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Denial of Amended Claims on Eve of Trial Justified

Arias v. Pacheco, Case No. 08-2296 (C.A. 10, Jun. 1, 2010)

This appeal stems from the District Court’s refusal to grant Plaintiffs’ oral motion to amend the Pretrial Order to include a claim for wrongful arrest on the morning trial was scheduled to begin. Since the District Court did not abuse its discretion, we AFFIRM.

BACKGROUND


In the early morning hours of April 20, 2005, officers of the Deming, New Mexico Police Department obtained and executed a search warrant on the Plaintiffs’ residence. The three plaintiffs were at home: Alma Arias, her minor son Raymundo Marrufo, Jr., and her adult daughter Juli Marrufo. All three were removed from the house and eventually taken to the Deming Police Department where they were detained for different periods of time. Raymundo, the ten-year-old, was detained for a few hours until he was released to an adult relative so he could attend school. Ms. Marrufo and Ms. Arias were both handcuffed and detained for longer periods of time. Ms. Marrufo was eventually permitted to leave the station and return home so she too could attend school. Ms. Arias remained in custody until she was placed under arrest.

The search produced some marijuana, a small amount of methamphetamine, and one or two reportedly stolen religious statues. Of the three plaintiffs, only Ms. Arias was charged with any criminal offenses: receiving stolen property and possession of methamphetamines. These charges were later dismissed.

Ms. Murrafo and Ms. Arias, on behalf of herself and her son Raymundo, sued the officers involved in the search for violations of their civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, specifically for excessive force and wrongful arrest, under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act and under a theory of municipal liability. The complaint asserted wrongs of both excessive force and wrongful arrest.
 

 

Judge(s): Tacha, Holloway, Kelly
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
Related Categories: Torts
 
Circuit Court Judge(s)
William Holloway, Jr.
Paul Kelly
Deanell Tacha

 
Plaintiff Lawyer(s) Plaintiff Law Firm(s)
Rosanne Camunez
Dennis W. Montoya, Esq. Montoya Law, Inc.

 
Defendant Lawyer(s) Defendant Law Firm(s)
Ruth Fuess Miller Stratver

 

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gallegos, 523 f.3d 1147, 1160 (10th cir. 2008) ("although we have concluded that without merit and need not be addressed. co., 316 f.3d 1110, 1117 (10th cir. 2003). applying all of these factors to the facts deming, 1964). as such, attorneys are "expected to fully and fairly disclose `their views as to court is only required to instruct the jury on the relevant law. townsend v. lumbermens warrant in the absence of probable cause through the use of include their wrongful arrest claim; 2) the refusal to properly instruct the jury with respect both handcuffed and detained for longer periods of time. ms. marrufo was eventually since the arrests were unlawful. this order and judgment is not binding precedent, except under the doctrines of wasted by delaying the start of trial. cf. palace, 316 f.3d at 1118 (holding there was no - 4 - the district court did not abuse its discretion and the rulings are affirmed. background lost wages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and capacities; deming police rule 16(e) was intended to "replace the old sporting theory of justice with a policy charged with any criminal offenses: receiving stolen property and possession of entered for the court the party opposing trial of the issue; (2) the ability of that new theory of the case. see davey, 301 f.3d at 1210-11 ("[t]he timing of the motion in plaintiffs orally asserted before the district court that they would be presenting to the - 7 - unavailing. pretrial orders "control[] the subsequent course of the action unless modified id. (citing koch, 203 f.3d at 1222). clerk of court in the subsequent motion practice, discovery, and which was not addressed in the pretrial what the real issues of the trial will be.'" cortez v. wal-mart stores, inc., 460 f.3d 1268, court's denial of a motion to amend the pretrial order and released to an adult relative so he could attend school. ms. marrufo and ms. arias were on the monday morning of trial, during the presentation of motions in limine, instruct the jury on the "applicable law"). plaintiffs' assertion the jury verdict was not this appeal stems from the district court's refusal to grant plaintiffs' oral motion in addition to those four factors, we also consider "whether an amendment to the the pretrial order did not encompass both theories. id. defendants. the other parties had been dismissed. not listed as an issue in the pretrial order the defendants were not given proper notice, officers1 since the district court did not abuse eventually taken to the deming police department where they were detained for different minor; juli marrufo, detective; raymond esquivel, sgt.; alma arias, individually and on circuit judge nowhere was there mention of wrongful arrest or excessive detention. excessive excessive force and wrongful arrest. before us, plaintiffs failed to prove manifest injustice would have occurred if the pretrial june 1, 2010 wrongfully arrested. defendants objected and argued that because wrongful arrest was order and judgment* brandon gigante, lt. detective; order and correct it. although there is no allegation plaintiffs acted in bad faith, it detention/wrongful arrest and excessive force are distinct theories of liability. fogarty v. police department obtained and executed a search warrant on the plaintiffs' residence. behalf of her son, raymundo marrufo, a - 3 - only that of excessive force used by the officers, not that there had been an excessive permitting the requested amendment. see koch, 203 f.3d at 1222. when faced with the different."). the two theories have different elements and require different proof. cortez complaint or the pretrial order and there was no discussion of the issue throughout the individually and in their official all three issues stem from the district court's refusal to permit plaintiffs to pretrial order was formally and timely requested." palace explor. co. v. petroleum dev. published that caused plaintiff to lose her job. plaintiff claims whether plaintiffs did or did not make an oral motion to amend the pretrial order on the the order." 2002) (quotations omitted) (citing clark v. penn. r.r. co., 328 f.2d 591, 594 (2d cir. before the district court." gowan v. united states dep't of air force, 148 f.3d 1182, information obtained from the officers conducting that search, for trial or throughout the presentation of motions. the issue was raised in their requested no. 07-cv-00390-bb/djs provided in both the complaint and pretrial order. discretion. see koch v. koch indus., inc., 203 f.3d 1202, 1222 (10th cir. 2000). amendment would cause prejudice or surprise."). defendants - appellees. v. mccauley, 478 f.3d 1108, 1127 (10th cir. 2007). the two are not interchangeable and starting and the additional claim arose from the same facts so there was no need for jury the issue of whether the plaintiffs were so excessively detained that they were act and under a theory of municipal liability. the complaint asserted wrongs of both while plaintiffs assert their failure to include the wrongful arrest issue in their to trial, plaintiffs submitted their requested jury instructions, one of which addressed their to the wrongful arrest claim; and 3) the jury's verdict was not supported by the evidence its discretion, we affirm on the first issue and need not reach the others. although the parties cannot agree, and the record is somewhat unclear as to start of trial, defendants pacheco, esquivel and chadborn were the only remaining before trial was scheduled to begin the following monday. the district court held that there is no abuse of discretion). there was no need for plaintiffs to wait until the morning present the issue to the jury. plaintiffs asserted notice of their wrongful arrest claim was to present their new theory of wrongful arrest, if that had been permitted, the jury would discussion monday when trial was scheduled to begin. such late notice would have caused present evidence of and argue there was an excessive and thus unlawful detention or remained in custody until she was placed under arrest. that the jury had already been chosen and was waiting to begin trial when plaintiffs asked mut. cas. co., 294 f.3d 1232, 1238 (10th cir. 2003) (explaining a judge's duty is to was not presented to the jury, their verdict did not decide that issue and thus this issue is was not used during the search and the statements supporting the warrant were not the three plaintiffs were at home: alma arias, her minor son raymundo marrufo, jr., pretrial order was simply an oversight, they had over a month to review the pretrial prejudice to defendants and prevented them from adequately preparing against plaintiffs' sergio lara; james wycoff, law of the case, res judicata, and collateral estoppel. it may be cited, however, for its specifically for excessive force and wrongful arrest, under the new mexico tort claims in the early morning hours of april 20, 2005, officers of the deming, new mexico of putting the cards on the table." wilson v. muckala, 303 f.3d 1207, 1216 (10th cir. pursuant to federal rule of civil procedure 16(e), a pretrial order may only be have had to be dismissed. significant judicial resources and time would have been elisabeth a. shumaker no. 08-2296 the complaint was initially filed against detective richard pacheco, lieutenant search warrant on april 20, 2005, used excessive force the earliest point at which this issue was raised was in the form of plaintiffs' the only way defendants could have adequately dealt with plaintiffs' new theory of trial to introduce a new theory of liability before the court. conclusion coll., 950 f.2d 665, 668 (10th cir. 1991) (internal quotation marks omitted). for when a need only address whether the district court abused its discretion by denying plaintiffs morning of trial, we will assume for the sake of argument that plaintiffs did make such a factors. davey v. lockheed martin corp., 301 f.3d 1204, 1210 (10th cir. 2002): sch. dist. no. 16, 990 f.2d 560, 565 (10th cir. 1993) (explaining when a party fails to (d. n.m.) issue. united states court of appeals filed appeal of a district court's refusal to amend a pretrial order this court considers four dimensions of the lawsuit," not the complaint. hullman v. bd. of trustees of pratt cmty. since plaintiffs were properly prohibited from presenting the issue of wrongful - 6 - new issue; and (4) bad faith by the party seeking to modify plaintiffs had failed to provide proper notice. therefore, they were not permitted to order was not amended. the district court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to do wrongful arrest. because our disposition on the first issue determines the other two, we depositions. additionally, plaintiffs did not mention the issue at any point in preparation late, they were filed after the courthouse had closed on the friday evening before the party "d[oes] not include [an] issue in the pre-trial report, ... it [i]s not part of the case a. plaintiff's [sic] claims: defendants obtained a search plaintiffs' civil rights by making an unlawful arrest. since the issue of unlawful arrest the chance to argue their claim of wrongful arrest.2 issues in the case as: ms. murrafo and ms. arias, on behalf of herself and her son raymundo, sued the resulting exclusion of an issue: "(1) prejudice or surprise to used to arrest him was automatically excessive, as the two inquiries are entirely was scheduled to begin. since the district court did not abuse its discretion, we one or two reportedly stolen religious statues. of the three plaintiffs, only ms. arias was so. detective brandon gigante, detective sergio lara, detective james wycoff, sergeant - 8 - district court: 1) the denial of plaintiffs' oral motion to amend the pretrial order to united states court of appeals jury instructions which were filed five days late and after hours on the friday evening affirm. 1192 (10th cir. 1998). the one paragraph in plaintiffs' complaint which went untouched of wrongful arrest would have meant the delay of the trial and more discovery. given permitted to leave the station and return home so she too could attend school. ms. arias to amend the pretrial order to include a claim for wrongful arrest on the morning trial attorney's fees and costs. disruption to the trial because the motion to amend occurred two weeks prior to trial plaintiffs' argument that their complaint asserts the wrongful arrest issue is - 2 - discovery had not been conducted on the issue, and plaintiffs should not be permitted to tenth circuit * the district court found plaintiffs did not mention wrongful arrest in either their methamphetamines. these charges were later dismissed. amended to "prevent manifest injustice." fed. r. civ. p. 16(e). the party seeking to - 9 - - 5 - discovery was conducted as to whether the officers had used excessive force to false pretenses and false statements, and while executing that appears counsel failed to act in a diligent and responsible manner. see durant v. indep. deming, new mexico police department, on appeal, plaintiffs assert there were three errors in proceedings before the present evidence of or argue the wrongful arrest issue to the jury. the trial proceeded as persuasive value consistent with fed. r. app. p. 32.1 and 10th cir. r. 32.1. 1 involved in the search for violations of their civil rights under 42 u.s.c. 1983, before tacha, holloway, and kelly, circuit judges. arrest, the district court properly refused to instruct the jury on the question. a district submitted a month and a half before trial, plaintiffs described the nature of their claims as against the plaintiffs. following that search and through department, a division of the city of show any circumstances other than its own neglect to warrant relief from a court's order, william j. holloway, jr. wrongful arrest claim. fogarty's arrest was not supported by probable cause, this does not mean that the force plaintiffs - appellants, 1276-77 (10th cir. 2006). the pretrial order, as agreed to by plaintiffs, described the order was insufficient to put defendants on notice that plaintiffs intended to argue the richard pacheco, detective; and her adult daughter juli marrufo. all three were removed from the house and relation to the commencement of trial is an important element in analyzing whether the party to cure any prejudice; (3) disruption by inclusion of the periods of time. raymundo, the ten-year-old, was detained for a few hours until he was v. we consider the following factors in a challenge to a district detention or a wrongful arrest. pursuant to the pretrial order and trial notice, proposed 2 supported by the evidence is framed with respect to whether the officers violated the search produced some marijuana, a small amount of methamphetamine, and jury instructions were due on monday, one week before trial was scheduled to start motion. we review a district court's refusal to amend a pretrial order for an abuse of glen chadborn, sgt., officers of the (october 27, 2008). after the courthouse was already closed on the friday evening prior raymond esquivel, sergeant glen chadborn and the deming police department. at the by a subsequent order." fed. r. civ. p. 16(e). thus, the pretrial order "measures the amend the order bears the burden of proving manifest injustice would occur without additional discovery). conduct the search of the home and the arrest of ms. arias. in the pretrial order deliberate or reckless misrepresentations. scheduled and the jury rendered a verdict in favor of defendants, deciding excessive force requested jury instructions. not only were these requested instructions filed four days a harmful interview was given leading to a news article being tenth circuit


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