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Griego v. County of Maui

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

July 6, 2017



          Susan Oki Mollway United States District Judge.


         Defendants County of Maui, Anselm Yazaki, Aly Miyashiro, and Myles Won seek reconsideration of the order this court entered on March 29, 2017, granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendants assert but do not establish that their recent discovery of additional material warrants reconsideration of the order. This court denies the reconsideration motion.

         In their opposition papers, Plaintiffs Jason Griego and James Sanchez request an evidentiary hearing and ask this court to “suppress” the newly discovered evidence. This court will not apply “suppression” analyses applicable in criminal procedure to this civil case and therefore denies the request for “suppression” of evidence and for an evidentiary hearing in relation to the purported suppression motion. Plaintiffs' opposition papers also appear to include requests to compel discovery and for discovery sanctions. Those requests are denied.

         II. BACKGROUND.

         David Maniatis told police that two men had threatened him at his home in Wailea, Maui, on July 14, 2013. After speaking with Maniatis and several of his employees, Maui Police Department officers arrested Griego and Sanchez for Burglary in the First Degree. The officers also searched Griego's and Sanchez's hotel rooms for weapons. Griego and Sanchez were booked but ultimately released without charge.

         Griego and Sanchez filed the present lawsuit against the County and three individual police officers, asserting claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on alleged violations of the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, as well as state claims of false imprisonment or false arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence. Defendants sought summary judgment on all claims.

         On March 29, 2017, this court granted summary judgment to Defendant County of Maui on all § 1983 claims. See Griego v. Cty. of Maui, Civ. No. 15-00122, 2017 WL 1173912, at *24 (D. Haw. March 29, 2017). With respect to the § 1983 claims against the individual Defendants, this court granted summary judgment on the claims relating to alleged violations of the Fifth, Eighth, and Ninth Amendments, as well as with respect to any alleged violation of the Fourth Amendment relating to the fact of arrest. Id. The court denied summary judgment with respect to § 1983 claims relating to alleged Fourth Amendment violations concerning the manner of arrest and the searches for guns. Id.

         This court also granted summary judgment to all Defendants on the state law claims of false imprisonment/false arrest, and to the County on the negligent training/supervision/discipline claim. Id. With respect to the claim of negligence against the individual Defendants and the claim of respondeat superior liability on the part of the County, summary judgment was denied to the extent those claims related to the manner of arrest and the gun searches. Id. In all other respects, summary judgment was granted on the negligence and respondeat superior claims. Id. Finally, summary judgment was denied with respect to any intentional infliction of emotional distress claim relating to any matter remaining for further adjudication, but granted with respect to any alleged emotional distress growing out of alleged wrongdoing on which the court granted summary judgment to Defendants. Id.

         Summary judgment as to claims relating to the gun searches was denied given genuine issues of material fact. Id. at *19-23. While the Maui Police Department officers maintained that Griego and Sanchez had consented to the searches, Griego and Sanchez denied that they had consented. Id. at *19-21. This court was unable to determine what had actually occurred in the hotel rooms during the gun searches. Id. at *21. Qualified immunity in relation to the § 1983 claim relating to the gun searches was also denied; this court noted that, “given the uncertainty as to what the officers did, the court cannot possibly say whether the acts the officers took did or did not violate a constitutional right.” Id.

         Defendants seek reconsideration of a portion of the order filed on March 29, 2017, arguing that newly discovered evidence reveals that Sanchez's claim that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the gun search is “based on misrepresentations” to this court. ECF No. 173-1, PageID # 1239. Defendants say the additional evidence shows that Sanchez lied and committed perjury, which warrants a reversal of this court's ruling as to the claims concerning the gun searches. ECF No. 181, PageID # 1327.

         According to defense counsel, the new evidence was discovered after the summary judgment order issued. On May 1, 2017, as defense counsel was preparing for what was then the upcoming trial, defense counsel learned that now-retired Detective Myrna Sabas-Ryder had recorded some of her conversations with Griego and Sanchez “for report writing purposes.” ECF No. 173-3, PageID # 1245; ECF No. 173-2, PageID # 1240-41. According to Detective Sabas-Ryder, she typically deleted recordings after writing the part of the report addressing the conversations. ECF No. 173-2, PageID # 1241. She says she therefore did not turn in any recordings with her report. Id. Nor did she turn in any recordings relating to Griego's or Sanchez's inquiries as to the status of their case. Id. In her view, those inquiries did not relate directly to the substance of the investigation. Id. Detective Sabas-Ryder believed that, when she retired in 2015, she had turned in all work-related material and equipment. Id.

         At a meeting on May 1, 2017, Detective Sabas-Ryder told defense counsel that she was “not sure” she had any recordings and that the recordings “may not exist.” See ECF No. 173-3, PageID # 1246; see also ECF No. 173-2, PageID # 1241. Defense counsel nevertheless asked Detective Sabas-Ryder to look at home for any recordings. The detective then found two recorded conversations with Sanchez that were “still saved on a jump drive.” ECF No. 173-2, PageID #s 1241-42. According to Detective Sabas-Ryder, neither recording had been submitted with her report. Id., PageID # 1242.

         Counsel says that, before learning of the recordings, she had followed her “normal protocol” of submitting a request to the Chief of Police requesting all records relating to the case. ECF No. 173-3, PageID #s 1243-44. The Records Section of the Maui Police Department provided all relevant materials; no audio or video recordings were included. Id., PageID # 1243-45. Defense counsel notes that this was not unusual because recordings are ...

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