Biting back: Couple files $30 million claim
A Tahoe Donner family recently filed two claims against the Town of Truckee totaling $30 million, alleging that they suffered that much damage in hardship at the hands of the town’s Animal Control office and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.
“It was an animal control complaint and he ended up being arrested,” Town Manager Steve Wright said. “He and his wife felt that he was mistreated both by Animal Control and law enforcement, by $30 million.”
Wright said the town received the complaint July 12, seven months after the incident occurred. According to the logs of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, Truckee resident Stanley Ross called on Jan. 12, 1999, to report that two dogs from a neighboring construction site on Tundra Drive were menacing his own dog. He told officers that he wanted a deputy to respond as well as Animal Control, because the owner of the two dogs allegedly threatened him.
When an Animal Control Officer and a deputy responded, they discovered that Ross’ own dog was not licensed, and attempted to issue him a citation for allegedly not complying with the town’s animal control ordinances. According to the sheriff’s log, Ross refused to sign the citation, and was arrested and transported to the sheriff’s office substation, where he was detained until signing the ticket.
In her report to town council for its meeting tonight, Administrative Services Director Jill Olsen said the two claims by Stanley and Mary Ross assert several causes of action, including misconduct on the part of various Town of Truckee and Nevada County employees. The claim by Stanley Ross is for $20 million, while Mary Ross filed one for $10 million.
“On Aug. 2, 1999, the town attorney returned the claims with a notice of insufficiency and notice of untimely claim,” Olsen wrote. “A response to this notice was received from each claimant on Aug. 16, 1999. Staff believes that these responses do not resolve the insufficiency portion of the claims and that portions of the claims remain untimely.”
Staff is recommending that council reject portions of the claims.
“Based upon a preliminary investigation by the claims adjusters, it appears that the officers acted appropriately and there is no basis for any town liability,” Olsen wrote. “Though the claims remain insufficient, staff is recommending that council reject the portions of the claims that are not untimely. This rejection is an effort to expedite the processing of this claim rather than delay the process with continued notices of insufficiency.”
She said future defense and investigation costs related to the issue could be high, but staff has no estimate at this time.
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