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Domai v. Wooldridge

United States District Court, D. Utah

March 28, 2019

GUY M. DOMAI, Plaintiff,
v.
STEVEN B. WOOLDRIDGE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION TO DISMISS

          CLARK WADDOUPS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Guy M. Domai asserts a claim against Sergeant Steven B. Wooldridge based on an incident that occurred on Sunday, August 19, 2017 in a public park. Mr. Domai was detained, questioned, and then transported to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. Mr. Domai asserts his constitutional rights were violated during the incident. Sergeant Wooldridge filed a Motion to Dismiss. On December 20, 2018, a Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation, which recommends that Mr. Domai's Amended Complaint (ECF N. 9) be dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim. Report & Recommendation, at 7 (ECF No. 28). Mr. Domai filed an Objection to it (ECF No. 33). For the reasons stated below, the court declines to adopt the Report and Recommendation and grants in part and denies in part the Motion to Dismiss.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Mr. Domai's Allegations

         Mr. Domai asserts he was at Liberty Park on Sunday, August 19, 2017, working on cases he had filed in court.[1] Around 11:00 a.m., he took a break to eat. Shortly afterwards, he observed Sergeant Wooldridge talking with two individuals who had been playing volleyball at the park. The two individuals allegedly were pointing at Mr. Domai as they talked to Sergeant Wooldridge. Mr. Domai further asserts that about five minutes later two other police cars arrived, and those officers were then seen talking with Sergeant Wooldridge and the two volleyball players. Two officers subsequently approached him “aggressively . . . as if they wanted to arrest him.” Amended Complaint, at 2 (ECF No. 9).

         Mr. Domai asserts he stood up from the park bench and started backing away from the officers. In response, “[t]he officers started following him, telling him to not be scared, that everything will be ok.” Id. Mr. Domai asserts he kept backing up and asking them why they were “charging” him. Id. He then stopped and the officers immediately put him in handcuffs. When he asked them why they were detaining him, the officers responded “that somebody called in and claimed that the plaintiff was deliberately making threats to people there with a knife.” Id.

         Mr. Domai denied the allegation “and asked who made that complaint.” Sergeant Wooldridge, the “highest officer on duty, refused to provide that information.”[2] Id.

         The Amended Complaint asserts one cause of action for a violation of due process. Although not stated expressly, the claim appears to have been brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on the elements Mr. Domai asserts he has to prove. Mr. Domai asserts he has to show (1) “a constitutionally protected property interest, ” and (2) “[t]hat He was deprived of that interest without due process.” Amended Complaint, at 3. He asserts he had the constitutionally protected “right to know what He was being accused of.” Id. He further asserts he was deprived of his rights because “the officers prevented the plaintiff the right to defend himself or offer an explaination [sic] to the so called crime that He was being accused of.” Id.

         CAD Call

         When Sergeant Wooldridge filed his motion to dismiss, he attached a copy of the Salt Lake City Police Department CAD Call to the motion on the basis that “Mr. Domai referred to the report made to the police in his Complaint.” Mot. to Dismiss, at 2 n.3 (ECF No. 15). The CAD Call stated a caller and a second-party caller were on scene reporting an incident in progress. CAD Call, at 3 (ECF No. 15-1). The caller reported that a man was walking around with a kitchen knife 6 to 7 inches long. Id. at 1, 3. The caller then reported the man was sitting at a table near the volleyball courts, and “was on his phone stating ‘I am right here, I can handle it.'” Id. at 1. Sergeant Wooldridge arrived on the scene at 13:56:59. Id. He reported “walking in from north end” at 13:58:06. Id. By 13:59:45 he had a “visual of susp w/of north men's room.” Id. About a minute later at 14:00:52, Sergeant Wooldridge reported “M was rambling talking about slashing people in face.” Id. Four minutes later, Sergeant Wooldridge requested a different supervisor also be on the scene because he and the “susp don't have positive prior interaction.” Id. at 1-2. The report then confirms that Mr. Domai was transported to the University of Utah for a psychological evaluation. Id. at 2.

         Notably, the events in the CAD Call occurred on Sunday, August 14, 2016 around 2:00 p.m. Mr. Domai asserts the events in his complaint occurred on Sunday, August 19, 2017 around 11:00 a.m. The complaint and CAD Call differ as to the day of the month, year, and time.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Sergeant Wooldridge filed a Motion to Dismiss on May 7, 2018 (ECF No. 15). Mr. Domai asked for two extensions of time to respond, which were granted. Orders Extending Time (ECF Nos. 18, 25). The orders extended the time to respond until August 30, 2018.

         In the interim, Mr. Domai filed a 48-page document of proposed subpoenas to various officers. Subpoena Requests (ECF No. 22). Among other items, the proposed subpoenas contain interrogatories to various individuals, a request for the identity of the callers, and a request for the audio or video recording of Sergeant Wooldridge's conversation with the complainants because the CAD Call had their information redacted. See e.g., id. at 4, 10, 13. Mr. Domai further sought information to prove the incident at the park was “premeditated.” Id. at 15. He included “Notes to Court” that allege Salt Lake City is racist, law enforcement “constantly track down” through “scare and intimidation tactics, ” and this court engages in “quick, systematic and early discarding of cases by abusively using . . . court processes such as reports and recommendations” that deny cases “regardless of the true nature of the case.”[3] Id. at 9. Sergeant Wooldridge objected to the subpoenas on the grounds that they were improper and outside the scope of Rule 45 (ECF No. 21).

         On August 31, 2018, Mr. Domai filed a response contending that the subpoenas were appropriate. He also referenced the Motion to Dismiss and asserted he “was handcuffed, detained and taken to the University of Utah for psychological evaluation without his will, without probable cause or any comprehensible reason.” Response, at 1 (ECF No. 26) (emphasis added). He further asserted he needed discovery before he could respond to the Motion to Dismiss. Then, more than two months late, Mr. Domai filed his Memorandum in Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss on November 5, 2018 (ECF No. 27).

         On December 20, 2018, the Report and Recommendation was issued recommending that Mr. Domai's complaint be dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim. Report & Recommendation, at 7 (ECF No. 28). The Report was based on the same grounds stated in the Motion to Dismiss and on the standard under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). It informed Mr. Domai he had fourteen days to file an objection. Because the Report recommended dismissal, the Magistrate Judge declined to address Mr. Domai's proposed subpoenas Id. at 2.

         On January 7, 2019, eighteen days after the Report was entered, Mr. Domai sent an email to the court stating that he had not received the recommendation until January 4, 2019 because he had moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and that he would be asking for a continuance. Email (ECF No. 29). The Motion for Extension was received on January 10, 2019, and the court granted an extension until January 24, 2019 to file an Objection. Order, at 1 (ECF No. 32). Mr. ...


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