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Ousted San Diego Mayor Ducks Groping Suit

SAN DIEGO (CN) - Ousted San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has dodged another of several lawsuits over "inappropriate touching," due to tardy filing by a woman who claims she was a victim.

Writing for a three-judge panel of the Fourth Appellate District, Judge Alex McDonald sided with the city of San Diego and directed the trial court to deny the request of a woman who claims to have been harassed by Filner to be relieved of government claims requirements.

San Diego challenged a prior ruling made by a state court judge last April allowing Jeri Dines to sue the city even though her preliminary claim was not filed within the legal timeline.

Dines asked the city to let her file a late claim with the city, which was denied on May 8, 2014. Dines then filed a petition in trial court on Nov. 13, 2014, more than six months after the city denied her application.

Under the California Government Claims Act, a lawsuit cannot be filed against a public entity unless the filer first submits a claim to the agency and that claim has been denied. The lawsuit must then be filed within six months of the initial claim rejection by the government agency.

Dines argued her filing did not miss the six-month mark and cited a provision that extends by five days the period for a recipient of a mailed notice to respond to the notice.

San Diego challenged the trial court's decision to allow Dines to sue, arguing it had informed Dines of the provisions for filing a complaint in court within six months of her application being denied by the city.

The appellate court found the five-day provision Dines citied for her tardy complaint did not apply to the six-month limitations period for filing a petition with the court. The appellate order to deny Dines' petition also makes her lawsuit moot.

Dines' initial lawsuit claimed Filner "rubbed and grabbed Dines' buttock" while in the presence of his bodyguards at an event in May 2013.

Dozens of women came forward accusing Filner of sexual harassment in the months following his December 2012 inauguration. He left office in August 2013 and was replaced by current Mayor Kevin Faulconer in a special election.

Filner recently made headlines when he spoke to Voice of San Diego about his perspective on veterans' homelessness, his misconduct while in office and a deal he had struck with National Football League team the San Diego Chargers.

"It was not sexual harassment and I never sexually harassed anybody," Filner told the Voice.

Filner is still battling several cases in court and was fairly mum on the claims made against him.

"I said there was no sexual harassment and most of the things were made up, are fantasies," Filner told the Voice. "I have proof of all of this."

Filner has largely stayed out of the spotlight in the two years since he was kicked out of office. He now lives in Los Angeles.

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