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A Civil Liability Law Publication
for Law Enforcement

ISSN 0271-5481

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2006 LR Mar (web edit.)

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Featured Cases - With Links

Assault and Battery: Non-Lethal Weapons
Assault and Battery: Physical (2 cases)
Cost Reimbursement: Law Enforcement
Defenses: Judicial Bias
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant
First Amendment
Search and Seizure: Home/Business (2 cases)
Search and Seizure: Persons

Noted in Brief -(With Some Links)

Assault and Battery: Physical (2 cases)
Defenses: Sovereign Immunity (2 cases)
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant (3 cases)
False Arrest/Imprisonment: Warrant
Firearms Related: Accidental Use
Firearms Related: Intentional Use
Freedom of Information
Governmental Liability: Training
Malicious Prosecution
Native American Police Officers and Agencies
Negligence: Dead Body Identification or Handling
Police Plaintiff: Defamation
Police Plaintiff: Firefighters' Rule (2 cases)
Procedural: Class Action
Procedural: Discovery
Property (2 cases)
Search and Seizure: Home/Business
Search and Seizure: Person
Sexual Assault and Harassment


Cross References

Featured Cases -- With Links

Assault and Battery: Non-Lethal Weapons

Police officer was not entitled to qualified immunity in lawsuit claiming that he shot a man attempting to peacefully leave a street party riot with a beanbag propellant gun, since the right to not be subjected to the use of non-lethal force, under such circumstances, was clearly established. There was no evidence, however, of inadequate training by the city on the use of the beanbag weapon.

     A Cincinnati, Ohio man went to a street party with his roommates, and within minutes, the crowd started moving up the street. The members of the crowd became rowdy, with some of them setting fires in the street, and throwing bottles at police officers and others present. Fifteen police officers in riot gear then walked down the street to clear the crowd, ordering them to disperse using megaphones. As the man attempted to leave through the backyard of a friend's house, a property owner with a bat refused to allow him onto an adjacent property. A kneeling police officer allegedly started firing beanbag propellants randomly at the crowd, and the man allegedly slowly began walking towards the officers with his hands above his head. After he advanced about ten feet, an officer shot him in the chin and chest with a beanbag propellant, allegedly without provocation and at point blank range. As a result, he needed twenty stitches in his chin and also incurred a bruised lung and a permanent facial scar.

     Officers claimed that the man was shot while in the act of throwing an unknown object in the direction of the police. The injured man filed an excessive force lawsuit. The trial court granted summary judgment to the plaintiff's claims for excessive force against the officer who shot him, and also on a failure to train claim against the city which employed the officer.

     A federal appeals court reversed the summary judgment for the officer on the excessive force claim, but upheld the rejection of the failure to train claim against the city.

     The appeals court rejected the argument that the plaintiff was not "seized" for purposes of the Fourth Amendment. Whether the officer shot the plaintiff in an effort to restrain him, however, was a disputed question of fact, the court acknowledged, but assuming the facts alleged in the manner most favorable to the plaintiff, that he was shot after attempting to leave, and as he approached the officer with his hands raised in the air, there was a seizure. The fact that he was not eventually placed in handcuffs or taken to the police station, the court stated, did not mean that he was not seized.

     The appeals court found that if the facts were as the plaintiff alleged, the officer was not entitled to qualified immunity, as the use of this level of force to seize him would not be reasonable. The plaintiff claimed that he was not engaged in a crime when the officer shot him, and that his conduct did not suggest that he posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officers. Additionally, there was no evidence that he was attempting to resist or evade arrest, but merely trying to leave the scene of the riot in a peaceful manner.

     The court also found that it was clearly established law at the time of the incident that the use of less-than-deadly force under such circumstances may be excessive, and that individuals have the right not to be shot unless they are perceived as posing a threat to officers or others and to be free of the unreasonable use of non-deadly force. The appeals court panel in the Sixth Circuit cited only one prior case on the use of a beanbag propellant, and that was from the Ninth Circuit, Deorle v. Rutherford, #99-17188, 272 F.3d 1272 (9th Cir. 2001). (use of beanbag propellants against an unarmed man who posed no immediate threat was not objectively reasonable). In that case, while the plaintiff had previously had a hatchet and a crossbow, the court still held that it was unreasonable to shoot him with a beanbag after he disregarded them and then slowly approached an officer while carrying a bottle or can in his hand. The Sixth Circuit panel put the rulings in these cases together to rule that it was clearly established that shooting the plaintiff with a beanbag in the immediate case was objectively unreasonable.

     The appeals court found inadequate evidence to support a claim against the city for inadequate training. The defendant officer stated in his affidavit that he was trained in the use of the beanbag shotgun at the Police Academy every year at the police firing range, and that part of that training was a review of policy and procedure about when a beanbag shotgun can and can't be used. This and other evidence in the case showed that the city was affirmatively taking steps to train officers in the use of beanbag propellants. The plaintiff also failed to submit any additional evidence regarding the number of incidents of beanbag misuse, or anything else to indicate constitutionally defective training.

     Ciminillo v. Streicher, No. 04-4346, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 1020 (6th Cir.).

   » Click here to read the text of the court decision on the Internet.

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Assault and Battery: Physical

Arrestee's excessive force claim against police officer was not barred by his conviction for resisting the officer, when he did not deny the resistance, but merely that the officer's response was excessive, including a beating to the face that caused broken bones and bruises.

     A man having drinks at a tavern in Lafayette, Indiana was there when police officers responded to reports of a fight at the bar. He was then arrested for public intoxication by one of the officers. He did not consent to a breath test, and since the county jail had a policy of refusing to accept inmates suspected of intoxication until they are seen by a doctor, the arresting officer transported him to the emergency room of a hospital.

     At the hospital, the arrestee allegedly was "not a model patient," and after a doctor cleared him for the jail, he demanded additional examination and treatment, claiming that he had been injured in the bar fight. He then allegedly tumbled off his gurney and taunted the arresting officer by telling him, "I'm going to keep you here all night." The officer then handcuffed him to the gurney. When another doctor ordered a blood test, the arrestee resisted, positioning his arm so that medical personnel could not reach his veins. The officer, unable to free the arm, allegedly struck him several times about the face.

     The arrestee claimed that the officer punched him between seven and ten times, leaving bruises and breaking the orbital bones around his eyes. The arrestee claimed also that in the course of the beating, he told the officer, "Stop okay, okay, take the blood."

     The arrestee sued for alleged excessive use of force. The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendant officer because it believed that the arrestee's claim was barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), which prohibits proceeding with a federal civil rights case if recovery on the claim would necessarily imply the invalidity of a conviction that had not yet been overturned or otherwise set aside. The arrestee was originally charged with felony battery on a police officer, and after plea-bargaining, he was convicted of a lesser charge of resisting an officer, a misdemeanor.

     A federal appeals court ruled that summary judgment for the officer was inappropriate, because an award for excessive force in this case would not necessarily indicate the invalidity of the plaintiff's conviction. The mere fact that the plaintiff wound up with a criminal conviction out of the incident did not bar his excessive force claim.

     The plaintiff did not attack his conviction, deny that he resisted the officer's order to comply with the blood draw, or challenge the factual basis presented at his change of plea hearing. Instead, he claimed that he suffered unnecessary injuries because the officer's response to his resistance -- a beating to the face that resulted in bruises and broken bones -- was not, under the law governing excessive se of force, objectively reasonable.

     The court reasoned that, if it were to approve the application of Heck to this case, it would imply that once a person resists a police officer, he has "invited the police to inflict any reaction or retribution they choose, while forfeiting the right to sue for damages." If this were the case, officers subduing a suspect could use as much force as they wanted, and be immune from liability as long as a prosecutor could get the plaintiff convicted on a charge of resisting.

     VanGilder v. Baker, No. 05-1119, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 810 (7th Cir.).

   » Click here to read the text of the court decision on the Internet.

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Police chief used a reasonable amount of force to subdue a motorist who had driven erratically, ignored attempts to pull him over, refused to get out of his vehicle, and appeared to be resisting being handcuffed. The chief had no reason to know, until the arrestee told him, that he was a diabetic suffering low blood sugar, rather than a belligerent drunk or a fleeing criminal.

     After a traffic arrest, the motorist filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the arresting officer, the chief of police of Sacred Heart, Minnesota, arguing that he was arrested without cause and with the use of excessive force. He asserted claims for both violations of his federal civil rights and state law.

     A federal appeals court has upheld summary judgment for the defendant. The trial court had ruled that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity on the civil rights claim, and that he was entitled to official immunity under Minnesota law.

     The arrestee appealed the dismissal of his federal excessive force claims and his state law assault and battery claims. The appeals court found that the force used was constitutionally reasonable and agreed with the trial court on official immunity from the state law claims.

     The police chief found the motorist's truck on the road after another motorist reported being forced off the road by a red pickup truck that was driving "erratically." The chief gave chase, but the motorist allegedly did not respond at first, and sped up. The chief observed the motorist swerving onto the shoulder and then back into the eastbound lane of the highway, and wander in and out of a roadside grassy ditch and twice cross into the westbound lane. The motorist finally stopped after the chief activated his emergency lights and sirens.

     The chief and two police officers who had arrived on the scene approached the stopped truck with their weapons drawn and ordered the driver to get out at least four times, but he failed to respond. Unable to open the truck door, the chief tried unsuccessfully to break the side window with the heel of his gun. When the driver finally unlocked his door, the chief opened it, grabbed the driver by his shirt collar, pulled him from the truck and took him to the ground. He then climbed on top of the prone driver, attempting to handcuff him.

     The motorist ignored commands to place his hands behind his back, so the chief and one of the officers forcibly twisted his arms behind his back and cuffed him. When the chief saw a box cutter protruding from the driver's front right pocket, he grabbed the possible weapon and threw it onto the road. At some point during this thirty-second "scuffle," the police chief allegedly struck the driver in the back of the head with his elbow, and hit him in the ribs with his knee. When the driver was handcuffed, the chief and the officers picked him up and pushed him against the truck.

     The motorist, who is diabetic, claimed that his erratic driving was the result of his suffering a severe drop in blood sugar level while driving home from work, causing him to become disoriented and lose his strength. He also claimed that when he initially heard the siren, he thought someone else was being pursued. He also claimed that he unlocked the truck door with great difficulty, and did not recall being taken to the ground and handcuffed. He denied having the strength to resist.

     When the motorist told the officers that he was having a diabetic reaction, the police chief "promptly" took him to a hospital, where he was treated, and then drove him back to his truck and released him without any charges. The motorist claimed that he suffered bruised ribs, a sore shoulder, and multiple facial and head abrasions as a result of the incident.

     The appeals court noted that it was "undisputed" that the motorist had driven in an erratic and dangerous many for many miles on a public highway, ignoring flashing lights and wailing sirens. The police chief could reasonably suspect that the plaintiff was fleeing under the influence of drugs or alcohol and posed a serious threat to the public. Under these circumstances, there was not only probable cause to stop the truck and arrest the driver, the appeals court stated, but "indeed, a public duty" to do so.

     Pulling the driver from his vehicle and handcuffing him was also objectively reasonable when he failed to comply with orders to get out of his vehicle. When the motorist persisted in lying on his hands, it was reasonable to pull them forcibly behind his back so he could be cuffed, and when the cuffed arrestee would not stand, it was reasonable to stand him up and push him against the truck. Only then, the court noted, did the police chief learn that the motorist's actions were the result of a medical condition. The plaintiff himself admitted that there was nothing visible to inform the police chief that he was dealing with a diabetic.

     The appeals court found that the police chief and officers could reasonably assume that they were dealing with a belligerent drunk or perhaps a fleeing criminal, requiring forcible detention. Based on that, the force used was reasonable. The defendant was therefore entitled to qualified immunity.

     Under Minnesota law, the appeals court further noted, officers engaged in enforcing the law are entitled to official immunity unless they act with "subjective malice," and there was no evidence of that here.

     Wertish v. Krueger, No. 05-1031, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 431 (8th Cir.).

   » Click here to read the text of the court decision on the Internet.

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Cost Recovery: Law Enforcement

•••• Editor's Case Alert ••••

California Highway Patrol could recover, from an allegedly intoxicated motorist causing an accident requiring an emergency response, the costs of that response, including a portion of the officers' salaries. The time covered also includes time spent on activities such as preparing reports or transporting victims or the impaired motorist from the scene, as well as various "in custody" activities, such as the arrest itself.

     A motorist in California allegedly caused an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol. Officers of the California Highway Patrol responded to reports of the accident, investigated it, placed the motorist under arrest, and arranged to have his vehicle towed. The Highway Patrol subsequently billed the motorists for the costs it incurred in responding to the incident.

     In the particular case at issue, the California Highway Patrol billed the motorist $360 for its costs, including 7.5 hours of officer time at the rate of $48 per hour, itemized as 3.5 hours for accident investigation (including time spent on officer response time, on-scene investigation, follow-up investigation, and writing reports or filling out forms), 0.5 hours for vehicle storage (including calling for a tow, waiting for the tow truck, filling out paperwork related to the tow, or otherwise processing the towing), 3.0 hours for "in custody" activities (including time spent on a field sobriety test and the arrest, as well as the transportation, chemical testing, and booking of the motorist), and 0.5 hours for traffic control (including time spent directing traffic, placing flares, and otherwise controlling traffic at the scene of the accident).

     The motorist paid a portion of the bill (only $63), but disputed the rest of it. He and another motorist sent a similar bill filed a class action complaint arguing that law enforcement costs incurred for the investigation, detention, arrest, and booking of individuals do not qualify for reimbursement. The trial court found that law enforcement costs associated with the motorist's arrest, including specifically the cost for salaries incurred, were not recoverable under the statute. The trial court found that in-custody costs were not recoverable, although costs for traffic control, vehicle storage, and accident investigation were. The trial court therefore concluded that the California Highway Patrol could only recover $216 of the $360 bill, excluding the time for "in custody" activities.

     An intermediate California appeals court reversed. Under the statute, it found, an incident, such as a traffic accident caused by intoxicated driving, qualified as an incident which requires an emergency response by government agencies and employees.

     The trial court, the appeals court stated, interpreted the statute, and specifically Gov. Code Sec. 53156 sub. (a), too narrowly by limiting costs that could be recovered to traffic control costs, vehicle storage costs, and accident investigation costs. Nothing in the statute barred the recovery of a portion of the salaries which the Highway Patrol spent because of the accident and its emergency response to it, including "in custody" activities.

     The court ruled that recoverable costs of an emergency response can include the cost of law enforcement services provided because of the accident. And the court found that time spent after the accident in transporting victims of an accident or an intoxicated driver from the scene or preparing reports were also covered. Aside from salaries, however, no portion of an agency's "fixed" costs is recoverable.

     The statute covers incidents in which a person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, negligently operates a motor vehicle, when that negligence is caused by that influence, and proximately causes an accident which results in emergency response. In such instances, recovery of costs of the response is allowed.

     California Highway Patrol v. Superior Court, No. A109209, 2006 Cal. App. Lexis 3 (Cal. App. 1st Dist.).

   » Click here to read the text of the court decision on the Internet.

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Defenses: Judicial Bias

In a false arrest and wrongful imprisonment lawsuit, where the trial judge had a conversation with another judge previously disqualified to sit on the case just before granting the defendant city's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the plaintiff was entitled to a new trial, regardless of any showing of prejudice, based on the "irregularity of the proceedings" and a reasonable concern that the trial judge could not then fairly decide the motion.

     In a lawsuit for false arrest and wrongful imprisonment against two California police officers and the city which employs them, the court set aside a dismissal of the suit and granted a new trial based on the "irregularity of the proceedings." This was because the judge who dismissed the suit had discussed the case with a previously disqualified judge. As a result of the conversation, the judge who ultimately presided over the proceedings was himself found to be disqualified to rule on the motion for dismissal as a result of the discussion, so the dismissal was set aside as void.

     On appeal, a California intermediate appeals court ruled that because the trial judge was disqualified at the time he granted the city's motion for nonsuit, the ruling was void and had to be vacated regardless of a showing of actual prejudice to the plaintiff, and that, even if a showing of prejudice or denial of a fair trial was necessary, the plaintiff had made such a showing, so that a new trial was required.

     The plaintiff, prior to trial, had filed a peremptory challenge to the first judge assigned to his lawsuit. The matter went to trial in front of a second judge, and at the conclusion of the presentation of evidence in the case, the second judge granted the city's motion for nonsuit, finding that there was probable cause for the arrest, which barred all of the plaintiff's claims as a matter of law. A formal dismissal order was subsequently issued.

     During a hearing on the plaintiff's motion for a new trial, the plaintiff's lawyer told the judge that he was informed and believed that the judge had consulted with the previously disqualified judge prior to granting the dismissal. The judge subsequently acknowledged in writing that the first judge had been disqualified and that he had spoken with him concerning the law and procedures that might be applicable to the case. He also said that he was not aware of the disqualification of the first judge at the time he spoke to him, and that neither was the first judge.

     The trial judge claimed that the first judge did not advise him as to how the case should be decided, and that he relied on his own legal research and analysis in dismissing it, so that his recusal "is not necessary or appropriate."

     A challenge for cause against the trial judge was then filed by the plaintiff, and assigned by the court to a third judge.

     The appeals court found that the trial judge lacked the power to rule on the defendants' motion for nonsuit on the basis of his conversation with the previously disqualified judge about the case, so that his action in proceeding with the hearing constituted the denial of a fair hearing. The conversation between the two judges, the first of whom was, unknown to himself at the time, disqualified, was an improper conversation, and gave rise to a doubt as to whether the trial judge would be impartial in ruling on the motion for nonsuit. That, the appeals court ruled, was a sufficient showing of prejudice to uphold the grant of a new trial.

     The appeals court rejected the argument that it was an abuse of discretion to find prejudice because "any reasonable person" would doubt that the trial judge could be impartial in his ruling on the city's motion for nonsuit based on his conversation about the case with a disqualified judge immediately before he granted his motion.

     Christie v. City of El Centro, No D044792 2006 Cal. App. Lexis 33 (Cal. App.).

   » Click here to read the text of the court decision on the Internet.

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False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant

Federal appeals court reinstates false arrest claims against police chief and officer in arrest of married couple for bank robbery based on unclear videotape and allegedly coerced confession by wife purportedly induced by threats to have a state agency take away her children unless she admitted her involvement. Court also rules that evidence presented factual issues as to whether the city had a municipal policy of deliberate indifference towards the coercing of confessions from female suspects with such tactics. Claims against city were based on both failure to train and failure to correct officers' complained of behavior.

     A man and his wife in Illinois spent approximately four months in jail while waiting for trial on their suspected involvement in the robbery of a bank. Before a trial could occur, however, the actual bank robber was identified, and they were released. They then filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Knoxville, Illinois chief of police, the City of Galesburg, Illinois, and a number of Galesburg police officers. The lawsuit claimed that the couple had been arrested without probable cause and that the wife had been coerced into confessing, as well as that the defendants had unlawfully concealed evidence.

    The trial court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. A federal appeals court has upheld this result with respect to the couple's "concealment of evidence" claim, and a claim on behalf of the couple's children for intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as on the false arrest claim as to two officers. It reversed, however, as to the false arrest claim against the police chief and one of the officers, and on the wife's claims arising out of her allegedly involuntary confession. The appeals court also overturned the trial court's determination that the City of Galesburg could not be found liable on the basis of municipal liability for the wife's coercion claim.

     The robbery was committed by a man captured on a somewhat unclear videotape, who a witness described as a Caucasian male in his thirties. Some people thought that he resembled a bank customer, the husband subsequently arrested, who had closed an account at the bank and was experiencing financial difficulties. When questioned, both the man and his wife said that they were at the home of the husband's parents at the time of the robbery using the computer.

     Police obtained a search warrant for the computer in the home in order to attempt to verify the alibi. Instead of waiting for an analysis of the computer, however, officers took the wife to the Galesburg police station for questioning while executing the warrant.

     Once there, she allegedly made both verbal and written confessions to having assisted her husband in carrying out the robbery of the bank. The officers and wife told very different stories regarding the circumstances of the confession, but the officers did admit that, at one point during the questioning, they had told the wife that if she failed to "admit" her involvement in the robbery, they would call a state agency which could take her children away.

     Based on the confession and the bank robbery video, the couple was arrested. As a number of other robberies occurred, a more careful review of the video allegedly showed physical differences between the arrested husband and the robber pictured in the video, which essentially eliminated him as the robber, so the couple was released.

     The appeals court found that a reasonable jury could find that probable cause did not exist, since the husband did not match "or even come close" to the physical description of the robber provided by the only eyewitness who saw the robber's face, and the bank employee who knew the husband told the police that at certain angles of the surveillance video, the husband did not resemble the robber. Additionally, the camera footage itself was not clear, and all of these things were known to the officers who arrested the husband.

     The appeals court further held that the record could not establish that the police chief and the officer who arrested the husband simply made a "good-faith mistake" as to whether there was probable cause for an arrest. Rather, the record could be viewed as showing that the officers themselves realized the weakness of the case, and therefore "manipulated" available evidence to misleading a prosecutor into authorizing the arrest. Accordingly, neither the police chief nor the arresting officer were entitled to qualified immunity.

     While there had been proceedings in the criminal case against the wife in which her motion to have her confession quashed as involuntary were denied, the appeals court rejected the argument that this barred her, under the doctrine of collateral estoppel, from relitigating in the federal civil rights lawsuit the issue of whether her confession was coerced. The appeals court noted that the dismissal of all criminal charges against her prior to trial prevented her from appealing the trial court's determination as to the voluntariness of the confession, which is a necessary element of collateral estoppel under Illinois law.

     The appeals court also noted that credibility determinations made by the trial court in the criminal case on the voluntariness of the confession were based on "circular reasoning." The court decided that, because the wife claimed that she was coerced into confessing, there was a record of lying to public officials (in her confession) so that she could not be trusted to testify truthfully at the hearing on the suppression of her confession. "This logic unfairly counts against a defendant an untruth that the defendant now contends was made because of physical or psychological threats." Further proceedings were therefore ordered on the wife's coerced confession and false arrest claims.

     The appeals court also found that the City of Galesburg could be subject to municipal liability for the alleged conduct of its officers in connection with the alleged coerced confession of the wife and her subsequent arrest. The wife did not claim any express policy of the city caused the violation of her rights, but instead argued that the officers' actions were part of a "wide-spread practice that although not authorized by written law and express policy, is so permanent and well-settled as to constitute a custom or usage with the force of law."

     The appeals court found that the wife had presented sufficient evidence that created factual issues as to whether the city had a policy of coercing confessions out of female suspects by threatening to have a state agency take away their children, including the report of an expert criminologist who had reviewed the police department's practices and policies and found deliberate indifference to a "pattern of use of coercive threats" including threats to misuse the state child welfare agency, to compel confessions. The evidence, the appeals court found, created factual issues as to the city's municipal liability on theories of both failure to train and refusing to correct complained of behavior. The summary judgment dismissing the city as a defendant was therefore improper.

     Sornberger v. City of Knoxville, No. 04-3614, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 1394 (7th Cir.).

   » Click here to read the text of the court decision on the Internet.

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First Amendment

Assistant police chief's alleged action of ordering arrest of 386 D.C. demonstrators gathered in a park, without providing either an order to disperse or an opportunity to do so, and absent particularized probable cause to arrest each of them, violated their clearly established constitutional rights. Police chief who "tacitly" approved the assistant chief's arrest order could also be liable, depending on whether or not he knew that the park had not been cleared of people who had not been observed breaking any law.

     Demonstrators arrested by District of Columbia police during the morning of a large "anti-globalization" protest in September of 2002 filed a class action lawsuit claiming that their arrests were unlawful and without probable cause, in violation of their rights under the Fourth and First Amendments. The trial court denied motions by an assistant police chief for qualified immunity, ruling that the arrests of numerous individuals in such a protest without first issuing an order to disperse or following such an order with a reasonable time to give persons an opportunity to comply, violated the arrestee's clearly established constitutional rights.

     A federal appeals court upheld this result as to the assistant police chief, since there was "undisputed" evidence showing that he had arrested an "undifferentiated" group of people on the basis of crimes, such as traffic violations and scattered vandalism, committed by some people in the crowd of demonstrators, arguably a "handful" of individuals, and those individuals were never identified. Nothing presented as evidence in the record showed that the assistant chief had any particularized probable cause to arrest each of the 386 persons who were taken into custody during a sweep of the crowd. The assistant chief had given orders to cordon off the perimeter of a park in one section of the city, and then officers arrested "everyone there," after he gave an arrest order.

     Before the arrest order was issued, the assistant chief spoke with the police chief, who arrived on the scene in the course of monitoring demonstration events throughout the day, and the chief allegedly did not question the assistant chief's decision. The defendants in the lawsuit conceded that no warning was given to the occupants of the park either to disperse or that their arrest was imminent.

     The appeals court ruled, however, that the police chief's appeal, seeking to be granted qualified immunity, was premature. The police chief agreed that he had "tacitly approved" the arrest order. His entitlement to qualified immunity under these circumstances, the appeals court stated, therefore turned on whether or not he knew that the park had not been cleared of individuals who were not observed breaking the law. Because the appeals court found that it could not answer that factual question on the basis of the record presented, his appeal was premature and further proceedings below were required to resolve that factual issue.

     Barham v. Ramsey, No. 04-5388, 04-5389, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 807 (D.C. Cir.).

   » Click here to read the text of the court decision on the Internet.

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Search and Seizure: Home/Business

Inspection of two boardinghouses for rat infestation by public health personnel accompanied by police was supported by probable cause based on warrant issued after information was received concerning the buildings' filthy conditions. Detention of all occupants of the buildings during the inspections was reasonable and carried out in a reasonable manner and for legitimate purposes.

     Four tenants of boardinghouses inspected by Seattle public health officials and secured during the inspections by Seattle police filed a federal civil rights lawsuit asserting claims for unconstitutional search and unlawful detention. The trial court granted summary judgment to the individual defendants, the county which employed the public health inspectors, and the city.

     On appeal, the plaintiffs argued that summary judgment was improper because the search violated the Fourth Amendment, that the county failed to teach its public health inspectors a constitutionally proper procedure to obtain and execute search warrants, that they were improperly detained by police during the search, and that the city had a custom or policy of detaining a building's occupants pending a police search, which caused an allegedly unconstitutional detention. The appeals court rejected all these arguments.

     During the visit of a pest control company's employee to two Seattle boardinghouses, he allegedly found fleas, maggots, ants, earwigs, German roaches, rat urine, and rat feces throughout both houses, and noted that many doors inside the boardinghouse fit too loosely in their frames, so that rats or other pests could pass freely from room to room. He also allegedly saw rotting food, used food wrappers, garbage, piles of dirty clothing, etc. inside many of the boarders' rooms, and piles of wood, junk, and an auto raised on blocks in the backyards, conditions which he believed invited rodents, especially rats, to infest the buildings.

     Concerned that tenants were living in filthy and potentially unhealthy conditions, he reported his observations to a Seattle assistant city attorney. Public health inspectors dispatched to the buildings were denied permission to enter by the manager, who told them to "get a search warrant." Based on information gathered, including exterior observations about the buildings, a magistrate judge issued two inspection warrants, authorizing a search of the buildings for evidence of rodent infestation, including searches of the backyards and a shack present in one of the yards, and the interior of the buildings, including apartments or rooms.

     Public health inspectors asked police officers to help execute the warrants to protect their safety. The public health inspectors and the police were both concerned that the buildings' manager might resist the search, based on his prior refusal to admit the inspectors. Additionally, both houses were allegedly owned by a man whose associate had previously threatened public health inspectors during inspections of his other properties. The associate allegedly had a violent criminal history.

     Before the inspections of both buildings, police officers gathered the building's tenants in one location, gave them copies of the inspection warrants, and informed them why the inspection was taking place. The occupants were then detained during the searches.

     While the officers accompanied the health inspectors during the searches to provide security, and there was testimony that they conducted some searches of tenants' rooms incidental to providing security, the officers did not conduct the inspection for rodent infestation. The appeals court noted that none of the residents were injured or transported to a police station. Neither search, according to the court, provided much evidence that the boardinghouses were then infested by rats.

     The appeals court found that the public health inspectors' declarations provided a "fair probability" that evidence of a crime would be found in the buildings, specifically that the houses were "rat traps" with structural infirmities, in violation of Health and Safety Code provisions. The warrants were therefore supported by probable cause. Under the Seattle Municipal Code, it is unlawful for the owner or occupant of a building to fail to take reasonable preventive and remedial measures to keep the premises free from rats, mice, and other rodents.

     The appeals court also found that the warrants were not overbroad, or failed to describe with particularity the evidence which was to be searched for. "The health investigators had sufficient guidance that they were searching for evidence of "filth, debris, rodent or insect infestation" as specified in the warrants, and the residents had fair notice of the object of the search."

     Since the searches were not unlawful, the city could not be held liable on the basis of the searches.

     The appeals court also found nothing improper about the detention of the building's occupants during the searches, even if carried out pursuant to an official municipal policy.

     Police may detain a building's occupants while a search warrant is executed as long as the detention is reasonable, the court stated. In the recent case of Muehler v. Mena, 544 U.S. 93 (2005), the appeals court noted, the U.S. Supreme Court held that "an officer's authority to detain incident to a search is categorical; it does not depend on the 'quantum of proof justifying detention or the extent of the intrusion to be imposed by the seizure.'" The appeals court interpreted this as meaning that the duration of a detention may be during the entirety of the time of the search, and requires "no further justification," so long as the detention is conducted in a reasonable manner.

     The appeals court rejected the argument that this principle applied only during searches for contraband and not during searches for evidence, like the immediate search. Additionally, it found, the occupants of the building might have otherwise fled, making themselves unavailable to answer questions relevant to the search, or they might have impaired the search, under the mistaken belief that the officers were there to investigate them rather than the owner and property manager. Given fears of possible threats or violence by the building owner, the manager, or those associated with them, the appeals court further found, allowing an unknown number of unidentified people to move about unsupervised during the inspection "would dramatically increase the likelihood that an occupant could injure or kill an officer, or that an officer might mistakenly injure an occupant."

     The appeals court also found that the manner in which the detentions were carried out were reasonable, including denying the plaintiffs' requests to smoke or use the bathroom unattended, since this furthered the officers' interest in facilitating an efficient inspection.

     Dawson v. City of Seattle, No. 03-35858, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 1663 (9th Cir.).

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City's ordinance authorizing warrantless inspections of rental units unless tenants object did not violate the constitutional rights of landlords, as landlords had no reasonable expectation of privacy in units rented to either residential or commercial tenants. In instances where the landlords are themselves the tenants, the ordinance would be interpreted as also requiring their consent or a warrant.

     The City of Vincennes, Indiana sued a number of landlords for failing to pay the city's rental unit registration fee, which was $18 for each rental unit. The landlords moved to dismiss the lawsuit, and argued that the ordinance, as it had provisions allowing warrantless inspection of the rental units, violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. They further contended that this alleged Fourth Amendment violation made the entire ordinance unenforceable.

     A state trial court granted the landlords' motion to dismiss the city's lawsuit, and an intermediate state appeals court agreed on appeal.

     The Supreme Court of Indiana disagreed. It found that there was no violation of the Fourth Amendment by the ordinance's authorization of warrantless inspections. Under the ordinance, while landlords could not block such inspections, a tenant of a rental unit retained the right to do so and to demand that a warrant be obtained for the inspection.

     The court reasoned that landlords, once they have rented out a rental unit to a tenant, have no reasonable expectation of privacy in that unit.

     By leasing the property to either a residential or commercial tenant, the court found, the landlord "has abandoned any expectation of privacy in the leased space and common areas because the tenant has full access to them."

     In instances where the landlord is "also the occupant," either by living in a unit or keeping property on the premises, the court stated, it would read the inspection provisions of the ordinance as requiring a warrant if a landlord objects to an inspection.

     City of Vincennes v. Emmons, No. 42S02-0504-CV-131, 2006 Ind. Lexis 54 (2006).

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Search and Seizure: Persons

•••• Editor's Case Alert ••••

Federal government's civilian airline passenger identification policy does not violate passengers' constitutional rights in requiring them to present identification or submit to screening searches or be denied the ability to board airline flights. No violation is found of the constitutional right to travel, the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the First Amendment, or due process.

     An airline passenger sued both Southwest Airlines and the U.S. Attorney General, among other defendants, claiming that the enactment and enforcement of the government's civilian airline passenger identification policy is unconstitutional. That policy requires airline passengers to present identification to airline personnel before boarding or be subjected to more than the routine search that passengers who present identification encounter.

     The plaintiff asserted that when he refused to present identification or be subjected to a more thorough search, he was not allowed to board his flight to Washington, D.C. He also argued that because the government refuses to disclose the content of its identification policy, it is vague and uncertain, and violated his right to due process. He also claimed that when he was not permitted to board the flight, it violated his constitutional rights, including the right to travel, right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, right to freely associate, and right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

     A federal appeals court ruled that the identification policy and its application to the plaintiff did not violate any of his constitutional rights.

     The plaintiff claimed that he attempted to fly from Oakland International Airport to Baltimore-Washington International Airport on a Southwest Airlines flight in 2002 for the purpose of going to Washington, D.C. to "petition the government for redress of grievances and to associate with others for that purpose." He was not allowed to fly, however, because he refused to present identification when asked to do so.

     He approached the ticketing counter with paper tickets he had already purchased, and refused to show identification when asked for it. The clerk was unsure, when questioned by the plaintiff whether the identification requirement was a government or Southwest rule, but stated that it was an "FAA security requirement." The clerk also informed him that he could opt to be screened at the gate in lieu of presenting the requested identification, and the clerk gave him a new boarding pass, stating that he was to be searched before boarding. At the gate, he refused to show identification, and various airline personnel told him either that it was a government law or an airline policy, giving different answers. The plaintiff left the airport without being searched at the gate.

     The next day, he went to San Francisco International Airport and tried to buy a ticket for a United Airlines flight to Washington, D.C. He was informed that he had to show identification at the ticket counter, security checkpoint, and before boarding, and that there was no way to circumvent the identification policy. Another airline employee told him that a United traveler without identification was subject to secondary screening, but did not disclose the source of the identification policy. A security chief informed him that he could fly without presenting identification by undergoing a more intensive search, i.e., by being a "selectee," with the search including walking through a magnetometer, being subjected to a handheld magnetometer scan, having a light body patdown, removing one's shoes, and having one's carry-on baggage searched by hand and a CAT-scan machine. He refused to allow his bag to be searched by hand, and was therefore barred from flying. He was also informed that the policy was set out in government Security Directives, which the airline was not permitted to disclose, that the directives were revised as often as weekly and were transmitted orally, and differed according to airport. He was also told that the directive was classified as sensitive security information under 49 U.S.C. Sec. 114(s)(1)(C) and 49 C.F.R. Sec. 1520.5(a).

     The appeals court found that the identification policy was not unconstitutionally vague, in violation of due process. The plaintiff had actual notice of the policy, and was consistently told that he must present identification. Further, the policy did not impose any criminal sanction or threats of prosecution for those who fail to comply, but rather simply prevents them from boarding commercial airflights. The court also rejected the argument that the policy vested airline security personnel with improper unbridled discretion. The appeals court found that the directive "articulates clear standards," notifying airline security personnel of the identification requirement and giving them detailed instructions on how to implement it. Further, because the policy is applied to all passengers, the policy "does not raise concerns of arbitrary applications."

     The appeals court rejected the claim that the identification policy violated the constitutional right to travel by preventing him from traveling by commercial airlines without presenting identification. The Constitution, the court held, "does not guarantee the right to travel by any particular form of transportation." Further, other forms of travel remained possible, and the plaintiff did not have a fundamental right to travel by airplane even though it was the most convenient mode of travel for him to his destination without either presenting identification or submitting to a more extensive search.

     The appeals court found that the request for identification did not violate the Fourth Amendment. A request for identification, including such requests by police or other law enforcement agents, is not a Fourth Amendment seizure. In the two airports he visited, the plaintiff was allowed to leave the airport when he failed to comply, and was not threatened with arrest or any other form of punishment, and therefore suffered no penalty for non-compliance.

     The request that he submit to screening searches was also not unconstitutional, as he was able to decline to submit and simply leave. Further, the search option was not more extensive or intrusive than necessary, in light of current technology, to detective weapons or explosives.

     The plaintiff's right to exercise his First Amendment rights to associate with others or petition the government for redress of grievances was also not violated. He was not attempting to exercise his right to freely associate at the airport, and the enforcement of the identification policy did not prevent him from associating anonymously in Washington, D.C., since he could have either abided by the policy or used another form of transportation to get there.

     Gilmore v. Gonzales, No. 04-15736, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 1856 (9th Cir.).

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Noted in Brief

Assault and Battery: Physical

     Police officer who allegedly struck and kicked a suspect who was struggling to prevent his handcuffing during an arrest did not use excessive force. Byther v. City of Mobile, No. Civ. A. 040404, 398 F. Supp. 2d 1222 (S.D. Ala. 2005).

     While motorist claimed that he suffered injuries to his wrists during an arrest, he could not proceed with his excessive force claim against the arresting officer when he failed to state how the injuries occurred or what actions by the officer he believed were excessive. Hudson v. Coxon, No. 05-1542, 149 Fed. Appx. 118 (3rd Cir. 2005).

Defenses: Sovereign Immunity

     City was entitled to sovereign immunity under Texas state law in a lawsuit for wrongful death brought by the estate of a juvenile arrestee who died when he exited from a police car traveling on a freeway and another car hit him. An officer's alleged negligent failure to properly secure the arrestee in the back seat of the patrol car did not come within a waiver of sovereign immunity for use of motor vehicles. City of Sugarland v. Ballard, No. 01-04-00418-CV, 174 S.W.3d 259 (Tex. App. 1st Dist. 2005).

     In a lawsuit under Texas state law for negligence, filed by an arrestee who was shot by a sheriff's deputy after a car chase, a county was entitled to sovereign immunity. A state statute waiving immunity for certain negligent acts of governmental employees did not apply, as the shooting was an intentional action. An intermediate state appeals court reasoned that the exception to the statute's waiver of immunity for intentional acts could not be "circumvented" merely by claiming that the county was "negligent" in supervising the employee who commits an intentional act, such as a shooting. Harris County, Texas v. Cabazos, No. 01-03-00772-CV, 177 S.W.3d 105 (Tex. App. 1st Dist. 2005).

False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant

     Because a Pennsylvania state statute on underage drinking of alcohol merely instructs officers to inform the parents of minors charged with violating it, and says nothing about authority for a warrantless arrest of the minor, there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether an officer had probable cause to arrest a minor who dropped the bottles of beer he was holding and fled from the officer. Summary judgment was therefore denied to the officer on the minor's false arrest lawsuit. Davis v. Borough of Norristown, No. Civ.A. 04-2116, 400 F. Supp. 2d 790 (E.D. Pa. 2005).

     State police officers who arrested a protestor at a construction site for disorderly conduct when a truck attempting to enter the site was surrounded on all sides by protestors and their children were entitled to qualified immunity from his false arrest and malicious prosecution lawsuit. In setting aside a jury's award of $80,000 in compensatory damages and $1,000 in punitive damages, the trial judge found that it would not have been clear to a reasonable officer that there was no probable cause for the arrest under these circumstances. Zellner v. Summerlin, No. 02CV95, 399 F. Supp. 2d 154 (E.D.N.Y. 2005).

     Arrest of motorist was supported by probable cause based on his driving at an excessive rate of speed through a construction zone and residential area, and the officer's belief, upon pulling him over, that the motorist did not "appreciate the seriousness" of his actions. The motorist could not dispute the officer's perception that he was speeding as he admitted that he "may have been," and did not know either what the speed limit was or how fast he was driving. The fact that the motorist was subsequently acquitted did not alter the result. Woods v. Paradis, No. 03-61280-CIV, 380 F. Supp. 1316 (S.D. Fla. 2005).

False Arrest/Imprisonment: Warrant

     Warrant for suspect's arrest for burglary was supported by arguable probable cause, entitling arresting officer to qualified immunity from liability. Evidence supporting probable cause for warrant including the identification of the suspect in a photographic line-up as the person a security guard saw on the balcony of a burglarized building and fleeing the scene in a van parked in a garage that had access to the burglarized apartments. Brown v. Abercrombie, No. 05-11931, 151 Fed. Appx. 892 (11th Cir. 2005).

Firearms Related: Accidental Use

     Arrestee's guilty plea to criminal charges of obstructing an officer did not bar him from pursuing his excessive force lawsuit against the officer who shot him while attempting to subdue him during his arrest. The court found that the arrestee "delayed or obstructed" officers several times in "many different ways" over a period of time, and the record of the plaintiff's criminal conviction did not indicate which of these acts was the basis for his guilty plea, and whether it was that action which the officer was responding to when he mistakenly shot the arrestee with his firearm, intending to draw and fire his Taser gun. Yount v. City of Sacramento, No. C046869, No. C046869, 35 Cal. Rptr. 3d 563 (Cal. App. 3rd Dist. 2005).

Firearms Related: Intentional Use

     Police officers' shooting and killing of homeless mentally ill man sitting in a car was not excessive force when they acted after he raised a gun and did not know, until later, that the weapon was a BB gun. Under the circumstances, it was reasonable for them to believe that their lives were at risk. Court also rules that the officers did not engage in disability discrimination when they called on a SWAT team to extract the man from his car after the shooting, causing a delay in medical treatment. The officers could reasonably do this to ensure the safety of themselves and others at the scene. Ali v. City of Louisville, No. Civ. A. 3:03CV-427, 395 F. Supp. 2d 527 (W.D. Ky. 2005).

Freedom of Information

     Private writings and recordings seized by law enforcement pursuant to a warrant are criminal justice records subject to inspection under a Colorado criminal justice records act. Colorado Supreme Court orders release of tape recordings and writings seized from two high school students who killed thirteen people at Columbine High School. Harris v. Denver Post Corporation, No. 04SC133, 123 P.3d 1166 (Colo. 2005).

Governmental Liability: Training

     The estate of a detainee who died after being shot by police who stopped him stated a viable claim against members of the city's Board of Police Commissioners for liability based on an alleged official policy or custom of failing to instruct and supervise the officers on the proper use of deadly force. McNeal v. Zobrist, No. CIV.A. 04-2149, 365 F. Supp. 2d 1166 (D. Kan. 2005).

Malicious Prosecution

     Decision of prosecutor to dismiss charges against arrestee, not reached as part of any plea bargain, was not sufficient, under Connecticut law, standing alone, to constitute a favorable termination allowing the arrestee to proceed with a malicious prosecution lawsuit. Holman v. Cascio, No. 3:02CV1523, 390 F. Supp. 2d 120 (D. Conn. 2005).

Native American Police Officers and Agencies

     Tribal police officer engaged in an attempt to enforce tribal law was not a federal law enforcement officer within the meaning of the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2680, and the defendants were therefore entitled to summary judgment in a lawsuit brought under that statute for alleged excessive use of force. LaVallie v. United States, No. A1-04-075, 396 F. Supp. 2d 1082 (D. N.D. 2005).

Negligence: Dead Body Identification or Handling

     Family members of deceased persons could pursue claims, under Ohio law, for negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligent mishandling of corpses, based on the alleged illegal releasing of crime scene, physical remains and autopsy photographs to the public. Chesher v. Neyer, No. 1:01-CV-00566, 392 F. Supp. 2d 939 (S.D. Ohio 2005).

Police Plaintiff: Defamation

     In a police officer's defamation lawsuit against a newspaper and reporter based on two articles reporting on issues that certain residents were having with the officer, he was a public figure, so that liability required a showing of "actual malice," which is knowing falsity or reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the statements published. A mere showing of "substandard" journalistic practices, such as the failure to investigate in order to corroborate a source's statements, is insufficient to satisfy this standard. Bartlett v. Bradford Publishing, 885 A.2d 562 (Pa. Super. 2005).

Police Plaintiff: Firefighters' Rule

     Police officer's claim for damages suffered while helping a fire protection systems company employee lift a heavy steel grill inside a restaurant was not barred, under Georgia state law, by the fireman's rule. The employee was also a fire marshal, and the officer was summoned to the restaurant to render assistance to him. The court held that the officer's assistance in picking up the grill was unrelated to the reason for his dispatch to the premises, and therefore was outside of the scope of the fireman's rule. Lewis v. Champion, 621 S.E.2d 481 (Ga. App. 2005).

     Police officer's dramshop claim against a bar owner for injuries he suffered while attempting to arrest a patron who had allegedly become intoxicated at the bar was not barred, under Michigan law, by the firefighters' rule, as the claim was expressly provided by a state statute. Tull v. WTF, Inc., No. 252683, 706 N.W.2d 439 (Mich. App. 2005).

Procedural: Class Action

     Federal court certifies class action status for lawsuit brought by former Chicago post-arrest detainees who claimed that they were subject to improperly long interrogation room confinement, deprived of sleep accommodations, and held for over 48 hours before receiving a probable cause hearing. Dunn v. City of Chicago, No. 04-C-6804, 231 F.R.D. 367 (N.D. Ill. 2005).

Procedural: Discovery

     Plaintiff's failure, in federal civil rights lawsuit claiming he was prosecuted on the basis of an unconstitutional telephone harassment ordinance in violation of his First Amendment rights, to respond to discovery requests from the defendants justified the dismissal of the lawsuit as a sanction. Whatcott v. City of Provo, No. 2:01 CV 490, 231 F.R.D. 627 (D. Utah. 2005).


     Plaintiff could not pursue federal civil rights claim for alleged failure of police officer to return $4,960 in funds he allegedly seized while executing a search warrant at her home when she failed to show that she had attempted to recover the funds through available state law remedies or that those remedies were somehow inadequate. Ali v. Ramsdell, No. 04-2797, 423 F.3d 810 (8th Cir. 2005).

     Federal court did not have jurisdiction over lawsuit by car theft victim claiming that his vehicle was stolen by a theft ring operated by employees of the D.C. police department and that fraud was committed against him by the employees allegedly not entering his car's vehicle identification number into a stolen vehicle database. These claims, filed in federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction, require a showing that the amount at issue exceeds $75,000, but the value of the plaintiff's car was only $500, and an award of punitive damages of over $69,500 would be constitutionally excessive, making it clear that the amount at issue in the lawsuit was far less than the required amount. Hunter v. District of Columbia, No. CIV.A. 04-0303, 384 F. Supp. 2d 257 (D.D.C. 2005).

Search and Seizure: Home/Business

     Defendant police officers who were not directly involved in an allegedly illegal search of a suspect's home could not be held liable for violations of his civil rights. Evidence was also lacking that a defendant police sergeant had given any improper instructions to the officers who did conduct the search. Adams v. City of Auburn Hills, No. 03-2421, 141 Fed. Appx. 446 (6th Cir. 2005).

Search and Seizure: Person

     Police officer's initial investigatory stop of suspect and detention of him for one hour near his house was not shown to be unreasonable. The plaintiff failed to allege the reason for the initial detention or an explanation why the one-hour delay was unreasonable. The evidence available, which included that he was a known methamphetamine user and dealer, that he had been stopped many times before, and that the officers smelled anhydrous ammonia (a key ingredient in manufacturing methamphetamine) coming from his house, "suggests that the officers did have reasonable suspicion." The officers had asked for permission to search his house, and when this was refused, they placed him in the back of a police car where he sat until the officers obtained a search warrant for the residence. Bowden v. City of Electra, No. 04-10767, 152 Fed. Appx. 363 (5th Cir. 2005).

Sexual Assault and Harassment

     Female motorist's allegation that a state patrol officer, during a routine traffic stop, touched her outside of her pants near the vaginal area, and then placed his hand underneath her clothing, inserting at least one finger into her vagina, if true, was sufficient to state a federal civil rights claim for sexual battery and sexual assault against the officer individually. The Georgia State Patrol and Department of Public Safety, however, were state agencies not subject to a lawsuit for damages under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, and claims under state law were barred by sovereign immunity for losses resulting from assault, battery, or false imprisonment, based on an exception to a statute waiving sovereign immunity for certain injuries caused by governmental employees. Davis v. Standifer, No. A05A1292, 621 S.E.2d 852 (Ga. App. 2005).

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     Article: "The Family and Medical Leave Act," By Richard G. Schott. 75 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin No. 1, pgs. 25-32. (January 2006). Law enforcement employers must gain familiarity with the FMLA and its requirements. [PDF] [HTML]

     Article: "Super Bowl XXXIX," By Jeffrey Westcott. 75 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin No. 1, pgs. 1-5. (January 2006). Various law enforcement agencies came together and effectively addressed the challenges presented by the world’s biggest show. [PDF] [HTML]

     Article: "International Special Events," By James A. McGee. 75 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin No. 1, pgs. 10-18. (January 2006). Understanding the expectations and responsibilities of multiple agencies is key to ensuring a safe and secure special event. [PDF] [HTML]

     Publication: Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Rape Victimization: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey NCJ 210346, January 2006, Special Report, by Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes. Summary | Full Text.

     Publication: U.S. Money Laundering Threat Assessment, (81 pgs., December 2005). The first U.S. government-wide analysis of money laundering in the U.S. The report is the product of an interagency working group composed of experts from the spectrum of U.S. government agencies, bureaus, and offices that study and combat money laundering. [PDF]

     Statistics: Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2002 Presents data collected from a representative sample of felony cases filed in the Nation's 75 largest counties during May 2002. The cases are tracked for up to one year to provide a complete overview of the processing of felony defendants from filing to disposition and sentencing. Data collected include current arrest charges, demographic characteristics, prior arrests and convictions, criminal justice status at arrest, type of pretrial release or detention, bail amount, court appearance record, adjudication outcome, and sentence received if convicted. This periodic report has been published biennially since 1990. Highlights include the following: Eighty-two percent of defendants were male, including 90% or more of those charged with rape (99%), a weapons offense (96%), murder (93%), or robbery (90%). The percentage of female defendants increased from 14% in 1990 to 18% in 1998 and has remained stable since then. An estimated 56,146 felony cases were filed in the State courts of the Nation's 75 largest counties during May 2002. 02/06 NCJ 210818 Acrobat file (1.2M) | ASCII file (74K) | Spreadsheets (zip format 64K)

     Terrorism, Homeland Security, and National Security Issues: U.S. Department of Justice White Paper on National Security Administrations (NSA) Legal Authority. (January 19, 2006). White House's views on why NSA domestic wiretaps and eavesdropping is legal. See also, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.

     • 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:
Defenses: Collateral Estoppel -- See also, Assault and Battery: Physical (1st case)
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant -- See also, Defenses: Judicial Bias
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant -- See also, First Amendment
First Amendment -- See also, Search and Seizure: Persons
Governmental Liability: Training -- See also, Assault and Battery: Non-Lethal Weapons
Governmental Liability: Training -- See also, False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant
Interrogation -- See also, False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant
Search and Seizure: Search Warrants -- See also, Search and Seizure: Home/Business (1st case)

Noted in Brief Cases:

Damages: Punitive -- See also, Property (2nd case)
Defenses: Collateral Estoppel -- See also, Firearms Related: Accidental Use
Defenses: Eleventh Amendment Immunity -- See also Sexual Assault and Harassment
Defenses: Qualified Immunity -- See also, False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant (2nd case)
Defenses: Sovereign Immunity -- See also, Sexual Assault and Harassment
Disability Discrimination -- See also, Firearms Related: Intentional Use
False Arrest/Imprisonment: Unlawful Detention -- See also, Procedural: Class Action
False Arrest/Imprisonment: Unlawful Detention -- See also, Search and Seizure: Person
Federal Tort Claims Act -- See also, Native American Police Officers and Agencies
Firearms Related: Intentional Use -- See also, Defenses: Sovereign Immunity (2nd case)
Firearms Related: Intentional Use -- See also, Governmental Liability: Training
Interrogation -- See also, Procedural: Class Action
Negligence: Vehicle Related -- See also, Defenses: Sovereign Immunity (1st case)
Police Plaintiff: Dramshop Liability -- See also, Police Plaintiff: Firefighters' Rule (2nd case)
Public Protection: Arrestees -- See also, Defenses: Sovereign Immunity (1st case)

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