Skip to comments.Calguns Foundation Defends Innocent Gun Owner From Criminal Charges, Secures $35,800 Settlement
Posted on 05/19/2012 6:48:08 AM PDT by marktwain
San Carlos, CA (May 14, 2012) In an excellent conclusion to another federal civil rights lawsuit, The Calguns Foundation has secured a settlement agreement from defendants the City of Calexico, the Calexico Police Department, Chief of Police James Neujahr, and Calexico PD officer Mario Alcaraz. The case, Ian James Farias v. City of Calexico, et al., alleged that the defendants violated Mr. Farias Fourth Amendment rights by improperly arresting him and seizing his lawfully-possessed shotgun. The lawsuit also alleged that the Calexico PD failed to properly train their officers on firearms issues, leading to Mr. Farias arrest.
Mr. Farias had been driving through the Imperial County town of Calexico in late January, 2010, when Officer Alcaraz pulled Mr. Farias over for an alleged traffic violation. After receiving consent to search the back seat of the vehicle, Officer Alcaraz observed Mr. Farias shotgun which was being transported unloaded and exposed on the back seat and arrested Mr. Farias for an alleged violation of Penal Code section 12025 (a statute criminalizing the unlicensed carry of a concealed handgun). Mr. Farias spent 9 hours in the Imperial County Jail before bailing out and contacting The Calguns Foundation to assist in his defense.
With the aid of Foundation attorney Jason Davis of the law firm Davis and Associates, the criminal case against Mr. Farias was eventually rejected by the District Attorneys Office. Not only did the DA not pursue criminal action against Mr. Farias, but Davis successfully obtained a rare Finding of Factual Innocence for Mr. Farias, which means that no person of ordinary care and prudence [would] believe or conscientiously entertain any honest and strong suspicion that the person arrested [or acquitted] is guilty. Mr. Farias then sued in Federal court to seek recovery of damages and mandate proper training, claiming that that the arrest violated his Fourth Amendment rights, among others.
As part of the settlement agreement, the City of Calexico paid Mr. Farias $35,800 and instituted a training program on criminal laws pertaining to firearms. The training bulletin, drafted by Mr. Davis and available for download at this link, and covers topics of search and seizure, loaded firearm laws, unloaded concealed firearm laws, and the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act. Significantly, the mandated training program also includes training on the recently passed Open Carry Ban bill AB144 and the 116 exemptions under which unloaded open carry remains legal.
The training bulletin is designed to educate the department on Californias complex and convoluted firearm laws, said Jason Davis. My client sincerely appreciates the assistance of The Calguns Foundation, which made it possible for us to aggressively pursue the case.
This case is a reminder that exercising ones right to keep and bear arms is not a waiver of their right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, said CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman. The more that California and local governments regulate firearms, the more they will have to train their law enforcement officers or be held accountable in the courts.
A copy of the complaint and case filings can be downloaded at this link.
Calguns Foundation is able to help defend innocent California gun owners like Mr. Farias because of the generous tax-deductible donations of our supporters. Please support our many Second Amendment lawsuits and programs by contributing at http://bit.ly/donate_to_cgf.
Donations may also be mailed to:
The Calguns Foundation 751 Laurel Street Suite 935 San Carlos, CA 94070-3113
NEVER, EVER give the police 'consent' to do ANYTHING! When asked, say "Not unless you have probable cause AND a warrant". Then get a lawyer on the phone as soon as possible and don't say anything until he/she arrives.
Granted that this is a good outcome to bad institutional practices, but it would have been better if they had sought and secured millions in damages. The dollar is the lingua franca of gub’mint and teaching them the error of their ways is best done in their native language.
Good outcome but I’d ask for at least half a million $.
Unless you have a lawyer on retainer, and IF that lawyer isn't currently busy, that will not happen. Lawyers want a retainer paid and documents signed BEFORE they will represent you. You will be in jail long before an attorney shows up. I have a top notch attorney on retainer but even then I cannot count on him showing up at anytime of day or night. The bottom line is expect to go to jail unaccompanied by an attorney and your attorney showing up later. Meanwhile, SHUTUP, say nothing.
Also, check out the Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network. They offer currently $10,000 for immediate retainer money for an attorney and they maintain a list of attorneys within their network. If arrested they can arrange for an attorney to meet you, most likely in jail andmaybe at the scene, and arrange to represent you.
I agree, but it is a good idea to pre-screen potential lawyers for one who is willing to respond to future calls re: weapons. I live in a small town and the local lawyer cadre are sympathetic. I’ve done this, but I agree I may have to wait.
The whole point of this is that law enforcement is not your friend and that you should expect to have to defend your rights, even to the point of being detained (I think, illegally)...Regardless, not agreeing to searches AND keeping your mouth shut is the order of the day.
We need more Calguns!
After receiving consent to search the back seat of the vehicle
They can always find a tame judge that will give them a warrant, but make them take the effort.
Who's going to give them a warrant on the basis of a traffic stop, absent some other evidence of a crime?
Some cops lie.
Is the basis for the warrant required to be included in the warrant? If not, it should be required. If it is, and it’s shown to be false, that should form basis for reversal of anything derived from the warrant and for civil action. How else can you expect to hold the state accountable to their employers?
What kind of idiotic law has 116 exemptions?
How can any cop let alone any normal person be expected to understand how to remain in compliance with such a law?
With 116 exemptions, what kind of concealed carry is illegal?
This law is going to cause a great deal of trouble and should be an easy test case for an enterprising civil rights lawyer.