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Court Rules Filner Accuser Filed Claim Too Late

Photo credit: Associated Press

Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, right, sits with his lawyer, Earll Pott, in Superior Court Judge Robert J. Trentacosta's courtroom, Dec. 9, 2013.

A state appellate court panel agreed with the city of San Diego in ruling that a woman who accused ex-Mayor Bob Filner of sexual battery filed her civil claim too late, the City Attorney's office announced Wednesday.

Jeri Dines alleged the disgraced former mayor touched her buttocks on May 25, 2013, while they posed for a photograph at an event for dog owners on Fiesta Island.

That incident was one of three that led Filner, who resigned in August 2013, to plead guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery, according to the City Attorney's Office.

Standard procedure when suing a government agency is to first file a claim within six months of the alleged incident, and then wait for the claim to be accepted or rejected. If it's denied, the claimant can then file a lawsuit.

According to court documents, Dines filed an application for a late claim in May 2014, nearly a full year after the alleged offense.

After the city denied her application on May 8, 2014, she sued the city and Filner on Nov. 12 — just over six months later.

The City Attorney's Office argued that the case should be thrown out of court since it wasn't filed in a timely manner. A Superior Court judge ruled that she was eligible for a five-day extension granted for mailed court documents.

On Tuesday, the three-judge appellate panel overturned the lower court ruling, saying the extension didn't apply in her case.

"When claimants fail to follow the legal process, they will ultimately lose," City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said.

Around 20 women accused Filner of sexual harassment, and the city has settled a few lawsuits.

His mayoral communications chief, Irene McCormick Jackson, settled for $250,000.

Two women, who sought the former congressman's help with the federal Department of Veterans Affairs accepted a $99,000 payout. Michelle Tyler and Katherine Ragazzino alleged that he sought sexual favors in exchange for his assistance.

A woman who provided city assistance to seniors, Peggy Shannon, settled in exchange for an official apology and a proclamation of "Peggy Shannon Day" in the city.


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