California Police-Fire Wars Case Before 9th Circuit

Merry Christmas!!!

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in the case of Gregoire v. California et al earlier this month.

Firefighter Jacob Gregoire of the Chula Vista Fire Department was arrested on February 4, 2014 at the scene of a roll over on Interstate 805. Gregoire was retrieving a gurney when he was instructed by a CHiPs officer, Sergio Flores, to move his engine or be arrested. He informed Officer Flores that he would have to check with his captain at which point he was placed into custody, searched and handcuffed.

Gregoire is suing the state and Officer Flores for civil rights violations. The state is seeking to have the 9th Circuit dismiss the case on the basis of qualified immunity. Gregoire wants the case to get to the jury.


About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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