Civil Procedure Keyed to Subrin
City of Riverside v. Rivera
Respondents were at a party in Riverside, CA when Riverside officers entered the home without a warrant and broke up the party using tear gas and unnecessary physical force. Respondents brought charges against 30 officers, the chief of police and the city of Riverside for violating their rights under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The district court granted summary judgment for 17 officers and a jury acquitted nine more and returned a verdict against the other parties. The jury awarded Respondents $33,350 in compensatory and punitive damages and $245,456.25 in attorney’s fees. Petitioners argued that the attorney’s fees were unreasonable compared to the small amount otherwise awarded. The district and appellate courts affirmed the amount, and the Supreme Court vacated the award and remanded the case to be reconsidered in light of Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424 (1983). The district and appellate courts affirmed the award again.
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