WORK WITH US
LCW Partner Suzanne Solomon And Associate Abigail Clark Convince The Ninth Circuit That A Probationary Police Officer’s Release Was Lawful
An LCW team led by Partner Suzanne Solomon and Associate Abigail Clark won an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a city client.
The case arose after a police officer was released on probation. A public outcry had occurred in the wake of the discovery that the officer had been charged with excessive use of force in his prior employment. The police officer sued the city, alleging that his release was an arbitrary and capricious government action that violated his substantive due process rights.
To prevail on a substantive due process claim, the police officer had to show that his government employer took a specific action, such as a governmental “blacklist”, that effectively excluded him from his chosen profession of law enforcement. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the District Court that the officer had failed to allege that: he had been blacklisted from the police force; and the city was otherwise responsible for the public outcry over his hiring. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of leave to amend, concluding that the District Court had acted within its discretion in determining that leave to amend would be futile.