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Norton v. Arpaio

United States District Court, D. Arizona

September 26, 2018

Lisa Norton, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Joseph M. Arpaio, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          HONORABLE STEVEN P. LOGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant Maricopa County's Motion for Summary Judgment (Docs. 207, 208[1]), Plaintiffs' Response (Docs. 209, 210[2]), and Defendant Maricopa County's Reply (Docs. 216, 217[3]). For the reasons stated below, Maricopa County's motion is denied in part and granted in part as set forth below.

         I. Background[4]

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff Bret Frimmel owns and operates Uncle Sam's restaurants through Plaintiffs Pishka, Inc. and BRF Enterprises, LLC. (Doc. 197 ¶¶ 1, 2; Doc. 202 ¶¶ 1, 2.) At all times relevant to this action, Defendant Arpaio was the Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. (Doc. 197 ¶ 4; Doc. 202 ¶ 4.) At all times relevant to this action, Defendant Henderson was a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (“MCSO”) deputy employed by Maricopa County. (Doc. 197 ¶ 7; Doc. 202 ¶ 7.) At all times relevant to this action, Henderson was assigned to the MCSO Criminal Employment Unit (“CEU”) and was in charge of the investigation of the alleged identity theft at the Uncle Sam's restaurants. (Doc. 197 ¶¶ 8, 13; Doc. 208 ¶ 7.) Henderson applied for and obtained three search warrants for both Uncle Sam's restaurants and Frimmel's personal residence. (Doc. 197 ¶ 18; Doc. 208 ¶ 16.) Henderson also provided probable cause statements that were used to obtain the search warrants for Frimmel. (Doc. 197 ¶ 19; Doc. 208 ¶ 18.) Henderson provided two case updates to his supervisors in the CEU and Arpaio during his investigation. (Doc. 210 ¶ 20; Doc. 202 ¶ 19.) Detective Cesar Brockman was Henderson's supervisor, but it is disputed whether Brockman actually reviewed the search warrants at issue. (Doc. 210 ¶ 24; Doc. 202 ¶ 16.) Sergeant Whelan-Gonzalez worked in the CEU in 2013, but it is disputed whether Whelan-Gonzalez reviewed two of the search warrants at issue. (Doc. 210 ¶ 28; Doc. 202 ¶ 28.)

         On July 17, 2013, Henderson and other MCSO deputies executed the search warrants at two Uncle Sam's restaurants and Frimmel's personal residence. (Doc. 197 ¶ 31; Doc. 202 ¶ 31.) On January 22, 2014, Henderson and other MCSO deputies arrested Frimmel for charges related to trafficking in identify theft, identify theft, conspiracy, and forgery. (Doc. 197 ¶ 47; Doc. 202 ¶ 47.) On February 7, 2014, a grand jury indicted Frimmel based on testimony from Henderson. (Doc. 197 ¶ 78; Doc. 202 ¶ 78.) On May 16, 2014, Frimmel filed a motion for a Franks hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court. (Doc. 197 ¶ 80; Doc. 202 ¶ 80.) On April 15, 2015, the Superior Court found that, based on numerous errors in the affidavits, there was no probable cause to issue the warrants and voided them. (Doc. 197 ¶¶ 81-83; Doc. 202 ¶¶ 81-83.) On April 23, 2015, all remaining charges against Frimmel were dismissed. (Doc. 197 ¶ 85; Doc. 202 ¶ 85.)

         B. Procedural History

         On January 20, 2015, Plaintiffs filed complaints in federal court. (Doc. 1 of 2:15-cv-00087-SPL; Doc. 1 of 2:15-cv-00088-SRB.) On June 5, 2015, those cases were consolidated under this Case No. 2:15-cv-00087-SPL. On June 19, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint (the “Complaint.”) (Doc. 25-1.) On January 19 and 20, 2017, the parties filed motions for full and partial summary judgment. (Docs. 170, 173, 175.) On September 29, 2017, the Court denied those motions with leave to re-file. (Doc. 195.) On October 30, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their renewed motion for summary judgment against Maricopa County, Arpaio, and Henderson. (Doc. 196.) On November 29, 2017, Maricopa County filed its response. (Doc. 200.) Also on November 29, 2017, Arpaio and Henderson filed their response. (Doc. 201.) On December 12, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their reply. (Doc. 204.)

         On February 16, 2018, Maricopa County filed its Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 207.) On March 6, 2018, Plaintiffs filed their response. (Doc. 209.) On March 22, 2018, Maricopa County filed its reply. (Doc. 216.) On September 25, 2018, the Court entered its Order as to Plaintiffs' Summary Judgment Motion. (Doc. 230.)

         II. Standard of Review

          A court must grant summary judgment “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). Material facts are those facts “that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A genuine dispute of material fact arises if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id.

         The party moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the record, together with affidavits, which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. If the movant is able to do so, the burden then shifts to the non- movant who “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, ” and, instead, must “come forward with ‘specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986).

         III. Discussion

         Maricopa County moved for summary judgment against Plaintiff BRF Enterprises, LLC for lack of standing and against all Plaintiffs ...


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