Mastagni Law

For decades, the California law firm of Mastagni Holstedt, APC, has served clients throughout California in a wide range of civil law matters. Our attorneys have earned a reputation for professionalism, sharp legal acumen and the dedicated pursuit of justice. Our clients come from all walks of life but share a common need to have their rights protected at a crucial juncture in their lives. We are honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of being their legal advocates, and we fight vigorously to secure the most favorable outcomes possible.

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A recent decision from the First District Court of Appeal represents a split of authority on the issue of whether a peace officer under administrative investigation is entitled to receive copies of reports and complaints prior to being subject to a second interrogation. Government Code Section 3303(g) provides the following: The complete interrogation of a public safety officer may be recorded. If a tape recording is made of the interrogation, the public safety officer shall have access to the tape if any further proceedings are contemplated or prior to any further interrogation at a subsequent time. The public safety officer…
             In People v. Mackreth (2020) 58 Cal. App. 5th 317, review denied (Mar. 30, 2021), defendant Tristian Mackreth was charged with resisting arrest. He filed a Pitchess motion seeking the discovery of personnel records related to the arresting officers. To succeed on a Pitchess motion, the defendant must set forth a plausible factual foundation for the discovery and explain why the records would be material to the defense.  In this case, Mackreth argued that the credibility of the officers and their prior use of force might be relevant and material to whether the officers used excessive force…
After a recent Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) decision, the County of Ventura was ordered to pay for tax professional services for members of the Criminal Justice Attorneys Association of Ventura County, with interest, after PERB determined that the County engaged in bad faith bargaining. The County and Association found themselves thrust into negotiations regarding the County’s Annual Leave program when the County determined that there was potential for negative tax penalties because recent Internal Revenue Service opinions indicated that the accrual of personal leave should be considered “constructively received” income whether or not it was actually cashed out. The…
         In Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) v. County of Los Angeles (2021) 60 Cal.App.5th 327, review denied (Apr. 21, 2021), the California Court of Appeals for the Second District overturned the trial court’s dismissal of the union’s case for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. In overturning the trial court’s decision, the appellate court held that ALADS was not required to exhaust all administrative remedies prior to bringing a lawsuit because the administrative remedies were inadequate. However, the appellate court found that ALADS did not state a valid claim against the County because the section of the…
The 9thCircuit Court of Appeals recently addressed the use of restraint holds on a “simple” car stop and an individual’s refusal to provide any information.  In this youtube video, David Demurjian will explain how the appellate court evaluates “non-trivial” force under non-emergency circumstance.  Click on the video below to learn more about this important new case:     …
For the first time since Assembly Bill 392 amended Penal Code section 835a in 2019, an appellate opinion has interpreted the new use of deadly force standards in California. The Third District Court of Appeal in Koussaya v. City of Stockton (2020) 54 Cal. App. 5th 909, applied the new law in the context of a civil suit regarding the tactics and use of deadly force by Stockton Police Department officers during the Bank of the West robbery.  Finding the officers’ actions reasonable, the court provided guidance for determining the necessity of force and the consideration of pre-shooting conduct. The…
On May 7, 2021 Attorney General Bonta issued a press release announcing announcing his court approved stipulation and Order settling litigation brought by media and First Amendment organizations over the pace of the SB 1421 compliance.  Under the settlement the DOJ will expedite the release of officer use-of-force and certain misconduct records. Under the agreement, DOJ will review hundreds of thousands of records for responsiveness and complete its production of responsive records by September 26. The agreement also provides for further proceedings, if necessary, to obtain further guidance from the court and to resolve any outstanding questions relating to the…
In Towner v. County of Ventura (April 28, 2021) 2021 WL 1660616, the appellate court held that county’s public disclosure of investigator’s confidential personnel files was not protected under the anti-SLAPP statute because it was illegal as a matter of law.  A former District Attorney Investigator brought an action against the County of Ventura for violating his right to privacy and POBR based on the County’s disclosure of confidential personnel records in a superior court filing seeking to enjoin the Civil Service Commission from hearing his appeal of his termination.  In a significant win for peace officers seeking to vindicate…
The Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Assn. and Mastagni Holstedt, APC, are Proud to Present a 10-hour, POST Accredited Webinar of Training for Peace Officers May 11th and again on May 13th, 2021, from 7:30 am to 6:45 pm David R. Demurjian will present. “Use of Force Issues for Peace Officers” A primer on the legal repercussions for any use of force by law enforcement personnel in today’s peacekeeping environment.  The instructor and students will review and discuss relevant authorities and case law used in the judicial interpretation of force cases, including in depth review and analysis of body camera footage…