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Prosecutorial Misconduct Leads To Civil Suit Over Privacy Violations

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Garmon v. County of Los Angeles (Michele Hanisee) (Ninth Cir. 2016) 828 F.3d 837.
A Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney lied on an affidavit in order to compel Kaiser to produce the medical records of a murder defendant’s alibi witness, his mother.
The mother filed a civil rights suit against the Deputy DA, her supervisor, the County, and Kaiser, which the trial court dismissed on the grounds the Deputy DA was entitled to absolute immunity from suit.
HELD: Reversed. The Deputy DA was entitled, at best, to qualified immunity for her false affidavit because the affidavit was a ministerial task, not an act of advocacy protected by absolute immunity. The liability of the other defendants is derivative of the Deputy DA’s, so the mother’s lawsuit as to those parties is also reinstated.