San Bernardino, CA – On August 1, 2019, a federal jury in Los Angeles found in favor of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Plaintiff Alice Brown alleged her 14th amendment right to due process was violated by the department and employees who responded to a call for service on January 24, 2011. The original call was in the county area of Big Bear regarding a welfare check made by school officials on a 7-year-old child. Responding personnel included Deputy Marke McCracken and Detective Jeremiah MacKay. During the investigation, the 7-year-old was transported from his school in Big Bear to the Sheriff’s Station.
Subsequently, the child was transferred to the custody of the San Bernardino Children and Family Services Division. Ultimately, the State of California revoked all of Brown’s parental rights. At the conclusion of the investigation, criminal charges of child endangerment were filed against Brown with the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office.
On February 12, 2013, MacKay was killed in the line of duty during a gun battle with murder suspect Christopher Dorner. On March 25, 2013, Brown filed a federal lawsuit against the County of San Bernardino, the Sheriff’s Department, Deputy McCracken, Detective MacKay, and Sergeant Roy Mason. During the court proceedings, Brown still named MacKay and sought to include MacKay’s estate in the federal lawsuit.
San Bernardino County Counsel defended the case in Federal Court for over six years. Alice Brown was a Pro Per Plaintiff and at one point was assigned counsel to assist her with her case. Prior to trial, the County of San Bernardino, the Sheriff’s Department and Sergeant Mason were dismissed by the Court. The only remaining defendants, for trial, were Deputy McCracken and Detective MacKay. Brown represented herself in court without the assistance of any legal counsel.
On Tuesday, July 30th, a jury trial commenced in Los Angeles Federal Court. Attorney Blakney Boggs of the San Bernardino County Counsel presented the case before the court. By the conclusion of the second day of trial, the jurors heard the entire case. On Thursday, August 1st, the jury found in favor of Deputy McCracken and Detective MacKay and concluded they had not violated Brown’s 14th Amendment rights.