PLEASANT HILL (BCN) — A mother arrested during her daughter’s wedding at their Pleasant Hill home last year is suing the city and the Police Department, saying the officer barged into the home while responding to a noise complaint and arrested the woman because she spilled a few drops of water on the officer’s uniform.
The suit was filed last week in U.S. District Court on behalf of Pleasant Hill resident Lisa Notter. According to the suit, Notter was arrested during her daughter’s wedding at her home on Aug. 8, 2015, but never charged with a crime.
Notter’s attorneys wrote that she had called the police prior to the wedding to inform them of the wedding plans, which included hiring a DJ.
An officer told her that the music should be turned down by midnight and recommended she hand out a flyer to her neighbors.
The officer told her, “have a great celebration and congratulations on your daughter’s wedding,” and she took his advice, providing a copy of the flyer to the Pleasant Hill Police Department, according to the suit.
But at about 11 p.m. on the night of the wedding, Officer Chelsea Wright arrived at the home apparently because of a noise complaint. Wright
came into the home without a warrant or asking permission with at least one other officer, according to the suit. Notter and her husband approached the officers.
“I am going to shut you down,” Wright said, according to the suit, and the Notters told the DJ to turn the music down. It was turned off completely very shortly after that.
Notter tried to explain her communications with Pleasant Hill police prior to the reception, but Wright doubted her, angrily telling Notter she was mistaken about the city’s policies, according to the suit.
Eventually Notter said, “whatever,” and turned toward the DJ, throwing up her hands in resignation. But in doing so, a glass of water flew into the air and some of the water hit Wright’s uniform, according to the suit.
Wright and another officer then grabbed Notter and pulled her out of the house, dragging her through the backyard to the front yard, where they
handcuffed her and put her in the back of a patrol car, according to the suit.
Notter was kept in custody overnight. While in custody, they ignored her requests to go to the bathroom, refused to give her a blanket when she became cold, and didn’t allow her a timely telephone call, according to the suit.
“Notter suffered intense emotional distress and embarrassment, as well as physical injury, as a result of the false search, seizure, and arrest
of her person and home, and the complete destruction of a wedding party and memory that was to have lasted positively forever, but which was now replaced with a nightmare,” her attorneys wrote in the suit.
Notter is seeking unspecified damages for unconstitutional search and seizure, excessive force, invasion of privacy, assault, false imprisonment and wrongful arrest, among other allegations.
Pleasant Hill police did not return multiple requests for more information about the arrest or comment on the suit.