Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Court of Appeal: POBR Violation Voids Dishonesty Charge

In Ruiz v. City of Bell Gardens (2013) Case No. B244395, the Court of Appeal affirmed a superior court ruling voiding a dishonesty allegation because of a POBR violation.  Officer Ruiz was on administrative leave pending the outcome of an IA investigation.  When his department put him on administrative leave, it ordered him not to enter any city property not open to the general public.  Then, a lieutenant came across him in police trailer not open to the general public and asked him about why he was there.  The court found that the lieutenant's questions constituted an interrogation under POBR.  Since the department did not give him notice of the interrogation in advance, it violated POBR and Officer Ruiz statements were suppressed.  Without his statements, there was no basis to support the dishonesty allegation.