City to pay $60,000 in search of home

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Beyond the $60,000, the city has not determined its legal costs related to the case. But James S. Muller, Mena’s attorney, said his fees add up to more than $200,000. He estimates the city will have spent up to $1 million defending a case his client would have settled for $20,000. “It’s a product of an arrogant attitude on the part of the Simi Valley city attorney and City Council that their police officers can do no wrong,” Muller said. “The bottom line is they were wrong. They treated her as if she were just completely without any rights … like she was nothing.” The question before the high court was how far police can go in searching homes and questioning occupants without violating their civil rights. The ruling gave police nationwide more direction on how they can conduct searches. The lawsuit stemmed from a February 1998 search of a Patricia Avenue home for a weapon believed to have been used in a gang-related shooting. SIMI VALLEY – After spending eight years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight a case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the city has agreed to pay a $60,000 judgment to a woman who claimed police violated her civil rights during a search of her home. While the Supreme Court ruled that police could detain residents with handcuffs during a search, it sent the civil case back to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to determine whether Iris Mena remained handcuffed too long after the search concluded. The appellate court ruled last month in favor of Mena, and city officials said Tuesday they decided not to appeal the $60,000 judgment awarded by the original jury. “The city clearly was the victor in terms of the protection of rights of the police officers to defend their community,” City Manager Mike Sedell said. “After almost eight years of legal frustration and winning at the Supreme Court, it became a business decision.” Angie Valencia-Martinez, (805) 583-7604 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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