When Words Alone Constitute Severe and Pervasive Harassment

The old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” may apply in Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment cases, but it doesn’t work in FEHA harassment claims. In Augustine Caldera v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the Fourth Appellate District recently issued a published opinion finding…

Summary Judgment Is Granted Based On Principles Of Qualified Immunity

On May 18, 2018, in Michael Easley v. City of Riverside, Sergio Diaz and Silvio Macias, the California Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s sua sponte[1] grant of summary judgment in favor of police officers who shot plaintiff three times following a traffic stop. While the police officers did not move for summary judgment,…

For Whom the Statute of Limitation Tolls: California Court of Appeal Rules that Statutory Tolling for Incarcerated Persons Does Not Apply to Detainees in County Jail

It is well known that a plaintiff must bring his claim before the statute of limitations expires.  Under Code of Civil Procedure section 352.1, this statutory deadline may be extended—or tolled—for two years for plaintiffs who are “imprisoned on a criminal charge.”   In a matter of first impression, the California Court of Appeal in Austin…

No Take Backs: What Happens When an Employee Rescinds a Resignation?

By Mitchell Wrosch Ruth Featherstone, an at-will employee with Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG), took an approved medical leave to treat a sinus condition. Seven days after she returned to work, Featherstone called her supervisor and resigned. After the conversation, the supervisor e-mailed Featherstone to confirm her resignation in writing and the separation began…

Criminal Record Clear for a Civil Suit? Court of Appeal Says Think Again

Individuals who are criminally convicted of resisting arrest are typically barred from pursuing civil claims for excessive force unless they have their conviction overturned. However, what happens when that person has the conviction cleared from their record under Penal Code Section 1203.4, which allows judges to dismiss charges after the completion of probation? The Court…