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County Will Litigate Ramona Teen's Lawsuit Against Sheriff's Department

A 17-year-old alleges his civil rights were violated when he was arrested in 2009. Attorney claims department has a culture of excessive use of force.

A lawsuit served on the Sheriff's Department, several of its Ramona staff and the County of San Diego last week will go into litigation, Deputy County Counsel David Axtmann told Ramona Patch on Tuesday.

, accuses Sheriff's staff of brutality when arresting a 16 year old boy on Main Street in 2009 and working together to cover up alleged misconduct. It further alleges that the department in general has a culture of using excessive force, not training its staff well enough on how to apprehend suspects and not disciplining anyone whose conduct may have been inappropriate.

A case brought against the young man in juvenile court in 2010 was dismissed by the judge, according to the Ramona attorney who filed the lawsuit, Julie Kienhe-Lamkin. She told Patch that "serious constitutional violations" were committed during the 2009 arrest.

Deputy County Counsel David Axtmann said Wednesday, "We intend to defend the lawsuit and will file the defendants' formal responsive pleading with the court in early July."

Kienhe-Lamkin told Patch, "I have years of  civil defense litigation. I have represented law enforcement outside San Diego county. I look forward to receiving the defendants' initial responses and litigating this case for a jury to decide in federal court."

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