- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Qualified Immunity
- Date Filed: 04-29-2020
- Case #: A169999
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Shorr, J.; & James, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Meyer sued Sugahara under 42 USC § 1983, alleging that Sugahara violated Meyer’s freedom of association by investigating their associations and then taking punitive actions. The trial court granted Sugahara’s motion to dismiss all Meyer’s claims and ruled that these claims were precluded by “absolute immunity” because the actions were “performed as a part of their official duties.” (quoting Bly-McGee v. California, 236 F3d 1014, 1018 (9th Cir 2001). On appeal, Meyer assigned error to the court’s dismissal of claims and argued that the court’s theory of “absolute immunity” was over-broad. Sugahara conceded the trial court’s error, but further argued that some of Meyer’s claims are precluded by “absolute immunity” even if not all are precluded. “The absolute immunity accorded to government prosecutors encompasses not only their conduct of trials but all of their activities that can fairly be characterized as closely associated with the conduct of litigation or potential litigation.” Barrett v. United States, 798 F2d 565, 571-72 (2d Cir 1986) (interpreting U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence on “absolute immunity”). The Court found that if the claims concern a prosecutor’s “conduct associated with active or potential litigation,” then “absolute immunity” will preclude such claims. Because “absolute immunity” does not encompass all actions within the course of government employment, the Court found that dismissal of all claims against Sugahara was in error. Reversed and remanded.