California Supreme Court Watch

Aug 18, 2021
Leon v. County of Riverside, S269672.

#21-409 Leon v. County of Riverside, S269672. (E073781; 64 Cal.App.5th 837; Riverside County Superior Court; RIC1722990.) Petition for review after the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in a civil action. This case presents the following issue: Is immunity under Government Code section 821.6 limited to actions for malicious prosecution? (See Sullivan v. County of Los Angeles (1974) 12 Cal.3d 710.)

Petition for review granted: 8/18/2021

Opinion filed: Judgment reversed: 6/22/2023

See the Court of Appeal Opinion.

See the Petition for Review.

See the Oral Argument.

In the news:  Police in California aren’t immune from certain misconduct lawsuits, high court rules, ABC7 (June 24, 2023).

See the California Supreme Court Opinion.  (Leon v. County of Riverside (2023) 14 Cal.5th 910.)

“A provision of the Government Claims Act immunizes public employees from liability for ‘instituting or prosecuting any judicial or administrative proceeding’ within the scope of their employment, ‘even if’ the employees act ‘maliciously and without probable cause.’ (Gov. Code, § 821.6 (section 821.6).) This provision immunizes public employees from claims of injury caused by wrongful prosecution. The question before us is whether, as several Courts of Appeal have held, it also confers immunity from claims based on other injuries inflicted in the course of law enforcement investigations. The answer is no. While other provisions of the Government Claims Act may confer immunity for certain investigatory actions, section 821.6 does not broadly immunize police officers or other public employees for any and all harmful actions they may take in the course of investigating crime.”

“The judgment of the Court of Appeal is reversed and the matter is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

Majority Opinion by Kruger, J.
— joined by Guerrero, C. J., Corrigan, Liu, Groban, Jenkins, and Evans, JJ.