The suit, filed on or about Nov. 15 on behalf of John Bright by civil rights attorney Gary Casselman, claims the defendants violated Bright’s Second and Fourth Amendment rights by unreasonable seizure and warrantless search and seizure.
It also claims the defendants engaged in malicious prosecution and a conspiracy to deprive him of his civil rights and deprived him of due process.
In addition to the city, the lawsuit names former Police Chief Phil Hansen, Sgt. Jesus Valle, Officer Ricardo Arias, Officer Daniel Martinez and Does one through 10.
Casselman said the former police chief is included as a defendant because under his leadership the Police Department’s use of force policy was deficient and allowed officers in the field to do whatever they thought was reasonable.
The lawsuit asks for a jury trial but doesn’t specify any dollar amount sought as compensation.
“My client was really hurt by this,” Casselman said Friday, adding Bright’s reputation was damaged by felony charges being filed against him, his business failed as a result and ultimately he and his family were forced to move out of state.
Casselman said Bright was self-employed in the auto repossession field, but his legally possessed firearms were confiscated and not returned until several months after a judge dismissed the case.