Fourth Amendment

Modesto Pays $120K After Officers Trespassed, Refused To Leave Home

What is this "warrant" of which you speak?


MODESTO -- Modesto has paid $120,000 to a woman and her two adult daughters to settle a lawsuit they filed against the city after police officers entered their home without a warrant, refused to leave when asked and threatened to arrest the woman.

Police were summoned to the family's home by a tow truck driver who was trying to repossess the woman's car, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Fresno.

The car was parked in the garage and the woman disputed the tow truck driver's right to take it. The driver did not have a court order for the car, according to the lawsuit, but the officers helped him remove it despite protests from the three woman.

The lawsuit says the officers violated the civil rights of Rosa Letona and her daughters Natalie Letona and Rosemary Banuelos to be free of having police enter and search their home without a warrant and denied Rosa Letona of her due process rights by helping the tow truck driver remove the car without court permission.