Soto
v.
Doña Ana Cnty.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICOMar 14, 2012
CIV 10-1104 KBM/GBW (D.N.M. Mar. 14, 2012)

CIV 10-1104 KBM/GBW

03-14-2012

ISELA SOTO, as Personal Representative of the Estate of JAVIER JOSE SOTO, Decedent, Plaintiff v. DONA ANA COUNTY, DONA ANA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, DONA ANA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY ERIC LOPEZ, individually and in his official capacity, VILLAGE OF HATCH, VILLAGE OF HATCH POLICE DEPARTMENT, and VILLAGE OF HATCH POLICE OFFICER MIKE VEGA, individually and in his official capacity, Defendants.


ORDER ON THE COUNTY DEFENDANTS'

MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on the County Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, filed January 18, 2011 (Doc. 13) ("Motion"). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and FED.R.CIV.P. 73(b), the parties consented to have me serve as the presiding judge and enter final judgment. See Docs. 5, 6, 7. The Court has carefully reviewed the parties' submissions and the relevant authorities and finds as follows:

(1) Plaintiff agrees that Counts IV, V, and VI are alleged solely against Defendant Village of Hatch. Response to County Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings at ¶ 4, filed February 15, 2011 (Doc. 27) ("Response");

(2) Plaintiff concedes that all claims should be dismissed against Defendant Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office because "the Sheriff's Office is simply a division of the County of Dona County" and, as such, cannot qualify as a "person" under Section 1983." See Response at ¶ 3;

(3) Plaintiff also agrees dismissal is appropriate as to all claims Counts III, VII, and VIII. See Response at ¶ 6; and

(4) The County Defendants' arguments as to the Section 1983 claims in Counts I and II against Defendant Eric Lopez in his individual capacity are better addressed in the context of the pending motion for summary judgment (Doc. 11).

Wherefore,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the County Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 13) is granted in part. All claims against Defendants Dona Ana County and Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office are dismissed with prejudice. The conspiracy claim in Count III is also dismissed with prejudice. In all other respects, the motion is denied.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that in light of these rulings, the caption no longer refer to Dona Ana County and Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office.

________________________


UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE


Presiding by Consent