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Case Name Sabeghi v. UU PN-CA-0020
Docket / Court 3:12-CV-06057 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Occupy
Case Summary
The plaintiff, a demonstrator involved in the Occupy Oakland protest movement, alleged that in the early morning hours of November 3, 2011, he was wrongfully beaten and imprisoned by two Oakland police officers, in the presence and with the approval of their supervising Sergeant. He alleged that ... read more >
The plaintiff, a demonstrator involved in the Occupy Oakland protest movement, alleged that in the early morning hours of November 3, 2011, he was wrongfully beaten and imprisoned by two Oakland police officers, in the presence and with the approval of their supervising Sergeant. He alleged that the day prior he had participated, with several thousand other individuals, in a protest against recent police brutality and for economic justice. After the protest he went for dinner, and when walking home after midnight he encountered a police line obstructing his path. The plaintiff, an Army veteran of the war in Afghanistan, alleged that he questioned and criticized the officers' actions, and that in retaliation to his criticism two of the officers brutally beat him with clubs, sprayed painful chemicals in his face, and then arrested him. The beating caused lacerations to his spleen and internal bleeding, but rather than taking the plaintiff to a hospital, the police detained him in handcuffs at various locations near Oakland City Hall and then later transferred him to the Alameda County Jail. He was not taken to a hospital until approximately 18 hours after his arrest, after a friend paid his bail. He alleges that while detained his pleas for help were mocked or ignored by jail personal, including the jail medical staff. When he was taken to the hospital, his internal bleeding was discovered. The medical staff had to permanently cut off blood flow to his spleen, leaving him with a non-functioning organ. He was kept in intensive care for five days.

The plaintiff filed the lawsuit on November 29, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit was filed against the officers individually and in their official capacities, against other unknown individuals involved in his detention, and against the City of Oakland. The suit was filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and alleged that the police's actions violated his First Amendment right to free speech, his Fourteenth Amendment rights to equal protection and due process, and the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as his rights to be free from excessive and arbitrary force, to personal liberty, and to freedom of movement. He also alleged analogous violations of California constitutional and statutory law, and a California statute requiring that certain misdemeanor plaintiffs be cited and released rather than jailed. Other allegations included assault and battery, false imprisonment, and negligence. The plaintiff sought compensatory, statutory, and punitive and exemplary damages, attorneys' fees and legal costs, and further relief as deemed appropriate by the court.

On January 7, 2013, the plaintiff amended his complaint. The amended complaint appears to be substantially the same as his first complaint, expect with a paragraph describing the injury to his spleen in more specific terms. The parties entered into settlement negotiations.

After two settlement conferences, the parties reached a settlement agreement which was ordered by the court on January 30, 2014. The Defendants paid $645,000 to the plaintiff to compensate his claims including attorney's fees. The case is closed.

Alex Colbert-Taylor - 07/09/2013
Will McCartney - 03/23/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Conditions of confinement
Excessive force
False arrest
Over/Unlawful Detention
Personal injury
Restraints : physical
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) City of Oakland
Two Oakland Police Officers and a Police Sergeant
Plaintiff Description A U.S. Army veteran involved in the Occupy Oakland movement, who was severely beaten by Oakland police officers and permanently lost the use of his spleen.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:12−cv−06057 (N.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0020-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/30/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Violation of Civil Rights and Other Wrongs; Jury Trial Demanded [ECF# 1]
PN-CA-0020-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/27/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Violation of Civil Rights and Other Wrongs [ECF# 3]
PN-CA-0020-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/07/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation for Entry of Final Order of Dismissal [ECF# 33]
PN-CA-0020-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/30/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Beeler, Laurel (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PN-CA-0020-9000
Corley, Jacqueline Scott (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PN-CA-0020-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cunningham, Dennis (California)
PN-CA-0020-0001 | PN-CA-0020-0002 | PN-CA-0020-9000
Lederman, Rachel (California)
PN-CA-0020-0001 | PN-CA-0020-0002 | PN-CA-0020-0003 | PN-CA-0020-9000
Stein, Bobby Fay (California)
PN-CA-0020-0001 | PN-CA-0020-0002 | PN-CA-0020-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hodgkins, James
PN-CA-0020-0003
Simmons, William Edmond (California)
PN-CA-0020-9000

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