CA6: One day detention without finding of PC valid under Gerstein and Riverside

Plaintiffs’ one day detention without a finding of probable cause failed to state a claim under Gerstein and County of Riverside. That is still presumptively reasonable. Cox v. City of Jackson, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 13124 (6th Cir. Apr. 22, 2020) (the case also involves a Heck issue):

It is true, as plaintiffs insist, that McLaughlin did not say that a detention of less than 48 hours can never violate the Fourth Amendment. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. at 56 (“This is not to say that the probable cause determination in a particular case passes constitutional muster simply because it is provided within 48 hours.”). But McLaughlin did say that a jurisdiction that provides a judicial probable cause determination within 48 hours complies with the promptness requirement of Gerstein, and “will be immune from systemic challenges.” Id. And, a particular plaintiff challenging the promptness of a determination made within 48 hours of arrest would have to “prove that his or her probable cause determination was delayed unreasonably.” Id. (“Examples of unreasonable delay are delays for the purpose of gathering additional evidence to justify the arrest, a delay motivated by ill will against the arrested individual, or delay for delay’s sake.”) Here, Cox and Freeman did not allege that their probable cause determinations were unreasonably delayed for improper purposes; rather, they claim that the purportedly valid probable cause determination was defective.

Nor can Cox and Freeman escape the presumption that their one-day detentions were constitutionally reasonable by arguing that Gerstein did not involve a detainee who never received a proper probable cause determination. This argument fundamentally misapprehends what Gerstein says the Fourth Amendment requires. That is, an officer’s probable cause determination will justify a warrantless arrest and a brief period of detention, but that detention may not be extended without a prompt judicial determination that there is probable cause to arrest. Gerstein, 420 U.S. at 113-14. If, as here, such a detention ends within a constitutionally reasonable period of time, it does not matter whether there was also a judicial determination of probable cause to arrest.

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