lawsuit form

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 02/23/14, 7:33 PM PST | Updated: 32 secs ago

A federal appeals court has upheld an earlier ruling to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an Upland real estate executive’s widow who alleges that her husband’s suicide occurred after authorities failed to conduct a proper medical and psychological screening following his arrest more than three years ago.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision Monday in the lawsuit, which had named as defendants the California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department employees and District Attorney Michael A. Ramos.

Less than 12 hours after David Lewis, 36, was released from West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on June 21, 2010, he drove to his home in Las Vegas, then fatally shot himself with a rifle, according to the lawsuit filed by his widow, Rachel Lewis.

Lewis also alleges in her lawsuit, filed July 11, 2011, in West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga, that her late husband suffered duress and was driven to suicide because he had been coerced by San Bernardino County prosecutors to participate in a criminal investigation of his own family. The investigation extended to David Lewis wearing a “concealed electronic recording device and other actions,” according to the lawsuit.

District Attorney spokesman Christopher Lee said Monday that David Lewis was never questioned by the District Attorney’s Office in any capacity, nor was he ever the subject of an investigation by the office, and as a result, he was never brought into the grand jury for questioning by the District Attorney’s office.

“David Lewis was a friend and I have the utmost respect for the Lewis family. They are well known as a reputable, ethical and law abiding business,” Ramos said in a statement Monday.

In a nine-page memorandum issued Monday, the Ninth Circuit determined that law enforcement officials did not violate Lewis’ civil rights and acted within the scope of their duty,

“In general, the government owes no due process duty to protect an individual from private action,” according to the Ninth Circuit Court memorandum, which didn’t address the alleged District Attorney’s Office investigation and Lewis’ alleged participation in it.

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