Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Villa v. Maricopa County

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

August 2, 2017

Manuela Villa, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Maricopa County; Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; William Gerard Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney, Defendants-Appellees.

          Argued and Submitted February 13, 2017 San Francisco, California

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona Diane J. Humetewa, District Judge, Presiding D.C. No. 2:14-cv-01681-DJH

          Cameron A. Morgan (argued), Scottsdale, Arizona, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

          James Kenneth Mangum (argued), Deputy County Attorney; William G. Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney; Civil Services Division, Maricopa County Attorney's Office, Phoenix, Arizona; for Defendants-Appellees.

          Before: William A. Fletcher and Johnnie B. Rawlinson, Circuit Judges, and Robert W. Pratt, [*] District Judge.

         SUMMARY[**]

         Civil Rights / Standing / Preemption

         The panel affirmed on different grounds the district court's dismissal of Manuela Villa's putative class action against Maricopa County defendants, alleging that portions of the Arizona wiretapping statute, and the County's practices thereunder, were preempted by and violated Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq.

         The panel held that Villa lacked Article III standing to seek injunctive or declaratory relief on behalf of herself or a putative class, but that she had standing to pursue individual damages.

         On the merits, the panel held that Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3010(A), as applied by Maricopa County officials, was preempted by Title III, and that Villa's rights under 18 U.S.C. § 2516(2) were violated because applications for wiretaps were not made by the "principal prosecuting attorney." The panel held further that Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3010(H) was not preempted by Title III if it was construed to require that recordings of intercepted conversations be submitted to a court for sealing within ten days of the termination of the court's order authorizing a wiretap on each particular target date.

         The panel held that Villa's rights under 18 U.S.C. § 2518(8)(a) were violated because the recordings of her intercepted conversations were submitted for sealing more than a month after the termination of the order authorizing the wiretap on the target line on which her conversations were intercepted.

         Finally, the panel held that because the law enforcement officials were acting in good faith within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 2520(d), they were protected from a damage judgment.

          OPINION

          W. FLETCHER, CIRCUIT JUDGE:

         Law enforcement officials in Maricopa County intercepted and recorded eight conversations between Plaintiff Manuela Villa and her daughter in 2011 and 2012. The target phone number over which Villa's conversations were intercepted belonged to neither Villa nor her daughter. The wiretap application was authorized by Maricopa County Attorney William G. Montgomery, but the application was made by Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Brockel. Before making the application, Brockel personally reviewed a lengthy supporting affidavit. Montgomery did not review the affidavit supporting the application.

         After Villa learned that her conversations had been intercepted, she brought a would-be class action against County Attorney Montgomery, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and Maricopa County ("Defendants"), alleging that portions of the Arizona wiretapping statute, as well as the county's practices adopted in reliance on the statute, were preempted by and violated Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq. ("Title III"). Villa also alleged that her Fourth Amendment rights had been violated.

         The district court concluded that Arizona's wiretapping statute and practices thereunder were not preempted by, and did not violate, Title III. The court dismissed Villa's suit in its entirety under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The court did not discuss Villa's Fourth Amendment claim. Villa has appealed only the court's adverse rulings on her Title III claims.

         We hold that Villa lacks Article III standing to seek injunctive or declaratory relief on behalf of herself or a putative class, but that she has standing to pursue individual damages. On the merits, we hold that Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3010(A), as applied by Maricopa County officials, is preempted by Title III, and that Villa's rights under 18 U.S.C. § 2516(2) were violated because applications for wiretaps were not made by the "principal prosecuting attorney." We hold, further, that Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3010(H) is not preempted by Title III if it is construed to require that recordings of intercepted conversations be submitted to a court for sealing within ten days of the termination of the court's order authorizing a wiretap on each particular target line. However, Villa's rights under 18 U.S.C. § 2518(8)(a) were violated because the recordings of her intercepted conversations were submitted for sealing more than a month after the termination of the order authorizing the wiretap on the target line on which her conversations were intercepted. Finally, we hold that because the law enforcement officials who violated §§ 2516(2) and 2518(8)(a) were acting in good faith within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 2520(d), they are protected from a damage judgment. We therefore affirm, though on different grounds, the decision of the district court.

         I. Background

         The following narrative is taken from Villa's complaint and from documents to which the complaint refers. We take as true the complaint's plausible and properly pleaded allegations, which we summarize here. Zucco Partners, LLC v. Digimarc Corp., 552 F.3d 981, 989 (9th Cir. 2009).

         On November 9, 2011, Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Brockel submitted an application for an order permitting wiretapping of four cell phones as part of a criminal investigation designated CWT-412. The application included three documents.

         The first document was the application itself, dated November 9, 2011, and signed under oath by Deputy County Attorney Brockel. The preface to the application recited, "WILLIAM G. MONTGOMERY, the duly elected and qualified Maricopa County Attorney, by his appointed and authorized Deputy County Attorneys of Maricopa County, Jennifer Brockel and/or Vanessa Losicco and/or Jeffery Beaver and/or Tony Novitsky, being duly sworn, deposes and says: . . . ." Paragraph V of the application recited further, "That he, WILLIAM G. MONTGOMERY, designated in writing that Deputy County Attorneys of Maricopa County, Jennifer Brockel and/or Vanessa Losicco and/or Jeffery Beaver and/or Tony Novitsky, has authority pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-3010(A) to make further applications for amendments or extensions of the Order authorizing interception of communications." Brockel stated in the application that she had read a sworn affidavit signed by several detectives, that there was probable cause to believe that there had been and would be violations of specific provisions of Arizona criminal law, that there was probable cause to believe that electronic interception would provide evidence of these crimes, that other investigative techniques had been tried and failed, and that further pursuit of other investigative techniques would be unlikely to succeed or would be dangerous. The application requested that the Maricopa County Attorney, the Phoenix Police Department, or the Drug Enforcement Administration or their representatives be authorized to engage in interception. The application sought a court order authorizing wiretaps on four specified targeted telephone numbers ("Target Lines 1-4"), used by two named persons. County Attorney Montgomery did not sign the application.

         The second document was a lengthy affidavit dated November 9, 2011, signed under oath by three Phoenix Police Department detectives, to which Brockel referred in her application.

         The third document was an authorization to apply for wiretaps, dated the day before, November 8, 2011, and signed under oath by County Attorney Montgomery. In the document, Montgomery authorized "Jennifer Brockel and/or Vanessa Losicco and/or Jeffery Beaver and/or Tony Novitsky, Deputy Maricopa County Attorneys, to make application on my behalf for an Ex Parte Order for interception of telephonic . . . communications relating to" a list of specific offenses "which have been, are being, and will continue to be committed by" three named persons the targets of the wiretap, and "other known and unknown co-conspirators." The caption of the document listed the four target lines specified in Brockel's application. The document also listed three named persons, two of whom are specified ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.