Virginia City couple settles civil rights claim with county
Storey County Thursday settled a civil rights lawsuit in federal court for $11,250.
Tracy and Cheryl Curtis sued Storey County and its Undersheriff Bruce Larson after Larson entered their home in November 2002. The suit alleged Larson violated their Fourth Amendment rights and trespassed. Larson denied in the suit any intent to violate civil rights, according to Curtis’ lawyer, Jeff Dickerson.
In July, federal District Judge Howard McKibben dismissed the case on the grounds Larson was not acting under color of state law, a requisite to a federal civil rights suit. The Curtises appealed that decision and refiled the trespass claim.
During a mediation today at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the case was settled.
“It’s not about the money,” Tracy Curtis said. “My wife and I wanted law enforcement agencies to understand that police cannot invade people’s homes with impunity.”
The settlement will be paid by Storey County’s insurance pool.