Sebastian v. Douglas CountyAnnotate this Case
Petitioner Fabian Sebastian filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 (2014) action against Douglas County, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver, and Deputy Greg Black. Petitioner alleged his Fourth Amendment right was violated when he was attacked by a K-9 police dog. The dog was released by the deputy to seize two suspects who fled a vehicle and climbed a fence; petitioner was sitting with his hands up, in the vehicle's backseat. Petitioner failed to respond to the County's motion to dismiss, then moved to set aside the resulting dismissal, claiming excusable neglect. The trial court denied petitioner's motion, and petitioner appealed. The court of appeals reversed and remanded the case for a full three-factor analysis under "Goodman Assocs., LLC v. Mountain Properties, LLC." The trial court performed the analysis, again denied petitioner's motion. On appeal, petitioner argued the appellate court erred in its conclusion that he did not allege a meritorious claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, but on narrower grounds: petitioner failed to allege a meritorious claim because his allegations regarding an intentional seizure consisted only of legal conclusions.