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Loser of Police Force Lawsuit Must Pay Court Costs

January 27, 2014  | 

Elizabeth Evon Nichols, an Occupy Portland protester who was pepper sprayed by a Portland police officer in fall 2011, sued the city for excessive force and lost. Now she must pay the city $7,116 in court costs.

Nichols, 23, had sought $30,000, noting the excruciating pain of pepper spray in her eyes and throat -- and the ensuing nightmares, depression, and worsening eczema.

But the jury sided with Portland, and so the city was entitled to recover its costs of defending itself. Deputy city attorney David Landrum said he offered to drop the city's pursuit of costs if Nichols agreed to waive an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He called one of Nichols' attorneys with the offer, the Oregonian reports.

"I said 'I don't need to drag this money out of her,'" Landrum said, noting that he knows Nichols is a college student at Portland State University. At the time of her federal trial, she also was working as a janitor.

Landrum said he didn't hear anything for weeks, so he called back and got his answer: Nichols decided to appeal. So the city sought its payback.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

R. Mansfield @ 1/27/2014 2:06 PM

I am a retired Police Officer, and have been on the recieving end of a frivolous lawsuit in the past. Even those kind of suits are a real pain. Ms. Nichols got what she deserved. The pain of the lawsuit filed by the City may far outweigh the pain she experianced by getting sprayed due to her act of civil disobediance. The experiance may help her with an attitude adjustment.

REtired NY Boss @ 1/27/2014 3:37 PM

It's about time. All municipalities should be doing the same thing. Forcing plaintiffs and their attorney's to eat court costs, if they lose, will cut down on a lot of BS law suits.

chris @ 1/27/2014 3:45 PM

At least the city atty had the balls to fight the suit as opposed to settling out of court and never reaching a decision on the use of force. Sure pepper spray hurts for a little while, but it goes away. All the officers using the spray have to experience the results of being sprayed, and each time you use, you get another dose.

S.S. @ 1/28/2014 12:02 PM

GOOD. Now lets see it enforced!!! She didn't deserve shit. Now she's gotta pay. Poetic Justice.

Capt. Crunch @ 1/28/2014 12:07 PM

It's about tme cases like this happen. Portland should also charge the Occupy Group for police services if they did not get a permit to protest.

Capt. Crunch @ 1/28/2014 12:07 PM

It's about tme cases like this happen. Portland should also charge the Occupy Group for police services if they did not get a permit to protest.

Sherry @ 2/9/2014 6:31 AM

That Judge must be blind. Can not see what is right in front of his face..
And of course a judge is going to sway to officers side.

ronald @ 10/7/2014 11:28 AM

f! all you idiots that side with the police'she didnt do anything wrong'that girl could have been blinded for trying to do something within her rights'

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