14 Sep 2012
Ghost hunter sues Upland police officers, alleging civil rights violations
A Chester City police officer who moonlights as a "semiprofessional paranormal investigator" filed a federal lawsuit against Upland Borough and two borough police officers for allegedly assaulting her and her two sons during a ghost-hunting mission in 2010.
Diane Briscoe filed the suit Tuesday, alleging that officers Steven Jackson and Steven Carr violated the civil rights of her and her sons and that Upland Borough failed to train, supervise and discipline the officers.
On Sept. 19, 2010, Briscoe and her two sons, one a minor, were in a home in the first block of Second Street in Upland performing a paranormal investigation at the behest of the home’s owner, the suit alleges.
The homeowner was not present at the time in question, but had given a key to Briscoe, the filing says.
At about 8:30 p.m., the two Upland police officers entered the home and arrested Briscoe and her two sons at gunpoint, charging them with trespassing and disorderly conduct.
In the filing, Briscoe claims she told the arresting officers that she was a Chester City police officer, had a key to the house and had the owner’s permission to be there. It further states that neither officer made an attempt to contact the homeowner to confirm her statements.
Charges against her older son were dismissed at the district court level, and her younger son was found not guilty of trespassing a few months later.
Records of any charges filed against Briscoe could not be located through the state’s online records database, but the filing says that a district judge dismissed charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct on Nov. 10, 2010.
Briscoe is seeking $150,000 in damages, as well as court and legal costs. She demanded a jury trial on charges of civil rights violations, assault and battery, false arrest, failure to investigate and malicious prosecution against Carr and Jackson, as well as a charge of failure to train, supervise and discipline the police officers levied against Upland Borough.
Briscoe and her sons are represented by Joseph Oxman of Oxman, Goodstadt and Kuritz of Chester.