Jul 21

Stewart Estes

Stew Estes Wins in Ninth Circuit

by Stewart Estes

Stew recently prevailed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which affirmed a dismissal on a Rule 12(c) motion on behalf of the City of Spokane. This Civil Rights Act lawsuit was filed by three Idaho bounty hunters. They were arrested by the Spokane Police and charged with crimes after they stormed a motel room to “retrieve” two low level drug addicts using OC gas and rifles.

Plaintiffs alleged that the officers and the City violated their rights under the Fourth and Eighth amendments, and committed Brady violations and malicious prosecution, in addition to state law torts. Judge Peterson of the Eastern District dismissed all the claims, despite one of the Plaintiffs being acquitted at trial. The Court of Appeals affirmed all of the rulings, holding in part that Brady does not apply to plea bargains, Heck v. Humphrey barred some claims, and one who pleads guilty cannot sue for malicious prosecution. Spokane Assistant City Attorney Sam Faggiano was co-counsel on the matter.

“Steve Thorsrud of Keating, Bucklin and McCormack was my lawyer. He put me at ease, and he did a great job of representing me through trial.”

Clarence Tolliver, Seattle, WA