Miner v. Picatti

Steven Picatti was forcibly removed from his vehicle, slammed to the ground, and tased after driving around some traffic barrels to ask a deputy sheriff for assistance. Mr. Picatti later filed suit in Idaho state court against the officers who harmed him. Deputies Aaron Miner and Dennis Laurance moved for summary judgment based on qualified immunity, and the state trial court granted the motion. The Idaho Supreme Court vacated the trial court’s grant of summary judgment, explaining that it could not “determine as a matter of law that the deputies are entitled to qualified immunity when that determination depends on unresolved disputed facts.” The court remanded for the state trial court to resolve the disputed facts, and the officers then filed a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Public Citizen served as co-counsel for Mr. Picatti in the Supreme Court. Our brief in opposition to the petition explained that the question presented in the petition was a question of state procedural law, that the judgment below was not final, and that the Idaho Supreme Court correctly remanded for a determination of disputed facts. The Supreme Court denied the petition.