A federal judgesided with South Portland police today and rejected a lawsuit by the family of a mentally-ill man who was shot by an officer in 2008.

Michael Norton, 29, was killed Aug. 25, 2008 by Officer Benjamin Macisso, a member of South Portland special-reaction team, as Norton approached police with knives in each hand following a four-hour standoff.

Norton’s family filed suit on behalf of his estate arguing that his civil rights were violated because police did not need to order Norton out of his house and could have used less than lethal force to subdue him.

U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal ruled that police acted reasonably in the case. He granted summary judgement to the city, rejecting the Norton family’s claims that Norton’s right to bear arms and his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act were violated.

Police had been called to Norton’s home three days before the shooting after receiving a call from his doctor that Norton was suicidal and had attempted to purchase a shotgun.

The following day — a Saturday — police were again called and this time were able to contact Norton and take him to Maine Medical Center.

On Sunday, Norton’s father called to say Norton had checked himself out of the hospital and was still intent on killing himself. Police surrounded the house and when Norton, brandishing his knives, approached them, he was shot and killed.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office has also ruled the officers were legally justified in using deadly force against Norton.

Souther Portland Police Chief Ed Googins, who was named as one of the defendants, declined to comment on the decision, saying it could still be appealed.