Post details: Wearing a giant pink rabbit suit around a bank justified plaintiff's detention

07/19/07

Permalink 05:19:48 pm, by fourth, 706 words, 2493 views   English (US)
Categories: General

Wearing a giant pink rabbit suit around a bank justified plaintiff's detention

Plaintiff's wearing a giant pink rabbit suit around a bank gave police justification to encounter him and pat him down. The officers were awarded summary judgment because his outfit was reasonably perceived as a potential disguise for a bank robber. Bowie v. City of Livonia, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51460 (E.D. Mich. July 17, 2007):

Here, having received a phone call from a bank complaining of a man in a giant pink rabbit costume, and reasonably believing that bank robbers may wear a disguise to avoid identification, it was reasonable for Pertunnen to be suspicious that criminal activity was afoot. Considering that Plaintiff was dressed in a giant pink rabbit costume in a residential neighborhood, during the Fall when such a fashion statement is not quite in vogue, it was also reasonable for [Officer] Parinello to suspect that Plaintiff was intoxicated, perhaps even armed, and posed a threat to himself and the public. [Officer] Pertunnen's detainment, questioning, and pat-down of Plaintiff was a constitutional Terry stop as a matter of law. Amway Distributors, 323 F.3d at 390.

Tasering plaintiff was reasonable under the circumstances and not excessive force because he was holed up in his house for two hours and officers were unsure of his cooperation as he finally came out and made like he was going back in. Biggers v. Lowe, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51650 (S.D. Ohio July 17, 2007):

Defendant Stephens' actions, under the circumstances described above, were not so unreasonable as to amount to excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The uncontroverted facts establish that plaintiff had refused to come out of the house for more than two hours, conduct on plaintiff's part that certainly qualifies as resisting arrest. Stephens had been informed that plaintiff was intoxicated and armed and that plaintiff had made threatening statements to other officers at the scene. Although plaintiff had finally emerged from the house, he appeared to reenter the house. Defendant Stephens' action in firing the taser was reasonable under the circumstances and therefore did not amount to excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Plaintiffs survive summary judgment for being left handcuffed and nude for 8-20 minutes. Plaintiffs' suit was not barred by res judicata because he "took issue" with the search, but did not litigate it. There was an arrest warrant and that justified the entry. Depaolo v. Brunswick Hills Police Dep't, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51649 (N.D. Ohio July 17, 2007):

Courts that have examined this issue have found forcing a person to remain unclothed during a search may be a violation of that person's Fourth Amendment rights, depending on the circumstances. Hall v. Shipley, 932 F.2d 1147 (6th Cir. 1991) (requiring an individual to remain naked for twenty to thirty minutes while exposed to cold January air violates individual's clearly established constitutional rights.) The plaintiff in that case also claimed that he was only offered a woman's dress and that the officers made derogatory remarks about his nudity. Id. at 1153. Armstead v. Township of Upper Dublin, No. Civ. A 03-CV-3608, unreported 2004 WL 2743451 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 23, 2004) (using excessively tight handcuffs and removing arrestee from home without allowing him to cover his nakedness violated arrestee's Fourth Amendment rights and was clearly established in 2003). Spencer v. Moreno, No. 4:02CV3049, unreported 2003 WL 1043318, (D. Neb. March 11, 2003), citing Hill v. McKinley, 311 F.3d 899, 904 (8th Cir. 2002) ("Fourth Amendment is violated when a female arrestee is allowed to remain naked and exposed to male guards for a substantial period of time after the threat to security and safety posed by the arrestee has passed.").

Arrest warrant permitted the police to approach defendant's house from the front and back. United States v. Jordan, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51574 (E.D. Tenn. July 16, 2007):

It is well-settled that "'for Fourth Amendment purposes, an arrest warrant founded on probable cause implicitly carries with it the limited authority to enter a dwelling in which the suspect lives when there is reason to believe the suspect is within.'" U.S. v. Wickizer, 633 F.2d 900, 902 (6th Cir. 1980) (quoting Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 603, 100 S. Ct. 1371, 63 L. Ed. 2d 639 (1980)). Thus, Judge Guyton's determination that the posting of officers in the defendant's backyard in order to execute a valid arrest warrant was reasonable and not in violation of the Fourth Amendment was not in error.

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