ATLANTA - In a unanimous decision, the 11th Circuit Court rejected an appeal for a new trial against a city of Naples police officer accused of invasion of privacy, excessive force, making a false arrest and malicious prosecution.
Judges Julie Carnes, Stanley Marcus and Frank M. Hull gave the opinion.
The plaintiffs had challenged the district court's original dismissal on several claims including "its evidentiary
rulings, its denial of a motion for a continuance, its jury instructions, and its denial of motions for a new trial," according to the ruling. The appeals court affirmed the district court's decisions on all counts.
"Motions for a new trial are highly disfavorable," the court argued, citing United States v. Jernigan 2003.
Plaintiffs argued that a city of Naples police officer had committed perjury at his hearing because of the inconsistencies between his prior statement and trial testimony. The appeals court recognized the inconsistencies, but concluded that it "[does] not mean officer Kyle Bradshaw committed perjury warranting a new trial."
The court further argued that even though Bradshaw's attorney presented his 2012 deposition in a manner that suggested to the jury that it should rely on it for the factual events of the case, the plaintiffs' objection to the evidence did not "provide a curative instruction directing the jury to only consider the evidence for impeachment purposes."
Bradshaw and his partner, officer Ryan Harp, were called to a Naples apartment rented by two of the plaintiffs in the early morning hours of May 12, 2012, for a noise complaint. They issued the occupants a citation on their first visit.
When the police were called back for the same complaint, the officers told one of the occupants the officers needed to come inside and speak with the renters. They were blocked by one of the guests, who asked them to provide a warrant. The officers placed the guest in handcuffs and proceeded to enter the apartment.
Bradshaw testified that when he went to handcuff the guest, she hit him and ran back inside. According to his booking sheet, Bradshaw entered the apartment to effectuate an arrest, which the plaintiffs argued as evidence of Bradshaw's unlawful conduct.
The district court ruled in favor of the officer.