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Date: 03-29-2023

Case Style:

Mary Tomelloso and Ruben H. Tomelloso v. City of Vacaville, et al.

Case Number: 2:21-CV-507

Judge: Marrison C. England, Jr.

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of California (Sacramento County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Asha Jameson and Richard W. Osman

Description: Sacramento, California civil rights lawyer represented Plaintiffs who sued Defendants claiming there their Constitutional rights were violated.

Plaintiff Ruben Tomelloso (“Ruben”) alleges that his home was illegally searched, and he was handcuffed while that search was conducted, without a warrant and absent probable cause. Ruben's wife, Mary Tomelloso (“Mary”), while not present at the time of the search, is also a named Plaintiff. Defendants include two City of Vacaville (“City”) police officers who engaged in the search, Nathan Benevides and Daniel Torres, as well as the City itself. Plaintiffs' lawsuit asserts five separate causes of action, which include a claim for violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 as well as state common law claims for assault and battery, false imprisonment, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. After the matter was initiated in state court, Defendants removed the matter here, citing federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 given Plaintiffs' assertion of a federal § 1983 claim.

According to Plaintiffs' Complaint, on the afternoon of January 22, 2020, numerous City police officers, including Defendants Benevides and Torres, arrived at 372 Elsinore Drive in Vacaville, California, where the Tomellosos, who have been married over fifty years, have lived since approximately 1988. Ruben, who is retired, was the only one at home and the officers told him they were there to search both his home and the vehicles in his driveway. The officers allegedly declined to respond when Ruben asked whether they had a valid search warrant. Instead, they removed Ruben from the house and locked handcuffs “onto his wrists with great force” that caused “significant pain.” Pls.' Compl., ECF No. 1, Ex. A, ¶ 18. The officers then forced Ruben to sit outside, in the cold and in “clear view of all his neighbors, ” while they searched the entire property, including at least one of the Tomelloso vehicles, during the next 45 to 90 minutes. Id. at ¶ 14.

Once Ruben was allowed to return inside after the officers departed, he found “personal property strewn about the house, drawers and cabinets open, and the house in general disarray.” Id. at ¶ 17. Ruben claims at no time was he informed of the legal basis for his search and detention, and Plaintiffs claim that the officers found no evidence of any crime and took nothing from the home as potential evidence. Plaintiffs further allege that at no time were they ever charged with or prosecuted for a crime as a result of the search.

Outcome: 03/29/2023 26 STIPULATION and ORDER signed by Senior Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. on 3/28/2023 ORDERING that this action is DISMISSED with prejudice in its entirety as to all Defendants. Each side shall bear their own fees and costs, and the Clerk of Court is directed to close the case. CASE CLOSED. (Mena-Sanchez, L) (Entered: 03/29/2023)

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