CA3: Affidavit for SW was fair on its face and showing of PC, so officer gets QI for execution

The officers had qualified immunity for execution of a search warrant application that was fair on its face. It could be relied upon by a reasonable officer. Olson v. Ako, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 6958 (3d Cir. Mar. 20, 2018):

In short, Plaintiffs have offered no controlling legal authority to suggest that Defendants did not have probable cause to search their home. Instead, they offer recitations of hornbook Fourth Amendment law and innocent explanations for the conduct that Ako connected to human trafficking in his affidavit. Even in light of the favorable inferences to which they are entitled, these alternative justifications are unconvincing. For example, they make much of the allegation that Watts confiscated R.W.’s flip phone, but then gave her a brand new iPhone in exchange. We are skeptical that controlling a person’s means of communicating with the world-even if via an upgraded device-evinces an innocent overture of friendship. In any event, we fail to see how “no reasonable officer” would have thought there was probable cause here. Cf. Groh v. Ramirez, 540 U.S. 551, 563 (2004). And even if Defendants had “reasonably but mistakenly conclude[d] that probable cause [was] present,” they would still not be personally liable. Anderson, 483 U.S. at 641.

This entry was posted in § 1983 / Bivens, Probable cause, Qualified immunity. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.