Juan's criminal proceeding was terminated in her favor. Eduardo and Domingo admitted in juvenile court to committing the crime of resisting arrest, ORS 162.315. Mr. Mateo's face was red and sore for less than a week. He did not seek medical care.

LEGAL STANDARDS

Summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The initial burden is on the moving party to point out the absence of any genuine dispute of material fact. Once the initial burden is satisfied, the burden shifts to the opponent to demonstrate through the production of probative evidence that there remains a fact dispute to be tried. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). On a motion for summary judgment, the court "must view the evidence on summary judgment in the light most favorable to the non-moving party ...


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