Category Archives: Qualified immunity

CA5: 1836 US-Morocco Treaty of Peace and Friendship as applied to courthouse metal detector not “clearly established law”

Plaintiffs are Moorish-Americans who, on the way to file papers with the clerk, refused to go through the metal detector at the Caddo Parish Courthouse. Entrance was denied. They refused to leave and were then arrested for trespass. They sued … Continue reading

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techdirt: Immunity Denied To Deputies Who Tried To Turn Muscular Dystrophy Into Reasonable Suspicion

techdirt: Immunity Denied To Deputies Who Tried To Turn Muscular Dystrophy Into Reasonable Suspicion by Tim Cushing (reporting on Klaver v. Hamilton Cty., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 30642 (6th Cir. Nov. 3, 2022)*)

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E.D.N.Y.: A single incident of legal mail being opened in jail doesn’t state a claim

A single incident of legal mail being opened before it got to plaintiff in a county jail doesn’t state a constitutional violation. Braithwaite v. Suffolk Cty. N.Y., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204233 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 9, 2022). There is no reasonable … Continue reading

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CA7: 4½ days to figure out ptf was innocent didn’t violate 4A or 14A

“Eli Martinez spent four and a half days in custody while he tried to explain to his jailers that his brother, Hector M. Rodriguez, was the one described in an arrest warrant. After Martinez was released, he sued two probation … Continue reading

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CA5: Standard of review for QI in excessive force cases

In this excessive force case, the Fifth Circuit discusses qualified immunity in the heat of a confrontation. Henderson v. Harris County, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 28436 (5th Cir. Oct. 12, 2022). The standard of review:

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N.D.N.Y.: Lack of consent no defense to a probation search

Lack of consent is no defense to a probation search. United States v. Lombardo, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173618 (N.D.N.Y. Sep. 20, 2022).* Defendant was detained after furtive gestures. He ultimately voluntarily spoke to the officers. There was no constitutional … Continue reading

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CA6: District Court cannot order search of juror’s cell phone to investigate alleged juror misconduct

In a hearing on alleged juror misconduct, the district court cannot order the juror’s cell phone to be searched for evidence of what happened. In re Sittenfeld, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 26700 (6th Cir. Sep. 23, 2022). Plaintiff’s complaint against … Continue reading

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NV: Protective sweep doesn’t require a prior arrest and state didn’t articulate the RS of potential danger for it

“While we hold that a protective sweep does not require a prior arrest, we conclude that the district court correctly concluded that the search performed here was not a lawful protective sweep because it was not based on articulable facts … Continue reading

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ID & CA3: Two views same day on misdemeanor arrests

Defendant was already stopped and the officer suspected DUI. She was handcuffed and transported for a breath test. This was an arrest for a misdemeanor that did not happen in the officer’s presence, and it thus violated the state constitution. … Continue reading

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CA9: Arrest for misd without having seen it violated state law but not 4A; qualified immunity granted

The requirement that an arrest for a misdemeanor have occurred in the officer’s presence is a statutory rule [I thought common law], but not a Fourth Amendment requirement. Here, the officer still had probable cause, but didn’t see it. Not … Continue reading

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CA9: Oral amendment to SW to add a place to be searched never incorporated violates 4A, but GFE here because no controlling authority

Officers had a search warrant for plaintiff’s hotel room searching for evidence of a drug operation. They called the issuing judge for permission to search plaintiff’s home under the same affidavit, which was orally granted, but the warrant was not … Continue reading

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DDC: Delay in return of seized cell phone not necessarily unreasonable; Rule 41(g) provides procedural due process

DC Metro police seized numerous cell phones from BLM protestors, and they sued to recover them. The DC police policy wasn’t followed, but only by negligence, and that doesn’t state a claim against it. Rule 41(g) applies despite lack of … Continue reading

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S.D.Fla.: Threats against LEOs involved in execution of SW requires affidavit remain sealed

Public threats against FBI agents involved in the search requires leaving the affidavit for the search warrant under seal. In re Warrant, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150388 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 22, 2022). Defendant’s traffic stop was factually based and not … Continue reading

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CA6: No QI for 3 strip searches a day for inmate in segregation

Plaintiff’s prison warden denied qualified immunity for ordering three strip searches a day on plaintiff when he was in segregation. Fugate v. Erdos, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 23208 (6th Cir. Aug. 18, 2022). “The defendant officers were attempting to locate … Continue reading

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CA7: Shooting a man using a running chainsaw as an apparent weapon was subject to QI

Shooting a man advancing on an officer with a running chainsaw who was ignoring police commands to stop was subject to qualified immunity. Esker v. Lutz, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 23033 (7th Cir. Aug. 18, 2022).* The defendant officers’ contention … Continue reading

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NY2: Search of wallet during a frisk unreasonable

Officers violated the Fourth Amendment during defendant’s frisk when they removed his wallet from his pocket and searched it. People v. Lewis, 2022 NY Slip Op 04920, 2022 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4797 (2d Dept. Aug. 10, 2022). The officer … Continue reading

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M.D.Pa.: No QI for violation of knock-and-announce; fact question for trial

Defendant officers’ motion for summary judgment on qualified immunity for violating the knock-and-announce rule is denied. The law is well settled for 25 years and there are no blanket exceptions. The rest is fact bound. Murphy v. Grochowski, 2022 U.S. … Continue reading

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E.D.Cal.: 4A does not require medical personnel participate in a prison strip search

The Fourth Amendment does not require medical personnel participate in a prison strip search. Graham v. Wright, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136026 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 1, 2022). Defendant’s stop for late night knocking on the door of a house where … Continue reading

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S.D.Fla.: A § 1983 case over pre-Kraft video surveillance dismissed for QI

In another court ordered video surveillance massage parlor case, this time a § 1983 case, the surveillance order was pre-Kraft where the 4th DCA suppressed surveillance there, so the defendants get qualified immunity. Taig v. Currey, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading

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Volokh Conspiracy: Qualifying Qualified Immunity: The Cases in Which the Fair Notice Rationale Clearly Supports …

Reason: Volokh Conspiracy: Qualifying Qualified Immunity: The Cases in Which the Fair Notice Rationale Clearly Supports … (“and clearly does not support qualified immunity.”) by Nathan Chapman

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