Carson City moves to dismiss Weddell suit

RENO - Lawyers for Carson City have filed a motion to dismiss Ron Weddell's federal court suit arguing that, even if everything he claims is true, none of it would be a civil rights violation.

"Plaintiffs' complaint, reduced to its essence, asserts that their civil rights were violated because the sheriff's department failed to arrest defendants John and James Bustamante," according to the motion by Deputy Carson City District Attorney Mark Forsberg.

Weddell, his daughter, Kellie, and John Cole filed suit because deputies refused to arrest the Bustamantes, who they say kidnapped Kellie and ran into Cole with a car in a dispute over a drug debt. Instead, deputies filed charges against Weddell after he ignored deputies' warnings and fired four shots at James Bustamante.

But Forsberg says there is nothing in any of Weddell's complaint that is legally a violation of his civil rights. The document filed in Reno's U.S. District Court argues that, "unless a complaint alleges and factually supports a claim that a specific federally guaranteed right has, in fact, been violated, a claim must fail."

"None of the plaintiffs allege that a specific constitutional or federally protected right was abridged by the actions of the Carson City Sheriff's Department defendants."

Weddell has already lost a similar argument before the Nevada Supreme Court which agreed with the city that the deputies have discretion over decisions regarding arrests and prosecutions.

The city has asked for sanctions against Weddell's lawyer Day Williams for trying to base a case on "supposition, innuendo and gossip" during depositions in the case.

Forsberg said Tuesday that Weddell's case simply doesn't specify which constitutional rights the city is supposed to have violated and doesn't back up any of its claims with facts.

He said the city has asked either that the case be thrown out or that a summary judgment be entered on behalf of the city.


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