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Trueman v. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

United States District Court, D. Nevada

October 10, 2017

KRISTIN M. TRUEMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al. Defendants.

          ORDER MOTIONS TO DISMISS [ECF NOS. 25 AND 34]

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court are Defendant Ethan Tseu's Motion to Dismiss [ ECF No. 25], and Defendants Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) and former Sheriff Douglas Gillespie's Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 34]. The motions are granted for the reasons stated below.

         II. BACKGROUND

         a. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff Kristin Trueman filed her Complaint on September 29, 2015. [ECF No. 1]. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss on November 4, 2015. [ECF No. 6]. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on March 31, 2016. [ECF No. 19]. The Amended Complaint names Defendants LVMPD, Douglas Gillespie (former Sheriff of LVMPD), John Bonaventura (in his individual and official capacity as former Constable of Las Vegas Township), and Defendants Louis Toomin, Ethan Tseu, and Keith Gordon. The Court entered a Scheduling Order on June 8, 2016, with discovery due by November 21, 2016, and motions due December 20, 2016. [ECF No. 23]. Defendant Ethan Tseu filed a Motion to Dismiss on June 10, 2016. [ECF No. 25]. Defendants Douglas Gillespie and LVMPD filed a Motion to Dismiss on August 11, 2016. [ECF No. 34]. The Court held a hearing on the motions on January 4, 2017.

         At the hearing, the Court granted Plaintiff's oral motion to dismiss Defendants Ethan Tseu, Keith Gordon, and John Bonaventura from the case; therefore, Defendant Tseu's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED. [ECF No. 25]. Furthermore, Plaintiff did not oppose the Motion to Dismiss Sheriff Gillespie, in his official capacity, from the lawsuit. Therefore, Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 34] is GRANTED as to Sheriff Gillespie. Finally, according to the Joint Interim Status Report filed on September 26, 2016, Defendant Louis Toomins is to be dismissed voluntarily from the case. [ECF No. 37]. The Court therefore dismisses Defendant Toomins from the case.

         Trueman's Amended Complaint asserts the following causes of action against Defendants: wrongful eviction, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment Claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983, Conversion, Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED), Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED), and Negligence.

         b. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff's Amended Complaint alleges the following facts: On November 1, 2013, nonparty Dr. Randy Le entered into a one-year residential lease agreement with both Trueman and her fiancé. On August 7, 2014, Homewood Asset Management, LLC served a five-day notice to pay or quit upon Trueman at the property. The five-day notice was addressed to Trueman and her fiancé. On August 20, 2014, Trueman commenced a bankruptcy proceeding triggering an automatic stay of the foreclosure. On August 25, 2014, Homewood commenced an eviction proceeding against Trueman and her fiancé in the Justice Court (“First Eviction Action”). On August 27, 2014, the Justice Court entered a summary eviction order against Ms. Trueman's fiancé. The order stated that it would expire 30 days after being signed by the Court, and that if it was not enforced within that time period, a new Eviction Order must be obtained before the tenant could be locked out.

         On September 2, 2014, a notice of pending bankruptcy was filed by Trueman in the First Eviction Action. After the Justice Court entered an order for summary eviction in the First Eviction Action, on or about September 2, 2014, Constable officers visited the property in an attempt to have Trueman and her family removed from the premises. Trueman's fiancé advised the representative that Trueman had filed for bankruptcy, and a constable arrived shortly thereafter. After the constable verified that Trueman had filed for bankruptcy protection, the constable departed.

         Sometime after this attempt, Dr. Le retained an attorney to obtain relief from the bankruptcy stay on the order of eviction. On October 23, 2014, Dr. Le commenced another eviction proceeding against Trueman in the Justice Court (“Second Eviction Action”). On October 28, 2014, the Justice Court in the Second Eviction Action denied Dr. Le's request for summary eviction of Trueman from the property.

         On the morning of November 4, 2014, Doe Constable Officers, including Defendants Toomins, Gordon, and Tseu, and Doe LVMPD Officers, caused Trueman to be evicted from the property, along with the other occupants of the residence, including Trueman's three-month-old and three-year-old children, her fiancé, her future mother in law, and other family members. As of November 4, 2014, no order had been obtained from the Justice Court authorizing the eviction.

         When Trueman's fiancé confronted Doe Constable Officers with the fact that they had no order from the Justice Court, the officers called Doe LVMPD Officers to the property to remove Trueman and her family under threat of physical force. Despite the absence of a valid eviction order from the Justice Court, Defendants carried out an eviction of Trueman and lockout from the premises on November 4, 2014. As a result of the eviction, Trueman suffered extreme mental and ...


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