Firm Gets Judgment in Favor of Santa Cruz County on Alleged Multimillion Dollar
Audilett Kastner PC recently obtained judgment in favor of Santa Cruz County on
a land use dispute case in Federal District Court. The plaintiffs in the case obtained
169 acres in Santa Cruz County from a neighboring landowner. At the time the deal
was consummated it was understood between them that the plaintiffs wanted to build
and operate a guest ranch on their property. However, they also knew that they would
need to revert their property to acreage and obtain a conditional use permit before
they could operate the guest ranch. The plaintiffs sued Santa Cruz County alleging,
among other things, that the County violated their constitutional rights in the
manner in which the County handled their case.
The plaintiffs alleged that because of the manner in which the County handled their
case they were unable to build and operate their guest ranch resulting in over $10,000,000.00
in damages. The County denied the allegations and asserted that the obstacles presented
by the plaintiffs’ proposed use were outside of their control.
The firm filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that, as a matter of law, each
of the plaintiffs’ claims failed. After oral arguments, the Court agreed with our
position and granted judgment in favor the County on January 18, 2012.
The full text of the Court’s Order granting the motion can be found here.
Judgment Granted in Favor Nogales Police Department in Taser Case
The Court granted judgment in favor of the Nogales Police Department, and its police
officer, in a taser case. The plaintiff sued the police department and its arresting
officer alleging the use of excessive force in the deployment of a taser. The plaintiff
argued that the use of the taser during her arrest, after a disturbance at the local
hospital, was unreasonable and excessive.
The firm filed a motion for summary judgment arguing there was no question the officer
involved was entitled to immunity for his actions because no reasonable officer
in his position could have understood that the use of his taser under the circumstances
he was faced with was patently unreasonable. The law on the reasonable use of tasers
is relatively new and still evolving. As such, it would not have been possible for
the Nogales police officer, who believed the use of force was justified under the
circumstances, to anticipate he was violating the plaintiff’s constitutional rights.
On February 14, 2012, after oral arguments, the Court agreed with our position and
issued judgment in favor of our clients. The full text of the Court’s Order granting
the motion can be found here.