Edgerly v. City & County of San Francisco

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Rights § 1983
  • Date Filed: 04-10-2013
  • Case #: 11-15655
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Fisher for the Court; Circuit Judges Noonan and Nguyen
  • Full Text Opinion

Consistent with California Court of Appeal's decisions and the statute's plain language, California Penal Code § 853.5 provides the exclusive grounds for the custodial arrest of a person arrested for an infraction.

Erris Edgerly, a housing cooperative non-resident, brought a 42 USC § 1983 action against two San Francisco Police Department officers, John Conefrey and David Goff, and the City and County of San Francisco, alleging claims for false arrest and unlawful search after being arrested for a trespass infraction. On a previous appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment on the § 1983 claim but reversed the district court’s grant of judgment in favor of the defendants for the state law false arrest claim. Defendants, on remand, raised a new argument contending that Cal. Penal Code § 853.6, which governed procedures for release and grounds for non-release of the custodial arrest of a person arrested for a misdemeanor, also applied to the custodial arrest of a person arrested for an infraction. The district court agreed and entered a judgment in favor of the defendants. The Ninth Circuit vacated in part the district court’s judgment in favor of the defendants on the state law false arrest claim and held that, consistent with California Court of Appeal decisions and the statute’s plain language, Cal. Penal Code § 853.5 provides exclusive grounds for custodial arrests for infractions. The panel rejected defendants’ contention that the broader grounds for non-release in § 853.6(i) also applied to the custodial arrest of a person arrested for an infraction. Additionally, the panel affirmed in part the district court’s judgment on the unlawful search claims, holding that the district court’s error in submitting three of the non-release grounds in § 853.6(i) to the jury did not taint the jury’s finding that he was not unlawfully searched. AFFIRMED in part, VACATED in part and REMANDED.

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