CA6: Officer in § 1983 case didn’t show basis for warrantless entry; QI erroneously granted

Crediting the plaintiffs’ complaint and the proof thus far, the defendant officer did not show an excuse for dispensing with the warrant requirement for a warrantless entry into the plaintiffs’ home. Thus, summary judgment on qualified immunity was erroneously granted the officer, and there’s enough to get to a jury. Brenay v. Schartow, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17817 (6th Cir. Sept. 12, 2017):

We cannot say for certain what happened at the Brenays’ front door. But we also do not need to. At summary judgment, we do not decide which version of the facts is accurate. All that matters is that, accepting the account most favorable to the Brenays, a reasonable jury could conclude that Officer Sierras violated the Brenays’ clearly established rights by entering their home without any warrant, consent, or exigency. Whether he actually did so “is the epitome of a triable issue of fact, one over which our authority recedes and the jury’s takes over.” Stoneburner, 716 F.3d at 930 (citation omitted). We therefore reverse the district court’s decision granting summary judgment in favor of Officer Sierras on the Brenays’ unlawful-entry claim. See Hall v. Shipley, 932 F.2d 1147, 1154 (6th Cir. 1991) (“[S]ummary judgment is inappropriate on this issue because there are factual disputes on which the issue of immunity turns such that it cannot be determined before trial whether the officers did acts which violate clearly established rights.”).

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