Court Supports Cops' Role In AutoRepossession

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SAN FRANCISCO - (03/14/05) -- A federal appeals court ruled lastweek that police officers did not violate two women's civil rightswhen they intervened in a fight over a credit union's repossessionof a car. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that the civilsuit be dismissed against the Redwood Police over the 2001 incidentin which a repo man was sent by San Mateo County Employees CU totake possession of a car, which caused a fight with the car owner.After police broke up the fight the car owner sued claiming her14th Amendment right against being deprived of property without dueprocess of law, and her Fourth Amendment right to be free ofillegal search and seizure, were violated. But the appeals courtruled that the fight wasn't conducted under the officers' purview;that police hadn't been alerted of the repossession in advance; andwere only asked to stand by to ensure that the repossession wentsmoothly.

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