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Claim filed for civil rights lawsuit against Shasta County

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REDDING, Calif. - A Redding attorney filed a claim Monday, starting the process for a civil lawsuit against Shasta County.

Eric Berg, from Berg and Associates, said Shasta County Sheriff's Deputies violated the rights of James Coleman during a marijuana bust at his home in Round Mountain in July.

In the report, deputies said they were investigating a dispute between Coleman and his neighbor when they noticed several pot plants.

But the defendant claims they entered through a locked gate without notice, a warrant or his permission.

During the investigation, Coleman presented his medical marijuana card and claimed he was a member of a wellness collective.

Deputies said Coleman was not in compliance with county ordinance and destroyed all 298 of his growing plants.

Berg said during the incident deputies violated Coleman's Fifth Amendment right to due process.

"The government can't just come in and take your property and seize it and destroy it without some sort of due process. Cops don't just get to decide who gets to keep their property and who can't. Normally we have rules and laws that determine those things," said Berg.

In the official claim filed by Berg, he states that during the incident a deputy said "we don't want this or your kind" and "you need to move."

Berg said because of the harassment Coleman is planning on moving out of Shasta County.

In 2011 Coleman was charged with possession of marijuana for sale but was found not guilty by a jury in Shasta County.

Coleman is currently charged with violating the county ordinance for the incident in July but Berg has filed an objection and said his client was acting within California State Law.

KRCR also reached out to the Shasta County Sheriff's Office for comment but no one was available on Monday.

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