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Order Re Arpaio MSJ 12-23-11

Order Re Arpaio MSJ 12-23-11

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Published by ray stern

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Published by: ray stern on Dec 24, 2011
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10/13/2013

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONAThomas Lovejoy and Carolyn Lovejoy,husband and wife,Plaintiffs,vs.Sheriff Joseph Arpaio and Ava Arpaio,husband and wife,Defendants.No. CV09-1912-PHX-NVW
 ORDER
Case 2:09-cv-01912-NVW Document 115 Filed 12/23/11 Page 1 of 43
 
 - 2 -12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728I.
 
Facts .............................................................................................................................. 3
 
A.
 
Bandit’s Death ....................................................................................................... 3
 
B.
 
The Investigation ................................................................................................... 5
 
C.
 
Lovejoy’s Arrest .................................................................................................... 8
 
D.
 
Simonson’s Interview with Lovejoy’s Defense Attorney ................................... 11
 
E.
 
The Decision to Take the Case to Trial ............................................................... 15
 
F.
 
The Trial ............................................................................................................... 19
 
G.
 
The Lovejoys’ Alleged Injuries ........................................................................... 20
 
II.
 
Summary Judgment Standard .................................................................................. 20
 
III.
 
Admissibility of Certain Evidence .......................................................................... 21
 
IV.
 
Summary of Arguments .......................................................................................... 22
 
V.
 
Probable Cause & Qualified Immunity ................................................................... 23
 
A.
 
Probable Cause Generally .................................................................................... 23
 
B.
 
Effect of Ariz. R. Crim. P. 20 Motion ................................................................. 24
 
C.
 
Proper Focus of Probable Cause & Qualified Immunity Inquiries ...................... 25
 
D.
 
Lack of Probable Cause & Qualified Immunity .................................................. 27
 
VI.
 
Arpaio’s Alleged Personal Involvement ................................................................. 33
 
A.
 
The Decision to Arrest and Charge ...................................................................... 33
 
B.
 
The Decision to Continue Prosecuting ................................................................ 36
 
VII.
 
Municipal Liability .................................................................................................. 40
 
VIII.
 
Equal Protection ................................................................................................... 41
 
Case 2:09-cv-01912-NVW Document 115 Filed 12/23/11 Page 2 of 43
 
 - 3 -12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728In this action, Chandler Police Sergeant Thomas Lovejoy seeks damages fromMaricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio (in his individual and official capacities) forLovejoy’s allegedly unconstitutional arrest and prosecution arising out of the death of Lovejoy’s police dog. Sheriff Arpaio has moved for summary judgment, arguing thatLovejoy lacks evidence to connect Arpaio to the arrest and prosecution, and that variouslegal doctrines shield him from liability in any event. (Doc. 92
as corrected by
Doc.94-1.)On the record before the Court, the arrest and prosecution were obviouslyunconstitutional, and Lovejoy has enough evidence from which a jury could infer thatArpaio acted to ensure Lovejoy was arrested and prosecuted anyway. Summary judgment will therefore be denied as to the false arrest and malicious prosecution claims.Summary judgment will be granted, however, on Lovejoy’s equal protection claimbecause he has not shown that he was similarly situated to other police officers whosedogs died under their care.
I.
 
FACTS
1
 A.
 
Bandit’s Death
Plaintiff Thomas Lovejoy is a police sergeant employed by the City of Chandler.During the time period relevant to this lawsuit, Lovejoy was the supervising sergeant forthe Chandler Police Department’s K-9 unit. Lovejoy’s K-9 partner was a BelgianMalinois named Bandit. Bandit would ride in a special kennel at the back of Lovejoy’spolice SUV.Lovejoy’s and Bandit’s regular duty shift was from 6:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.,Monday through Thursday. From Monday, August 6 through Thursday, August 9, 2007,Lovejoy and Bandit worked their regular duty shifts. On Friday, August 10, Lovejoy
1
These facts are undisputed unless attributed to a party. If a factual assertion wasobjected to for no other reason than immateriality, the Court has deemed that factundisputed.
Case 2:09-cv-01912-NVW Document 115 Filed 12/23/11 Page 3 of 43

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