Category Archives: Qualified immunity

N.D.N.Y.: Lack of consent no defense to a probation search

Lack of consent is no defense to a probation search. United States v. Lombardo, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173618 (N.D.N.Y. Sep. 20, 2022).* Defendant was detained after furtive gestures. He ultimately voluntarily spoke to the officers. There was no constitutional … Continue reading

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CA6: District Court cannot order search of juror’s cell phone to investigate alleged juror misconduct

In a hearing on alleged juror misconduct, the district court cannot order the juror’s cell phone to be searched for evidence of what happened. In re Sittenfeld, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 26700 (6th Cir. Sep. 23, 2022). Plaintiff’s complaint against … Continue reading

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NV: Protective sweep doesn’t require a prior arrest and state didn’t articulate the RS of potential danger for it

“While we hold that a protective sweep does not require a prior arrest, we conclude that the district court correctly concluded that the search performed here was not a lawful protective sweep because it was not based on articulable facts … Continue reading

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ID & CA3: Two views same day on misdemeanor arrests

Defendant was already stopped and the officer suspected DUI. She was handcuffed and transported for a breath test. This was an arrest for a misdemeanor that did not happen in the officer’s presence, and it thus violated the state constitution. … Continue reading

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CA9: Arrest for misd without having seen it violated state law but not 4A; qualified immunity granted

The requirement that an arrest for a misdemeanor have occurred in the officer’s presence is a statutory rule [I thought common law], but not a Fourth Amendment requirement. Here, the officer still had probable cause, but didn’t see it. Not … Continue reading

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CA9: Oral amendment to SW to add a place to be searched never incorporated violates 4A, but GFE here because no controlling authority

Officers had a search warrant for plaintiff’s hotel room searching for evidence of a drug operation. They called the issuing judge for permission to search plaintiff’s home under the same affidavit, which was orally granted, but the warrant was not … Continue reading

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DDC: Delay in return of seized cell phone not necessarily unreasonable; Rule 41(g) provides procedural due process

DC Metro police seized numerous cell phones from BLM protestors, and they sued to recover them. The DC police policy wasn’t followed, but only by negligence, and that doesn’t state a claim against it. Rule 41(g) applies despite lack of … Continue reading

Posted in Automobile exception, Cell phones, Excessive force, Qualified immunity, Rule 41(g) / Return of property | Comments Off on DDC: Delay in return of seized cell phone not necessarily unreasonable; Rule 41(g) provides procedural due process

S.D.Fla.: Threats against LEOs involved in execution of SW requires affidavit remain sealed

Public threats against FBI agents involved in the search requires leaving the affidavit for the search warrant under seal. In re Warrant, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150388 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 22, 2022). Defendant’s traffic stop was factually based and not … Continue reading

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CA6: No QI for 3 strip searches a day for inmate in segregation

Plaintiff’s prison warden denied qualified immunity for ordering three strip searches a day on plaintiff when he was in segregation. Fugate v. Erdos, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 23208 (6th Cir. Aug. 18, 2022). “The defendant officers were attempting to locate … Continue reading

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CA7: Shooting a man using a running chainsaw as an apparent weapon was subject to QI

Shooting a man advancing on an officer with a running chainsaw who was ignoring police commands to stop was subject to qualified immunity. Esker v. Lutz, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 23033 (7th Cir. Aug. 18, 2022).* The defendant officers’ contention … Continue reading

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NY2: Search of wallet during a frisk unreasonable

Officers violated the Fourth Amendment during defendant’s frisk when they removed his wallet from his pocket and searched it. People v. Lewis, 2022 NY Slip Op 04920, 2022 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4797 (2d Dept. Aug. 10, 2022). The officer … Continue reading

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M.D.Pa.: No QI for violation of knock-and-announce; fact question for trial

Defendant officers’ motion for summary judgment on qualified immunity for violating the knock-and-announce rule is denied. The law is well settled for 25 years and there are no blanket exceptions. The rest is fact bound. Murphy v. Grochowski, 2022 U.S. … Continue reading

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E.D.Cal.: 4A does not require medical personnel participate in a prison strip search

The Fourth Amendment does not require medical personnel participate in a prison strip search. Graham v. Wright, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136026 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 1, 2022). Defendant’s stop for late night knocking on the door of a house where … Continue reading

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S.D.Fla.: A § 1983 case over pre-Kraft video surveillance dismissed for QI

In another court ordered video surveillance massage parlor case, this time a § 1983 case, the surveillance order was pre-Kraft where the 4th DCA suppressed surveillance there, so the defendants get qualified immunity. Taig v. Currey, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading

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Volokh Conspiracy: Qualifying Qualified Immunity: The Cases in Which the Fair Notice Rationale Clearly Supports …

Reason: Volokh Conspiracy: Qualifying Qualified Immunity: The Cases in Which the Fair Notice Rationale Clearly Supports … (“and clearly does not support qualified immunity.”) by Nathan Chapman

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IA: Ex-wife’s false claims of sex abuse of children was still PC for state action

Plaintiff sued the State of Iowa over a DHS sex abuse investigation that ordered him out of the house, but was later proved unfounded. It was discovered that his ex-wife’s claim was manufactured to get him out of the house. … Continue reading

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D.Ore.: Officer may be cross-examined at trial over contents of SW affidavit if relevant

“The Court denies the Government’s motion to prohibit Defendant from cross-examining IRS Special Agent Jason Nix on his sworn statements contained in a search warrant application. See ECF 100 at 13-15. Defendant may cross examine Special Agent Nix regarding any … Continue reading

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N.D.N.Y.: Younger doctrine bars suit against state AG investigation’s subpoena

Plaintiffs’ claims that various constitutional rights were infringed by the state Attorney General’s alleged politically motivated investigation are barred by the Younger doctrine. As to the Fourth Amendment claim, it was directed at subpoenas. Trump v. James, 2022 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading

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CA10: Pepper spraying a subdued misdemeanant was unreasonable; no QI

“Addressing the two prongs of qualified immunity below, we conclude that the use of pepper spray violated Mr. Wilkins’s clearly established right to be free from the additional use of force after he was effectively subdued. The officers were not … Continue reading

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10A Center: Is Qualified Immunity “Necessary?”

10A Center: Is Qualified Immunity “Necessary?” by Mike Maharrey (“Qualified immunity is a legal defense that allows government officials to escape civil lawsuits when they are accused of violating constitutional rights. Opponents say it lets bad government actors escape accountability. … Continue reading

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