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ISSN 0271-5481

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2006 LR Jul (web edit.)

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Featured Cases - With Links

Damages: Compensatory
Defenses: Qualified Immunity
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant
Firearms Related: Intentional Use (2 cases)
First Amendment
Homeless Persons (2 cases)
Public Protection: Crime Victims

Noted in Brief -(With Some Links)

Defenses: Eleventh Amendment Immunity
Defenses: Governmental Immunity (2 cases)
Defenses: Statute of Limitations
Domestic Violence (2 cases)
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant (3 cases)
False Arrest/Imprisonment: Unlawful Detention (3 cases)
False Arrest/Imprisonment: Warrant
Governmental Liability: Policy/Custom
Malicious Prosecution
Negligence: Vehicle Related (2 cases)
Police Plaintiffs: Vehicle Related
Public Protection: Crime Victim
Public Protection: Motoring Public and Pedestrians (2 cases)
Search and Seizure: Person
Search and Seizure: Vehicle


Cross References

Featured Cases -- With Links

Damages: Compensatory

Federal appeals court upholds reduction of damages from $1,104,000 to $464,000 in lawsuit arrestee brought arising out of his arrest and prosecution for "public lewdness" in a transit station restroom, while rejecting the argument that the damages should have been further reduced. Plaintiff was also awarded $301,167.26 in attorneys' fees and costs.

     A New York man was arrested for "public lewdness" by two police officers employed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He was later prosecuted on that charge and acquitted, following which he sued the Authority and officers for false arrest and malicious prosecution.

     In his lawsuit, he asserted that he had merely urinated at a urinal in a men's room at a public transit station, but had then been arrested by the officers and accused of having masturbated in public. Six other men were also arrested on similar charges on the same day at the same station, and the rest of them all pled guilty to various charges.

     The plaintiff claimed that he had been arrested and prosecuted without probable cause to believe that he had actually committed the charged offense, as part of a "sweep arrest," and that the Port Authority which employed the officers had a policy or practice of occasionally carrying out such "sweep arrests" without regard to probable cause, as well as having failed to adequately train the officers as to how to properly carry out such arrests.

     A jury found the defendants liable on both the false arrest and malicious prosecution claims, awarding the arrestee compensatory damages of $1,104,000, including $1 million in damages for emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of liberty on the false arrest claim, $1,000 in therapy expenses on the false arrest claim, $100,000 in damages for emotional distress and mental anguish on the malicious prosecution claim, and $3,000 in legal fees on the malicious prosecution claim.

     The trial judge found the $1 million award of damages on the false arrest claim excessive, and reduced it to $360,000 ($200,000 for emotional distress, and $160,000 for loss of liberty), upholding the remainder of the jury's verdict and award, for a total of $464,000 in compensatory damages. The trial court also awarded $301,167.26 in attorneys' fees and costs. The plaintiff accepted this reduction of the jury's award, and the defendant's appealed, arguing that the trial court should have further reduced the amount of damages awarded.

     The defendants argued that the reduced amount of damages for emotional distress and mental anguish on the false arrest claim was still "disproportionate to the objective evidence of emotional injury" that was presented to the jury, that the trial judge acted improperly in allegedly allowing the plaintiff to recover "for the same emotional injury under both his false arrest and malicious prosecution causes of action," and improperly instructed the jury in a way which risked such a "duplicative" award. The defendants also argued that the trial judge's breakdown of the false arrest award into two portions for emotional distress and loss of liberty distorted the comparisons he then made between the immediate case and similar cases for purposes of calculating the maximum amount of damages that would not be excessive.

     The appeals court found that the defendants' arguments were "without merit," and that the trial judge's reducing of the damages brought the amount awarded to the plaintiff on both claims "within, even if at the high end of," the range of awards authorized in prior similar, "even if not wholly identical," cases.

     The appeals court also stated that it could not set aside a trial court's "fairly-reasoned decision" on the basis that "we might disagree with the outcome it reached, or because, if it were left to us, we might decide the matter differently."

     The defendants failed to show, the appeals court found, that the trial judge, in conducting an analysis of the damages to be awarded, reached "clearly erroneous findings of fact, committed legal error, other otherwise abused its discretion."

     It also noted that, while the plaintiff had not been subject to "physical attack," he had still experienced "considerable anguish because of his arrest," which included "sleeplessness, loss of appetite, anxiety bouts, cessation of social, volunteer, and church activities, ideations of suicide, and concerns about his immigration status."

     Finally, the appeals court found that the emotional distress damages on the false arrest and malicious prosecution claims were not "duplicative," because the trial court stated that the plaintiff suffered separate emotional distress from his feelings of "desperation" while undergoing trial on the "highly stigmatizing charge," as well as from his response to the allegedly "intimidating conduct" of one of the officers while he was on his way to a court appearance, justifying a separate award of emotional distress damages.

     Martinez v. Port Auth. of New York & New Jersey, No. 04-6636, 445 F.3d 158 (2d Cir. 2006).

    » Click here to read the text of the opinion on the Internet.

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Defenses: Qualified Immunity

Deputy was entitled to qualified immunity for ordering a man to leave a trailer park in which he was occupying an apartment when the man's father, displaying a deed showing that he owned the property, stated that he did not want his son to be there, and the son did not produce any lease or other evidence of his right to remain on the premises.

     A Penobscot County, Maine sheriff's deputy was sued by a man whom he issued a no-trespassing warning, and had ordered to leave a trailer park. The man awoke that morning in an apartment over a garage built on a lot within the trailer park. His sister asserted that he had no right to be there, and stated that she was going to call the sheriff, but the man called the sheriff's department himself, and asked for assistance, questioning what his sister was "doing in his garage."

     The man was evidently involved in a "long-running" dispute with his family over his rights in regards to the building and some of its contents. These family members denied that he had any right to be there on the day of the incident, while the man responded that he had, at the very least, a "tenancy interest" in the building, which he allegedly paid for and built in the trailer park and he and his father once had a partnership to purchase. He further claimed that all members of the family had a "lifetime right" to reside in the trailer park, and that he had been there for many years.

     When the deputy arrived, he encountered what was later described as a "screaming contest" involving the man, two of his sisters, and one sister's husband. The man's father subsequently showed up with a copy of the deed, which did not show the man as an owner of the property, and told the deputy that he had previously told his son to stay off of the property.

     The deputy then issued the no-trespass order, and gave the man several minutes to collect personal belongings from the apartment. The deputy observed that there were no stairs leading to the apartment the man had occupied, only a ladder to a window. The deputy had also previously believed the apartment to be vacant. The man complied with the order when he was told he would be arrested if he did not leave, and later claimed that a great deal of his personal property in the apartment disappeared from the building after he left.

     The man sued the deputy and others, claiming that he had been unlawfully evicted from his residence, and that this was an unlawful seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment, as well as a violation of his right to procedural due process protections before the seizure. He further claimed that the deputy had not been properly trained and supervised by the other defendants, and asserted state law claims for conversion of personal property, infliction of emotional distress, and unlawful eviction in violation of a state statute.

     A federal appeals court has upheld the rejection of all these claims, and the finding that the deputy was entitled to qualified immunity.

     Under the circumstances, the appeals court found, even if what occurred could properly be found to have been an "eviction," at all, the deputy could have reasonably believed, at the time of the incident, that his actions were lawful.

     The deputy, encountering a "volatile and potentially dangerous situation," a "screaming contest," found the plaintiff, who had a truck with out-of-state license plates, and who claimed a right to occupy a building which the deputy was familiar with, and reasonably thought was unoccupied. The plaintiff provided no written lease or other documentation to support his claimed right to occupy the premises, but only verbally asserted a right to be there. Opposing the plaintiff were several members of his own family, including the plaintiff's own father, who produced a deed which substantiated that the father owned the property.

     Qualified immunity, the appeals court noted, protects "all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law." Under these circumstances, the deputy's decision to disbelieve the plaintiff and to defuse the situation by asking him to leave under threat of citation for trespass was "neither plainly incompetent nor involved a deliberate violation of the law."

     Given the "paucity" of any evidence that the plaintiff had a right to be on the premises, the court commented, the plaintiff's argument

     Higgins v. Penobscot County, No. 05-2375, 446 F.3d 11 (1st Cir. 2006).

    » Click here to read the text of the opinion on the Internet.

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False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant

Deputies were not entitled to qualified immunity for making an entry into a home without consent or exigent circumstances to make a warrantless arrest of a resident.

     An arrestee sued Rockdale County, Georgia and a number of employees of the county sheriff's department, claiming that a number of deputies violated his rights when they entered his home without a warrant and arrested him. A federal appeals court, reversing the trial court's decision, found that the deputies were not entitled to qualified immunity for the warrantless arrest of the plaintiff in his home, while upholding determination that the deputies did not use excessive force against him.

     A deputy was summoned to the area when a neighbor questioned where her son was, and pointed to a family's home as the possible place her son might have gone. The deputy questioned two teenage residents of the house sitting on the trunk of a car parked at the house. The older of the teenagers ultimately told a deputy that he did not have to answer questions, and that the deputy should speak to their mother. One of the teenagers went into the house to wake his sleeping mother.

     The deputy called for assistance and another deputy responded. One of the teenagers came out of the house, and told the deputies the mother would be coming out to talk to them, and told his brother to come into the house. One of the deputies told the first teenager not to move, and allegedly then grabbed him. A struggle then ensued, and one of the deputies grabbed the other teenager, threw him onto the grass, and sprayed him with pepper spray.

     The mother emerged from the house, and grabbed the arm of one of her sons, getting involved in the struggle, which subsequently moved into the residence through the doorway. Ultimately the deputies arrested the mother and one of her sons. When the father came home from work twenty minutes later, he was told by another deputy, who had arrived on the scene, that his wife and two sons had been arrested for fighting with deputies. He was not satisfied with this explanation.

     He picked up his seven year old son who was walking around unattended and crying, and went into the house. One of the deputies then allegedly followed the father into the house, with no warrant and no permission. The father threatened to sue "the hell out of everybody," and the deputy told him, "You fixing to go to jail." Several deputies then rushed into the kitchen. The seven year old was snatched from his father's lap, and the father was handcuffed and arrested, charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of an officer. One of the sons later pled guilty to misdemeanor obstruction and all other charges against the family were dropped.

     In the family's federal civil rights lawsuit, the trial court granted summary judgment to the deputies, finding that probable cause existed to support the arrests and that the deputies were entitled to qualified immunity. Only the father appealed, claiming that his arrest inside his home was unlawful because the deputies did not have a warrant, exigent circumstances, or consent to enter and that the unlawfulness of their conduct was clearly established, so that they were not entitled to qualified immunity.

     The federal appeals court agreed. It is clearly established that a warrantless arrest in the home violates the Fourth Amendment unless the officer has both probable cause to make the arrest and either consent to enter the home or exigent circumstances. In this case, the appeals court said, if the father's version of the events was true, the officers did not have either consent to enter the home, or any exigent circumstances justifying a warrantless entry.

     Qualified immunity for the officers on the warrantless entry to make the arrest, therefore, was improper, and further proceedings were ordered on the father's claim.

     Bashir v. Rockdale County, GA, No. 05-12020, 445 F.3d 1323 (11th Cir. 2006).

    » Click here to read the text of the opinion on the Internet.

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Firearms Related: Intentional Use

Officer acted reasonably in shooting and killing a husband at the scene of a domestic disturbance when the husband refused to raise his hand, kept advancing towards the officer, and was known to possess guns, as well as telling the officer that "I've got something for you. You are going to have to kill me." Transporting wife and her daughter to the police station to take their statements after the incident was not an "unreasonable seizure," as nothing indicated that they were not free to leave.

     An Illinois police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call wound up shooting and killing the husband. His widow, on behalf of herself and her minor children, filed a federal civil rights and state law complaint against the officer for excessive use of force and wrongful death. She also claimed that the actions of other officers after the shooting, who took statements from her and her daughter, violated their Fourth and First Amendment rights.

     A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendants on all claims.

     The appeals court found that the officer acted reasonably in shooting and killing the husband, because the undisputed facts were sufficient to establish that there was an imminent danger to the officer making the use of deadly force permissible. The officer was responding to a 4:14 a.m. domestic disturbance call, and had previously been to the same home, as recently as eight days earlier, in responding to a similar call from the home. On the prior occasion, the officer had found the husband intoxicated and yelling at his wife, who told the officer that her husband was "very violent." The officer had arrested the husband on that prior occasion, and had been told by other officers that the husband became very violent while in a holding cell, and had an extensive arrest record. He also learned, from the wife, that her husband was known to carry weapons, and the officer had also recorded a written statement from another person who said he had purchased guns from the husband.

     As the officer proceeded to the front of his vehicle, parked in front of the house, and the wife yelled at him from the kitchen window, he saw the husband standing at the corner of the house on his right side in the dark. The husband had no shirt on, and responded to the officer's question "what's going on?" by stating "I've got something for you. You are going to have to kill me."

     The officer, who had his gun drawn, ordered the husband to raise his hands. The husband disregarded this order and instead started walking towards the officer with his arms extended out to his side. The officer could not see whether the husband possessed any weapon in his back waistband. The officer walked backwards, to maintain the distance between them.

     The husband told the officer "If you are going to shoot me, shoot me here," pointing to his chest. The wife yelled out the window and allegedly told the officer not to shoot, and that her husband had nothing in his hands. The officer stumbled while walking backwards. The officer subsequently claimed that the husband lunged toward him as he did so, and that he feared that the husband was either reaching for a weapon behind his back or attempting to reach the officer's weapon. He shot the husband, who subsequently died.

     The appeals court found that the combination of facts, including the husband's "irrational" behavior and refusal to respond to commands, gave the officer a reasonable belief in a real danger of imminent serious bodily injury should the husband succeed in reaching him. He did not have to wait until there was a physical struggle for control of his weapon before acting to protect himself.

     The appeals court found that this justified rejection of both the federal civil rights claim for excessive force, and an Illinois state law wrongful death claim. The appeals court rejected the plaintiff's argument that the officer acted in an reckless manner which "caused the situation to escalate," making it unreasonably dangerous.

     Further, in this case, the officer had not yet had an opportunity to approach the house or otherwise intervene, because he almost immediately was confronted by the husband. It was the husband's actions and statements which were "reckless," the court found, and which led the "escalation" of the situation.

     The appeals court also rejected the plaintiff's argument that she and her 13-year-old daughter were improperly "seized" under the Fourth Amendment when they were transported to the police station to take their statements regarding the events. The plaintiff failed to present any evidence which would lead a reasonable person to believe that she was not free to leave. She acknowledged that the officers had a legitimate interest in interviewing them right after the shooting, that it was reasonable for her and her daughter to be interviewed separately, and that they were never searched or handcuffed. The facts showed, the court concluded, that the plaintiff and her daughter "agreed" to go to the police station, so that they were not "unreasonably seized."

     The wife's contention that officers told her to "stay" in a room she was placed in was later characterized, even by her, as a statement simply telling her to "wait there," which was inadequate to establish a reasonable belief that she was not free to leave. While she and her daughter were there for "hours," a lot of that delay was caused by the police having to provide an interpreter for her, and by the fact that the wife's statement was redone three times when she told the officers that certain information was missing from it, and herself requested that it be retyped to include that information.

     The mere fact that the officers wanted to interview the wife and her daughter right after the shooting, and facilitated doing that by taking them to the police station, did not constitute "coercion."

     DeLuna v. City of Rockford, No. 05-1337, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 12176 (7th Cir.).

    » Click here to read the text of the opinion on the Internet.

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Officers and city were entitled to summary judgment on civil rights, state law assault and battery, and negligence claims arising out of shooting of an arrestee in the hip while he was being handcuffed. Under New Mexico state law, the arrestee's death, six months later, from unrelated causes in a swimming accident, extinguished all claims for intentional misconduct, and there was no waiver of governmental immunity for the negligence claim under state law.

     A man arrested by Farmington, New Mexico police officers was shot in the hip when a police handgun discharged while the officers were handcuffing him. The shooting officer claimed that the shooting was accidental. The arrestee subsequently disappeared in a swimming accident completely unrelated to the shooting, and is presumed dead. His estate sued the city and two of the officers involved in the incident, asserting claims for violation of Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights in using excessive force, as well as assault, battery, and negligence. The plaintiff did not concede that the shooting was an accident, but argued that, if that was true, it was caused by the defendants' negligence.

     A federal trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants on all claims, finding that the plaintiff's claims for intentional misconduct did not survive the arrestee's unrelated death, and that no waiver of governmental immunity applied to the negligence claim under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act. A federal appeals court upheld this result.

     While the question was not directly addressed under New Mexico state law, the federal appeals court believed that, if faced with the issue, New Mexico courts would apply the rule that was applied at common law, and conclude that claims for intentional misconduct do not survive the death of an injured party from a cause unrelated to the lawsuit. The plaintiff argued, on appeal, that this result, allegedly mandated by state law, "frustrates the policies underlying" the federal civil rights statute, and is therefore inconsistent with federal law and the Constitution, when used to bar her federal civil rights claims as well as her state law negligence claims. The appeals court found that the plaintiff had "waived" that argument by not raising it in the trial court.

     Accordingly, because federal civil rights claims for excessive force and unreasonable seizure are for intentional misconduct, they did not survive the arrestee's unrelated death under New Mexico law, so that those claims were properly dismissed by the trial court, along with the state law assault and battery claims.

     On the state law negligence claim, the appeals court found, the New Mexico Tort Claims Act, N.M. Stat. Secs. 41-4-1 through 41-4-27, governmental entities and employees are immune from liability unless that immunity is specifically waived by the Act. The plaintiff failed to point to any specific section of the Act under which immunity is waived for "negligence standing alone," so that the negligence claim was also properly dismissed.

     The appeals court further rejected the plaintiff's argument that a waiver of immunity in the Act for negligently operating "equipment," i.e., the handcuffs and gun, applied in the circumstances of the case. The point of that waiver, the court found, is to protect the general public from conduct of public agencies and employees which creates a risk of harm to the general public. Reading that waiver to waive immunity every time a public employee's negligence creates a risk of harm for one individual, the court reasoned, would be inconsistent with the intent of the statute.

     The appeals court concluded that the alleged negligence by the officers, of allegedly mishandling a firearm and handcuff while apprehending the arrestee, did not put the general public at risk, so that immunity was not waived under state law. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the court noted, one officer's act of slamming into the arrestee while the other officer had his gun drawn certainly put the arrestee and both officers at risk, but it did not create a danger to the general public, since the incident occurred in the middle of night with no members of the public present.

     Oliveros v. Mitchell, No. 05-2163, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 12146 (10th Cir.).

    » Click here to read the text of the opinion on the Internet.

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First Amendment

•••• Editor's Case Alert ••••

U.S. Supreme Court: a civil rights lawsuit for retaliatory prosecution in violation of a person's First Amendment rights must be based on, among other things, the absence of probable cause to prosecute for the asserted criminal charges.

     Inspectors for the U.S. Postal Service investigated a company and its chief executive, believing that they had an improper role in the search for a new Postmaster General, and had been involved in a consulting-firm kickback scheme. A federal prosecutor, allegedly urged to do so by the postal inspectors, brought criminal charges against the firm and a number of its executives. The federal trial court acquitted the defendants, and concluded that there was no evidence that they engaged in any crimes.

     The company's chief executive then filed a federal civil rights lawsuit under Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), claiming that the prosecution had violated his First Amendment rights, and had been brought in retaliation for his various lobbying efforts.

     Claims against the federal prosecutor were dismissed on the basis of absolute prosecutorial immunity for the decision to proceed with a criminal prosecution. Ultimately, a federal trial court denied a motion for qualified immunity by the defendant postal inspectors, who had argued that they were entitled to such immunity because there had been probable cause for the prosecution, and a federal appeals court upheld this result.

     The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, with two Justices not participating, reversed this denial, holding that the complaint could not assert a claim for violation of the First Amendment through retaliatory criminal prosecution "without alleging an absence of probable cause to support the underlying criminal charge. We hold that want of probable cause must be alleged and proven."

     It was therefore insufficient to merely claim that there were governmental employees who had retaliatory motives for beginning or continuing with the prosecution, if probable cause for the prosecution on the charged criminal offenses existed.

     Ordinarily, the Court's majority noted, there is a presumption of "regularity" given to a prosecutor's decision to initiate or proceed with a prosecution. "And this presumption that a prosecutor has legitimate grounds for the action he takes is one we do not lightly discard, given our position that judicial intrusion into executive discretion of such high order should be minimal." This presumption can be overcome, allowing a retaliatory prosecution lawsuit to go forward, if there is an absence of probable cause, as well as a retaliatory motive on the part of a government employee or official urging the prosecution.

     Hartman v. Moore, No. 04–1495, 126 S. Ct. 1695 (2006).

    » Click here to read the text of the opinion on the Internet.

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Homeless Persons

•••• Editor's Case Alert ••••

City ordinance that criminalizes homeless people sitting, lying, or sleeping on streets and sidewalks at all times violates the Eighth Amendment, federal appeals court rules by 2-1.

     Six homeless persons, who claimed that they were unable to obtain shelter on the night that each of them was cited or arrested for violation of a Los Angeles city ordinance prohibiting sitting, lying, or sleeping on public streets and sidewalks sued the city. Their federal civil rights lawsuit claimed that the ordinance, which forbid this conduct at all times and in all places within the city limits violated their Eighth Amendment rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The Complaint sought an injunction against the enforcement of the ordinance during nighttime hours (9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.), or at any time against the temporarily infirm or permanently disabled.

     In ruling that the ordinance did, in fact, violate the Eighth Amendment, a 2-1 majority of a federal appeals court panel stated that there was a "severely large" gap between the size of the homeless population needing a shelter bed and the number of such beds available in public shelters, private shelters, or inexpensive "Single Room Occupancy" hotels (SROs) in the "Skid Row" area of town. Evidence in the case, the court found, showed that for many of the homeless persons in the city without the "resources or luck to obtain shelter," sidewalks "are the only place to be."

     The court also cited studies showing that homelessness results, in many instances, not from "informed choice," but rather from mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, low-paying jobs, and the "chronic lack of affordable housing." 

     The appeals court found that the Los Angeles ordinance was one of the most restrictive municipal laws on the subject in the country, since the city could secure a conviction under the ordinance against any person who sits, lies, or sleeps in a public way at any time of day. In many other cities, ordinances directed at homeless people provide "ways to avoid criminalizing the status of homelessness," the court commented, by making an element of the crime some conduct in combination with sitting, lying, or sleeping in a state of homelessness, such as only prohibiting doing so if it intentionally obstructs pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or limiting enforcement to certain hours, or certain areas.

     Because of the broad reach of the Los Angeles ordinance, the court stated, thousands of homeless people in the city violate the ordinance every day and every night, and many are arrested, often losing, in the process, the few possessions they may have.

     The appeals court ruled that the city could not "expressly criminalize" the status of homelessness by making it a crime to be homeless without violating the Eighth Amendment. It reasoned that it therefore also could not criminalize acts that are an "integral aspect of that status." Because there is insufficient shelter in the city to provide beds for all homeless persons at all times, including on the nights of their arrest or citation, the court found, the city: "has encroached upon Appellants' Eighth Amendment protections by criminalizing the unavoidable act of sitting, lying, or sleeping at night while being involuntarily homeless."

     The appeals court's majority rejected the argument that the ordinance was aimed at "criminal conduct" rather than the status of being homeless. Unlike criminal conduct such as drug dealing, the opinion states, "the conduct at issue here is involuntary and inseparable from status--they are one and the same, given that human beings are biologically compelled to rest, whether by sitting, lying, or sleeping." To rule otherwise, the court continued, would be to believe that homeless persons could avoid sitting, lying, and sleeping for "days, weeks, or months at a time" to comply with the ordinance "as if human beings could remain in perpetual motion."

     The panel's majority emphasized that its ruling was a narrow one, and did not prevent the criminalizing of conduct that is not an "unavoidable consequence of being homeless," such as panhandling or obstructing traffic. It also did not strike down the ordinance on its face or in its entirety.

      The panel majority ruled that the plaintiffs were entitled to an injunction against the city's enforcement of the ordinance at certain times and/or places, so long as there are a greater number of homeless individuals in the city than the number of available beds.

     A strong dissent by one judge on the three-judge panel acknowledged that "homelessness is a serious problem," but characterized the ordinance as punishing the conduct of sitting, lying or sleeping on city sidewalks, rather than the status of homelessness, noting that the conduct involved could be committed by persons with homes as well as by homeless people.

     Jones v. City of Los Angeles, No. 04-55324, 444 F.3d 1118 (9th Cir. 2006)

    » Click here to read the text of the opinion on the Internet.

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Arrest of homeless man for erecting cardboard structure in which he slept on park bench in New York City did not violate his constitutional rights. Federal appeals court rules, 2-1, that the law under which he was arrested was not unconstitutionally overbroad or vague, and that there was probable cause for his arrest.

     A homeless man in New York City was arrested along with other homeless persons under a city program designed to improve the quality of life in the city's public spaces. He was charged with violation of a provision of the city's administrative code which prohibits leaving boxes and erecting obstructions in public spaces. He sued the city, the mayor, and the police commissioner for alleged violations of his civil rights, claiming that the code section was unconstitutionally overbroad and also unconstitutionally vague as applied to him, failing to provide clear notice of what conduct was prohibited. He further claimed that his arrest was without probable cause and violated his constitutional right to travel.

      A federal appeals court panel, by 2-1, has upheld the trial court's determination that the code section was sufficiently clear to give notice both to the homeless man and to law enforcement officials as to what conduct was prohibited, and further found that the section plainly applied to his observed conduct, providing probable cause for his arrest. The trial court also held that enforcement of the code section did not implicate the plaintiff's right to travel, but he did not appeal from that portion of the ruling.

     The city's "quality of life" initiative was designed to reduce a wide range of street crimes, including prostitution, panhandling, and drug sales. The plaintiff claimed that the initiative, in enforcing provisions like the code section involved in his arrest, had been expanded to reduce the number of homeless persons living in public spaces. On the night of his arrest, police arrested 25 persons, including the plaintiff, in a city park. The plaintiff had come to the park at approximately 10:30 p.m. with some personal possessions, three folded cardboard boxes, and a loose piece of cardboard. He used the three boxes to construct a "tube" large enough to accommodate most of his body, placed the tube on a park bench, climbed into the tube, covered the exposed part of his body with the loose piece of cardboard, and went to sleep.

     The officers woke him from his sleep and arrested him. He was later given a ticket and released, and the district attorney later declined to prosecute him, stating that the prosecution of the case "lacked prosecutorial merit."

     In upholding these actions, the appeals court found that they did not impinge on the plaintiff's constitutional right. The plaintiff did not argue that his construction of a cardboard enclosure in which he could sleep, with some protection from the cold, was intended to be "expressive activity" protected by the First Amendment. Additionally, the court found, the code section did not restrict his right to travel, because it did not prevent his "freedom of movement" either in interstate travel or within the state.

     The appeals court found that the code section clearly prohibited erecting any obstruction in a public place, and that this clearly applied to the cardboard tube. The court noted in passing that the plaintiff had technically not violated the provisions concerning "leaving" boxes in a public place, since he did not leave the cardboard tube, but rather placed himself inside it. The appeals court rejected the argument that the tube was not an obstruction because it was not permanent.

     The appeals court also rejected the argument that the code section was "unconstitutionally over-reaching because it prohibits innocent, unoffending conduct that is beyond the state's power to regulate," such as sitting, lying or sleeping by homeless people in parks and other public places, "where they are not impinging on the rights of others." The appeals court found that the code section by its languages only prohibited "leaving or constructing in public spaces inanimate objects" that are obstructions, and did not appear to prohibit the conduct of "sitting, lying, or sleeping" described by the plaintiff.

     The officers, having observed the plaintiff in a cardboard structure large enough to house him, which he had erected in a public space, the appeals panel majority concluded, "had probable cause to arrest him."

     A strong dissent by one judge on the panel argued that the arrest of the plaintiff "presents a textbook illustration of why vague criminal laws are repugnant to the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment," and stated the belief that the law in question, as applied to the plaintiff, was unconstitutionally vague. This judge argued that the plaintiff's cardboard tube, placed on the park bench, was "no more of an obstruction than his prone body alone." Further, he argued, the plaintiff would not have been regarding as having erected an obstruction if he had covered his body on the bench with blankets, jackets, or a warm fur coat.

     Betancourt v. Bloomberg, No. 04-0926, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 12259 (2d Cir.).

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Police detective who elicited suspect's admission that he had sexual contact with a ten-year-old child by telling him, during a non-custodial interrogation, that all information would stay "confidential" because a juvenile was involved did not violate the suspect's rights. Even if the statement did misrepresent the suspect's Fifth Amendment rights, this was not conduct which "shocks the conscience."

     A Maine man claimed that a state police detective violated his constitutional right to substantive due process by engaging in conduct that would "shock the conscience" while questioning him about the suspected sexual abuse of a ten-year-old child. A federal appeals court has upheld a determination that the detective's conduct in the interrogation was not conduct that would shock the conscience, so that the detective was entitled to summary judgment.

     The detective set up a tape-recorded, non-custodial interview with the man after speaking to a boy who claimed that the man sexually abused him. The interview indicates that the detective was aware of the man's past criminal history, and that the suspect acknowledged to the detective that he had been placed in an intensive therapy program because of his sexual behavior. The detective told the suspect that "this stuff stays confidential, especially because a juvenile is involved." Later during the interview, the suspect admitted to having sexual contact with the child.

     The admissions were later used at the suspect's criminal trial, but his lawsuit was not based on the use of the admissions, but instead on the tactics that the detective used in the interview. He claimed that the detective "intentionally deceived him" about his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he stated that the information would stay confidential. This tactic, he argued, violated his substantive due process right.

     In order to "shock the conscience," the appeals court stated, the conduct involved must be truly "outrageous, uncivilized, and intolerable." Such conduct usually involves "physical or psychological abuse," the court commented, or "significant interference with a protected relationship," such as the parent-child relationship.

     In this case, the court found, the detective did not engage in physical or psychological abuse or interfere with a protected relationship. Additionally, even if an officer questions a suspect in an "unlawful manner," that does not necessarily entitled the suspect to federal civil rights damages. Suppression of evidence, rather than an award of damages, often can provide the deterrent necessary to deter unlawful questioning.

     The plaintiff's argument was that the fact that the detective lied in the course of the questioning was "conscience-shocking," but the court stated that "lies alone" do not necessary shock the conscience. While the plaintiff argued that the detective knowingly misrepresented the nature of his Fifth Amendment rights, and "such conduct is not something to be condoned," the appeals could found that a reasonable juror could not find this conduct so outrageous as to shock the conscience.

     Additionally, there was no indication that the detective was trying to elicit a false confession or to frame the suspect, but rather, that he told the suspect that he "just wanted the truth."

     McConkie v. Nichols, No. 05-2727, 446 F.3d 258 (1st Cir. 2006).

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Public Protection: Crime Victims

Federal government was not liable for murder of a man randomly kidnapped by a criminal who went on a killing spree when the FBI failed to apprehend him after he called them to attempt to surrender on bank robbery charges.

     A criminal phoned the Boston office of the FBI, and told an FBI employee that he was in Abington, Massachusetts, was wanted for armed robbery, and that he wanted to surrender. The FBI employee allegedly disconnected the call, whether accidentally or purposely, and then allegedly made no attempt to reconnect it, investigate it, or report it to any other law enforcement officer. The caller never called back, and instead, after waiting several hours for the FBI's arrival in Abington, he embarked on a "killing spree," which began the next day when he abducted and murdered a complete stranger.

     Before he was caught, he killed two other men as well. He eventually pled guilty to a federal charge of carjacking resulting in the first man's death, and was sentenced to the death penalty, with that sentence currently on appeal.

     His first victim's estate sued both the federal government and the murderer. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit against the government. A federal appeals court has upheld that result, finding that there was "no principled way" that the "frontiers of law" could be stretched to provide liability on these facts.

     The complaint asserted claims against the U.S. government and the FBI employee under both the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1346(b) and for federal civil rights violations.

     The appeals court found that the "discretionary function" exception barred the FTCA claim, and that, additionally, because the federal government would not have been held liable under Massachusetts state law had it been acting as a private person in the same or similar circumstances, it could not be held liable under the FTCA. FTCA only imposes liability on the government to the same extent that state law would have imposed it on a private person.

     The appeals court further upheld the dismissal of the federal civil rights claim, which had been filed under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, because Sec. 1983 requires action under color of state law, and the FBI employee was not acting under state law in any way. Once the federal claims were all dismissed, the trial court had declined to exercise jurisdiction on the remaining claims in the case, which were state law claims against the murderer himself.

     The appeals court noted that the essence of the claims against the federal government were that the FBI employee was negligent in failing to apprehend the murderer after his attempted surrender, and that this resulted in the first murder victim's death. And since the FTCA only waives sovereign immunity of the federal government to the same extent as private persons would be liable, the court could not "derive analogues" from instances in which state law enforcement officers would be liable under state law.

     So the issue was whether, under Massachusetts law, a private party approached by a fugitive seeking to turn himself in would be guilty of negligence if they did nothing in response, and liable for a resulting series of violent crimes. The court found that the answer was no.

     In the absence of a "special relationship," under state law, a private party is not liable for failing, whether intentionally or inadvertently, to exercise control over a third party's actions to protect others from harm. Accordingly, the federal government was not liable either in this case, since it was "evident" to the court that there was no special relationship between the FBI employee and the crime victim, who, prior to his murder, was a "random member of the public at large," with neither the FBI employee nor the FBI having any reason to know that he existed.

     Additionally, the FBI employee and the criminal were not in some sustained relationship, like parent and child, master and servant, or possessor and licensee. The FBI employee had no particular duty to exercise control over him, and had not given assurances to the murder victim, or to anyone else, to protect them against harm by the criminal.

     The appeals court found that even if the federal civil rights claims were "recharacterized" as constitutional claims under in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of FBN, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), allowing direct constitutional violation claims against federal employees, and not requiring action under color of state law, there could be no liability against the federal government, which itself has not waived liability for constitutional claims for damages. The plaintiffs had originally sued the FBI employee in his individual capacity as well as his official capacity, but dismissed all individual capacity claims against him early in the proceeding.

     McCloskey v. Mueller, No. 05-2690, 446 F.3d 262 (1st Cir. 2006).

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Noted in Brief


     Arrestee's "conclusory allegations" that police officers made "slanderous" statements about him which resulted in "lost friendships, lost livelihood, lost time, and physical injuries" were not sufficient to state a claim for violation of his federal civil rights. Gill v. Texas, No. 04-10497, 153 Fed. Appx. 261 (5th Cir. 2005).

Defenses: Eleventh Amendment Immunity

     Eleventh Amendment immunity did not apply to the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners in lawsuit over allegedly false arrest because it is not an arm of the state of Missouri, even though the Commissioners are appointed by the Governor. Federal appeals court expresses some doubt about this, but finds that it was bound by prior precedent, specifically the U.S. Supreme Court's analysis in Auer v. Robbins, #95-897, 519 U.S. 452 (1997). Thomas v. St. Louis Bd. of Police Comm'rs, No. 05-2655, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 12159 (8th Cir.).

Defenses: Governmental Immunity

     A city, its arresting officer, and a police dispatcher were all entitled to state agent immunity under Alabama state law for actions which resulted in a man's arrest under an outstanding warrant for another man with a similar name. The officer and dispatcher, in mistakenly determining that the arrestee was the individual sought under the warrant, were engaged in the exercise of judgment in the enforcement of criminal laws, and therefore were immune from liability under Ala. Code Sec. 6-5-338. Swan v. City of Hueytown, No. 1031058, 920 So. 2d 1075 (Ala. 2005).

     City's police officers did not act in reckless disregard of cell phone owner's safety and rights in obtaining a warrant for his arrest on charges of making multiple phone call bomb threats to the local high school and police department based on incorrect information obtained from the phone company. City was therefore immune from liability under Mississippi state law. Phone company employee, in preparing requested information, transposed two numbers in computer entry seeking identity of the person owning the phone from which the bomb threats were made. City of Greenville v. Jones, No. 2003-CA-02640-SCT, 925 So. 2d 106 (Miss. 2006).

Defenses: Statute of Limitations

     In a lawsuit by man claiming a city "chilled" his First Amendment rights by gathering and filing information about his political activity as early as the late 1960s, and sharing this information with other agencies until March of 2000, his claims accrued, for purposes of a two-year Colorado statute of limitations on the date on which, based on his own admissions, he had knowledge that the files existed. His claims were therefore time-barred under the statute, when his own admissions showed that he had sufficient knowledge that the files existed by 1998, "at the latest," and he did not file his lawsuit until 2003. Vigil v City and County of Denver, #04-1414, 162 Fed. Appx. 809 (10th Cir. 2006).

Domestic Violence

     Man arrested in domestic violence matter failed to show that any possible violation of his right to equal protection was based on a county policy of discrimination against males in such circumstances, so that he could not pursue his claims against the county. Arresting officers were entitled to qualified immunity on arrestee's claim that they violated his Second Amendment rights by seizing his guns during a search of his residence, since there was no clearly established individual Second Amendment constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Bloomquist v. Albee, No. Civ. 03-276, 421 F. Supp. 2d 162 (D. Me. 2006).

     Husband, involved in divorce proceedings with his wife, did not show that police officer violated his right to equal protection, as a member of a class of persons involved in domestic disputes, by refusing to treat his complaint that his wife had stolen his personal property the same as a similar complaint by other persons. The officer was entitled to qualified immunity, since the alleged right violated was not clearly established in 1999. The officer could also reasonably believe in the lawfulness of his refusal to further investigate the husband's complaint, to arrest the wife, or to search her home for pieces of a silverware set, when the silverware was not on a list of items that the husband could remove from the home which had been approved in the divorce proceeding. Fedor v. Kudrak, No. 3:02 CV 1489, 421 F. Supp. 2d 473 (D. Conn. 2006).

False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant

     Detective had probable cause to arrest a man for rape and robbery without a warrant, even though the victim did not identify him at a lineup. Statements obtained from informants concerning the crime almost exactly matched the victim's description as well as the description of another eyewitness, and the informants specifically named the suspect as the perpetrator. Golden v. City of New York, No. 03-CV-4964, 418 F. Supp. 2d 226 (E.D.N.Y. 2006).

     There was probable cause for the warrantless arrest of a rape suspect at a hospital based on the victim's in-person identification of him and her description of the crime, so that the arresting detective could not be held liable for false arrest or imprisonment when charges against the arrestee were subsequently dismissed. Smith v. City of New York, No. 03 Civ.3048, 388 F. Supp. 2d 179 (S.D.N.Y. 2005).

     The arrest of an African-American man on charges of writing bad checks in another state did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights, despite the fact that the checks had actually been written by a white man who had obtained his lost wallet, and used his identification to open a false checking account. Based on the information known at the time of the arrest, including the purported Social Security number of the check-writer, and the plaintiff's failure to inform authorities that he was never in the place where the checks were written, the actions taken were not unreasonable, and the charges against the arrestee were dismissed as soon as it became known that he was the wrong person. Stewart v. District Attorney, No. 2003-CA-02582-COA, 923 So. 2d 1017 (Miss. App. 2005), cert. denied (2006).

False Arrest/Imprisonment: Unlawful Detention

     Because there were genuine factual issues as to whether an officer acted intentionally in delaying the processing of paperwork required before an arrestee could be given his probable cause hearing, he was not entitled to summary judgment in the arrestee's federal civil rights lawsuit. The city, however, could not be liable for the officer's alleged actions, since there was no evidence of a municipal policy or custom of such delays or of a pattern of tolerance by the city of such delays. Smith v. Eggbrecht, No. 04-5302, 414 F. Supp. 2d 882 (W.D. Ark. 2005).

    An alleged four to six hour delay in releasing an arrestee from detention after he posted bond was not deliberate indifference to his due process rights when there were valid administrative reasons for the delay, including a requirement, when an arrestee had violated a protective order, that the county notify the victims of his pending release, and the fact that there were more inmates than usual and more releases than usual on the dates of the plaintiff's incarceration. Stepnes v. Hennepin County, No. 05-2059, 153 Fed. Appx. 410 (8th Cir. 2005).

     Officers' actions in confining tenants during the search of their apartment under a warrant which did not state which of two apartments on the second floor should be searched was "privileged," barring their false imprisonment claim against the city. Paulemond v. City of New York, 812 N.Y.S.2d (Sup. App. Term 2006).

False Arrest/Imprisonment: Warrant

     FBI agent could rely on facts provided by local law enforcement authorities in procuring a federal flight warrant for the arrest of a father who did not return his daughter to her mother at the conclusion of an authorized visitation period, and was alleged to have a demonstrated willingness to cross state lines with the child, taking her from Florida to Massachusetts, and was not required to conduct his own investigation. The agent knew that a state law arrest warrant had been issued, and he was not required to investigate the validity of that warrant. Meuse v. Freeh, No. CIV. A. 04-10255, 421 F. Supp. 2d 365 (D. Mass. 2006).

Governmental Liability: Policy/Custom

     Man shot and injured by police, supposedly as an innocent bystander to an undercover drug operation, failed to show that the District of Columbia had tolerated a pattern of excessive use of force by police officers, or that it had been deficient in its investigations of use of force incidents. The District, therefore, could not be held liable for the plaintiff's injuries. McKnight v. D.C., No. Civ.A.00-CV-2607, 412 F. Supp. 2d 127 (D.D.C. 2006).


     Suspects may not be seized for custodial interrogation without probable cause, and a police captain was not entitled to qualified immunity for alleged involvement in doing so. No reasonable officer could have believed that forcing a suspect to come to a police station against his will for questioning was not a seizure for custodial interrogation, and the captain did not claim that he had probable cause for an arrest. Svitlik v. O'Leary, No. 3:03CV1500, 419 F. Supp. 2d 189 (D. Conn. 2006).

Malicious Prosecution

     There was probable cause for the arrest and prosecution of a police officer for reckless endangerment while off-duty, so that he could not pursue a claim against the city for malicious prosecution. The officer himself admitted that he operated his motorcycle in a reckless manner and fled from other officers while speeding and improperly changing lanes to travel southbound in a northbound lane. Winn v. McQuillan, No. 03 Civ.2210, 390 F. Supp. 2d 385 (S.D.N.Y. 2005).

Negligence: Vehicle Related

     Jury awards $26.9 million to woman rendered quadriplegic when sheriff's deputy smashed into her car at an intersection. The deputy was allegedly driving at a speed in excess of 70 miles per hour and ran a red light at 2:28 a.m. She claimed to be responding to a call requesting backup at the scene of a domestic disturbance, but the plaintiff alleged that she was actually responding to a low priority call. The city also settled, for $5.75 million, a claim for wrongful death by the estate of another passenger in the struck vehicle. The sheriff's department criticized a decision by the trial judge barring evidence to show that the motorist had herself been driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident, and had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.116 an hour afterwards. News reports stated that the defendants would seek to have the size of the award reduced or to be granted a new trial, and would pursue an appeal if their motions were denied. Petraski v. Debra Thedos, No. 01L6368, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Law Division, May 23, 2006, reported in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Vol. 152, Issue 102, pg. 3 (May 24, 2006).

     Louisiana police officer was 100% at fault for an auto collision that killed a motorist when he was traveling at more than twice the posted speed limit without his emergency lights or siren activated. Additionally, the court determined that the officer was not pursuing a speeder, but a friend. Trial court's determination that the officer and motorist were each 50% at fault for the accident is reversed. A surviving accident victim is awarded $644,000 in damages, and each of the deceased motorist's five children is awarded $25,000 for wrongful death. Smith v. Municipality of Ferriday, No. 05-755, 922 So. 2d 1222 (La. App. 3rd Cir. 2006).

Police Plaintiffs: Vehicle Related

     Police officer who was struck by an allegedly uninsured motorist while in the street directing traffic had no claim under the uninsured motorist provisions of auto insurance issued to the department. The policy's uninsured motorist coverage was limited to employees of the department injured while occupying a covered vehicle, and the officer was not "occupying" a police vehicle at the time of the accident. The officer's uninsured motorist claim was also barred under the "exclusive remedy" provision of the Connecticut workers' compensation statute. Gomes v. Massachusetts Bay Insurance Company, No. 24409, 866 A.2d 704 (Conn. App. 2005).

Public Protection: Crime Victim

     Paramedics who allegedly failed to give medical care to a barroom shooting victim after placing him in an ambulance were entitled to qualified immunity from liability. The shooting victim was not "in custody" for purposes of imposing a constitutional due process right to receive medical care, and the paramedics did not "create" the danger to the victim. Additionally they did not "cut off" any private attempts to render assistance to him, since there was no evidence that any private rescue was attempted. Jackson v. Schultz, No. 04-2289, 429 F. 3d 586 (6th Cir. 2005).

Public Protection: Motoring Public and Pedestrians

     State troopers owed no duty to auto accident victims at icy spot on an interstate highway, since they were not aware of them and had left the scene after handling three earlier accidents there. State police could not, therefore, be held liable for the accident victims' injuries on a theory that the troopers caused their accident by failing to control and direct traffic around the icy spot. Daubenspeck v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 894 A.2d 867 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006).

     Police officer was not entitled to summary judgment on motorist's claim that he was negligent in requiring that she move her inoperable car from the road without providing her with assistance, resulting in her losing control of the vehicle as she pushed it and being dragged down a steep embankment, suffering serious injuries. Court also denies summary judgment to officer on federal civil rights claim alleging that his actions shocked the conscience and created or increased the danger of her being injured. Lockhart-Bembert v. Town of Wayland Police Dept., No. CIV.A. 04-10581, 404 F. Supp. 2d 373 (D. Mass. 2005).

Search and Seizure: Person

     Police officer had justification for his protective pat-down search of a stopped motorist. He could reasonably suspect that the man was armed and dangerous when a computer search for his records indicated that he was designated as someone to be considered dangerous, he could not produce registration for the vehicle, and he said that the car belonged to an individual the officer recognized as a known or suspected drug trafficker.  Officer was entitled to qualified immunity from liability, and that qualified immunity was not barred by a state appeals court decision overturning the motorist's conviction for possession of crack cocaine based on a ruling that the pat-down search was illegal, since that court did not discuss the issue of qualified immunity, and the officer was not a party to that appeal, and therefore did not have an opportunity in the state court to litigate the issue. Coleman v. Rieck, No. 04-1895, 154 Fed. Appx. 546 (8th Cir. 2005).

Search and Seizure: Vehicle

     Officers had probable cause to stop motorist's vehicle under the Fourth Amendment when it was missing a required front license plate. An officer's subsequent impounding of the vehicle was not "extortion" or any other "racketeering" offense required to support the motorist's subsequent claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1951(b)(2), since there was legal authority for his actions. Further, the court rules that the city, as an entity, was not legally capable of "malicious intent" required to support a civil RICO action against it under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1961 et seq. Banks v. Department of Motor Vehicles, No. CV 05-2037, 419 F. Supp. 2d 1186 (C.D. Cal. 2006).

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     Article: "The FBI's Field Intelligence Groups and Police," by Suzel Spiller, 75 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, No. 5, pgs. 1-6 (May 2006). "Through its Field Intelligent Groups, the FBI is maximizing the sharing of information at the federal, state, and local levels." [PDF] [HTML].

     Article: "Training for Law Enforcement Managers," by Robert Trott, 75 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, No. 5, pgs. 12-18 (May 2006). "Using professional military education as a model, law enforcement agencies can substantially improve their managers' education, preparation, and development." [PDF] [HTML].

     Article: "Cell Phone Technology and Physical Surveillance," by M. Wesley Clark, 75 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, No. 5, pgs. 25-32 (May 2006). "The parameters of the lawful use of cell phone technology to assist law enforcement have not been clearly established." [PDF] [HTML].

     Public Information: Best Practices in Public Information. (2006). A book published by the IACP drawing from the experience of police chiefs, their public information officers, and media personnel, and illustrating the importance of having an effective police-media relationship. It provides the modern police executive with a comprehensive guide for developing, maintaining, and improving this critical relationship.

     Pursuits: "Slow Pursuits Lead to Fast and Safe Apprehensions," By John Specht, Lieutenant, Hillsboro, Oregon, Police Department, Police Chief Magazine. vol. 73, no. 3 (March 2006). The Hillsboro, Oregon Police Department has developed an alternative method of apprehension to reduce liability. Click here to read the article and full text of the pursuit policy.

     Terrorism, Homeland Security, and National Security Issues: State Dept. Country Reports on Terrorism 2005. (PDF, March 2006). (html format).

     Websites: Less Lethal Weapon Clearinghouse Website. The IACP with the support of the COPS office, BJA, and other policing organizations and associations has developed a website clearinghouse for information on Less Lethal Weapons.

     • Abbreviations of Law Reports, laws and agencies used in our publications.

     • AELE's list of recently-noted civil liability law resources.

Cross References

Featured Cases:
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant -- See also, Damages: Compensatory
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant -- See also, Homeless Persons (both cases)
Malicious Prosecution -- See also, First Amendment
Search and Seizure: Home/Business -- See False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant
Supreme Court Actions -- See also, First Amendment

Noted in Brief Cases:

False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant -- See also, Defenses: Eleventh Amendment Immunity
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant -- See also, Defenses: Governmental Immunity (2nd case)
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant -- See also, Domestic Violence (1st case)
False Arrest/Imprisonment: Warrant -- See also, Defenses: Governmental Immunity (1st case)
Firearms Related: Intentional Use -- See also, Governmental Liability: Policy/Custom
First Amendment -- See also, Defenses: Statute of Limitations
Governmental Liability: Policy/Custom -- See also, False Arrest/Imprisonment: Unlawful Detention (1st case)
Insurance -- See also, Police Plaintiffs: Vehicle Related
RICO -- See also, Search and Seizure: Vehicle
Search and Seizure: Home/Business -- See also, False Arrest/Imprisonment: Unlawful Detention (3rd case)
Search and Seizure: Search Warrants -- See also, False Arrest/Imprisonment: Unlawful Detention (3rd case)

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