874 F.2d 815 (9th Cir. 1989), 87-6449, Brooks v. Cook

Docket Nº:87-6449.
Citation:874 F.2d 815
Party Name:Andre BROOKS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Charlotte COOK, et al, Defendant-Appellees.
Case Date:May 03, 1989
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 815

874 F.2d 815 (9th Cir. 1989)

Andre BROOKS, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Charlotte COOK, et al, Defendant-Appellees.

No. 87-6449.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

May 3, 1989

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 (See FI CTA9 Rule 36-3 regarding use of unpublished opinions)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 Feb. 9, 1989.

C.D.Cal.

REVERSED AND REMANDED.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California David W. Williams, District Judge, Presiding.

Before CANBY, WIGGINS, O'SCANNLAIN, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM [*]

Andre Brooks appeals from an adverse directed verdict in his civil rights action against Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs Charlotte Cook and Mark Machanic (the "Deputies"). The Deputies stopped a car in which Brooks was a passenger and conducted a brief search of the car and its occupants. Brooks contends that the Deputies lacked reasonable suspicion to stop the car and that their conduct violated his fourth amendment rights. Construing the evidence in the light most favorable to Brooks, we conclude that the directed verdict was improperly granted. We reverse and remand for a new trial.

BACKGROUND

In the late evening of January 14, 1985, the Deputies stopped a car driven by Brooks's brother. Brooks was the only passenger in the car. The Deputies claim that they observed the car speeding and weaving in traffic. Brooks, however, contends that his brother was neither speeding nor weaving. After stopping the car, the Deputies ordered Brooks and his brother to exit the car. The Deputies frisked Brooks and his brother and searched the car's passenger compartment. After a detention of approximately ten to fifteen minutes, Brooks and his brother were released without citation or arrest.

Brooks brought suit in federal district court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Deputies and Los Angeles County. He alleged that the Deputies illegally stopped the car, conducted an unlawful search and seizure, and used excessive force against him, thereby violating his fourth amendment rights. The case proceeded to trial in September 1987. At the close of Brooks's case in chief, the district court dismissed Los Angeles County as a defendant and granted the Deputies' motion for a directed verdict. The court entered judgment on that verdict. Brooks timely appealed. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

In determining the propriety of a directed verdict, this court has the same role as the court below. Donoghue v. County of Orange, 848 F.2d 926, 932 (9th Cir.1987). "Thus the decision is reviewed de novo." Id. The court must view all evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of that party. Id.; Twin City Fire Ins. Co. v. Philadelphia Life Ins. Co., 795 F.2d 1417, 1423 (9th Cir.1986); Peterson v. Kennedy, 771 F.2d 1244, 1256 (9th Cir.1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1122 (1986).

A directed verdict is proper when the evidence permits only one reasonable conclusion as to the verdict, but "improper when there is conflicting testimony raising a question of witness credibility because '[i]t is the exclusive function of the jury to weigh the credibility of the witnesses.' " Donoghue, 848 F.2d at 932 (quoting Twin City Fire Ins., 795 F.2d at 1423)).

DISCUSSION

"To establish the liability of individual defendants under section 1983, a plaintiff must show, first, that he was deprived of an interest protected...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP