San Francisco Public Defender Arrested at Courthouse

By Schonauer Law on Feb 02, 2015 at 07:40 AM in Law News

Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson was arrested for preventing police from questioning or photographing her client at the San Francisco Hall of Justice.  Ms. Tillotson’s client had just made an appearance with a co-defendant for a misdemeanor theft charge.  When they left the courtroom they came under questioning by a plainclothes police officer

Penal Code section 148 subd. (a) (1) "Every person who willfully resists, delays, or obstructs any […] peace officer […] in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office or employment." 

Did Police Sgt. Brian Stansbury have a duty to photograph Ms. Tillotson’s client and did Ms. Tillotson resist, delay, or obstruct Sgt. Stansbury in his attempts to discharge this duty?  You decide.

Feb 03, 2015 Arrow1 Down Reply

Hello Paul,
It's pretty clear the cop is on solid legal ground, and I can direct you to a detailed analysis which supports that conclusion, but the more significant question is whether arresting her was prudent.

Feb 06, 2015 Arrow1 Down Reply


I do not think anything is ever "clear" in the law, and it is rare to find solid legal ground. Because Ms. Tillotson was a third-party and in a publically accessible place, I agree that Penal Code 148 is probably applicable.

Thanks for your comment!