CA5: Ptf in a 4A § 1983 case has to plead violation of a “clearly established right” to get over QI in complaint

Although an arrestee adequately alleged that members of a parish council and sheriff’s office maliciously conspired to prosecute him under an unconstitutional statute in retaliation for online comments about council members, his right was not clearly established because there was conflicting authority as to whether his voluntary submission to arrest warrants constituted a “seizure” under the Fourth Amendment. The arrest warrants did not insulate defendants from liability because their false and misleading affidavits tainted the magistrate’s deliberations. Issuance of the arrest warrants was a show of authority which the arrestee submitted to by voluntarily surrendering at the sheriff’s office. Because the plaintiff arrestee failed to plead a violation of a clearly established constitutional right, defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. McLin v. Ard, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14617 (5th Cir. Aug. 8, 2017).

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