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Beets v County of Los Angeles

Case No. B227630 (CA Dist. 2 Ct. App., Nov. 9, 2011)

Heck v. Humphrey (1994) 512 U.S. 477, 486-487 (Heck) holds that when a judgment in favor of the plaintiff in a suit under title 42 of the United States Code section 1983 (section 1983) would necessarily imply the invalidity of the plaintiff‟s underlying conviction or sentence, the complaint must be dismissed, unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that his conviction or sentence has been invalidated. In Yount v. City of Sacramento (2008) 43 Cal.4th 885, 902 (Yount), our Supreme Court held that the same principle applies to analogous state tort suits.

In this case, appellants Kristy Beets and Glenn Allen Rose are the parents of Glenn Patrick Rose (Rose), who was killed during an incident with the Los Angeles County Sheriff‟s Department and California Highway Patrol. Appellants, in their individual capacities and also as successors in interest to Rose, brought this wrongful death action against respondents Los Angeles County and Sheriff‟s Deputy Steven Winter. They allege that Deputy Winter‟s use of deadly force against Rose was unreasonable. While Rose did not survive, another participant in the incident, Sarah Morales, survived. Morales was tried and convicted of the assault of Deputy Winter in the underlying incident.

Respondents demurred to the first amended complaint pursuant to Heck and Yount, arguing that Morales‟s conviction barred appellants‟ wrongful death claims. The trial court sustained respondents‟ demurrer and entered judgment for respondents. We reverse.
 

 

Judge(s): Madeleine Flier
Jurisdiction: California Court of Appeals, Second District
Related Categories: Civil Rights , Constitutional Law
 
Trial Court Judge(s)
Dan Oki

 
Court of Appeals Judge(s)
Madeleine Flier
Elizabeth Grimes
Laurence Rubin

 
Appellant Lawyer(s) Appellant Law Firm(s)
Dale Galipo Law Offices of Dale K. Galipo
Melanie Partow Law Offices of Dale K. Galipo

 
Appellee Lawyer(s) Appellee Law Firm(s)
Jin Choi Lawrence Beach Allen & Choi, PC
David D. Lawrence Lawrence Beach Allen & Choi, PC

 

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Click the maroon box above for a formatted PDF of the decision.
cunninghams claims were barred by heck. (cunningham, at pp. 1154-1155.) however, and argument from his perspective might have looked like. we agree with the 2 we noted above that respondents have not cited any published cases in which a guilty of assault because: (1) she aided and abetted rose in evading an officer or 5 complaint must be dismissed unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the conviction or pp. 1151-1152.) cunningham was convicted of three counts of attempted murder of the officers, the murder of soly by provoking officers to shoot at the getaway car, robbery, criminal cases is not to be applied with the hypertechnical and archaic approach of a 19th 1983 (section 1983) would necessarily imply the invalidity of the plaintiffs underlying conviction for assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and resisting a peace defendants and respondents. issue as one of collateral estoppel. (cunningham, at pp. 1155-1156.) cunninghams officer ran to the drivers side of the truck where rose was seated. chp officer shultz divergent, one does not infer adequate representation and there is no privity"]; 2. appellants' lawsuit is not barred by morales's conviction respondents claim that a judgment in favor of appellants here would necessarily lead to in susag v. city of lake forest (2002) 94 cal.app.4th 1401 (susag), the (hernandez v. city of pomona (1996) 49 cal.app.4th 1492, 1497.) we accept as true all all of the verdicts may stand. (ibid.) this is all to say that a not guilty verdict as to rose that heck and california law express similar concerns about judicial the right, so that he was then positioned on the passenger side of the truck. rose brought and the trial court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend on july 26, 2010. reality that "inconsistent jury verdicts are inevitable in our criminal justice system." 874 (clemmer).) in determining the collateral estoppel effect of a criminal trial on a third a pursuit with police officers ensued. the white honda became disabled during the as indicated in the final paragraph of calcrim no. 402, the trial court then whose subsequent civil lawsuits would challenge their own convictions. (heck, supra, in sum, we hold that privity is lacking, and accordingly, moraless conviction does must prove that: the assault against deputy winter. rather, the prosecutions theory was that she was [citations.] . . . process requirements. (clemmer, supra, 22 cal.3d at p. 875.) this requires "that the either one or both [of] those crimes committed the crime of court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims and this instance was unreasonable. respondents demurred to the first amended complaint, proven, would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction for resisting an officer. accordingly, his section 1983 claim was barred by heck. the court determined that at p. 484.) the court therefore held that "when a state prisoner seeks damages in a officer] in violation of penal code section 245(c). expected to be bound by the prior adjudication." (ibid.) we cannot conclude that rose as a result of the incident, morales was tried and convicted of two counts of oki, judge. reversed. appeal from a judgment of the superior court of los angeles county, dan t. of [adw on an officer] was a natural and probable excessive force is not lawfully performing his duties. (people v. white (1980) 101 abetted the perpetrator. it does not include a victim or innocent bystander. with the orange county sheriffs department. (susag, at p. 1406.) after he was in the court of appeal of the state of california confidence necessary to invoke collateral estoppel. the heck rule came into being because the supreme court wanted to prevent (id. at p. 1409.) thus, susags allegations that he was subjected to excessive force, if "and crimes." has been described as ,,"the federal counterpart of state battery or wrongful now seeks to profit from his own bad act by bringing an excessive force lawsuit. nor is it 1426, 1429 [same]; susag, supra, 94 cal.app.4th at pp. 1406-1407; see also lujano v. moraless conviction must have a collateral estoppel effect on these proceedings. we procedural history plaintiffs civil lawsuit was heck/yount-barred by a third partys underlying conviction. the court entered judgment against appellants on july 27, 2010. appellants filed unreasonable force would necessarily imply the invalidity of morales criminal commits that is a natural and probable consequence of the target offense"].) thus, the demonstrate that his conviction or sentence has been invalidated. in yount v. city of 1983 claims could proceed. (cunningham, supra, 312 f.3d at p. 1156.) 6 (marina tenants assn. v. deauville marina development co., supra, at p. 127.) to the prior adjudication." (clemmer v. hartford insurance co. (1978) 22 cal.3d 865, susags lawsuit arose from the same incident with the orange county sheriff for which in heck, the united states supreme court considered "whether a state prisoner guilty of adw on an officer because she aided and abetted rose, the direct perpetrator. the incident which forms the basis of plaintiffs action against defendants in this case." the underlying incident. the solys were in privity with cunningham during his trial. (cunningham, at p. 1155.) circumstances must have been such that the party to be estopped should reasonably have officer or resisting an executive officer or both. appropriate to apply the same bar to appellants wrongful death lawsuit when rose was division eight resisting an executive officer or both; analysis consisting of two sentences, the district court held that one plaintiffs claims collateral estoppel, that, even were he to have faced the same charges as weapon or by force likely to produce great bodily injury or death on a peace officer december 8, 2009. our supreme court denied her petition for review on february 24, executive officer in violation of penal code section 69. has no effect on the trial of a different defendant." (id. at p. 5.) therefore, if a verdict cunningham, police surrounded the getaway car of two robbers, robert cunningham and held that appellants section 1983 claims were barred by heck and dismissed them. the hold it does not. as noted above, the doctrine of collateral estoppel prevents the consequence of the commission of either evading a peace such, they contend, heck and yount bar appellants lawsuit. we disagree. absent codefendant seems inconsistent with the absent partys constitutional due process cal.app.3d 122, 127.) when the trial court sustains a demurrer, we review the complaint had a separate trial, what defense strategy he would have chosen, or what the evidence not have a collateral estoppel effect in this case. heck and yount likewise do not bar 11 heck v. humphrey (1994) 512 u.s. 477, 486-487 (heck) holds that when a here, it is not the case that rose was convicted of adw on deputy winter and we find cunningham persuasive in that, for appellants lawsuit to be barred, verdict rested on cunninghams actions, not solys. it was cunninghams standefer v. united states (1980) 447 u.s. 10, 25.) "a verdict regarding one defendant (los angeles county and the court properly instructed the jury that an officer who uses unreasonable or the third element, however, is not satisfied. rose was not a party in moraless 1. heck and its application in the california courts a simple hypothetical will help illustrate our point. if rose had survived the [heck] analysis in the preceding sections applies equally to younts plaintiffs excessive force lawsuit is not barred by a third partys related conviction, cunningham court that to conclude morales adequately represented rose "would require 512 u.s. at pp. 478-479; yount, supra, 43 cal.4th at pp. 888-889 [plaintiff who pled daniel soly. (id. at p. 1152.) cunningham and soly exchanged gunfire with the police; resisting an officer; (2) during the commission of either evading an officer or resisting an fragments of that record before us, fragments the court below judicially noticed. we v. priest (sept. 19, 2008) 2008 wl 4372637. the plaintiffs section 1983 claims in hecks conviction was affirmed on appeal while his section 1983 lawsuit was pending. morales, survived. morales was tried and convicted of the assault of deputy winter in provocation, not solys, that was the focus of cunninghams trial." (id. at rose. a shot hit rose in the chest and caused fatal injuries. unreasonable. while rose did not survive, another participant in the incident, sarah arguing that moraless conviction barred appellants wrongful death claims. the trial in the early morning hours of may 13, 2008, rose allegedly stole a white honda. guilty to resisting an officer subsequently brought excessive force lawsuit arising from instructed with calcrim no. 2670 that: the truck to a momentary stop, at which time deputy winter drew his gun and shot at death actions." [citation.] . . . [citation.] [] . . . [] in light of the fact winter. defendant is guilty of either one or both of these crimes, you must then u.s.c. 1983." (heck, supra, 512 u.s. at p. 478.) roy heck was convicted in indiana lawrence beach allen & choi, david d. lawrence and jin s. choi for we cannot think of a reason to distinguish between section 1983 and a state reverse. enforcement officers had engaged in an unlawful investigation, destroyed evidence, and p. 1156.) and sheriffs deputy mah ran to the passenger side of the truck where morales was cal.app.3d 161, 167.) the court also instructed the jury that it had to find morales not trial, nor was he in privity with morales at her trial. a finding of privity must satisfy due sentence has already been invalidated." (id. at p. 487.) because hecks section 1983 death action against respondents los angeles county and sheriffs deputy steven respondents demurred to the first amended complaint pursuant to heck and yount, offense was that "[w]hen the defendant acted, the person assaulted was lawfully duties as a peace officer. if the people have not met this burden, you must law claims in the superior court. the first amended complaint alleges wrongful death applies equally to a plaintiffs section 1983 claims and his analogous state tort claims: conviction for adw on an officer serves as a bar to appellants lawsuit. respondents complaint is based on the allegation that deputy winters use of deadly force against (people v. superior court (sparks) (2010) 48 cal.4th 1, 5 (sparks).) ",,while symmetry in the solys claims, (2) cunninghams trial resulted in a judgment on the merits, and (3) the drivers window to free himself from the deputys grasp. morales kicked and have no idea what happened at most of moraless trial. thus, we have an inadequate of results may be intellectually satisfying, it is not required." (id. at p. 12, quoting tort claim arising from the same alleged misconduct and . . . the parties prevent escape, to overcome resistance, or in self-defense . . . ." nothing short of rank speculation on our part -- an exercise that is the antithesis of the 2. morales's criminal proceedings the judgment is reversed. appellants to recover costs on appeal. jury in the prior criminal proceeding against morales specifically found that deputy driving a vehicle without the owners consent, three counts of assault with a deadly the drivers seat of the truck and morales got into the passengers seat. cory shultz, steven winter and calvin mah were lawfully performing their "a co-participant in a crime is the perpetrator or anyone who aided and trial were so similar that cunningham was their ,,virtual representative. was barred "because any recovery of damages based on deputy winters alleged use of allegations of the complaint with a view to substantial justice between the parties. the second element of collateral estoppel is also satisfied. moraless conviction, adequate representation by, the losing party in the first action as well as that the based on battery and negligence. it alleges that deputy winters use of deadly force in discussion defendants and respondents. cunningham, solys interests at trial would not have sharply diverged from "a natural and probable consequence is one that a reasonable person would not have faced a felony murder charge for his death. in the trial that law. (marina tenants assn. v. deauville marina development co. (1986) 181 we concur: law offices of dale k. galipo, dale k. galipo and melanie t. partow for been validated and finalized, the court affirmed the dismissal of his action. winter. they allege that deputy winters use of deadly force against rose was inconsistent results for different participants in a crime, we do not agree with "2. during the commission of either evading a peace officer or v. the proceedings. nor did the jury have the benefit of evidence or argument not necessarily invalidate moraless conviction. habeas corpus relief for morales. while rose is entitled to his day in court, morales b227630 he was convicted. (susag, at p. 1407.) the court noted that an essential element of 1983 suit, the district court must consider whether a judgment in favor of the plaintiff respectfully, we do not find bartons brief analysis of these issues instructive. court sustained respondents demurrer and entered judgment for respondents. we on january 7, 2010, appellants appealed the dismissal of their section 1983 claims 3 would be cases in which the heck/yount bar would likely apply. but we do not believe it because privity between soly and cunningham was lacking, the solys section aware of any. there is, however, a published ninth circuit opinion holding that a "the defendant is also charged in counts 2, 3 and 4 with [adw on an "1. the defendant is guilty of either evading a peace officer or duties, and the use of excessive force is not within the performance of an officers duties. 4 guilty if deputy winter was not lawfully performing his duties. thus, the issue here -- dismissed them without prejudice. de novo to determine whether it contains sufficient facts to state a cause of action. acts. (susag, supra, at p. 1412.) of action that challenge the validity of a state conviction. [citation.] but individual capacities and also as successors in interest to rose, brought this wrongful susag could not profit from his own illegal act and should bear the sole responsibility for the case that morales is bringing an excessive force lawsuit after being convicted. these winters use of force was lawful," and the "facts in the morales criminal case arise out of of rank speculation on our part -- an exercise that is the antithesis of the county sheriffs department and california highway patrol. appellants, in their (id. at p. 5.) this was the extent of bartons analysis of privity and collateral estoppel. 9 glenn patrick rose (rose), who was killed during an incident with the los angeles rose then reversed away from the patrol car and in the direction of deputy winter. rose lawsuit was heck/yount-barred by a third party's underlying conviction, nor are we law claims. cory susag was tried and convicted of resisting an officer during an incident performing his duties as a peace officer . . . ." (calcrim no. 860.) the court further instructed the jury on adw on an officer. the court instructed that an element of the punched deputy mah and officer shultz through the passenger window. rose then lawfulness of the officers entry into the home and subsequent search of the premises." century pleading book, but with realism and rationality." (people v. santamaria (1994) 8 cal.4th 903, 912, quoting ashe v. swenson (1970) 397 u.s. 436, 444.) common law claim for battery." (yount, supra, 43 cal.4th at p. 902.) p. 16.) this principle reinforces the notion that we cannot presume a criminal defendant recognized the established principle that "civil tort actions are not appropriate vehicles the claims of solys parents were not barred by cunninghams convictions. (id. at p. 1156.) moreover, to say that a defendant may adequately represent the interests of an economy and the avoidance of conflicting resolutions, we conclude that the defendants collateral attacks on their convictions through the means of a civil lawsuit. would not have invalidated moraless conviction. given our justice systems tolerance of conviction or sentence, the complaint must be dismissed, unless the plaintiff can sacramento (2008) 43 cal.4th 885, 902 (yount), our supreme court held that the same and (3) the party against whom the plea is asserted was a party or in privity with a party rubin, acting p. j. grimes, j. is adequately represented in a trial from which he is absent. "under certain circumstances, a person who is guilty of one crime may also engaged in the performance of his duties during the assault (pen. code, 245, subd. (c)), subsequent civil lawsuit for excessive force was heck/yount-barred].) as voiced in from solys perspective. looking into a crystal ball to divine how the trial using unreasonable or excessive force in his or her duties. incident and had been charged, he could have been granted a separate trial. in that case, pending, he filed a lawsuit in the district court under section 1983, alleging that state law justice. (ibid.) started the truck and drove it forward and away from the officers and collided with a chp state court of voluntary manslaughter, and while the appeal from his conviction was resisting an executive officer or both, a co-participant in a demurrer tests the sufficiency of a plaintiffs complaint by raising questions of state: "heck bars both plaintiffs 42 u.s.c. 1983 claims, as plaintiff pierce stands in and ran to the maroon truck. deputy winter and a california highway patrol (chp) "we also note that the circumstances of cunninghams trial do not morales entered a maroon pickup truck that was parked in the same alley. rose got into same events]; truong v. orange county sheriff's dept. (2005) 129 cal.app.4th 1423, officer." the court explained that "judicially-noticed documents demonstrate that the patrol car across the alley. deputy winter ran a few steps in the direction of the truck. decide whether she is guilty of [adw on an officer]. as an element of the offense, the jury had to determine whether deputy winter was 2 rights. we know that "no criminal defendant can be bound by an adverse factual finding with the heck/yount analysis in mind, we now turn to whether moraless standard of review appellants lawsuit.2 noting that section 1983 created a species of tort liability, the heck court confidence necessary to invoke collateral estoppel." (cunningham, supra, 312 f.3d at did occur, the solys were not represented by counsel and had no voice in the first element of collateral estoppel is satisfied here. appellants first amended lawsuit for use of excessive force. (cunningham, at p. 1152.) the court held that may challenge the constitutionality of his conviction in a suit for damages under 42 principle applies to analogous state tort suits. convicted, susag filed the section 1983 lawsuit and also alleged assault, battery, use of kristy beets et al., used unlawful voice identification procedures in his manslaughter trial. (heck, at p. 479.) the consequences of his act, and a determination contrary to the result in the criminal barton were based on an alleged unreasonable search and seizure. (id. at p. 3.) in an "a peace officer is not lawfully performing his or her duties if he or she is a timely notice of appeal on september 24, 2010. "3. under all of the circumstances, a reasonable person in the it is possible morales could have been found guilty of adw on deputy winter at her performing his duties during the underlying incident and did not use excessive force. as were heck-barred because in her husband's criminal case, it was determined that (adw on an officer), one count of evading a pursuing officer, and one count of resisting party who did not participate, we are mindful that ",,the rule of collateral estoppel in they do cite one unpublished federal case from the eastern district of michigan, barton properly pleaded material factual allegations of the complaint and other relevant matters offer none. section 1983 ,,"creates a species of tort liability" [citation] and statement of facts convictions would prevent the solys section 1983 claims under the law of collateral probable cause to search their house existed. (id. at p. 4.) the court then went on to 13 party to be estopped must have had an identity or community of interest with, and seated. while the truck was still parked, rose attempted to strike deputy winter through direction of deputy winter. deputy winter moved out of the trucks path by moving to excessive force, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. cunningham at his trial: find the defendant not guilty of [adw on an officer] . . . . (heck, at p. 479.) resisting an officer is that the officer must be engaged in the performance of his or her the prosecutions theory at trial was not that morales was the direct perpetrator of would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction or sentence; if it would, the morales appealed her conviction, and the court of appeal affirmed on suggest that the solys could expect to be bound by the results. the jurys basis for concluding that morales adequately represented the interests of rose. trial, whereas rose could have been found not guilty of adw at his. it is an occasional regarding one participant in a crime is inconsistent with verdicts of other coparticipants, california court of appeal applied the heck rule to section 1983 claims and related state officer, rose committed adw on an officer; and (3) roses adw on an officer was a contend that the jury in moraless case found that deputy winter was lawfully an executive officer. one of the adw on an officer counts was for adw on deputy never convicted of a crime arising from the facts. the success of appellants lawsuit does cal.app.3d 1039, 1049 ["if the interests of the parties in question are likely to have been changed directions yet again and went forward to collide with deputy winters patrol car. in a trial in which that defendant did not participate." (sparks, supra, 48 cal.4th at section 1983 claims and state law claims for battery and negligence. the district court cunningham was seriously injured and soly died as a result of the incident. (id. at (susag, at p. 1412.) moreover, several public policy concerns compelled that result -- and burglary. (id. at p. 1152.) both solys parents and cunningham filed a section 1983 was a final judgment on the merits. 2010. such claimants a second bite at the apple and the chance to profit from their own illegal jury was instructed with calcrim nos. 400 and 401 on the principles of aiding and estoppel only if (1) the issues decided at cunninghams trial were identical to the issues violation of vehicle code section 2800.2 and in count 7 with resisting an rose was unreasonable. under the prosecutions theory in moraless trial, morales was judgment in favor of the plaintiff in a suit under title 42 of the united states code section mendoza (1998) 18 cal.4th 1114, 1123 ["the aider and abettor is guilty not only of the whether deputy winter used unreasonable force -- was an issue in moraless trial. that presented in the action in question; and (2) there was a final judgment on the merits; natural and probable consequence of his evading or resisting an officer. (people v. be guilty of other crimes that were committed at the same time. disposition intended, or target, offense, but also of any other crime the direct perpetrator actually cunningham v. gates (9th cir. 2002) 312 f.3d 1148, 1156 (cunningham). in "the people have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that flier, j. citing heck and yount, the trial court ruled that appellants wrongful death complaint the central district of california on january 23, 2009. the federal complaint alleged "to prove that the defendant is guilty of [adw on an officer], the people pursuit, and rose and his passenger, morales, abandoned the car in an alley. rose and super. ct. no. kc 57667) [adw on an officer]; he reversed the truck away from the patrol car and backed up a second time in the would have been an adequate representative. (see aronow v. lacroix (1990) 219 having been affirmed by the court of appeal and denied review by our supreme court, later, in yount, the california supreme court affirmed that the heck analysis deputy winter and three other officers stopped their patrol vehicles in the alley "the defendant is charged in count 6 with evading a peace officer in plaintiffs and appellants. 1 according to the parties briefs, briefing is complete in the federal appeal. 8 7 that are properly the subject of judicial notice, and we liberally construe all factual while the first two elements were satisfied, the solys were not in privity with county of los angeles et al., proceedings would engender disrespect for the courts and discredit the administration of in this case, appellants kristy beets and glenn allen rose are the parents of certified for publication relitigation of issues only if "(1) the issue decided in a prior adjudication is identical with "a peace officer may use reasonable force to arrest or detain someone, to to say that the interests of rose and morales would not have diverged or that morales action challenged the validity of his conviction for manslaughter, and that conviction had peace officer or resisting an executive officer or both. if you find the defendants position would have known that the commission "to decide whether [the] crime of [adw on an officer] was committed, had an identity or community of interest with, and adequate representation by, morales. county of santa barbara (2010) 190 cal.app.4th 801, 805 [minor charged with resisting please refer to the separate instructions that i will give you on those appellants filed the precursor to this lawsuit in the united states district court for cunningham, supra, 312 f.3d at p. 1156.) we do not know whether rose would have first, the entire record of moraless trial is not before us. we have only a few small an officer agreed to informal probation, thus avoiding prosecution on the charge; her privity with her husband, and is also collaterally estopped from re-litigating the between section 1983 and state law claims arising from the same alleged misconduct." "you must first decide whether the defendant is guilty of either evading a might have proceeded in that alternate universe would require nothing short "heck, of course, is a rule of federal law that applies only to federal causes "[w]e cannot conclude that the solys interests at cunninghams susag, apart from the avoidance of conflicting results, there is a desire to avoid giving susags state law claims were also barred because it "appear[ed] unsound to distinguish second, even if we had the whole trial record, it would be mere speculation for us already had hers. for challenging the validity of outstanding criminal judgments." (heck, supra, 512 u.s. 12 p. 1156.) the court held that heck did not apply to the solys claims and looked at the plaintiffs and appellants, cunninghams. [citation.] obviously, had soly been alive, cunningham second appellate district to the ninth circuit court of appeals.1 on the same date, they filed their dismissed state 1. the circumstances of rose's death "it is impossible to say, with the kind of certainty required to apply abetting, and with calcrim no. 402 as follows: would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual intervenes. . . . but respondents have not cited any published cases in which a plaintiffs civil filed 11/9/11 heck, yount, and the california cases applying the rule all involve convicted defendants 10


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