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Saetrum v. Raney

United States District Court, D. Idaho

August 25, 2014

ADAM TODD SAETRUM, Plaintiff,
v.
ADA COUNTY SHERIFF GARY RANEY, in his individual capacity, DEPUTY ADA COUNTY SHERIFF JAKE VOGT, in his individual capacity, DEPUTY ADA COUNTY SHERIFF TYLER STENGER, in his individual capacity, DEPUTY ADA COUNTY SHERIFF KEVIN LOUWSMA, in his individual capacity, DEPUTY ADA COUNTY SHERIFF JOHN DOE 1, in his individual capacity, DEPUTY ADA COUNTY SHERIFF JOHN DOE 2, in his individual capacity and DEPUTY ADA COUNTY SHERIFF JANE DOE 1, in her individual capacity, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: MOTION TO DISMISS; MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION; MOTION TO STRIKE; and MOTION RE: PERSONAL JURISDICTION

WILLIAM B. SHUBB, District Judge.

Plaintiff Adam Todd Saetrum filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on alleged excessive force and inadequate medical care during his arrest and detention in Ada County, Idaho. The court previously granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's First Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"), and defendants again move to dismiss the SAC as insufficiently pled under Rule 12(b)(6).

I. Factual and Procedural Background

On February 26, 2013, the Ada County Sheriff's Office carried out an undercover purchase of marijuana from plaintiff in the parking lot of the Boise Town Square Mall. (Second Am. Compl. ("SAC") ¶ 14.) The operation involved at least six officers, including defendants Deputy Sheriff Jake Vogt, Deputy Sheriff Tyler Stenger, and Detective Kevin Louwsma. (Id. ¶ 15.) Plaintiff met with the undercover officer in the officer's unmarked car and agreed to sell marijuana to the undercover officer. (Id. ¶ 20.) The undercover officer then left the car and instructed the uniformed officers to arrest plaintiff. (Id.)

Deputies Vogt and Stenger drove their marked patrol cars toward the unmarked car and two other officers drove a marked patrol car toward plaintiff's car. (Id. ¶¶ 21-22.) Plaintiff had exited the unmarked car and was walking toward his car when Deputy Vogt first observed him. (Id. ¶ 24.) Plaintiff was allegedly unarmed as he walked toward his car, which was blocked in by another marked patrol car. (Id. ¶¶ 24-25.) When Deputy Vogt was about thirty feet from plaintiff, he activated his overhead lights. (Id. ¶ 27.) He then allegedly accelerated and hit plaintiff with his left front bumper at a speed of approximately thirteen miles per hour. (Id.)

After Deputy Vogt's patrol car knocked plaintiff to the ground, plaintiff allegedly stood up and faced Deputy Vogt without making any effort to flee or resist arrest. (Id. ¶ 28.) Deputy Vogt exited his car and allegedly "spun Plaintiff around and threw and/or used his body to drive Plaintiff to the ground." (Id. ¶ 29.)

Despite having witnessed these events, Deputy Louwsma did not indicate that plaintiff needed medical treatment when he completed the Ada County Jail Arresting Officer's Form. (Id. ¶¶ 32-33.) Deputy Stenger also allegedly witnessed the incidents and did nothing to ensure plaintiff received medical care. (Id.) During plaintiff's detention, he was allegedly limping and vomiting, had a visibly swollen knee, and became increasingly confused and disorientated. (Id. ¶¶ 34-35.) After plaintiff's father and attorney met with him and expressed concerns about plaintiff's need for medical treatment, plaintiff's father was allegedly assured by an unidentified female deputy sheriff that plaintiff would receive medical care. (Id. ¶ 37.) Plaintiff, however, never received medical care during his detention.

In his Second Amended Complaint, plaintiff asserts three claims: (1) a § 1983 claim against Deputy Vogt for violation of substantive due process; (2) a § 1983 claim against Deputy Vogt and defendant Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney for excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment; and (3) a § 1983 claim against Deputies Vogt, Stenger, Louwsma, and Sheriff Gary Raney for failure to provide medical care in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. After the court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's curt and conclusory First Amended Complaint, plaintiff filed the SAC with significantly more factual allegations.

Defendants now move to dismiss the SAC pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff also moves for reconsideration of the court's refusal to consider his claims against "Doe" defendants in the May 22, 2014 Order, and defendants move to strike an affidavit submitted in support of that motion. Lastly, plaintiff has filed a "motion for a ruling" as to whether defendants have waived service of process and consented to personal jurisdiction.

II. Analysis

On a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept the allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Scheuer v. Rhodes , 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974), overruled on other grounds by Davis v. Scherer , 468 U.S. 183 (1984); Cruz v. Beto , 405 U.S. 319, 322 (1972). To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead "only enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). This "plausibility standard, " however, "asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully, " and where a complaint pleads facts that are "merely consistent with a defendant's liability, " it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly , 550 U.S. at 557).

A. Claims Against the Deputy Defendants

1. Violation of Substantive Due Process

In the May 22, 2014, Order, the court discussed plaintiff's § 1983 claim based on an alleged violation of his right to substantive due process in light of County of Sacramento v. Lewis , 523 U.S. 833 (1998). In that case, officers accidentally hit and killed a passenger during a high speed chase and the court concluded the conduct was assessed under the "shocks the ...


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