C. B. v. City of Sonora, et al., No. 11-17454 (9th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
This case arose out of the handcuffing and removal from school of then eleven-year-old C.B. by Sonora Police officers. The district court rendered a verdict ostensibly in favor of defendants, but the district court concluded that the verdict was incomplete and inconsistent and directed them to re-deliberate. On appeal, the court concluded that the unscripted supplemental jury instructions, together with the problematic verdict form, gave the jury the misimpression that its initial answers to Questions 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 were internally inconsistent and needed to be revised. The court also concluded that Officers McIntosh and Prock were entitled to qualified immunity with regard to plaintiff's claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983 because the law was, and still is, not "clearly established" that handcuffing and driving a juvenile from school to a relative's place of business implicated Fourth Amendment rights. Accordingly, the court vacated the verdict and judgments, remanding for further proceedings. The district court was instructed to enter judgment as a matter of law in favor of individual defendants McIntosh and Prock as to the 1983 claims. The court did not address whether defendants were entitled to an offset of the amount paid in settlement by the school district and one of the school's teachers.