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.

West v. City of Caldwell

United States District Court, D. Idaho

March 28, 2018

SHANIZ WEST, an individual, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CALDWELL; CITY OF CALDWELL POLICE DEPARTMENT; FORMER CHIEF CHRIS ALLGOOD in his official and individual capacity; SERGEANT DOUG WINFIELD in his official and individual capacity; LIEUTENANT ALAN SEEVERS in his official and individual capacity; OFFICER MATTHEW RICHARDSON in his official and individual capacity in his official and individual capacity; and DOES I-X, Defendants.

         MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: DEFENDANTS' CROSS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOCKET NO. 33) PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO PROHIBIT BOTH THE DISPLAY OF FABIAN SALINAS'S PHOTOGRAPH AND ANY MENTION OF HIS CRIMINAL HISTORY AT TRIAL (DOCKET NO. 24) PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE THREE FACTS RELYING ON SHERIFF RANEY'S EXPERT WITNESS DISCLOSURES IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' BRIEF (DOCKET NO. 35) PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE FROM DEFENDANTS' STATEMENT OF FACTS, RESPONSE BRIEF, AND CROSS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT REFERENCES TO INFORMATION POLICE KNEW BUT DID NOT SHARE WITH SHANIZ WEST (DOCKET NO. 36)

          RONALD E. BUSH CHIEF U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Now pending before the Court are the following motions: (1) Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket No. 29); (2) Defendants' Cross Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket No. 33); (3) Plaintiff's Motion in Limine to Prohibit Both the Display of Fabian Salinas's Photograph and Any Mention of His Criminal History at Trial (Docket No. 24); (4) Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Three Facts Relying on Sheriff Raney's Expert Witness Disclosures in Support of Defendants' Brief (Docket No. 35); and (5) Plaintiff's Motion to Strike from Defendants' Statement of Facts, Response Brief, and Cross Motion for Summary Judgment References to Information Police Knew but Did Not Share with Shaniz West (Docket No. 36). Having carefully considered the record, participated in oral argument, and otherwise being fully advised, the Court enters the following Memorandum Decision and Order:

         I. GENERAL BACKGROUND

         This action relates to an August 11, 2014 standoff between Fabian Salinas and police officers from the Caldwell Police Department at Plaintiff Shaniz West's residence in Nampa, Idaho. Plaintiff generally alleges that, in attempting to apprehend Mr. Salinas, Defendants violated her Fourth Amendment rights by effectively destroying her home. The pertinent factual backdrop is as follows:

         1. At all relevant times to this action, Plaintiff rented a house located at 10674 Gossamer Street in Nampa, Idaho (the “Residence”); Plaintiff lived at the Residence with her two adolescent children (while also pregnant with her third child). See Am. Compl., ¶ 15 (Docket No. 20).

         2. During the night and early morning hours of August 10-11, 2014, Plaintiff heard knocking on the doors and windows of the Residence. See Defs.' SOF, No. 7 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2). On the morning of August 11, 2014, Plaintiff called the police to report the incident and Officer Troyer with the Caldwell Police Department responded. See id. Plaintiff told Officer Troyer that the knocking may have been her ex-boyfriend, Mr. Salinas. See id. Likewise, Mr. Salinas's sister, Crystal Vasquez (who was also at the Residence during this time), suggested that the knocking might have been Mr. Salinas. See id. Officer Troyer told Plaintiff that Mr. Salinas had warrants for his arrest and that the police would patrol the area looking for him. See id.

         3. Later that day, Mr. Salinas came to the Residence to retrieve some of his belongings. See Am. Compl., ¶ 16 (Docket No. 20). Mr. Salinas was a wanted felon. See id. at ¶ 17; see also Defs.' SOF, Nos. 1-5 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2) (discussing Mr. Salinas's gang affiliation and criminal history, including, but not limited to, rioting, discharging a weapon, aggravated assault, and drug charges).

         4. When Mr. Salinas arrived at the Residence, Plaintiff was preparing to leave to register her son for elementary school. See Am. Compl., ¶ 18 (Docket No. 20). Plaintiff instructed Mr. Salinas to gather his belongings (which were in boxes in the garage) and vacate the Residence before she returned. See id. Before leaving, Plaintiff told Mr. Salinas to lock the chain lock on the front door and leave the back door unlocked. See Defs.' SOF, No. 8 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2); see also Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 1 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1). Plaintiff then left the Residence with her two children and began walking toward her son's school. See Am. Compl., ¶ 18 (Docket No. 20).

         5. Police officers then responded to a 911 call from Plaintiff's grandmother, Deborah Garcia, requesting assistance at the Residence. See Defs.' SOF, No. 9 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2) (after leaving Residence, Ms. Vasquez informed Ms. Garcia that Mr. Salinas was at Residence, prompting Ms. Garcia to call 911 and report that Mr. Salinas was there, with recorded dispatch call log indicating that Ms. Garcia “provided police with the following information: (1) Salinas was at West's home and was possibly threatening her with a BB gun; (2) there were children at the house; (3) Salinas was inside the home even if West informed officers that he was not at the house; (4) Salinas was in possession of a BB gun; and (5) Salinas was on meth.”) (internal citations omitted).

         6. The Caldwell Police Department responded and, after arriving at the Residence, Detective Matthew Richardson attempted to call Plaintiff's cell phone multiple times, but did not receive an answer. See id. at No. 11. He then called Ms. Garcia to gather more information, learning that (1) Ms. Garcia believed Mr. Salinas was inside the Residence; (2) he likely parked his car somewhere else; (3) he had a loaded BB gun; (4) he was “starting shit with Shaniz”; (5) he probably broke Plaintiff's phone; and (6) Ms. Vasquez was at the Residence but she left once Mr. Salinas arrived. See id. Detective Richardson then tried to call Ms. Vasquez but the call went to her voicemail. See id. He then knocked on the Residence's door and called out for Mr. Salinas and Plaintiff, but did not receive an answer. See id.

         7. Detective Richardson then called a different number for Ms. Vasquez; this time, she answered the phone. See id. at No. 12. Ms. Vasquez told Detective Richardson that (1) she saw Mr. Salinas inside the Residence 20-30 minutes prior; (2) he was in possession of a firearm that she believed was a BB gun; (3) he was waiving the BB gun around; (4) he was on drugs; (5) somebody had dropped him off at the Residence and left; and (5) Plaintiff was not answering her phone. See id. After this call, the police officers on the scene discussed whether they should enter the Residence. See id. Officer Hemmert stated that he heard a noise in the garage that sounded like somebody opening a crawl space. See id. Around this time, Sergeant Hoadley saw Plaintiff walking down the sidewalk toward the Residence. See id.

         8. Earlier, as she was walking to register he son at the school, Plaintiff received a phone call from police dispatch. See id. at No. 13. She answered the phone, but it immediately died. See id. Plaintiff did not know why dispatch was calling her, but she believed the call was either to follow up from her morning call to police, or because police officers who were patrolling the area, saw Mr. Salinas enter the Residence. See id. When she returned at approximately 2:20 p.m., Plaintiff found numerous Caldwell Police Department officers outside the Residence, assuming that their presence had something to do with Mr. Salinas. See id., see also Am. Compl., ¶ 19 (Docket No. 20); Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, Nos. 4-5 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1) (“When West returned, she found her home ‘surrounded with officers.' Five police officers, to be exact: Officers Joey Hoadley (“Hoadley”), Arguello, Hemmert, Schreiber, and Detective Matt Richardson (“Richardson”).”) (internal citations omitted). Even so, Plaintiff did not understand why police officers were in the backyard of the Residence. See Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 6 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1); see also id. at No. 7 (“One officer was guarding the front door and garage door, Officer Hemmert was in the backyard, having gained entry through an open gate, Hoadley was on the east side of the home, watching both the front and back and two other officers generally roving around the home.”).

         9. Upon seeing Plaintiff walking toward the Residence, Sergeant Hoadley and Detective Richardson approached and later spoke with her. See Defs.' SOF, No. 14 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2); see also Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 9 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1). Plaintiff explained that Mr. Salinas had been there earlier to retrieve his belongings, that she told him to leave, and that she was unsure whether he was still inside the Residence. See Am. Compl., ¶¶ 20-24 (Docket No. 20); see also Pl.'s SOF, Nos. 4-5 (Docket No. 29, Att. 2); see also Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 10 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1). Believing that Plaintiff may not be telling him the truth about Mr. Salinas's location, Detective Richardson informed her that if Mr. Salinas was inside her home and she did not tell officers that fact, she could get in trouble for harboring a felon. See Defs.' SOF, No. 14 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2); see also Pl.'s SOF, No. 6 (Docket No. 6); Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 13-16 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1). Feeling threatened, Plaintiff then informed Detective Richardson that Mr. Salinas was inside the Residence, that he had a firearm that she believed was a BB gun, and that he had locked the chain lock on the front door. See Pl.'s SOF, No. 7 (Docket No. 29, Att. 2); see also Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 17-18 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1); Defs.' SOF, No. 14 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2); but see Defs.' Stmt. of Disp. Facts, No. 2 (Docket no. 33, Att. 2) (disputing that Plaintiff felt threatened “solely because of Richardson's questions, ” commenting: “Thus, when Richardson informed her of the law of harboring a felon, several other factors (such as her own actions of letting Salinas into her home without informing police, when she knew he had arrest warrants) weighed into any feelings she may have had.”). A portion of the audio recording of the conversation reflects the following:

Richardson: Is he in there?
Plaintiff: [Inaudible]
Richardson: Okay. Do you have a key to the front door?
Plaintiff: He has the top lock locked.
Richardson: 21-201. Shaniz is advising he's inside .....
Richardson: So how certain are you that he's in there?
Plaintiff: [Inaudible] . . . and I have a pit bull. She's very friendly.
Richardson: Okay. I heard the dog. So you think for certain he's in there?
Plaintiff: [Inaudible]
Richardson: Okay. She's 100 percent positive he's in there.

Defs.' Stmt. of Disp. Facts, No. 2 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2).

         10. After additional questioning - specifically, Detective Richardson asking:

“Shaniz, let me ask you this: Do we have permission to get inside your house and apprehend him?” - Plaintiff ultimately gave Detective Richardson a key to the Residence and gave him consent to use the key to enter the Residence and arrest Mr. Salinas. See Am. Compl., ¶ 24 (Docket No. 20); see also Pl.'s SOF, Nos. 8-9 (Docket No. 29, Att. 2); Defs.' SOF, No. 17 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2); Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 19 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1).[1] Though originally instructed to stay close by, Plaintiff was later allowed to leave, and actually left the premises, providing no additional consent beyond that identified above. See Am. Compl., ¶ 25 (Docket No. 20); see also Pl.'s SOF, Nos. 10-12 (Docket No. 29, Att. 2); Defs.' SOF, No. 18 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2) (“Richardson wanted West to stay nearby so ‘she could revoke consent at any time.'”) (internal citations omitted); Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, Nos. 34-35 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1).

         11. Sergeant Hoadley then called the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and spoke with the on-call prosecutor. See Defs.' SOF, No. 19 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2). Sergeant Hoadley informed the prosecutor of the “facts” and informed the prosecutor that officers were entering the Residence to arrest a person with a felony arrest warrant rather than conducting a search for drugs or illegal items. See id. The prosecutor informed Sergeant Hoadley that a search warrant was not needed if consent was obtained. See id.

         12. Sergeant Hoadley then contacted SWAT Commander Alan Seevers and requested SWAT's assistance. See id. at No. 20; see also Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 21 (Docket No. 21 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1) (“Hoadley initially considered making entry into the home using the keys [2] provided by Ms. West; determined it was too dangerous, and then left the keys in the door and elected, instead, to call SWAT.”).

         13. According to Plaintiff, “Caldwell Police [did] not inform [her] they [were] contacting SWAT or that any “tactical plan” involving the potential destruction of the Residence was under consideration or could possibly be employed. See Pl.'s SOF, No. 14 (Docket No. 29, Att. 2); see also Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 22, 24-26, 30-34 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1) (“Hoadley did not advise Ms. West that he was going to use a methodology other than the keys to enter West's home ..... Richardson did not tell West that they were contacting SWAT. He is unsure whether anyone else did. Hoadley does not recall any discussion with West about calling SWAT to the scene. Ms. West does not remember any of the officers commenting that they were going to call SWAT ..... Seevers did not speak with anyone that evening regarding West's concerns[3]about her house being destroyed and whether she'd be able to return home with her children. No. one had any discussions with West about the fact that gas canisters would be shot into her home, through windows, and doors. West did not give CPD permission to deploy a canister of tear gas through her back door. West did not give CPD permission to deploy tear gas through any other windows.”) (internal citations omitted).

         14. At approximately 3:00 p.m., Commander Seevers notified SWAT Team Leader Doug Winfield that SWAT was being activated “to respond to a barricaded subject inside a residence.” Defs.' SOF, No. 21 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2). Thereafter, members of the SWAT Team met at the Caldwell Police Department, put their tactical gear on, created a tactical plan, and were briefed on the tactical plan's details. See id. The tactical plan (developed by Team Leader Winfield) was designed to extract Mr. Salinas from the Residence without requiring SWAT members to go inside. See id. The first step was to contain the Residence and call out Mr. Salinas. See id. If Mr. Salinas did not come out, the second step was to introduce tear gas into the Residence to try and force him out. See id. If the tear gas did not remove Mr. Salinas from the Residence, the third step was to conduct a “limited breach of the home, ” with the front door as the primary point of entry, and the back door as the secondary point of entry in the event the front door was barricaded. See id; see also Pl.'s SOF, No. 15 (Docket No. 29, Att. 2) (initially stating that “SWAT gave no consideration to the fact that West had given officers the key to her home, ” but going on to acknowledge nonetheless that “[u]sing the key to enter the home and apprehend Salinas is later described as a ‘possibility' but a ‘last resort.'”) (internal citations omitted); Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 28-29 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1); but see Defs.' Stmt. of Disp. Facts, No. 3 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2) (“If the officers needed to breach the home, the third step of the tactical plan required police officers to enter the home through the front door using the key. In executing the plan, police officers used the key to unlock the front door, but the door was locked with a chain.”) (internal citations omitted). Commander Seevers approved the tactical plan and the SWAT Team “conducted dry runs at the police station to practice the plan.” Defs.' SOF, No. 21 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2).

         15. The SWAT Team (consisting of 18 officers) arrived at the Residence at approximately 5:23 p.m., parking an armored vehicle in front of the Residence. See id. at No. 25; see also Am. Compl., ¶ 28 (Docket No. 20). Plaintiff was not there at this time. See Pl.'s Stmt. of Add'l Facts, No. 36 (Docket No. 34, Att. 1). The SWAT Team made PA announcements requesting Salinas to come out of the Residence. See Defs. SOF, No. 25 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2). Mr. Salinas did not come out. See id.

         16. At 5:42 p.m., the SWAT Team deployed tear gas into the Residence, using a 12-gauge shotgun to shoot tear gas canisters through windows and, in one instance, the garage door since the garage had no windows to shoot through. See id.; see also Pl.'s SOF, Nos. 17-18 (Docket No. 29, Att. 2). The SWAT Team waited approximately one-and-one-half hours for the tear gas to spread throughout the Residence, continuing to call out Mr. Salinas in the meantime. See id. Again, Mr. Salinas did not come out. See Defs.' SOF, No. 25 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2).[4]

         17. At 7:12 p.m., the SWAT Team attempted to enter the Residence, using the key to unlock the front door and the deadbolt, however the front door was chained shut. See id. The entry team then moved to the secondary entry point (the back door) - the glass in the back door was already removed from deploying the tear gas, so the entry team was able to make entry by reaching an arm through the broken glass and unlocking the back door. See id.; see also Pl.'s SOF, No. 20 (Docket No. 29, Att. 2). After entering the Residence, the entry team “held” and called out for Mr. Salinas, but received no response. Defs.' SOF, No. 25 (Docket No. 33, Att. 2). The entry team continued to move into the Residence, hold, and then call out for Mr. Salinas. See id.

         18. Eventually, the entry team searched the entire Residence but Salinas was not located; indeed, he had apparently left ...


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.