Jason Kaldani and California Highway Patrol Officer Richard Gibson today entered into a settlement agreement resolving all claims between them. Mr. Kaldani, who is deaf, filed a citizen complaint with the CHP against Officer Gibson in May 1997 as a result of an encounter with Officer Gibson during a traffic stop. After investigating the complaint, the CHP exonerated Officer Gibson. Officer Gibson believed that Mr. Kaldani's citizen complaint to the CHP was false and defamatory, and sent Mr. Kaldani a letter stating his intention to sue Mr. Kaldani pursuant to California Civil Code ﾌ_ 47.5 for damages in small claims court.
In response, Mr. Kaldani filed his federal lawsuit, alleging that Officer Gibson's letter was in retaliation for Mr. Kaldani's exercise of his civil rights and seeking damages, an order preventing Officer Gibson from proceeding with a small-claims lawsuit and a determination by the court that California Civil Code ﾌ_ 47.5 was unconstitutional.
After several weeks of pre-trial discovery proceedings in the federal case, the parties each concluded that justice would be served by both sides dropping their respective claims. In the settlement, Mr. Kaldani has agreed to dismiss his federal lawsuit, and Officer Gibson has agreed not to pursue his defamation claim against Mr. Kaldani.
Mr. Kaldani is pleased that the defamation suit will not be pursued against him. Officer Gibson is pleased that Mr. Kaldani is dismissing his claims against Officer Gibson and his claim challenging the constitutionality of California Civil Code ﾌ_ 47.5.