Beets v. County of Los Angeles

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Law
  • Date Filed: 02-10-2012
  • Case #: 10-55036
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Callahan for the Court; Circuit Judge F. Fernandez and Chief District Judge R. Erickson
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Heck v. Humphrey , 512 U.S. 477 (1994), a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim is barred where the issue has already been considered and decided in another proceeding with a sufficient community of interest to the current proceeding.

Glenn Patrick Rose (“GPR”) was shot and killed by a Los Angeles Police Deputy while he and an accomplice (“Morales”) were attempting to flee from police. At the trial of Morales, the jury found Morales guilty of assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon and that the deputy acted within the scope of his employment and therefore did not use excessive force when firing at Morales and GPR. GPR’s parents filed an action under 42. U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the deputy used excessive force when he shot and killed GPR. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) bars plaintiff’s suit because the findings in Morales’ trial bars the attempt to show the deputy used excessive force. The court found that the deputy’s shooting of GPR was “within the temporal scope of [GPR’s and Morales’] crime.” The court further found that the criminal jury in Morales’ trial specifically considered the issue of excessive force and determined that the deputy’s actions were not excessive. Finally, the Ninth Circuit found that there is a sufficient “community of interest” between Morales and the plaintiffs so as to bind the plaintiffs to the criminal jury’s findings. AFFIRMED.

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