Friday, August 30, 2019

Capp v. County of San Diego (9th Cir. Aug. 30, 2019)

San Diego attorney Jonathan Capp receives some good news today from the Ninth Circuit, which reinstates (in part) his lawsuit against the County of San Diego in a matter arising out of its child welfare investigation of his family (while he was in the midst of divorce proceedings).

But be careful what you wish for.

The Ninth Circuit holds that Capp -- who's representing himself -- has adequately pled a retaliation claim.  But the panel repeatedly notes that this doesn't necessarily mean that Capp will survive on summary judgment.  Just that he's adequately pleaded the cause of action.

I suspect that the district court judge shares the Ninth Circuit's implicit skepticism over whether the County really retaliated against Capp, or was merely (as it will certainly contend on remand) worried about the welfare of Capp's children.

But for now, Capp gets to continue his lawsuit.

Whether that will turn into additional time tilting at windmills remains to be seen.