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Jury's Special Verdict Findings Reversed

Carcamo v. L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: B296666 (Second Appellate District), Opinion Date: September 3, 2021. Plaintiffs filed suit against defendants for wrongful arrest after plaintiffs were arrested for public intoxication under Carson Municipal Code section 4201. Plaintiffs spent a night and the better part of the next day in jail, but they were never charged. Because Penal Code section 647, subdivision (f) has preempted section 4201, the Court of Appeal concluded that the trial court erroneously instructed the jury that a violation of the Carson ordinance, if proved, would establish reasonable cause to arrest. The court also concluded that the erroneous instruction was prejudicial where the instruction and special verdict form afforded no other basis to find the deputy had reasonable cause to arrest plaintiffs without a warrant. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment rendered on the jury's special verdict findings and remanded for further proceedings.

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