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Judge Rejects Suit Against Officer

July 12, 1996|MACK REED

A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by a woman against a former Simi Valley police officer who helped send her to jail, ruling that the suit was filed too late.

U.S. District Judge George King has ruled that Cheryl Borjon of Simi Valley failed to sue Officer David Steven Ming for alleged civil rights violations over her 1994 drug arrest within the one-year statute of limitations.

But Borjon's attorney, Suzanne Graves, said she plans to appeal the ruling next week to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by arguing that Borjon could not file the suit in a timely fashion because she was in jail at the time.

Ming arrested Borjon on May 18, 1994, on charges of being under the influence of methamphetamine.

Ming was later indicted, tried and found not guilty of a charge of perjury after fellow officers alleged he had lied on the stand while testifying about the arrest. Despite the acquittal, however, the department fired Ming on Dec. 27.

Borjon, meanwhile, was convicted and served a five-month sentence in the Ventura County Jail until her release in May 1995.

She sued Ming last November in U.S. District Court, alleging he had unlawfully entered her house without consent while trying to serve a felony arrest warrant on a friend of hers. But by the time Borjon had filed the suit, more than a year had passed since the arrest.

"Basically, we feel the ruling's wrong, and we'll be appealing it," Graves said.

Meanwhile, Ming is still fighting to regain his job, according to his attorney, Charles Goldwasser. An administrative law judge will continue hearing the case next week, Goldwasser said.

As for King's ruling, which was filed June 19, Goldwasser said Thursday that attorneys for Ming and the city of Simi Valley "very clearly indicated to the court that under no theory is it possible for the plaintiff to show that they filed the case in a timely fashion."

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