LBAC PREVAILS IN THE NINTH CIRCUIT IN AN ELEVENTH AMENDMENT IMMUNITY CASE

Plaintiff John Zabasky alleged that the District Attorney’s Office wrongfully re-filed criminal charges against him in an effort to assist American International Group, Inc. and American Home Insurance Co. in gaining a strategic advantage in a prior civil lawsuit. Plaintiff alleged his civil rights were violated under § 1983 and sought to recover the costs of defending against the criminal action, the loss of value to his company, and emotional distress. The District Attorney’s Office filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that the District Attorney’s Office was acting on behalf of the State, rather than the County, when it filed charges against Plaintiff. The district court granted the motion, dismissing the action with prejudice. Plaintiff appealed and the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal, holding that it was acting as a State office in prosecuting Plaintiff and was, therefore, immune under the Eleventh Amendment.