Dallas, TX – Matthew Kita, Of Counsel at Arias Sanguinetti based in Dallas, TX, was victorious in an ongoing civil rights case in a venue that is often unsympathetic to police shooting claims.
In this case, the siblings of a mentally ill man called the police and asked for officers to check in on their brother as they hadn’t heard from him in several days. When the man saw the officer and his sister in his house, he violently attacked them both. The officer shot and killed the mentally ill individual, leading the family to sue the officer, alleging the officer’s actions were unconstitutional and a civil rights violation. Complicating the case further, after the family sued, the sister of the deceased man died herself of natural causes.
A trial judge in the Eastern District of Texas ruled that his clients had enough evidence to proceed with trial. However, defense immediately appealed the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Court held that this is not the type of case where an immediate appeal is allowed.
“What the court did is important, because it actually applied well-established law regarding when you can and cannot seek an appeal in the middle of a case,” Mr. Kita said. “Eliminating these unnecessary appeals is essential if we want to get justice for our clients. And in this case, the court ruled nearly three years after the appeal was filed.”
With this victory, Mr. Kita prevented opposing counsel from making new and dangerous precedent that would allow for these dilatory appeals. This police shooting lawsuit is ongoing.
The case is Laveria Harper v. Jeff McAndrews, United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit, Case No. 20-40754.
About Arias Sanguinetti
Arias Sanguinetti’s civil rights attorneys are licensed in Texas, California, and Nevada and represent people who have suffered serious harm or injury at the hands of law enforcement, employers, corporations and more. We also handle civil rights appeals cases, working closely with other law firms to make sure verdicts and cases are protected. Our premier team of lawyers has been honored by legal publications and peer groups for obtaining top results for clients in seriously complex matters.