A lawsuit filed against the city of San Francisco by the surviving family members of a father and two sons who were fatally shot last year has been moved from federal court to state court.

The transfer of the lawsuit filed by Danielle Bologna and her surviving son and daughter to San Francisco Superior Court was ordered Friday by U.S. District Susan Illston.

The lawsuit claims the city contributed to the deaths of Danielle Bologna’s husband, Anthony Bologna, and two of the couple’s sons through its sanctuary policy.

It alleges that Edwin Ramos, 22, the man accused of murdering the three family members, was in the country illegally and had contacts with police as a juvenile, but was not reported by city officials to federal authorities because of the city’s former sanctuary policy.

Anthony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were gunned down as they sat in their car at an intersection near their home in the Excelsior District of the city on June 22, 2008.

Police have speculated that the shooter mistook them for members of a rival gang.
Ramos, of El Sobrante, a native of El Salvador and a suspected member of the MS-13 gang, is awaiting trial on three counts of murder.

District Attorney Kamala Harris announced last week that her office will not seek a death penalty but rather a sentence of life in prison without parole if Ramos is convicted.

Danielle Bologna and her two surviving children originally filed the civil lawsuit in Superior Court in April, but lawyers for the city moved it to federal court in May because it included claims of violations of federal constitutional rights.

Last month, Illston dismissed the federal claims, saying that the family members hadn’t shown that the city’s alleged policy created a specific risk to the individuals who were shot. In Friday’s order, she said a San Francisco Superior Court judge should decide the remaining state law claim that the city was negligent.

Deputy City Attorney Scott Wiener said the city will now ask for dismissal of that claim as well. He said he hopes to have a hearing in Superior Court by the end of the year.

Matthew Davis, a lawyer for the Bologna family, said he thinks the lawsuit is now in the appropriate court.

The Superior Court “is the court that we think should decide” the case, Davis said.

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