Mono Board rejects civil rights claim

mono_courthouse_10-08.jpgThe Mono Supervisors recently rejected a claim filed by attorney Allen Berrey for a client stopped and searched by Mono Sheriff’s Officers near Bridgeport. The claim alleged violations of civil rights, fabrication of evidence, false arrest and imprisonment and violation of fourth and Second Amendment rights. This case goes to court next week on a motion to suppress evidence.

In December, a Mono Deputy and a Sergeant stopped Youssef Boulaalam who was traveling through the area on a camping trip. The officers passed him as he drove away from Travertine Springs. They later claimed his eyes looked blurry. The officers turned around and, as the attorney said, tailgated Mr. Boulaalam out onto Highway 395. Berrey said his client was unnerved by the officers following him. The DVD dashboard cam from the patrol car shows Mr. Boulaalam driving in a mostly straight line on the highway. Officers claimed they stopped him because of suspicion of driving under the influence.

Attorney Berrey said the officers did not investigate DUI and instead wanted to search the man’s car. The dash cam DVD revealed the Deputy saying that “all these guys who camp have guns on them.” Mr. Boulaalam did tell the officers about two guns in his vehicle. The two officers were heard on the DVD second-guessing themselves about the stop as they drove Boulaalam to the jail. He was charged with misdemeanor carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

Attorney Berrey claims the officers used the excuse of DUI to stop and illegally search his client. Berrey said if his motion is granted next Monday, the guns and statements will be kicked out of the criminal case.

As for a civil suit, Berrey said that if Mr. Boulaalam files civil suits, they will be filed in state or federal court. He has until July to make that decision. See our earlier website story for more detail –


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12 Responses to Mono Board rejects civil rights claim

  1. The norm February 20, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    Mono County rejects every lawsuit they receive. That is their standard protocol. It also prolongs the inevitable.

  2. Desert Tortoise February 21, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    Is the video referred to in the article available for the public to view?

    • Benett Kessler February 21, 2014 at 9:35 am #

      You can do what I did. Ask the Mono County Counsel’s office for a copy.

      • Desert Tortoise February 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

        Did they give you a copy?

  3. Legal Eagle February 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Federal Court is a scary place to be if you are being sued, especially for a civil rights violation. Federal Judges are appointed for life and do not put up with any game playing. They are the closest thing to God on earth.

    Also, in a violation of civil rights under color of authority case, if the person sueing wins, their attorney fees are paid by the government. (1983 action).

    If the attorney believes that he has a solid case he will take it trial knowing that all his attorney fees will be paid if he wins.

    If this makes it to Federal Court it will show that the attorney has great confidence in his case. Frequently attorneys file law suits hoping that the county will pay 50K or so to make it go away rather than go to trial.

  4. Trouble February 23, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    Personally I think it’s great that this guy is fighting the Sheriffs actions every step of the way here. I had the Sheriff and the Bishop Police each use the same tail gate tactics on me for no reason at all. The difference was they both pulled away as fast as they had come up on me. I still wish I knew what they thought they were doing?

  5. Mongo The Idiot' February 23, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    They are probably just trying to see the tags; pull over and have a chat or maintain speed and hope they disengage.
    Either way, travel at a safe speed and don’t stop suddenly.
    If they pull you over, remove your sunglasses, turn the radio off and have your license and registration ready.
    Put your hands on the wheel so they can see them.
    It’s a dangerous job in which their lives are in danger.
    A touch of respect goes a long way.
    Plus, many of us don’t like cops till we need one.
    I’ll take the good with the bad.
    They aren’t pulling you over to make friends, They have a job to do.

    • Liquidating Everything February 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Thanks for the good advice. However, in my opinion, this is clearly a victim-less crime resulting from overly restrictive gun control laws. It’s the type of action that leads to a loss of respect rather than a feeling that Mono Sheriff Dept is there to serve and protect. We should expect the good from our public servants, and weed out the bad habits as they are discovered. If the defendant is an upstanding citizen other than his obvious disregard for state gun control regulations, this is just a huge waste of legal system resources and taxpayer money in my opinion – no one is protected and no one is served by putting an otherwise law-abiding citizen in jail because he is too ignorant to properly unload and secure his firearm before driving home or to his next campsite.

    • Pedro February 23, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

      Yes we have to take the responsibility and inconvenience of cooperating with LEO doing their job. We do not have to take the bad of them not respecting our rights, that is a dangerous slippery slope.

      I have no problem with LEO checking my tags, running my plates and that may require brief tailgating and a spotlight. Fine. Prolonged tailgating is a known technique to make the driver nervous and wait for a reason to make a stop when there is none to begin with. Pulling over safely and letting the LEO pass or contact you is good advice. Giving them nothing but license and registration is good advice at that point since they are obviously fishing and anything you say will be used against you.

  6. Sheriff's Dept Critic February 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    I think Mono better get used to Federal court, because there is a lot more of it to come.

  7. wagonrd February 24, 2014 at 8:06 am #

    “Liquidating” has made a good point. Our Congressmen and Senators have passed gun control laws that are draconian, and these laws apply to everyone, including you and me. It is the duty of LEO’s to enforce them. Guys like “Trouble” fail to understand this fundamental fact and blame LEO’s


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