The outcome of a Quincy woman’s civil lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol is in the hands of a jury.
Closing arguments in the five-day trial concluded about 4:30 Tuesday afternoon at the Plumas County Courthouse in Quincy.
After receiving instructions from Judge Thomas E. Warriner, the nine women and three men on the jury retired to the jury room where they were expected to choose a foreman.
Deliberations were expected to begin Wednesday morning.
Jurors are being asked to decide if the CHP had enough evidence to believe that Ruth Jackson was impaired when she was pulled over and arrested Sept. 12, 2009.
“If you answer yes to that question, then the arrest was lawful,” said the attorney representing the CHP.
Because it is a civil trial, the burden of proof isn’t as heavy as a criminal trial. Nine of the 12 jurors must agree on a verdict.
If the jury sides with Jackson, it will be asked to determine damages for emotional pain and suffering. Jackson said her reputation in the community was damaged after she was arrested and jailed for six hours.
Jackson’s civil complaint against the CHP said she had a blood alcohol level of 0.00 and had no drugs in her system at the time of her arrest.
Jackson’s lawsuit named CHP Officers Lacey Heitman, Jim Wheaton and former Quincy Area Commander Paul Davis as defendants.
The complaint listed seven causes of action: “false arrest; false imprisonment; battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent hiring, training and supervision of officers; negligent infliction of emotional distress; and unlawful search and seizure.”
In the complaint, Jackson said she was pulled over after she exited an Oktoberfest event at the Blairsden Barn, where she was working as a volunteer.
The complaint indicated Jackson drove 150 feet to a stop sign and turned left onto Highway 70, before being pulled over less than half a mile later.
During the trial, the defense said the CHP officers stopped Jackson because she was driving erratically and failed to stop at a stop sign.
The CHP officers arrested Jackson after they said she failed field sobriety tests.
Attorney Julia Jackson, who is representing her mother in the trial, became emotional during her closing argument.
She said her mother has thought about what happened to her nearly every day over the past three years.
“She was embarrassed and humiliated,” Julia Jackson told the jury. “And she felt like her explanations were disregarded by the officers.”
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