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PSF-5.24 - Independent Police Review - Review of Tort Claims and Civil Complaints Alleging Tortious Conduct by Portland Police Officers

Administrative Rule Adopted by Auditor's Office Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority

Portland City Code 3.21.110 (B) (Amended by Ordinance No. 179162, effective March 30, 2005) requires the IPR Director to “develop procedures for handling complaints and appeals involving matters currently in litigation or where a notice of tort claim has been filed.” This protocol describes IPR’s procedures for handling tort claim notices and civil complaints (hereafter, civil claims) which allege tortious acts by Portland Police Bureau officers.
1.  IPR will review civil claims filed against Portland police officers and will open complaint files in cases involving substantial allegations of serious police misconduct. Complaints will be generally handled in accordance with the IPR Case Handling Guidelines-PSF-5.20 and the IAD Guidelines for Screening Referrals from IPR-PSF-5.21.
2.  IPR generally will not open complaint files on civil claims that:
a.  Do not describe the actions which constitute the alleged misconduct;
b.  Are grossly improbable or incoherent on their face;
c.  Allege minor misconduct as defined by the IPR Case Handling Guidelines-PSF-5.20.
d.  Arise from motor vehicle accidents, absent allegations of egregious conduct or malicious intent;
e.  Seek reimbursement for property damages caused by lawful police activity, e.g., to repair a door jamb damaged during the execution of a search warrant;
f.  Seek reimbursement for lost, misplaced, or negligently mishandled or damaged personal property, absent allegations of theft, or which seek the return of seized property;
g.  Allege conduct that is fully and credibly explained and legally justified by contemporaneous police reports and it is unlikely that further investigation would support a sustained finding against the officers;
h.  Allege conduct that has been previously reviewed and adjudicated by IPR, absent allegations of significant new evidence;
i.  Allege conduct that already is the subject of a citizen or Bureau-initiated complaint, provided that any new or expanded allegations in the civil claim may be added to the citizen or Bureau-initiated complaint file;
j.  Require a judicial interpretation of law that is different from a legally reasonable interpretation which the Bureau or the officer relied and acted upon in the particular incident.
3.  Citizen complainants who filed both a civil claim (tort claim or lawsuit) and a misconduct complaint may file appeals in accordance with current IPR protocols provided that they filed and cooperated in the citizen complaint process. Plaintiffs who did not file or cooperate in the citizen complaint process may not appeal the outcome of investigations.

Adopted by City Auditor and filed for inclusion in PPD December 7, 2007.