852 F.2d 572 (9th Cir. 1988), 86-2949, Soto v. Sacramento Mun. Court

Docket Nº:86-2949.
Citation:852 F.2d 572
Party Name:Joseph SOTO, Jr., et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. SACRAMENTO MUNICIPAL COURT, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:June 29, 1988
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 572

852 F.2d 572 (9th Cir. 1988)

Joseph SOTO, Jr., et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,


SACRAMENTO MUNICIPAL COURT, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 86-2949.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

June 29, 1988

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA9 Rule 36-3 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Argued and Submitted April 12.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California

Lawrence K. Karlton, Chief Judge, Presiding Argued and Submitted April 12, 1988

San Francisco, California

Before GOODWIN, SCHROEDER, and POOLE, Circuit Judges.


Plaintiff-appellant Joseph Soto, Jr. (Soto) appeals from the judgment entered in favor of defendants-appellees City of Sacramento, County of Sacramento, individual county defendants Sheriff Lowe, Deputy Fidler, and Deputy Sheriffs Waters, Thomas, and Hasapis, and individual city defendants Police Chief Kearns and Police Sergeant LaChappelle, in his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action. The suit stems from the events surrounding Soto's arrest, the conditions of his incarceration, and the physical injuries he ultimately suffered in a suicide attempt in the Sacramento County Jail. Soto's wife, plaintiff-appellant Imelda Soto, appeals from the judgment entered in favor of all defendants-appellees on her § 1983 claim for loss of her husband's companionship and society.


On March 14, 1978, Sergeant LaChappelle attempted to arrest Soto and three companions for suspicion of robbery and assault. He ordered all four to lie on the ground face down. Soto did not comply with this or at least two subsequent commands, remaining on his haunches as if to flee. Officer Brewer arrived with a police dog in time to hear LaChappelle's last order. At approximately the same time that LaChappelle attempted to push Soto into a prone position with his foot and force his hand open to ensure he was unarmed, Brewer released his dog. The dog bit Soto on the side of his rib cage and Soto then complied with LaChappelle's instructions. The officers arrested the suspects and caused them to be transported to the Sacramento County Jail where they were booked and incarcerated. 1

Soto remained in jail for the next five weeks. On April 20...

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