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Webb v. Sloan

330 F.3d 1158 (2003)

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Webb v. Sloan

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

330 F.3d 1158 (2003)

Facts

Deputy Darrin Sloan (defendant) of Carson City, Nevada (defendant) was in pursuit of a suspect in a vehicle chase. The suspect got out of his own car and fled. Sloan pursued on foot, eventually losing track of the suspect. Another deputy located a man, David Webb (plaintiff), lying down behind a car in a nearby parking lot. Sloan thought Webb was the suspect. However, Sloan observed that Webb’s clothes were different from the suspect’s clothes. Webb was arrested and taken into custody. Later, Sloan told Melanie Bruketta, the district attorney, that he did not believe Webb was the suspect he had originally been chasing. Bruketta charged Webb with multiple traffic offenses and obstructing police officers. Deputy District Attorney Ray Oster offered to drop the traffic charges if Webb pleaded guilty to the obstruction charge. Webb refused. The traffic charges were soon dropped anyway. The case was transferred to Chief Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer, who offered to drop the obstruction charge if Webb would sign a waiver of civil liability. Webb refused this offer as well. Webb was acquitted of the obstruction charge at trial. Webb then sued Carson City for violation of his civil rights in federal district court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Carson City argued that it could not be held liable for the actions of a district attorney. A jury found that Carson City was liable and awarded Webb $80,000. Carson City appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Graber, J.)

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