United States District Court, D. Nevada
C. MAHAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is defendants Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Department and Lt. Yasenia Yatomi's motion for summary
judgment. (ECF No. 22). Plaintiffs Kevin Desmairas
and Stephen Stubbs have filed a response (ECF No. 27), and
defendants have filed a reply (ECF No. 41).
case involves Desmairas's alleged detention for a traffic
violation and the corresponding arrest of his attorney
Stephen Stubbs for “obstruction” in connection
with Stubbs's purported efforts to represent Desmairas
during the traffic stop. (ECF No. 1 at 3-5). Of some
relevance, Desmairas is a member of the “Bikers for
Christ ministry group.” (Id. at 2).
allege the following claims: (1) malicious prosecution under
42 U.S.C. § 1983; (2) violation of the First, Fourth,
and Fourteenth Amendments under § 1983; (3) a
Monell claim under § 1983; (4) malicious
prosecution under state tort law; (5) intentional infliction
of emotional distress; (6) false arrest and imprisonment; and
(7) negligence per se. (Id.).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow summary judgment when
the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
show that “there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A principal purpose
of summary judgment is “to isolate and dispose of
factually unsupported claims . . . .” Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).
purposes of summary judgment, disputed factual issues should
be construed in favor of the non-moving party. Lujan v.
Nat'l Wildlife Fed., 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990).
However, to be entitled to a denial of summary judgment, the
non-moving party must “set forth specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id.
determining summary judgment, the court applies a
burden-shifting analysis. “When the party moving for
summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it
must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a
directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at
trial.” C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden
Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000).
Moreover, “[i]n such a case, the moving party has the
initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue
of fact on each issue material to its case.”
contrast, when the non-moving party bears the burden of
proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its
burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an
essential element of the non-moving party's case; or (2)
by demonstrating that the non-moving party failed to make a
showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that
party's case on which that party will bear the burden of
proof at trial. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at
323-24. If the moving party fails to meet its initial burden,
summary judgment must be denied and the court need not
consider the non-moving party's evidence. See Adickes
v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159-60
moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then
shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine
issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the
opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact
conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that “the
claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge
to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth
at trial.” T. W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec.
Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir.
Ninth Circuit has held that information contained in an
inadmissible form may still be considered for summary
judgment if the information itself would be admissible at
trial. Fraser v. Goodale, 342 F.3d 1032, 1036 (9th
Cir. 2003) (citing Block v. City of Los Angeles, 253
F.3d 410, 418-19 (9th Cir. 2001) (“To survive summary
judgment, a party does not necessarily have to produce
evidence in a form that would be admissible at trial, as long
as the party satisfies the requirements of Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure 56.”)).
Individual liability under 42 U.S.C § 1983
plaintiff brings a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
government officials sued in their individual capacities may
raise the affirmative defense of qualified immunity. See
Spoklie v. Montana, 411 F.3d 1051, 1060 (9th Cir. 2005).
“Qualified immunity balances two important
interests-the need to hold public officials accountable when
they exercise power irresponsibly and the need to shield
officials from harassment, distraction, and liability when
they perform their duties reasonably.” Pearson v.
Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 231 (2009). Indeed,
“[q]ualified immunity attaches when an official's
conduct ‘does not violate clearly established statutory
or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would
have known.'” White v. Pauly, 137 S.Ct.
548, 551 (2017) (quoting Mullenix v. Luna, 136 S.Ct.
305, 308 (2015)).
doctrine protects government officials performing
discretionary functions from liability for civil damages as
long as their conduct does not violate “clearly
established statutory or constitutional rights of which a
reasonable person would have known.” Harlow v.
Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982). “The
principles of qualified immunity shield an officer from
personal liability when an officer reasonably believes that
his or her conduct complies with the law.”