Clouthier v. Contra Costa, No. 07-16703 - Civil Rights Law - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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Clouthier v. Contra Costa, No. 07-16703

In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action alleging that a mental health specialist, two sheriff's deputies, and a county violated the Fourteenth Amendment due process rights of plaintiffs by failing to prevent their son's suicide while he was in pretrial detention, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed in part where, as to certain defendants, the evidence was insufficient to allow a jury to conclude that they knew the decedent was suicidal and deliberately ignored that risk.  However, the order is reversed in part where, in light of a defendant's understanding that the decedent was not "out of the woods" yet, and in light of the clearly established law at the time, a reasonable mental health professional could not have thought it was lawful to remove key suicide prevention measures put in place by a prior staff member.

Read Clouthier v. Contra Costa, No. 07-16703

Appellate Information

Argued and Submitted March 10, 2009

Filed January 14, 2010

Judges

Opinion by Judge Ikuta

Partial Concurrence and Partial Dissent by Judge Block

Counsel

For Appellant:

Stan Casper and Thomas A. Seaton, Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook, Walnut Creek, CA

For Appellees:

Janet L. Holmes, Office of County Counsel, Martinez, CA