AELE Seminars

Public Safety Discipline and Internal Investigations
Dec. 16-18, 2013 - Las Vegas

Jail and Prisoner Legal Issues
In two modules:
Module One Operational and Administrative Legal Issues
Jan. 20-21, 2014 Las Vegas
Module Two - Security and Incident Liability
Jan. 22-23, 2014 Las Vegas

Management, Oversight and Monitoring of Use of Force
Including ECW Post-Incident Forensics
Mar. 3-5, 2014 Las Vegas

Click here for more information about all AELE Seminars



 Search the Case Law Digest


A civil liability law publication for Law Enforcement
ISSN 0271-5481 Cite this issue as: 2013 LR November
Click here to view information on the editor of this publication.

Access the multi-year Civil Liability Case Digest

Return to the monthly publications menu
Report non-working links here
Some links are to PDF files - Adobe Reader must be used to view content

CONTENTS

Digest Topics
Assault and Battery: Handcuffing
Attorneys' Fees: For Plaintiffs
False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant
First Amendment (2 cases)
Malicious Prosecution (2 cases)
Negligence: Vehicle Related
Public Protection: Informants
Search and Seizure: Home/Business

Resources

Cross References


AELE Seminars

Public Safety Discipline and Internal Investigations
Dec. 16-18, 2013 - Las Vegas

Jail and Prisoner Legal Issues
In two modules:
Module One Operational and Administrative Legal Issues
Jan. 20-21, 2014 Las Vegas
Module Two - Security and Incident Liability
Jan. 22-23, 2014 Las Vegas

Management, Oversight and Monitoring of Use of Force
Including ECW Post-Incident Forensics
Mar. 3-5, 2014 Las Vegas

Click here for more information about all AELE Seminars


MONTHLY CASE DIGEST

Assault and Battery: Handcuffing

     Police officers were entitled to qualified immunity on claims that handcuffing and removing from a school an eleven-year-old boy when there was concern about his behavior and welfare because he had not taken his medication was a violation of the Fourth Amendment. It was not and still is not clearly established that handcuffing and driving a juvenile from his school to a relative's place of business violated his rights. C. B. v. City of Sonora, #11-17454, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 18931 (9th Cir.).

Attorneys' Fees: For Plaintiffs

     Under a settlement agreement, a number of lawsuits against a city, its police department, and a number of government officials were settled for $500,000. The plaintiffs sought an award of $1 million in attorneys' fees for work on the merits of the cases and an additional $25,000 for work on the fee petition. Their initial application had calculated their fees at $1,455,339, but they reduced their request pursuant to the settlement agreement. The trial court awarded $473,138.24 in fees. The attorneys' fee award was vacated by the appeals court. It noted that the trial court should have computed the fee using an hourly rate based on the prevailing market rates in the community. When it reduces the number of hours or amount by more than 10%, it must provide a detailed explanation. An award of attorneys' fees that is in excess of the damages recovered is not per se unreasonable, as the trial court seemed to think. As the trial court did not apply these principles, further proceedings were required. Gonzalez v. City of Maywood, #11-56594, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 18703 (9th Cir.).

False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant

     A police officer was not entitled to qualified immunity from a claim that he violated the Fourth Amendment by arresting a man in his home without a warrant. At the time the plaintiff tried to close the door on the officer, he was standing in his home, so that a reasonable officer should have known that he could not be pulled out and placed under arrest in the absence of a warrant or exigent circumstances. The appeals court lacked jurisdiction to consider the plaintiff's cross appeal objecting to the trial court's grant of qualified immunity to two other defendants when the court had not issued a final order. Mitchell v. Shearrer, #12-1931, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 18756 (8th Cir.).

First Amendment

     A evangelical Christian had distributed Bibles at a city gay pride festival using an exhibitor's booth, but one year the festival denied his application for a booth. A federal appeals court held that he had shown a likelihood of success on his claim that a local regulation restricting literature distribution at the public park during the festival violated his First Amendment rights because itr failed to be narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest. The denial of a preliminary injunction was reversed and further proceedings ordered. Johnson v. Minneapolis Park and Rec. Bd., #12-2419, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 18831 (8th Cir.).

     A city's legitimate interests in alleviating congestion, improving circulation, promoting the aesthetics of its public parks, and making sure that the parks were available to the public for a wide range of activities justified regulations on vending in the parks that were challenged by visual artists who sold their art in the public parks and on sidewalks. The regulations were valid time, place, and manner restrictions and were narrowly tailored to promote the interests in question. Lederman v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Parks & Recreation, #12-4333, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 19575 (2nd Cir.).

Malicious Prosecution

****Editor's Case Alert****

     The plaintiff was awarded $25 million in a federal civil rights malicious prosecution lawsuit claiming that a police officer and the city violated his due process rights in that coercive tactics were used to get witnesses to falsely identify him as a murderer, leading to his conviction and 16 years of incarceration before he was exonerated. The federal appeals court upheld the award. The sustaining of a Batson racial discrimination objection to a peremptory challenge by the defendants against a black juror was not reversible error when there was no indication that it resulted in a biased juror sitting on the case. It also was not erroneous to allow the plaintiff's expert witness to testify as to what were reasonable police practices. He did not state a legal conclusion or offer any opinion about whether other witnesses were credible. Jimenez v. City of Chicago, #12-2779, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 20438 (7th Cir.).

     A man was released from prison 24 years after being convicted of murder, when a state court found that his trial had been fundamentally unfair. The federal trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to the defendants on claims that they had manipulated the evidence and carried out suggestive identification procedures to improperly convict. There was no evidence that any of the defendants conspired to frame him. Municipal liability claims failed since none of the individual defendants were liable. There was also no evidence that the identification procedures used were impermissibly suggestive.Burton v. St. Louis Board of Police, #12-2524 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 19503 (8th Cir.).

Negligence: Vehicle Related

     A California officer's action in opening his or her door prior to exiting a patrol vehicle and making contact with a driver during a traffic stop puts them in "immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law" for purposes of statutory immunity. An officer therefore could not bew held liable for a motorcyclist injury when the door was opened in their path. Moreno v. Quemuel, #B241998, 2013 Cal. App. Lexis 738.

Public Protection: Informants

     A woman claimed that police officers and the city were liable for the death of her son, an informant, who was murdered after police searched an apartment in response to his tip. New York law, the trial court correctly held, requires proof that a municipality owe a special duty to the injured person based on a special relationship in order for the plaintiff to recover. The plaintiff failed to show this. Velez v. City of New York, #12-1965, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 19291 (2nd Cir.).

Search and Seizure: Home/Business

     Residents of a Detroit home claimed that masked law enforcement agents, dressed in black, with their guns drawn, broke into the residence, assaulting and terrorizing them. They were said to be part of a multi-agency anti-drug trafficking effort in a specific area. When asked to identify themselves, the masked men refused to do so, only saying that they were "Team 1," according to the plaintiffs. In a lawsuit for unlawful search and seizure, summary judgment was entered in favor of state and local officials, and judgment as a matter of law was entered for the defendant federal agents. The ruling was upheld as to the state and local defendants, as there was undisputed testimony that they only provided perimeter security and were not part of the entry team. The appeals court reversed as to the federal agents, however, as there were genuine factual issues about their personal involvement in the raid and their conduct in the house. The court found that the circumstances of the raid, including the intentional identity concealment and the assertion of an "I wasn't there" defense justified shifting the burden onto the federal agents to prove their lack of personal involvement. Burley v. Gagacki, #12-1820, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 18577, 2013 Fed App. 263P (6th Cir.).

Return to the Contents menu.

Report non-working links here


AELE Seminars

Public Safety Discipline and Internal Investigations
Dec. 16-18, 2013 - Las Vegas

Jail and Prisoner Legal Issues
In two modules:
Module One Operational and Administrative Legal Issues
Jan. 20-21, 2014 Las Vegas
Module Two - Security and Incident Liability
Jan. 22-23, 2014 Las Vegas

Management, Oversight and Monitoring of Use of Force
Including ECW Post-Incident Forensics
Mar. 3-5, 2014 Las Vegas

Click here for more information about all AELE Seminars


Resources

     Body Cameras: "Police Body-Mounted Cameras: With Right Policies in Place, a Win For All," by Jay Stanley, ACLU Senior Policy Analyst (October 2013).

     Restraint: "The Effect of the Prone Maximal Restraint Position with and without Weight Force on Cardiac Output and Other Hemodynamic Measures," Savaser DJ, Campbell C, Castillo EM, Vilke GM, Sloane C, Neuman T, Hansen AV, Shah V, Chan TC, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine (2013), doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2013.08.006. Abstract.

     Statistics: "When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data," Violence Policy Center (September 2013).

Reference

Cross References
Damages: Compensatory -- See also, Malicious Prosecution (1st case)
Defenses: Qualified Immunity -- See also, Assault and Battery: Handcuffing

Report non-working links here

Return to the Contents  menu.

Return to the  monthly publications menu

Access the multiyear Civil Liability Law  Case Digest

List of  links to court websites

Report non-working links  here.

© Copyright 2013 by AELE, Inc.
Contents may be downloaded, stored, printed or copied,
but may not be republished for commercial purposes.

Library of Civil Liability Case Summaries

 Search the Case Law Digest