This morning at 8:30 a.m. trial was set to begin in the case of Barbara Sage Vs. the City of Arcata. However, trial never began. A little after 10:00 a.m court was called to session and counsel for both parties relayed to the judge that a deal had been reached. $6000 would be paid to the plaintiff, to be paid by the Redwood Empire Municipal Fund–which is a joint powers authority that handles insurance claims for the city.
In November 2011, Barbara Sage sued the City of Arcata on behalf of herself as an individual and as the successor-of-interest to her husband Charles Sage, who died July 29, 2011.
This couple suffered from multiple health issues and held medical cannabis prescriptions which allowed them to grow medical marijuana plants under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.
In May 2011, Eureka Judge Dale Reinholtsen signed a search warrant and in June an officer dressed as a meter reader showed up at their residence in Arcata.
The 34-page civil rights complaint outlines how Charles Sage was made to lie on the ground and was handcuffed with his hands behind his back–which the suit says was unreasonable for his poor health condition. The suit also alleges that this aided in pain, suffering and emotional distress for Charles Sage and sent him into a state of depression which “hastened his death.”
Video posted to Youtube by Sage’s lawyers
Charles Sage was in the living room when the raid occurred. He suffered from a chronic lung disease and his breathing was being supported by an oxygen tank.
The suit alleges excessive force, elder abuse, unlawful detainment and judicial deception in getting the search warrant signed–as well as ambiguous and presumptuous behavior on behalf of the officer. Nothing was seized during the search warrant and no charges were filed against the Sage’s. In addition, the city’s use of SWAT-type teams while serving search warrants were described as “overboard and unlawful.”
Calls and emails to the City of Arcata were not returned for comment. Todd Dockweiler, who was recently promoted to Lieutenant at APD, was present in court and said that he had no time for questions regarding this case. He is also the lead investigator on David Josiah Lawson’s case–the HSU student whose killer has not yet been apprehended although it has now been over a year. He said that he had no comment about Lawson’s case as well.
When contacting Martin & Mack, Peter Martin relayed that Tom Chapman, Arcata’s former police chief who abruptly resigned two weeks ago, had been “evading service” during attempts to serve him court subpoenas for trial.