Federal Jury in San Jose Award $3.25 in Damages for Unlawful Seizure of Children


San Jose, CA (PRWEB) April 04, 2011

A jury in U.S. District Court in Northern California today returned a unanimous verdict against officers from the San Jose Police Department for the violation of an entire family’s civil rights and awarded $3.25 million in damages. The Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson in Walnut Creek, CA represented the family in their claims against the officers and the City of San Jose.

According to a police recording entered into evidence during trial, the action stemmed from an incident on June 29, 2005 where officers William Hoyt and Craig Blank with at least five other uniformed officers responded to an unverified claim of abuse, entered the home of a San Jose family on a child welfare check, then removed two children without a warrant and later seized a third child as well.

The jury heard testimony during the week-long trial that officers in the department have never sought warrants or court orders for removing children – in violation of federal law – and then falsified their claims of an emergency to justify taking all of the children.

In one of the largest jury awards in nearly two decades in San Jose, the federal jury took only 45 minutes to find liability for all claims against Hoyt and Blank, and two days later took just 90 minutes to award $1.25 million in compensatory damages for the family plus an additional $2 million in punitive damages. The case C06-4029 RMW, Watson v. Craig Blank, William Hoyt and the City of San Jose, went to trial on March 23, 2011 in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division. After a week of testimony, the jury found Blank and Hoyt liable for constitutional violations against the family on March 30, and awarded damages two days later on April 1.

“We feel this jury verdict exposes a long-standing practice of warrantless ‘snatch-and-grab’ conduct by law enforcement agencies in Santa Clara County and sends a resounding message to the San Jose Police Department, as well as all other law enforcement officers in Santa Clara County,” said Peter Johnson, attorney for the family. “They are on notice their unlawful conduct will not be tolerated, and officers will be held accountable.”

###

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebfederal-trial-04-01-2011/san-jose-jury-verdict/prweb8269009.htm

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/04/04/prweb8269009.DTL#ixzz1Isvw5fVE

About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by Lulu.com October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
This entry was posted in Abuse by CPS and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Federal Jury in San Jose Award $3.25 in Damages for Unlawful Seizure of Children

  1. Bo says:

    Awesome.
    Now if we canjust get justice fr the thousands of children who are kidnapped by corrupt/criminal CPS agencies and the judges who DO provide them with procedural cover.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s