Headline: "Court: Atherton Resident Doesn't Have to Pay County's Legal Fees For Fighting His Suit"
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a man who lost his civil rights lawsuit against San Mateo County, Atherton and several of the town's police officers doesn't have to pay the county $145,434 in attorneys' fees.
In his suit, Atherton resident Jon Buckheit contended that San Mateo County and Atherton conspired to violate his rights by withholding a copy of a police report regarding his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence. A federal judge concluded the suit was frivolous and ordered him to pay the county's legal fees rung up in fighting it.
Buckheit appealed both rulings last year.
Though it agreed with the federal judge that there was no conspiracy, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Buckheit shouldn't have to pay the county's legal fees, because it doesn't want people to be discouraged from filing civil rights lawsuits.
In an email Tuesday, Buckheit said he was pleased with the decision, particularly since he believed the county had "highly inflated" its costs.
The County was supposed to have turned over a breakdown to show legal expenditures, but they have not.
I like the Court's statement that they don't want to send a message that would discourage people from filing civil lawsuits.
Surprised there's nothing on this from the Almanac. Weren't they the ones who first reported the Buckheit lawsuit way back when?
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