United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
Leonard R. Berman Attorney for Plaintiff
F. Rosenblum Attorney General Seth T. Karpinski Senior
Assistant Attorney General Oregon Department of Justice
Attorneys for Defendant
OPINION & ORDER
A. Hernández, United States District Judge.
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff Sarah Jean Patterson
alleges that Defendant James VanArsdel violated the Fourth
Amendment by improperly procuring a warrant for her unlawful
arrest. Defendant moves for summary judgment, arguing (1)
Plaintiff cannot produce admissible evidence demonstrating
that Defendant provided Judge Tichenor with a warrant for
Plaintiff's arrest, and (2) Defendant has absolute
judicial or quasi-judicial immunity. Viewing the evidence and
drawing all inferences in the light most favorable to
Plaintiff, a genuine issue of material fact remains to be
tried. Therefore, the Court denies Defendant's motion.
all relevant times, the Yamhill County Circuit Court employed
Defendant as a Pretrial Release Assistance Officer to
investigate criminal defendants suspected of pretrial release
agreement violations. Def.'s Mot., ¶¶ 1-2, ECF
54. If Defendant concluded that a criminal defendant violated
their pretrial release agreement, then Defendant recommended
revocation of pretrial release to the criminal-calendar duty
judge. Second Am. Compl., ¶ 14, ECF 28. To recommend
revocation, Defendant either placed a revocation form and
unsigned arrest warrant in the judge's mailbox, provided
it to the judge's judicial assistant, or presented it to
the judge in open court. Id.
was arrested January 30, 2012 on theft and possession of a
controlled substance charges. Id. at ¶ 8. She
was released from custody after signing a pretrial release
agreement requiring her to comply with all laws. Def.'s
Mot., ¶ 4. While still subject to this pretrial release
agreement, Plaintiff was then arrested March 17, 2012 on
domestic violence charges. Second Am. Compl., ¶ 9. She
was released after posting bail. Id. at ¶ 10.
March 20, 2012, Plaintiff was arraigned on the domestic
violence charges. Def.'s Mot., ¶ 9. At the
arraignment, Defendant argued that Plaintiff violated her
pretrial release agreement, and Defendant moved in open court
for revocation of Plaintiff's pretrial release. Second
Am. Compl., ¶ 15. Judge Ronald W. Stone, the
criminal-calendar duty judge, orally denied Defendant's
motion. Id. at ¶ 19. According to Plaintiff,
Defendant was visibly displeased by the ruling. Id.
now alleges that later on March 20, Defendant provided Judge
Carroll J. Tichenor with an unsigned warrant for
Plaintiff's arrest, without disclosing that Judge Stone
had orally denied the motion earlier in the day. Id.
at ¶ 21. Only judges on criminal-calendar duty were
responsible for handling revocation matters, and Judge
Tichenor was not on criminal-calendar duty. Id. at
¶ 17. Nevertheless, Judge Tichenor signed the arrest
warrant. Id. at ¶ 22. Defendant denies
providing Judge Tichenor with the warrant or taking any
further actions concerning the warrant after it was denied by
Judge Stone. James VanArsdel Decl., ¶ 6, ECF 56.
Defendant further denies any knowledge of how the warrant
came to be issued. Id. at ¶ 8.
March 30, Plaintiff was arrested pursuant to the warrant
signed by Judge Tichenor. Id. at ¶ 34. Two days
later, Plaintiff was released when Defendant confirmed to a
deputy that the arrest warrant was defective. Id. at
is unaware of any other person who presented release
agreement revocations to judges at the Yamhill County Circuit
Court. Pl.'s Resp., Ex. 1, 7:6, 7:12, ECF 58. Both the
warrant signed by Judge Tichenor and the warrant denied by
Judge Stone included the initials of Christine VanArsdel.
VanArsdel Decl., ¶ 2, ECF 57. Ms. VanArsdel is
Defendant's wife and was, at the time, Judge
Tichenor's judicial assistant. Id. ¶¶
1, 5. Defendant and Judge Tichenor also played golf together
on Saturdays and attended bible study sessions together on
Tuesdays. Second Am. Compl., ¶ 24.
filed her Second Amended Complaint on March 16, 2015. ECF 28.
On September 29, 2015, District Judge Anna J. Brown granted
Defendant absolute prosecutorial immunity and dismissed the
Second Amended Complaint. Patterson v. Yamhill Cty.,
No. 3:14-cv-00501-BR, 2015 WL 5737782, at *4 (D. Or. Sept.
29, 2015). The Ninth Circuit reversed. Patterson v. Van
Arsdel, 883 F.3d 826, 828 (9th Cir. 2018).
judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine issue of
material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “An issue of
material fact is genuine if there is sufficient evidence for
a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the [nonmoving]
party.” Reed v. Lieurance, 863 ...