It began with a Los Angeles public defender's “wounded pride.” A sheriff's deputy had handcuffed her and dragged her through a courthouse. It ballooned into a federal case that has been estimated to cost taxpayers $1 million.
In a ruling written by Judge Alex Kozinski, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Friday that a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy may be held liable for wrongfully arresting Deputy Public Defender Florentina Demuth after she failed to respond to a judge's page to come to court.
At the same time, the court chastised all those involved, including Los Angeles judges and the public defender, for allowing a “tiff” to erupt into a full-blown lawsuit, trial and appeal that has lasted five years at a cost that will dwarf the $40,000 Demuth sought in damages.
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