Updated at 4:10 p.m.
Attorneys for the District of Columbia filed notice (PDF) this afternoon that they plan to appeal a judgment entered against the city earlier this summer in a false arrest case.
The notice comes almost a month after U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth denied the city's request for a new trial.
A local woman, Lindsay Huthnance, sued the city over her 2005 arrest, claiming that the police officers involved relied on a trumped-up disorderly conduct charge to arrest her in retaliation for comments she that were critical of law enforcement. She also charged the city with failing to take steps over the years to stop unlawful "contempt-of-cop" arrests.
Following a trial in March, the jury found the city and two officers who arrested Huthnance liable for $97,500 in damages for false arrest, emotional distress and constitutional violations committed in the court of her arrest and detention. A third officer was not found liable.
The city attorney general's office, which defended the city in the case, asked Lamberth to enter judgment in their favor, or, in the alternative, grant a new trial, arguing that important evidence was excluded at trial and that Huthnance had failed to present evidence to back up her constitutional claims, among other things.
During the trial, the officers testified that Huthnance had been screaming obscenities and that she was so loud she attracted the attention of residents and passers-by around the scene of the incident.
Lamberth, in his July 19 opinion (PDF), wrote that the jury's award was reasonable given the underlying facts. He noted that the fact that one of the officers was found not liable showed the jury was given enough evidence to carefully weigh the role of each of the defendants.
A spokesman for the city attorney general's office declined to comment this afternoon, noting that the city will make its case in briefs it files with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Huthnance is being represented by attorneys with Goodwin Procter, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area. Goodwin Procter partner John Moustakas said he is confident that the verdict and post-verdict rulings will be "affirmed entirely."
Moustakas also questioned the city's decision to appeal, "particularly where the expense of the litigation falls on the citizens at the end of the day."