LBAC WINS SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR ORANGE COUNTY IN OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING CASE

On October 19, 2016, United States District Court Judge James V. Selna granted summary judgment in favor of Orange County in a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 excessive force case, Celis v. County of Orange, Case No. SACV 15-00299 JVS (JCGx). In granting summary judgment, the Court rejected Plaintiff’s claim that the County had a policy or custom that led to a violation of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff’s lawsuit alleged that Sheriff’s Deputies used excessive force during apprehension and arrest, and that deputies discriminated against him on the basis of his race. The incident in question began when deputies responded to a request for assistance and found Plaintiff asleep in his car in a drive-thru. Plaintiff woke up and rammed his vehicle into a deputy’s patrol car before leading deputies on a car chase. During the chase, Plaintiff rammed the deputy’s vehicle again, and the deputy responded by firing one shot at Plaintiff which lacerated his forearm. Soon after, Plaintiff’s vehicle came to a stop and he was removed from the car. The Court held that, as a matter of law, Plaintiff lacked sufficient evidence of any County policy of excessive force or racial bias.