Senior Associate Paul Coble obtains a voluntary dismissal with prejudice in a civil action accusing a police department of imposing an unlawful arrest quota in violation of Vehicle Code §41602

An officer had an extraordinarily low level of arrest activity while working patrol, making only about 30 arrests in an entire year and with most of those being for outstanding warrants. Supervision recognized that, based on the collective experience of that department, a reasonably attentive officer would, with a modicum of effort, make many times that number of arrests in a similar period. When counseled about this, the officer commented that he didn’t like arresting drug suspects because they carry diseases; he didn’t like to arrest gang members because they were often armed and dangerous; and, that the beat he was working wasn’t very active. He also repeatedly attempted to get supervision to state a specific number of arrests that would result in a “meets standards” evaluation. However, supervision refused to state a number.

Instead, the department told the officer that to assist him with improvement he would be assigned to a more active beat, he would work for a short period with a senior officer to provide instruction and guidance in making arrests, and he would be placed on quarterly evaluations. The officer then complained that he was being subjected to an unlawful arrest quota, and his suit followed in which he claimed the arrest quota issue; that he was retaliated against for complaining about the quota and that the retaliation took the form of the training, the more active beat, and the quarterly evaluations; and, that his POBR rights were violated by denying him a representative.

In his deposition, however, the officer stated that no one ever gave him a number of arrests he had to make; that he was told about the corrective measures before he ever complained about being subjected to a quota; that he never was actually made to work with a senior officer; that there was nothing adverse about the beat to which he was assigned; and, that he didn’t know why there was a claim of a denial of representation as he never asked for a representative and he never needed one.

Shortly after reviewing and signing his deposition transcript the plaintiff officer dismissed his suit with prejudice in exchange for a waiver of costs by the City.