Civil Liability
of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel

     Back to list of subjects             Back to Legal Publications Menu

Governmental Liability: Policy/Custom

     Monthly Law Journal Article: Code of Silence Litigation - Officer Use of Force, 2013 (1) AELE Mo. L. J. 101.

    Police officers responding to a burglary call found an office entry door ajar and the office dark. After a verbal warning that a police dog would be released, the dog entered the office and bit the upper lip of the woman in the office before an officer retrieved the dog. The plaintiff had fallen asleep in her office and had accidentally triggered the alarm. A federal appeals court, ruling en banc, held that the city was not liable in a lawsuit alleging that its policy and practice of training police service dogs to “bite and hold” violated the arrestee’s Fourth Amendment rights. The force used in these circumstances was not excessive and did not violate the Fourth Amendment. From the perspective of a reasonable police officer on the scene, this level and type of force inflicted was moderate. The city had a strong interest in using the force, and the degree of force used was commensurate with the city’s interest in the use of that force. Because the officers’ actions were constitutional, there could be no municipal liability. Lowry v. City of San Diego, #13-56141, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 10016 (9th Cir. en banc).

     A boat owner claimed that a city and its officers unlawfully seized his sailboat and destroyed it without justification or notice. A federal appeals court, reinstating some of the plaintiff's claims, including procedural due process and search and seizure, found that the trial court acted erroneously in applying a "heightened pleading" burden. All the plaintiff needed to do to establish municipal liability was allege a policy, practice, or custom of the city which caused the seizure and destruction of his sailboat, which he did. His complaint did not need to specifically identify the municipality's final policymaker by name. He also sufficiently stated a claim for an unconstitutional seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Hoefling, Jr. v. City of Miami, #14-12482, 811 F.3d 1271 (11th Cir. 2016).
      A man was convicted of rape and murder, with the evidence against him including testimony and confessions from his five co-defendants, all of whom pled guilty to various charges in connection with the crime. 19 years later, based on DNA testing, all the convictions were pardoned or overturned. They sued the county and officers involved in the case, and in earlier proceedings, it was determined that their “evidence is sufficient to support plaintiffs’ claims that their rights to fair criminal proceedings were violated as the result of a reckless investigation and defendants’ manufacturing of false evidence,”that the evidence was sufficient to support a conspiracy claim, but was not sufficient to support a coercion claim; that members of the sheriff’s office were not protected by qualified immunity; and that the county attorney was protected by absolute immunity. A federal appeals court affirmed the denial of qualified immunity to the officers, and ruled that claims against the county should not have been rejected, since the plaintiffs “produced proof of questionable procedures” and “hasty condemnation” by officers in charge of policy-making. There was sufficient evidence that the sheriff was a final policymaker for the county, and created its applicable policies, supervised officers, and encouraged, directed, and endorsed their activities. Dean v. Cnty. of Gage, #14-1747, 800 F.3d 945 (8th Cir. 2015).
     A man asserted that he had been assaulted by several people, one of whom was an off-duty police officer. A police detective assigned to investigate the incident was alleged to have done almost nothing on the investigation for six weeks, interviewing no witnesses other than the plaintiff, failing to inspect the crime scene, and following no leads, prior to closing the case. The plaintiff sued the detective for violating his right of access to the courts, claiming that the failure to properly investigate the crime resulted in the spoilation of evidence in his lawsuit against his assailants. He also assserted a claim for municipal liability against the city, claiming that it perpetuated a "code of silence" that had the effect of shielding officers from investigation and promoting misconduct. Summary judgment for the defendants was upheld. A federal appeals court found no denial of access to the courts because the defendants did not conceal any facts from the plaintiff that interfered with him suing his assailants. The plaintiff himself knew all the relevant facts of his case, so the detective was entitled to qualified immunity. The appeals court found that, on the municipal liability claim, there was insufficient evidence presented of any widespread practices by the police department. The appeals court further found that the trial court acted within its discretion in awarding costs to the city. Rossi v. City of Chicago, #13-3795, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 10504 (7th Cir.).
     An officer was not entitled to qualified immunity when she shot and kicked an arrestee. The arrestee's initial crime had only been yelling and cussing at passing cars, and at the time force was used, he was retreating, apparently unarmed, and outside of striking distance when he was shot. The officer allegedly gave no warning before firing and kicked his had after he was already shot, handcuffed, and lying face down on the road. Another deputy allegedly then used a Taser in the dart mode on him multiple times after he had been shot. Several activations of the Taser were allegedly after the plaintiff had been handcuffed. The probes struck the man's chest and back. The deputy who used the Taser stated that he believed, during the later activations of the Taser, that the man was reaching for something in his pocket. The arrestee died at the scene, with the death attributed to blood loss from the gunshot wound. A federal appeals court further ruled that the first deputy was not entitled to qualified immunity on a claim that she improperly failed to intervene on the second deputy's repeated use of the Taser against the arrestee, even after he was handcuffed. The appeals court rejected, however, claims against the sheriff as a single failure to investigate an incident, which the sheriff was unaware of until after the fact, could not constitute ratification.
Salvato v. Miley, #14-12112, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 10758 (11th Cir.).
     A class action federal lawsuit was filed against a sheriff and the county sheriff's office claiming that they had a policy, practice, or custom of "racially profiling" Hispanic drivers and passengers and conducting pretextual vehicle stops for the purpose of enforcing federal and state immigration related laws. A federal appeals court found that the county sheriff's office was improperly named as a defendant instead of the county. The sheriff's office had no separate capacity to be sued. It further ruled that trial court did not err in finding that there were unconstitutional policies in place going beyond the context of saturation patrols, even though the evidence presented of the violations mostly addressed saturation patrols.. The named plaintiffs had standing to assert the claims of absent class members stopped during such non-saturation patrols. An injunction issued by the trial court against the complained of practices was not overbroad because it included non-saturation patrols. Some provisions of the injunctive order, however, in mandating that a court appointed monitor look at internal investigations and reports concerning officer misconduct, were problematic, however, to the extent that such material was unrelated to the constitutional violations at issue. An order requiring officer training properly focused on the racially discriminatory profiling of Latinos for traffic stops and unjustified prolongation of traffic stops. Melendres v. Arpaio, #13-16285, 784 F.3d 1254 (9th Cir. 2015).
     Police arrested a man and jailed him for over 50 hours when they mistakenly thought he was a serial ank robber. He se the officers and the city after his release, but the claims against the city became a separate lawsuit which was stayed until resolution of the suit against the individual officers, in which a jury awarded $60,000. A federal appeals court ruled that the trial court then erroneously interpreted a motion to lift the stay and amend his complaint in the lawsuit against the city as a waiver of all but two of his several policy-or-practice claims against the city, and also improperly dismissed that lawsuit after erroneously treating the city's certification that it would indemnify the officers as an offer under Fed. Rule of Civil Procedure 68 to pay the award against the officers and nominal damages of $1 for municipal liability claims. The lawsuit against the city was reinstated and the plaintiff was entitled to amend his complaint within 21 days after the city filed a responsive pleading after the stay was lifted. Swanigan v. City of Chicago, #12-1261, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 396 (7th Cir.).
    Detectives who were monitoring calls from a call center as part of an investigation of drug trafficking believed that a woman they knew was the voice making calls directing customers to drug distribution houses and obtained an arrest warrant for her based on this and an allegation that she had been seen at the houses. All charges against her were later dismissed after it was concluded by prosecutors that the wrong person had been arrested. Municipal liability claims were properly rejected as the plaintiff stated no basis for them other than the mere employment of the detective who obtained the warrant. Claims against the state and its employees in their official capacity were barred as they were not "persons" for purposes of a federal civil rights lawsuit. After the plaintiff abandoned her federal claims against the detective, remaining state law claims including false arrest and imprisonment were properly remanded to state court. Ball v. City of Indianapolis, 13-1901, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 14234 (7th Cir.).
     A man had the same first and last name as another man sought under two arrest warrants. He was first arrested by mistake under a 1985 arrest warrant and released, and then mistakenly arrested under a 1989 arrest warrant and detained for approximately a month. The officers' belief that the plaintiff was the true subject of the warrants was not unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment, and his detention did not violate due process. The 1989 warrant had both a name and a detailed description of the suspect sought. The plaintiff failed to show that the county had a policy or custom of failing to include more detailed descriptions on arrest warrants to avoid the risk of repeated misidentifications. As to state law claims, the defendant employees involved could invoke statutory immunity under California law. Summary judgment for all defendants was granted. Rivera v. County of Los Angeles, #11-57037, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 4646 (9th Cir.).
     A female minor sued a city and one of its officers, claiming that the officer had sexually assaulted her. The officer was criminally charged with the sexual assault and fired. A federal appeals court ruled that the plaintiff adequately raised factual issues concerning whether the city engaged in a custom of neglecting to adequately supervise, discipline and investigate its officers. The appeals court rejected the argument that only previous sexual assaults by the city's officers were relevant to show a pattern of past similar misconduct. That approach was too narrow and acts of violent misconduct by officers could be examined, not just the subcategory of sexual assault. She had shown that the police department had received many past complaints of officer violence, so summary judgment in favor of the city was vacated. Doe v. City of Marianna, #12-2052, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 12555 (8th Cir.).
     An officer who stopped a motorist for having a cracked windshield began to suspect that he was intoxicated. In the course of arresting him, the officer believed that the motorist was resisting, and threw him to the ground. The driver suffered a traumatic brain injury. The officer was entitled to qualified immunity on an excessive force claim, since it had not been clearly established, as of May 14, 2005, the date of the incident, that such a use of force against a possibly intoxicated person was excessive. The appeals court reversed summary judgment in favor of the city, however, as, if the driver, as he claimed, had not been resisting, and did not pose a threat to the safety of the officer or anyone else, the takedown maneuver might not have been justified. The trial court had rejected municipal liability on the basis that the plaintiff's constitutional rights had not been violated. If they were, there remained the question of whether a city policy or custom had been the moving force behind the violation. Becker v. Bateman, #11-4054, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 4059 (10th Cir.).
     An officer went to a hotel room in response to a call that someone was trying to break in. When the officer arrived, a woman walked out of the room, and he entered. Inside, he encountered a man in the bathroom, talking to a woman who was the mother of his child. Neither of them were armed or involved in any crime. The officer pushed the bathroom door open, knocked the man to the floor, used his Taser on him, knocking him to the ground a second time and then shot him several times, killing him. He then planted a handgun taken from his patrol car on the deceased. There was no evidence of gun powder on the dead man's hands and no fingerprint evidence showing that he had handled the gun. The dead man's mother did not sue the officer, but sued the sheriff in his official capacity, claiming that the officer's actions were based on an unofficial policy of falsely accusing unarmed people of posing a threat to justify using deadly force against them, planting guns at the scene of a shooting, and giving false statements to justify the use of deadly force. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendant. The evidence showed no indication of any policy or custom that was the moving force behind the officer's actions. The court's opinion did not discuss whether the use of the Taser had been justified, or in what mode, dart or stun, the Taser had been deployed. Gandy v. Reid, # 11-14828, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 2209 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
     A police chief, dressed in street clothes, and without identifying himself as police, allegedly charged into a man, pushing him ten to fifteen feet backward into the side of a pickup truck causing him injuries. A federal appeals court found that the police chief was not entitled to qualified immunity. If the facts were as the plaintiff claimed, a reasonable jury could find that he used excessive force and unreasonably caused severe injuries without justification. Under state law, the police chief was not a final policymaker for the city, and no reasonable jury could find the city liable for his actions. The city was properly granted summary judgment. Atkinson v. City of Mountain View, #11-3352, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 2703 (8th Cir.).
     An arrestee claimed that three officers violated his constitutional right of access to the courts by refusing to disclose who used excessive force against him in the course of his arrest. He believed that one or more of six officers on the scene threw him to the ground and struck him several times in the back of his left thigh with a baton or flashlight. Because he was face-down on the ground, he could not identify the officer or officers responsible. He also argued that the city violated that same right by adopting a "conspiracy of silence" concerning such disclosure, preventing him from knowing who to sue. While the federal appeals court assumed, for purposes of the appeal, that the officers' alleged conduct was unconstitutional, it found that the issue of whether an evidentiary cover-up by officers could violate an individual's right of access to the courts was not clearly established. The officers, therefore, were entitled to qualified immunity, but the city was not entitled to summary judgment since the claims against it were not "inextricably intertwined" with the claims against the officers. Lynch v. Barrett, #12-1222, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 290 (10th Circuit).
     An African-American motorist fleeing from police stopped his car, and then started moving backwards in a circular path. An officer, believing that he might be run over, fired four or five shots, killing the driver. The decedent's mother sued the municipality, claiming that it exhibited deliberate indifference to the rights of black people. A federal appeals court rejected this claim, finding no evidence that a "policymaking official was aware of constitutional injury, or the risk of constitutional injury, but failed to take appropriate action." It noted that "isolated acts of excessive force by non-policymaking municipal employees are generally not sufficient to demonstrate a municipal custom, policy, or usage that would justify municipal liability." Jones v. Town of East Haven, #10–4731, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 15928 (2nd Cir.).
     A no-knock entry was made into a house with a battering ram to execute a search warrant based on a confidential informant's tip that methamphetamine was being sold from the residence. After no drugs were found during the search, the occupants sued the detective who obtained the warrant and the city for the failure to knock and announce the officers' identity and purpose before entering the home. The appeals court ruled that it was clearly established that neither safety concerns based on generalities about the dangerousness of drugs dealers nor the disposable nature of drug evidence were enough, standing alone, to justify that type of entry. The detective, therefore, was not entitled to qualified immunity. The court ruled that the city also could be held liable, based on the plaintiffs' claim that its officers customarily used no-knock entry as their default method of executing all drug-related searches, and that this was consistent with the police department's policies. Bishop v. Arcuri, #11-50010, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 4978 (5th Cir.).
     A man convicted of murder was released after more than 30 years in prison when he obtained evidence through a freedom of information request showing that witnesses in his trial had initially given different accounts to police detectives than those they testified to in court. He sued the police for alleged failure to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence to his defense. The officers were entitled to qualified immunity from liability, because in 1972 it was not clearly established that police officers, in addition to prosecutors, could be liable for failure to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence. His claim against them for alleged "deliberate deception" in intentionally permitting false testimony and concealing evidence, however, could proceed. "Deliberate concealment of material evidence by the police designed to grease the skids for false testimony and encourage wrongful conviction, unarguably implicates a defendant's due process rights." There was also a possible claim against the city for an unconstitutional policy and failure to train on the obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence. Haley v. City of Boston, #10-2064, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 19223 (1st Cir.).
     The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, overturned a $14 million jury award to an innocent man who spent 14 years on death row before being exonerated. The plaintiff had sued the prosecutors' officer, claiming that its failure to adequately train staff members concerning the obligation not to hide a blood test that would have established his innocence caused his conviction. While the failure to train on the obligation to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence can be the basis for government liability for violation of civil rights, the plaintiff must show that this reflected a deliberate indifference to the rights of the accused, which normally requires a showing of a pattern of similar constitutional violations by untrained employees. Connick v. Thompson, #09-571, 2011 U.S. Lexis 2594.
     A man sued a city and one of its police officers after he was placed in handcuffs at his home by the officer, angry that he refused to reveal the whereabouts of a friend suspected of sexual assault. When he then agreed to show the officer where his friend lived, he was allegedly kept in handcuffs in the back of a police vehicle for six hours outside his friend's house. No charges were brought against either man. The lawsuit claimed the city was liable for these actions because it maintained an official or de facto policy of illegally arresting and detaining persons who were not suspected of crimes and it had failed to train and supervise the officer properly. In a trial on claims against the officer only, jury awarded $50,384 in compensatory damages and $150,000 in punitive damages. A federal appeals court held that the plaintiff could not proceed with claims against the city, as any recovery against it would be duplicative of his recovery against the officer, and the city was responsible for paying the judgment against the officer. All he could recover in a further proceeding against the city was nominal damages of a dollar, and the trial court could exercise its discretion to avoid a trial on that basis. Manzanares v. City of Albuquerque, #10-2011, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 25621 (10th Cir.).
     Plaintiffs who were accused of child abuse in California, but were later exonerated, had their names added to a Child Abuse Central Index, where they would remain available to various state agencies for at least 10 years. There was no state mechanism for contesting the inclusion of their names, nor had Los Angeles County created any procedure to do so. They sued the county and public officials, claiming that this violated their constitutional rights. They sought damages, injunctive relief and declaratory relief. A federal appeals court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment required the state to provide those on the list with notice and a hearing, and that the plaintiffs were entitled to declaratory relief and were prevailing parties entitled to attorney's fees, including $60,000 from the county. The county objected, claiming that as a municipal entity, it was liable only if its "policy or custom" caused the deprivation of a plaintiff's federal right, but a state policy caused any deprivation here. The appeals court ruled that the plaintiffs did prevail against the county on their claim for declaratory relief because the policy or custom requirement did not apply to prospective relief claims. The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, holding that there can be no municipal liability in the absence of a finding of an official policy or custom regardless of the type of relief sought or awarded. Los Angeles Cty. v. Humphries, #09–350, 2010 U.S. Lexis 9444
     A New York attorney sued the city for alleged violations of his Fourth Amendment rights. He claimed that city police officers entered his apartment and seized him unlawfully. Because he offered no evidence and pled no facts that would show that the officers acted pursuant to an official city policy or custom, the city was entitled to summary judgment. The court also mentioned that with a plaintiff acting as his own attorney, as this one was, it ordinarily might be inclined to construe the complaint as also asserting claims against individual police officers. In this case, however, the plaintiff was not a "typical pro se litigant," but a licensed attorney, who previously served as an assistant district attorney, and should be expected to be familiar with the requirements for proving municipal liability claims. He was therefore not given the "same degree of leniency." Fenner v. City of New York, #10-0158, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 19217 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
     A county sheriff hired a deputy, who was allegedly provided with little or no training. The deputy was first assigned duties as a jailer, and later as a "road deputy." During his last week on the job, after resigning to pursue a position with the state Department of Corrections, he encountered a female employee at a convenience store who asked his advice on some legal problems. She declined his offer to go on a date with him. Learning that she had several outstanding arrest warrants, and owed approximately $800 in fees and fines, he drove to the store on his last day on the job, arrested her, and transported her to the jail, telling her that he would not have done so if she had agreed to the date. At the jail, the deputy bet a jailer that he could get the arrestee to reveal her breasts. He then told the arrestee that he could get her fines reduced if she would show him her breasts, and she eventually complied. He then allegedly grabbed her exposed breast. She sued the deputy and the sheriff, claiming that the sheriff failed to properly train the deputy. The deputy was also arrested and pled guilty to second degree sexual assault. The deputy had received a policy manual, but had not been required to read it, and, in fact, did not read it. He was scheduled to attend a training academy, but had not yet attended it at the time of the incident. The trial court found the deputy liable, as well as the sheriff in his official capacity, while granting the sheriff qualified immunity in his individual capacity. A federal appeals court overturned the inadequate training liability, noting that there was no duty specified in state statutes for sheriffs to train subordinates not to sexually assault detainees, and that there had been no past pattern of such conduct by the sheriff's deputies that would have put him on notice about the need for such training. Additionally, since a reasonable officer would know that intentionally sexually assaulting a detainee was illegal, and the deputy admitted that he knew "that such conduct was impermissible," the plaintiff failed to show that the lack of training caused the assault. Parrish v. Ball, #08-3517, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 2748 (8th Cir.).
     A county was not liable for a deputy's alleged actions in subjecting a man to harassment by spreading a rumor that he was a pedophile and eavesdropping on his computer. There was no proof that the deputy acted pursuant to an official county policy or custom allowing deputies to make false statements or target perceived pedophiles for persecution. The county's immediate actions in investigating, prosecuting, and firing the deputy indicated that he acted without the defendants' knowledge or authorization. Missel v. County of Monroe, #09-0235, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 24120 (Unpub.2nd Cir.).
     A bus-station patron claimed that a police officer, without justification, compelled him to leave a bus station where he was eating. The plaintiff failed to state a federal civil rights claim against the District of Columbia, which employed the officer. At the time of the incident, it appeared, the officer did not act pursuant to any District policy or custom, but rather was working for a bus company while off-duty. Lewis v. D.C., Civil Action #08-1314, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 72263 (D.D.C.).
     During a search of an arrestee, officers found a cell phone that had stored on it a number of nude photos of the arrestee and a former girlfriend in sexually explicit poses. In a lawsuit for violation of his Fourth Amendment right to privacy, the arrestee claimed that these photos were then shared with both other officers and members of the public. While stating that the alleged actions were "unprofessional and reprehensible," the court found that there was no showing that the town that employed the officers was aware, either actually or constructively, of any widespread constitutional violations by the officers. The officer who allegedly searched through the photos stored on the cell phone was entitled to qualified immunity as his alleged actions did not violate any clearly established constitutional right. Newhard v. Borders, Civil #3:09CV00020, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 80387 (W.D. Va.).
     In a lawsuit filed after a motorist was shot and killed by a deputy sheriff during a traffic stop and arrest, a federal appeals court rejected a claim for county liability. Even if the plaintiff could show that the county had a policy of inadequately investigating officer-involved shootings, there was a lack of evidence that the deputy had any knowledge of this purported policy, and it therefore could not have been the "moving force" behind any alleged violation of the motorist's rights by the deputy. James v. Harris County, #07-20725, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 17318 (5th Cir.).
     A motorist who was pulled over by police claimed that he was falsely arrested and subjected to excessive force. Summary judgment was entered for the city in the arrestee's federal civil rights lawsuit, since he failed to show that these alleged constitutional injuries were caused by a "widespread practice" permanent and well settled enough "as to constitute a custom or usage with the force of law." The plaintiff failed to show that the city "fostered a culture" of violations of citizens' rights, and statements by two officers that they acted consistently with city policies did not support the plaintiff's municipal liability claims, since the officers' version of events was one in which no constitutional violations occurred. Poole v. City of Burbank, #07 C 6355, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 59024 (N.D. Ill.).
     An arrestee's claim that a city was liable for false arrest and excessive use of force was rejected by a federal appeals court. The plaintiff's main argument, the court noted, was that he faced excessive force from an officer who allegedly kicked him in the ribs and then handcuffed him. Further, he argued that such force was the result of a police department custom that amounted to ignoring excessive force complaints, as well as a "code of silence" among officers, and a failure to investigate excessive force incidents. There was, however, no identification of a policymaker prior to his argument on appeal, and no evidence that the then identified policymaker, the city council members, were aware of the alleged facts in the case or of the purported code of silence. McGregory v. City of Jackson, Mississippi, #08-60944, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 13873 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
     A woman allegedly raped by a police officer contended that the city had acted with deliberate indifference to her constitutional rights in failing to properly supervise the officer. She pointed to prior incidents, including the city becoming aware that the officer was dating and having sex with a minor, that he consumed too much alcohol or was drugged at a bar, and that he was found on the rooftop of a building with cracked ribs. She also asserted that he had previously left his badge and uniform with a minor, damaged his patrol car, did not respond in a timely manner to a car accident, and failed to perform a field sobriety test when he finally responded. While many of these incidents were not similar to the alleged rape, the fact that the city and a sergeant allegedly knew of the officer's sex with a minor who could not legally consent justified denying the city's motion for summary judgment on the claim that this made it predictable that the rape was a consequence of the failure of the city to adequately investigate, supervise, and/or fire him. Arnold v. City of San Antonio, #SA-07-CA-877, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 32744 (W.D. Tex.).
      A man arrested and prosecuted for murder claimed that officers fabricated the case against him by pressuring witnesses to falsely identify him and ignoring evidence that was inconsistent with his participation in the crime. He further claimed that a prosecutor did not provide him with available exculpatory evidence. The federal appeals court found that the plaintiff had adequately pled a case for the city being liable for false arrest and malicious prosecution by virtue of failure to train officers and prosecutors in proper identification and investigation techniques and procedures or the need to reveal exculpatory evidence to criminal defendants. Claims based on failure to adequately supervise and discipline officers and prosecutors also survived. The verdict acquitting the plaintiff in the criminal prosecution, however, defeated any civil rights claim based on the failure to provide exculpatory evidence. Ambrose v. City of New York, #02-CV-10200, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 27498 (S.D.N.Y.).
     A homeless arrestee claimed that he was picked up by an officer for loitering, and then taken to a wooden area where the officer beat and stabbed him. A federal appeals court ruled that a claim by the arrestee that the county was liable for his injuries because it has an unwritten policy that homeless people should be relocated to other counties should have survived summary judgment because evidence was presented of five officers who allegedly knew of the policy. Additionally, there was expert testimony that such a policy made violations of the rights of homeless persons foreseeable. A claim against the county for negligent hiring of the officer was rejected because the only violent act in the officer's record was the shooting of a home invader. The appeals court also rejected a claim against the county for inadequate training or supervision. There was evidence that revealed that the county investigated reports concerning the officer's handling of arrests, provided the officer with counseling and retraining, and subjected him to discipline, which did not show "deliberate indifference" to a known problem. Williams v. DeKalb County, #07-14367, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 9839 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
     Minor allegedly subjected to violations of his civil rights during an interrogation by an officer which resulted in charges for sexual offenses being brought against him in juvenile court failed to show that the officer acted under an official city policy or custom as required to hold the city liable. W. P., a minor, v. City of Dayton, No. 22549, 2009 Ohio App. Lexis 70 (2nd Dist.).
     A store customer detained during the execution of a search warrant on the store, whose owner was suspected of involvement in drug transactions, failed to show that his detention, which he contended was unlawful and excessively prolonged, was carried out pursuant to an official city policy or custom or that such a policy or custom was the "moving force" behind the alleged violation of his rights. Plemons v. Amos, No. 07-10507, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 478 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
    Lawsuit for malicious prosecution for harassment, when the arrest and prosecution was based solely on information provided by the victim, was valid, as the harassment offense at issue had to be committed in the officers' presence to establish probable cause. The plaintiff failed to show, however, a municipal policy or custom, as required to establish municipal liability. Ramos v. City of New York, 06-5252, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 23226 (2nd Cir.).
      A man who claimed that he was attacked by four African-American men outside his ex-wife's home because they recognized him as having fathered two children with his ex-wife failed to show that the city violated his equal protection rights by refusing to pursue a case against his assailants. He did not show that the officers acted under a city policy or practice in closing the case, or that their actions were directed by an official policymaker. The prosecutor chose not to prosecute because of the ex-wife's contradictory statements regarding the alleged assault. Butler v. Milwaukee, No. 09-2035, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 21525 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
    Three former police officers filed a federal civil rights lawsuit arising from the Los Angeles Police Department's investigation and prosecution of them after they were implicated in wrongdoing by a former LAPD officer in an event that was known as the "Rampart Scandal." The three plaintiff officers were acquitted and claimed that the defendants, including prosecutors, the city, and the former chief of police conducted an improper and negligent investigation, and that they had been arrested without probable cause for falsifying a police report and conspiring to file such a report. While claims against the prosecutor and county were dismissed, a jury returned a verdict against the city and former police chief for damages of $5,000,001 for each of the officers. Upholding these awards, an appeals court noted that the jury found violations of the officers' constitutional rights, and that the violations stemmed from the city's official policy. The appeals court further noted that the former police chief was an authorized policymaker, and was "instrumental" in instituting the proceedings against the plaintiffs, with an alleged policy of preparing more cases for the filing of charges against officers in a quick manner, with or without probable cause. This, the court concluded, could have been found by a reasonable jury to have resulted in the officers' arrests. Harper v. City of Los Angeles, No. 06-55519, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 14892 (9th Cir.).
     A man was allegedly falsely arrested and convicted for public indecency in exposing himself at a library. The application for the arrest warrant allegedly failed to include the victim's physical description of the offender or that given by witnesses, and did not state that fingerprint analysis was incomplete and that the plaintiff had not been identified by the witnesses or victim. His conviction was overturned after fingerprints from books that the perpetrator had handled turned out to belong to another man. But the arrestee failed to show that the town should be held liable, as there was no defect in the police department's policies that caused his arrest. The mere fact that the plaintiff was falsely arrested was insufficient to show that the city failed to adequately train or supervise officers. Seri v. Town of Newton, Civil Action No. 3:03cv1301, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 66039 (D. Conn.).
     A father sued police and the county for allegedly maliciously prosecuting his son for marijuana trafficking, resulting in the son's suspension from a university, and the son's suicide. A decision by a lower court ruling that the officer involved in the incident did not act in bad faith barred any claim against the officer as an individual. The father failed to establish, according to the appeals court, that there was any pattern of constitutional violations by the county, such as inadequate training. His challenge to the state university's disciplinary policies, seeking injunctive relief, was properly denied, as he failed to show any credible threat that he would face future injury from the continued application of the policy. Plinton v. County of Summit, No. 7-3985, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18723 (6th Cir.).
    As previously reported, in Rothgery v. Gillespie County, No. 07-440, 2008 U.S. Lexis 5057, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an arrestee's initial appearance before a magistrate or judge, when he learns the charges against him, and his liberty is subject to restriction, constitutes the beginning of an adversary judicial proceeding and triggers the arrestee's right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment. This is true whether or not a prosecutor, as distinct from a police officer, is aware of that first proceeding or involved in it. On remand from the Supreme Court, a federal appeals court vacated summary judgment for the county on the arrestee's federal civil rights lawsuit, and remanded for further proceedings. Rothgery v. Gillespie County Texas, No. 06-50267, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 16433 (5th Cir.).
     Man whose guns and ammunition were confiscated by a deputy sheriff failed to show that these actions were carried out pursuant to an official county policy. The mere fact that there was an alleged county policy requiring a deputy to consult with a county attorney when unsure how to proceed, and to follow the attorneys' advice did not show that the alleged deprivation was caused by the policy. Mann v. Helmig, No. 07-5549, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 15213 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
     The U.S. Supreme Court has held that an arrestee's initial appearance before a magistrate or judge, when he learns the charges against him, and his liberty is subject to restriction, constitutes the beginning of an adversary judicial proceeding and triggers the arrestee's right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment. This is true whether or not a prosecutor, as distinct from a police officer, is aware of that first proceeding or involved in it. Rothgery v. Gillespie County, No. 07-440, 2008 U.S. Lexis 5057.
     In this case, Texas police arrested a man with a prior felony conviction as a felon in possession of a firearm, and brought him before a magistrate judge, as required by state law, for a mandatory Fourth Amendment probable-cause determination. At the hearing, bail was set, and the arrestee was told the accusation against him. He was sent to jail, and released after posting a surety bond. He had no money for a lawyer, and made a number of oral and written requests for an appointed lawyer, which were allegedly ignored.
     He was later indicted, rearrested, and his bail was increased, after which he was jailed when he could not post the bail. He was later assigned a lawyer, who succeeded in getting the indictment dismissed. The arrestee then sued the county for violation of civil rights, claiming that if he had been provided with an appointed lawyer within a reasonable time after the initial hearing, he would not have been indicted, rearrested, or jailed.
     The U.S. Supreme Court agreed that the plaintiff arrestee had a Sixth Amendment right to counsel at the time he first appeared in court, even if the relevant prosecutors were not then aware of, or involved in, his arrest or appearance at the hearing, and there was no indication that the officer at the appearance had any power to commit the state to prosecute. The Court noted that the federal government, the District of Columbia, and 43 states take the first step toward appointing counsel to indigent defendants before, at, or just after an arrestee's initial court appearance The Court found that no "acceptable justification" had been presented for the minority practice of failing to do so.
     City and its director were entitled to summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by Hurricane Katrina evacuees concerning their allegedly being forced from their homes. Claims were asserted for evacuees who lived in unflooded areas of the city who allegedly suffered property losses when they were denied entry into the area after the storm, as well as on behalf of those who lived in unflooded areas who were allegedly unlawfully arrested or searched under the mayor's order. The court found that these proposed "classes" were too "nebulous," and that claims for injunctive relief were moot because the mayor's order was no longer in place. Even if the seizure of one evacuee was found to be unconstitutional, there was no evidence that it was caused by an allegedly unconstitutional city policy. Reynolds v. New Orleans City, No. 06-31122, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6969 (5th Cir.).
     Street preachers failed to prove that there was a municipal custom of using inapplicable statutes to restrict their First Amendment rights, so that they were not entitled to summary judgment. The preachers were required to demonstrate an official policy or custom to prevail, despite the fact that they only sought injunctive and declaratory relief, rather than damages. The plaintiffs did present enough to raise a genuine issue of fact as to whether the city had a widespread custom as alleged, so that city's motion for summary judgment was also denied.  World Wide Street Preachers' Fellowship v. Town of Columbia, Louisiana, No. 05-0513, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 26929 (W.D. La.).
     In a lawsuit by a suspected shoplifter shot by a deputy sheriff employed as a private security guard while off-duty, one alleged prior incident of the deputy using excessive force was not sufficient to put the county on notice that the deputy needed further supervision or training, especially in light of the fact that the suspect in that prior incident admitted to trying to assault the deputy. The plaintiff therefore failed to show a policy or custom by the county that would render it liable for the deputy's actions. Barkley v. Dillard Dept. Stores, Inc., No. 07-20482, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 9603 (5th Cir.).
     An arrestee could not establish a town policy of "police harassment" merely on the basis of the current mayor's statements in a deposition in response to questions about a news article quoting him as saying that he had heard statements telling him that officers intimated people with their "stares" and their look. The court noted that the mayor also stated, in an affidavit, that he had no personal knowledge of police policies or customs at the time of the arrest. Further, even if he had such knowledge, he was not mayor at the time of the arrest, so that his knowledge would not show that town officials had notice of such police actions or policies. Whittington v. Town of Surfside, No. 07-13143, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6050 (11th Cir.).
     Plaintiff in federal civil rights lawsuit over two incidents in which officers allegedly pointed their guns at him without justification failed to provide any evidence that the city had a policy authorizing the use of excessive force against African-Americans such as himself, or that the incidents occurred as a result of a municipal policy or custom. The evidence in the record showed official orders telling officers to use the minimum amount of force necessary, and to use deadly force only as a last resort in response to a "grave" threat. Additionally, the two incidents at issue, since they occurred 13 months apart, did not show the existence of a custom. Wakefield v. City of Pembroke Pines, No. 07-11687, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6044 (11th Cir.).
     In a case where police officers shot and killed a motorist during what was characterized as a "routine" traffic stop, a federal appeals court found that the city's written policy concerning the use of deadly force complied with Fourth Amendment requirements and required officers to reasonably believe that there was an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury before shooting. There were, however, genuine issues of material fact as to whether there was an alleged "longstanding" practice or custom of use of deadly force in circumstances where it was not warranted, sufficient to support a claim for municipal liability. The court rejected, however, any claim based on inadequate training. Price v. Sery, No. 06-35159, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 1196 (9th Cir.).
     A company owner, shortly after an indictment against him was dismissed, sued, claiming that a police chief and an officer conspired to present false testimony before a grand jury. In a federal civil rights lawsuit, he contended that the city was liable for this because the chief, in allegedly perjuring himself, acted as a policymaker for the city. The federal trial court found, however, that if the police chief did this, it constituted an isolated incident and a criminal act outside the scope of the chief's policymaking authority, for which the city could not be held liable. Summary judgment was therefore granted to the city and police department, but not to the police chief. Miller v. City of East Orange, No. 05-2023, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 68844 (D.N.J.).
     City was properly held not liable, on the basis of two officers' warrantless entry into the plaintiffs' home through a closed but unlocked side door. The officers were looking for the daughter of one of the officers, who they thought might be at the home because she was dating the son of the woman who lived there. The city disciplined the officers and criminally prosecuted them, while refuting the allegation that it had a custom or policy that caused a constitutional violation by the officers. The officers were also acquitted in the state criminal proceeding because their conduct was found to fit within a state law emergency aid exception to the requirement of a warrant. McClendon v. City of Detroit, No. 05-2734, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 27692 (6th Cir.).
     A newspaper reporter died of a heart attack suffered in her home while a former sheriff was present, and her estate claimed that he had engaged in efforts to intimidate her, which caused her heart attack. These efforts were allegedly motivated by her investigation into allegations that the former sheriff engaged in campaign fraud. A settlement reached on civil rights claims were found to be enforceable against the former sheriff in his individual capacity, but not against the county of the sheriff's office. The plaintiff in the civil rights lawsuit then substituted the current county sheriff as a defendant for the former sheriff in his official capacity. A federal appeals court ruled that the county could not be held liable as there was no showing that the death of the reporter was caused by a county policy or that the former sheriff acted under color of state law. Instead, the former sheriff only acted on his own behalf. Sims v. County of Bureau, No. 01-2884, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 24418 (7th Cir.).   
     Underage police volunteer used in an underage alcohol sting operation claimed that a police officer told her that nude photos would have to be taken of her to show that she was not wearing a tape recorder. He also allegedly took semi-nude photos of her for a fabricated child pornography investigation. A federal court ruled that the city and its police chief were not liable for the officer's alleged violations of the volunteer's constitutional rights. The officer did not make policy for the city, and the police chief's alleged knowledge that the officer had previously taken nude photos of a consenting female officer did not put him on notice that the officer might violate an underage volunteer's rights. The court also rejected a claim concerning inadequate training, since the officer would know that his alleged conduct was wrong without needing training on the subject. Wilson v. City of Norwick, Civil Action No. 3:02-CV-1026, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 65352 (D. Conn.).
     County and district attorney were not entitled to judgment on the pleadings on the plaintiff's claim that they had a policy which barred the investigation or acceptance of criminal cross-complaints by a criminal defendant against police officers and prosecutors, merely based on the complainant's status as a pretrial detainee. Such a policy, if actually in existence, would violate the plaintiff's constitutional rights. The county's assertion that there was, in fact, no such policy, could be asserted later in a motion for summary judgment. McCrary v. County of Nassau, No. 06-CV-3048, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 47937 (E.D.N.Y.).
     There was sufficient evidence from which the jury could have reasonably concluded that the police department had a custom or practice of "deliberate indifference" to African-Americans' constitutional rights, and that the Chief of Police was aware of the custom or policy, and was deliberately indifferent to it. The court granted a motion by the plaintiff for a hearing on compensatory damages, but granted a motion by the town to set aside the jury's determination that punitive damages should be awarded against it. Jones v. Town of East Haven, No. 3:99CV00632, 2007 U.S. Dist. 48838 (D. Conn.).
     Man bitten by released police dog failed to show either that city's policies on use of dogs were unlawful (despite their license on when an officer should issue a warning before directing a dog to bite and hold and suspect) or that there was a history of the city's officers unreasonably using dogs to apprehend suspects. Officer acted with deliberate indifference in failing to provide such a warning. Stabla v. City of Brooklyn Park, No. 04-2538, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 11602 (8th Cir.).
     Woman allegedly fondled by a deputy sheriff who attempted to kiss her while he had been on duty for the county failed to show that the county's lack of policies regarding sexual harassment caused his conduct. The deputy himself acknowledged that, due to his law enforcement training, he knew that it was wrong to touch females in an inappropriate manner when he came into contact with them in the course of his duties. The plaintiff was, however, awarded $25,000 against the deputy himself, who had come to her home in response to her 911 call seeking help for her brother, who had overdosed on drugs. Currie v. Haywood County, Tennessee, No. 06-5683, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 8530 (6th Cir.).
     Hotel operators did not show that a city had an official policy, practice or custom concerning what to do when a tenant claimed he had been unlawfully locked out of his room, barring any claim for municipal liability. Officers responding to a tenant's complaint concerning such a "lockout" also did not actually arrest hotel operators, and the mere threat of an arrest, under the circumstances, did not violate their Fourth Amendment rights. Cruz v. City of Los Angeles, No. 04-57160, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 6245 (9th Cir.).
     District of Columbia could not be held liable for an officer's alleged excessive use of deadly force when there was no evidence of any official policy or custom which caused the incident, and there was no evidence of failure to properly train and supervise the officer on the part of either the District or the police chief. Claim for excessive use of force remains pending against the officer, who allegedly shot and killed a woman who failed to respond to his orders that she drop a gun when she came up a staircase with it in her hand. Reed v. D.C., No. 03-1085, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 12252 (D.D.C.).[N/R]
     A municipal judge's incarceration of a mother under a city ordinance for her daughter's truancy from school was not an act of official municipal policy of the sort which could possibly create municipal liability for violation of federal civil rights. Granda v. City of St. Louis, No. 06-2309, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 100 (8th Cir.). [N/R]
     In the absence of any showing that a police department had a custom of indifference to or acceptance of the violation of individuals' rights, it could not be held liable for the alleged false arrest of a customer of a cell phone store detained by security guards at the business on an accusation that he was attempting to have a stolen cell phone activated and was "trespassing." The security guards were also found not to be acting under color of state law in transporting the arrestee to the police station, but rather under a merchant's right under Michigan state law to control access to their business. Durante v. Fairlane Town Center, No. 05-1113, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 26128 (6th Cir.). [N/R]
     Police officer arrested under a warrant on charges of rape, attempted murder, and second degree kidnapping failed to show that the city had any official custom or policy which led to his allegedly false arrest, so there could be no municipal liability. Further, the discrepancies in the warrant application that the plaintiff complained of were not essential to the finding of probable cause and issuance of the warrant, so the sergeant who obtained the warrant was also entitled to summary judgment. Daniel v. Compass, No. 05-31157, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 30605 (5th Cir.). [N/R]
     Man allegedly arrested for creating a public disturbance and beaten by officers when he was actually having an epileptic seizure failed to present any evidence of a policy or custom of the city which allegedly caused these actions, or that the city's training of or supervision of officers demonstrated deliberate indifference to his rights. Adams v. City of Camden, No. 05-779, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 82471 (D.N.J.). [N/R]
     Claims against county sheriff alleging that he, as a policymaking official, caused false arrest, malicious prosecution, and illegal search of a home by authorizing deputies to obtain arrest and search warrants lacking probable cause were not meritorious There was no showing that any official county policy or custom caused the alleged constitutional deprivations, as required for municipal liability. Harris v. Bryant, No. 05-6045, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 27134 (5th Cir.). [N/R]
     A Florida police officer allegedly hit an undercover Hispanic police detective with his car, believing that the detective was one of the two robbery suspects being pursued. The detective claimed that the officer intentionally aimed the car at him and hit him because he believed he was one of the robbers and that he was African-American, doing so for racial reasons. The officer claimed that the incident was an accident and that he lost control of his car. Federal appeals court vacated summary judgment for the defendant county, finding that there was sufficient evidence of a custom of excessive force based on the failure to investigate and discipline. The officer who struck the detective with his car was allegedly involved in "numerous" auto collision, and was known to use racially derogatory terms, and there was evidence that the county disciplined only 16 officers for excessive force over a ten year period, with most discipline being minor. Perez v. Miami-Dade County, No. 05-10261, 168 Fed. Appx. 328 (11th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
     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). [N/R]
     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). [N/R]
     County was not liable for alleged murder of county sheriff-elect by defeated sheriff using department personnel and resources because defeated sheriff was not a final policymaker for the county under Georgia state law. The plaintiff, the widow of the sheriff-elect, therefore could not recover $326,136,398 in compensatory damages from the county. Jury also awarded $450 million in punitive damages against former sheriff, former deputies, and other alleged co-conspirators. Brown v. Dorsey, No. A05A1129, 625 S.E.2d 16 (Ga. App. 2005). [N/R]
     County sheriff was not responsible for an alleged illegal arrest arising from a fight between deputies and a deputy's neighbors, when there was no claim that the deputies acting on the basis of an official policy or custom. Adcock v. Baca, No. 05-11389, 157 Fed. Appx. 118 (11th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Because city policy possibly allowed the use of dogs to catch and bite suspects without verbal warnings, summary judgment was improper in excessive force lawsuit brought by homeless man bitten by dog while lying on the floor in a shelter for public toilets. Officer controlling dog, however, was entitled to qualified immunity. Szabla v. City of Brooklyn Park, No. 04-2538, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 26152 (8th Cir.). [2006 LR Jan]
     City policy that motorists claimed required officers to arrest them for unlicensed operation of a car any time a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) check showed a suspended license was not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The information gathered from the DMV, along with the warnings included on state summonses provided probable cause for their arrest. McGuire v. City of New York, No. 04-1287, 142 Fed. Appx. 1 (2nd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     In a lawsuit concerning the strip-searching of an adult and seven children during a warrant-based search of an apartment for drugs, trial judge's reply to jury's question about municipal liability was not erroneous. Jury's verdict for defendant city upheld on appeal. Quiles v. Kilson, No. 05-1026, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 22741 (1st Cir.). [2005 LR Dec]
     Arrestee failed to show that any city policy or custom contributed to the alleged use of excessive force against him while in custody. City was entitled, therefore, to summary judgment. Niemyjski v. City of Albuquerque, No. CIV. 03-1377, 379 F. Supp. 2d 1221 (D.N.M. 2005). [N/R]
     Man arrested during officers' response to domestic violence call failed to show that excessive force was used against him. While officers allegedly hit him about the neck, shoulders, and wrist with their nightsticks and wrestled him to the ground, the arrestee refused to cooperate with the officers, fought with them, disarmed one of them, and grabbed a second officer by the groin. Under these circumstances, the amount of force used by the officers was not objectively unreasonable. Plaintiff arrestee also failed to establish, as he claimed, that the city had a "widespread practice" of abusing "men of color" who dated white women. McLaurin v. New Rochelle Police Officers, #03 CIV. 10037, 373 F. Supp. 2d 385 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
     Factual disputes concerning a traffic stop barred summary judgment for deputy sheriffs who stopped motorist who claimed that the stop was based on racial profiling rather than legitimate suspicion of violation of traffic laws concerning speeding. Court finds no basis, however, for claims against the county or sheriff as there was not a history of alleged race-based traffic stops, and the deputies involved had been trained to enforce laws without regard to race or ethnicity. Christopher v. Nestlerode, No. CIV. A. 104CV0977, 373 F. Supp. 2d 503 (M.D. Pa. 2005). [N/R]
     Unwritten custom of allowing city police investigators "unfettered discretion" in conducting their administrative investigations into alleged police misconduct resulted in unconstitutional strip searches of police officers during investigation of motorist's claim that the officers stole from him during a traffic stop. Monistere v. City of Memphis, No. 03-5412, 115 Fed. Appx. 845 (6th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     City could be liable for on-duty officer's mistaken shooting and killing of an off-duty officer also responding to a disturbance at a restaurant while out of uniform. Federal appeals court finds sufficient evidence to send to a jury the question of whether the city was deliberately indifferent to the risk of "friendly fire" incidents by failing to provide adequate training on identification of off-duty officers, in light of the risks of its "always armed/always on-duty" policy. Young v. City of Providence, 404 F.3d 4 (1st Cir. 2005). [2005 LR Jun]
     Police department and city could not be held liable for officers' alleged unconstitutional actions in making an arrest, in the absence of any showing that there was an official policy or custom that caused the alleged constitutional deprivations. Grays v. City of New Rochelle, No. 03 CIV.1356, 354 F. Supp. 2d 323 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
     City was not liable for officer's shooting of a man in his home through a kitchen door window when he thought the man was threatening his wife with a gun. Plaintiffs failed to show a municipal policy of condoning the excessive use of force, and an expert's opinion that the city must have had such a policy simply because of the number of excessive force lawsuits filed was inadequate to create a genuine factual issue in the absence of any qualitative analysis of these past cases and their similarity to the current one. Thomas v. Chattanooga, #03-6308, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 2024 (6th Cir.). [2005 LR Apr]
     City could not be held liable for police officers' alleged actions of seizing and beating a robbery suspect without justification merely on the basis that it was the officers' employer. Arrestee failed to allege that any of the purported violations of his constitutional rights were the result of the city's policies. Hales v. City of Montgomery, Civil Action No. 03-M-593, 347 F. Supp. 2d 1167 (M.D. Ala. 2004). [N/R]
     Even if Fourteenth Amendment did not directly limit the actions of the District of Columbia against demonstrators protesting against the policies of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the U.S. government, because the District is not a "state," a complaint which alleged that D.C. officials and "other state or local governments" conspired together or aided and abetted each other in violating the demonstrators' Fourteenth Amendment rights was sufficient to state a possible basis of recovery against the District, so that judgment on the pleadings was inappropriate. Chang v. United States, No. CIV.A. 02-2010, 338 F. Supp. 2d 20 (D.D.C. 2004). [N/R]
     Police officer's testimony that he had not been trained concerning the use of force was not sufficient to hold the city and police chief liable for other officers' alleged excessive use of force resulting in a man's death. There was no showing that the alleged failure to train the testifying officer was causally connected in any way with the actions of the officers who allegedly used force against the decedent, and no showing of a widespread pattern of similar incidents of alleged misbehavior. Dabney v. City of Mexia, No. 04-50194, 113 Fed. Appx. 599 (5th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     City was not liable for police officer's allegedly wrongful display of nude photographs of a female murder victim to persons not involved in the investigation. There was no showing that any official city policy or failure to adequately train officers caused the disclosure. Donohue v. Hoey, No. 02-1405, 109 Fed. Appx. 340 (10th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Arrestees' claim that city had a policy of issuing incomplete, false, and misleading receipts for property taken for inventory purposes from them, and that this was intended to prevent or delay the return of non-forfeitable property could be pursued in federal court, since the deprivations allegedly did not stem from random and unauthorized acts of city employees. Plaintiffs were not required to first exhaust all state law remedies before pursuing procedural due process claims in court. Their claims, however, could not be pursued under the Fourth Amendment, since a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim provided an adequate avenue to seek redress. The federal court also found that property owners cannot state a claim under the Fifth Amendment for the taking of private property for a public use without just compensation before pursuing available state procedures for seeking compensation. Gates v. Towery, No. 04C2155, 331 F. Supp. 2d 666 (N.D. Ill. 2004).[N/R]
     Plaintiffs failed to show that an official city policy or custom of deliberate indifference to the need for training of officers on the use of deadly force caused the death of a motorist shot and killed by an officer during a pursuit of his vehicle. Genuine issues of material fact as to whether the officer acted negligently, however, barred summary judgment for the city in a Texas state law claim. Lopez-Rodriguez v. City of Levelland, Texas, No. 03-10843, 100 Fed. Appx. 272 (5th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Woman arrested for alleged violation of a domestic violence protective order that she claimed she had not yet been served with could not pursue federal civil rights claim against town when there was no assertion that any official municipal policy had caused the arrest. The mere fact that the magistrate who issued the warrant for her arrest, and the sheriff who supervised the office which allegedly failed to serve her with the protective order were both municipal employees did not alter the result. Cole v. Summey, 329 F. Supp. 2d 391 (M.D.N.C. 2004). [N/R]
     An arrestee's mere conclusory statement in his federal civil rights complaint that a county was somehow involved in the alleged unlawful use of a trespass form (forbidding the arrestee to enter a Home Depot hardware store) by the local prosecutor and village police officers to prosecute him was insufficient to impose municipal liability on the county. No official policy or custom by the county was shown, and a municipality and its agencies cannot be held liable under federal civil rights statutes merely for the "isolated" allegedly unconstitutional actions of its employees. Vineyard v. County of Nassau, 329 F. Supp. 2d 364 (E.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court, in case where estranged husband took and murdered his three minor daughters, in violation of domestic protection order, rules that such an order, when enforcement is required by a state statute, creates a property interest protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Claims against city for failing to enforce order are reinstated, but individual officers were entitled to qualified immunity. Gonzales v. Castle Rock, #01-1053, 366 F.3d 1093 (10th Cir. en banc, 2004). [2004 LR Sep]
     County was entitled to summary judgment in lawsuit by elderly woman claiming that members of multi-agency task force improperly entered and searched her home looking for suspect who no longer lived there, when no county policy or custom caused the actions. Individual deputies involved in obtaining the address to go to or who accompanied team members on the search, were entitled to qualified immunity, as their actions did not violate plaintiff's rights. Johnson v. Deep East Texas Regional Narcotics Trafficking Task Force, No. 03-40394, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 15493 (5th Cir.). [2004 LR Sep]
     There was a genuine issue as to whether a city had a policy allowing the use of riot guns with wooden baton rounds before other less extreme means of crowd control were attempted, and whether the city had ratified an officer's alleged direct firing of a "knee knocker" wooden projectile at a student while attempting to disperse a crowd of partygoers who had gathered on a street. Trial court therefore denied summary judgment for the defendant city. Otero v. Wood, 316 F. Supp. 2d 612 (S.D. Ohio 2004). [N/R]
     Sheriff did not act in a policy-making capacity for the county when he allegedly engaged in statutory rape of mentally handicapped female minor by using his police vehicle's lights and siren to pull over vehicle in which she was a passenger. County, therefore, could not be held liable, in federal civil rights lawsuit, for sheriff's actions. Wooten v. Logan, No. 02-5753, 92 Fed. Appx. 143 (6th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     County sheriff could be held vicariously liable for on-duty sexual assault by deputy if the complainant shows that he was aided in committing the attack by his position as a law enforcement officer. Doe v. Forrest, Vt., #2002-184, 2004 VT 37, 2004 Vt. Lexis 103 (2004). [2004 LR Jul]
     City could not be held liable on the basis of alleged conspiracy by individual police officers to violate his civil rights in connection with his arrest on homicide charges, in the absence of any evidence of a city policy that caused the alleged violations. Additionally, officer had probable cause to arrest plaintiff based on eyewitness's identification of him as the killer both from a photograph and in a lineup, particularly in light of inconsistencies in suspect's explanation of his whereabouts on the date of the crime. Brown v. City of New York, 306 F. Supp. 2d 473 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
     Plaintiff failed to adequately allege that an official city policy or custom was behind the alleged disposal of his personal property, which was inside another person's car when it was impounded. City therefore could not be held liable for violation of his due process rights. Further, adequate state law remedies for retrieval of property had been available to plaintiff. Jones v. City of St. Louis, 285 F. Supp. 2d 1212 (E.D. Mo. 2003). [N/R]
    Arrestee's claim that city had a policy or custom of condoning a "systemic practice" of racial profiling on individuals with prior criminal records which resulted in his false arrest and imprisonment was adequate to state a claim against the city for municipal liability. Anderson v. County of Nassau, 297 F. Supp. 2d 540 (E.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
     The alleged failure to conduct an adequate investigation of a single incident of police officers' purported excessive use of force was insufficient to show the existence of a municipal policy as required for governmental liability. Byrd v. District of Columbia, 297 F. Supp. 2d 136 (D.D.C. 2003). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court reverses trial judge's grant of summary judgment to city in lawsuit brought by female motorist who claimed that police officer broke into her home and sexually assaulted her after obtaining her home address from her driver's license during traffic stop which might have been aimed solely at finding out where she lived. Court speculates that Illinois Supreme Court might find that the officer, because of his assertion of his official authority, acted within the scope of his employment, triggering a duty, on the part of the city, to indemnify the officer for any judgment against him. Doe v. City of Chicago, No. 03-2221, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 3811 (7th Cir. 2004). [2004 LR Apr]
     County was not liable for police officer's shooting of suspect who had taken hostages in his car, even if he had his hands up when he was shot, when the suspect and his accomplice were known to be armed and the suspect allegedly quickly opened the car door and lunged out so that the officer could not see his right hand at the time he fired. County review board reasonably decided that officer's shooting did not violate police department's use of force rules. Kanae v. Hodson, 294 F. Supp. 2d 1179 (D. Hawaii 2003). [N/R]
     Municipalities could not have the required "criminal intent" needed to show a "pattern of racketeering activity" under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1961, et seq., and a plaintiff traffic flagging service failed to show commission of predicate criminal acts by police union presidents, so court orders dismissal of RICO lawsuit against municipalities and presidents claiming that plaintiff lost contracts because of ordinances giving law enforcement officers the exclusive right or right of first refusal on contracts to provide traffic control services. Interstate Flagging, Inc. v. Town of Darien, 283 F. Supp. 2d 641 (D. Conn. 2003). [N/R]
     Plaintiffs failed to present evidence that any city policy or custom was responsible for police detective's alleged misconduct in illegally entering and searching their home, making an arrest of one resident, and using excessive force in doing so, barring any federal civil rights claim against the city. Griffin v. City of New York, 287 F. Supp. 2d 392 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
     An African-American lesbian failed to state a claim against city based on alleged conspiracy by police officers to intimidate her into refraining from filing a cross-complaint against her former lover in a criminal trespass case. She claimed that a police detective she spoke to made offensive remarks about lesbians and subsequently called her at home to ask her out on a date. There was no showing that the alleged conduct, even if it took place, happened as the result of any municipal policy or custom discriminating against her on the basis of her gender or sexual orientation. Smith v. City of New York, 290 F. Supp. 2d 317 (E.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
     Police dog's biting of bystander rather than pursued car theft suspect was not the result of any municipal policy or custom. No liability for city for alleged violation of bystander's federal civil rights. Roddy v. Canine Officer, 293 F. Supp. 2d 906 (S.D. Ind. 2003). [N/R]
     Federal trial court declines to certify class action on behalf of former arrestees in homicide cases who were detained, never charged, and then released. In case claiming that city has a long-standing policy of making arrests without probable cause in homicide cases, court finds that proposed class did not meet the requirement that questions of law or fact common to members of the class predominate over issues affecting only individual members or that a class action is a superior method for the fair and efficient resolving of the claims. Abby v. City of Detroit, 218 F.R.D. 544 (E.D. Mich. 2003). [N/R]
     African-American hospital patient's alleged unlawful detention by deputy sheriffs for psychiatric evaluation after she purportedly became "unruly" in hospital emergency room while awaiting treatment was not caused by any county policy of inadequate training on "diversity" or "communication skills, barring claims for governmental liability. Harvey v. Alameda County Medical Center, 280 F. Supp. 2d 960 (N.D. Cal. 2003). [N/R]
     Plaintiff in lawsuit alleging physical assault by unnamed sheriff's deputies failed to allege any facts sufficient to show a "pattern or practice" of such action by deputies sufficient to impose municipal liability. No other instances of such actions were alleged. Yates v. Unidentified Parties, No. 02-31224, 73 Fed. Appx. 19 (5th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Man arrested by mistake during investigation of theft of water from a city fire hydrant failed to show that his arrest was caused by any city policy or custom. Federal appeals court overturns jury award of $1 in nominal damages and in excess of $90,000 in attorneys' fees and costs. Zuniga v. City of Midwest City, No. 02-6076, 68 Fed. Appx. 160 (10th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Nov]
     Owner of food distribution business failed to present allegations sufficient to establish a claim that an allegedly unlawful warrantless search of the business was caused by a police department policy or custom, as required for municipal liability, when the complaint failed to point to anything other than the search at issue. Chin v. City of Baltimore, 241 F. Supp. 2d 546 (D. Md. 2003). [N/R]
     Failure to show that alleged false arrest and excessive use of force by deputies was caused by policies or customs of sheriff's office amounting to inadequate training and supervision precluded claims for liability against the sheriff in his official capacity. The sheriff could also not be held liable personally when he played no personal role in the incidents at issue. Seegars v. Adcox, 258 F. Supp. 2d 1370 (S.D. Ga. 2002). [N/R]
     Town's failure to adopt a policy or procedure to make sure that exculpatory material concerning arrestees was transmitted from police officers to prosecutors could potentially be the basis for federal civil rights liability. Murvin v. Jennings, 259 F. Supp. 2d 180 (D. Conn. 2003). [2003 LR Sep]
     City could not be held vicariously liable for its officers' alleged negligence in failing to get positive identification from persons who impersonated the plaintiff, even if this later resulted in his mistaken arrest and detention for the actions of these impersonators. There was no showing of an official municipal policy or custom which caused this to happen. Sanchez v. City of Albuquerque, No. 02-2107, 65 Fed. Appx. 2241 (10th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     City and supervisory personnel could not be held vicariously liable for officers' actions in allegedly improperly conducting a rape and assault investigation, resulting in the plaintiff's wrongful conviction when there was no evidence that the city and police chief actually had a policy or custom which caused the officers' actions. Alexander v. City of South Bend, 256 F. Supp. 2d 865 (N.D. Ind. 2003). [N/R]
     Municipality could not be held liable for officers' alleged improper searching of the trunk of a motorist's car during a stop without his consent or any other sufficient legal reason to do so, in the absence of any evidence showing that official policies, customs, or practices of the village caused the actions. Warner v. Village of Goshen Police Dept., 256 F. Supp. 2d 171 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
     City's policy of providing training on the most likely situations and problems that could arise in the use of police dogs against arrestees was adequate, and not a basis for imposing liability on the city for injuries arrestee suffered from being bitten by dog. Holiday v. City of Kalamazoo, No. 4:01-CV-161, 255 F. Supp. 2d 732 (W.D. Mich. 2003). [2003 LR Aug]
     Officer's conduct in allowing a dog to continue to bite an arrestee until the suspect raised his hands as the officer ordered did not constitute excessive force, despite the fact that the suspect was in his underwear. Suspect's conduct in running away "inexplicably" from a minor traffic stop gave the officer reasons to be concerned for his and other officers' safety. Officers were entitled to qualified immunity on failure to give a verbal warning prior to using the dog, but appeals court does hold that they should have given a warning, and that claims against the city could be pursued for failure to require such warnings. Kuha v. City of Minnetonka, No. 02-1081, 328 F.3d 427 (8th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Aug]
    Federal appeals court overturns jury award of damages to three bystanders detained by police during search of commercial building by police under search warrant and of damages to building owner for property damage during search. City could not be liable to bystanders, as there was no showing that there was a municipal policy or custom of detaining innocent bystanders to searches for an unreasonably long period of time. Damage done to building during search, which amounted to less than $500, did not amount to a "taking" for purposes of the Fifth Amendment, and building owner had no reasonable expectation that the building would remain free of legal searches. Two-hour deprivation of access to the building could not be the basis for a claim for damages either. Jones v. Philadelphia Police Department, No. 01-4202, 57 Fed. Appx. 939 (3rd Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Georgia Supreme Court holds that, under state law, a parent of an adult child murdered by his surviving spouse can pursue a wrongful death claim against the alleged murderer or against "other parties" that proximately caused the death, answering a question certified to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in a case where the murdered son's mother asserted state wrongful death claims against the wife, a police chief, and the city. The claims against the city and police chief were based on the fact that the alleged murderer was a police captain who had previously attempted suicide. The police chief had ordered her to remove all weapons from her home, but did not relieve her of her duties, and she used her service revolver to shoot and kill her husband. Carringer v. Rodgers, No. SO2Q1483, 578 S.E.2d 841 (Ga. 2003). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court upholds award of $1 in nominal damages and $7,428 in attorneys' fees against city which allegedly took no action and began no investigation of woman's complaints to police chief and mayor that a police officer with whom she had broken off an affair was harassing her and stalking her while on the job and in uniform. Attorneys' fee award, court states, should put police departments and cities "on notice" that they cannot simply ignore such complaints. Murray v. City of Onawa, Iowa, No. 02-2626, 323 F.3d 616 (8th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Jul]
     Insufficient evidence existed to show a "custom" of burglaries by police officers, so that claims against city for liability for officers' burglary of plaintiff's home were appropriate. There was also no showing that city policymakers had shown deliberate indifference to the need to properly train and supervise police officers. Hernandez v. Borough of Palisades Park Police Department, No. 02-2210, 58 Fed. Appx. 909 (3rd Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Officers were entitled to qualified immunity for arresting a man during a valid investigatory stop for refusing to identify himself, charging him with interference with official acts. The issue of the legality of such an arrest was not clearly established, and the federal appeals courts are split on the issue, and the U.S. Supreme Court, in Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352 (1983), expressly declined to decide whether an arrest for refusing to give one's name to the police violates the Fourth Amendment. Shepard v. Ripperger, No. 02-1939, 57 Fed. Appx. 270 (8th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Homeowners who contend that the search warrant used to enter their home described a distinctly different residence could pursue their claim for municipal liability. Their allegations that three of the officers involved in the search had previously been named as defendants in other civil suits as a result of raiding the wrong house and that they were then given no additional training, if true, was sufficient to allow an inference that the city was deliberately indifferent to such incidents. Smith v. City of Detroit, 238 F. Supp. 2d 896 (E.D. Mich. 2003). [N/R]
     Homeowners who contend that the search warrant used to enter their home described a distinctly different residence could pursue their claim for municipal liability. Their allegations that three of the officers involved in the search had previously been named as defendants in other civil suits as a result of raiding the wrong house and that they were then given no additional training, if true, was sufficient to allow an inference that the city was deliberately indifferent to such incidents. Smith v. City of Detroit, 238 F. Supp. 2d 896 (E.D. Mich. 2003). [N/R]
     Federal statute protecting the privacy of driver's license records creates a private cause of action imposing vicarious liability on municipalities if employees or agents violate it with "apparent authority," federal trial court rules. Possible plaintiffs include not only the driver, but also other family members sharing the same address who might be subjected to stalking or harassment. Margan v. Niles, 2003 U.S. Dist. Lexis 3971 (N.D.N.Y.). [2003 LR May]
     Brain-damaged motorist who claimed that a police officer used excessive force against him in arresting him on suspicion of driving while intoxicated failed to establish a pattern of the use of excessive force against disabled suspects or inadequate training sufficient to support a claim against the municipality. Officers were trained on how to deal with persons with physical and mental disabilities and an explicit policy prohibited the excessive use of force. Pahle v. Colebrookdale Township, 227 F. Supp. 2ed 361 (E.D.Pa. 2002). [N/R]
     Man arrested and held for 12 days on arrest warrants intended for his twin brother sufficiently alleged that city warrant procedures constituted a "policy" for purposes of a federal civil rights due process claim against the municipality. Evidence in the case included testimony by the police chief that he was the chief policymaker for the city and was aware that the arrest of the wrong person under a warrant was "not uncommon" and was "particularly acute" for twins, yet he had not established any internal procedures to attempt to remedy this problem. Fairley v. Luman, #99-56483, 281 F.3d 913 (9th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
    Police officers were not individually liable and were entitled to qualified immunity for allegedly increasing a shooting victim's risk of death by transporting him to a hospital in a police vehicle rather than waiting for an ambulance. Officers did not create the danger to the shooting victim or act with deliberate indifference for his safety. City was also not responsible, in the absence of a showing that it had failed to properly train the officers or had a policy which deprived the shooting victim of his rights. Hansberry v. City of Philadelphia, 232 F. Supp. 2d 404 (E.D. Pa. 2002). [2003 LR Apr]
    Indian tribe should be treated as a municipality for purposes of a federal civil rights lawsuit by a newspaper reporter claiming that his federal constitutional rights were violated by his arrest and removal from tribal land by tribal police officers. Tribe could not be held liable under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 in the absence of any claim that a tribal policy or custom caused the alleged injuries. Tribal police officer was entitled to qualified immunity for arresting reporter based on his refusal to leave meeting room after a request by the chairman of the tribal executive committee that he do so. Armstrong v. Mille Lacs County Sheriffs Department, 228 F. Supp. 2d 972 (D. Minn. 2002). [N/R]
     County could not be held liable for officer's alleged unlawful handcuffing and strip searching of plaintiffs in their home when the plaintiffs failed to establish their case against the officer. Summary judgment was therefore entered for the county. Robertson v. Prince George's County, 215 F. Supp. 2d 664 (D. Md. 2002).[N/R]
     Homeowner waived her claim for municipal liability for alleged unreasonable search of her home when her appeals court brief merely stated that she "expressly preserves" that claim without specific and distinct arguments as to how the city was responsible. Jones v. William, #00-56929, 41 Fed. Appx. 964 (9th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     Arrestee could not establish city's liability for purported illegal search in which his pants were unbuckled and allowed to drop, when there was no evidence that the only officer the plaintiff identified participated in or was even aware of the purported search. Moody v. City of Lewiston, 213 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D. Me. 2002). [N/R]
     Arrestee could not sue sheriff for liability for alleged assault by officer on the basis of failure to train and supervise, in the absence of any evidence of more than the single incident at issue. Zentner v. Dunbar, 205 F. Supp. 2d 924 (N.D. Ill. 2002). [N/R]
     Police chief's policy-making role and personal involvement in the execution of search warrants against five students suspected of planning an armed assault at a high school was sufficient to state a claim against the city for violation of federal civil rights. Smith v. Barber, 195 F. Supp. 2d 1264 (D. Kan. 2002). [2002 LR Oct]
     Sheriff's policy, far from causing an unlawful arrest of the plaintiff on charges of impersonating an officer and selling alarm systems without a license, was a "textbook example" of proper arrest procedure, with the sheriff instructing his deputy to consult with a prosecutor as to whether the elements of the offenses appeared to be present and then, if so, obtain an arrest warrant from a magistrate. Deputy was also entitled to qualified immunity, and subsequent dismissal of charges against arrestee did not alter the result. Gantt v. Whitaker, 203 F. Supp. 2d 503 (M.D.N.C. 2002). [2002 LR Sep]
     Plaintiff's claim that officer struck him with a police car, beat him with a night stick while he was handcuffed, and smacked his face on the side of the car while placing him in it, even if true, did not state a claim for federal civil rights liability against the city when there was no allegation of a governmental policy or custom which caused the alleged harm. The plaintiff's claim was also time-barred under Kentucky's one-year statute of limitations, since that statute began to run on the date of the arrest, and he filed his lawsuit more than one year later. Watson v. Baxter, #01-5971, 35 Fed. Appx. 118 (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     Police officer's claim that state law enforcement agency imposed a "ticket quota" policy, even if true, did not violate the officer's equal protection or due process constitutional rights and did not violate the Constitution's "Privileges and Immunities" clause. Officer had no standing to assert the Fourth Amendment rights of those who might be "illegally searched or seized" solely because of the alleged policy's existence. Gravitte v. North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, #01-1718, 33 Fed. Appx. 45 (4th Cir. 2002).   [2002 LR Aug]
     Georgia sheriff was the county's final policymaker in relation to his law enforcement duties, including the maintenance and recall of criminal warrants, and acted on behalf of the county rather than the state, so that the county could be held liable for his actions. Summary judgment for the county by trial court reversed on appeal. Grech v. Clayton County, Georgia, #01-13151, 288 F.3d 1277 (11th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     A county's failure to keep records of oral complaints made against police officers did not constitute a persistent and widespread practice or custom of authorizing or encouraging police misconduct where the county did maintain a formal procedure for receiving written complaints and kept records of those. Gardner v. Hill, 195 F. Supp. 2d 832 (E.D. Tex. 2001). [N/R]
     Virginia state statute, Virginia Code Sec. 46.2-930, prohibiting loitering on bridges, being used to prevent anti-abortion protesters from gathering there, was unconstitutionally vague, providing inadequate notice of what conduct was prohibited, but city was not liable for damages under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, as plaintiffs failed to show that any deprivation of their rights was caused by an official municipal policy or custom. Lytle v. Doyle, No. 299CV1366, 197 F. Supp. 2d 481 (E.D. Va. 2001) [N/R]
     County sheriff was not liable for violation of civil rights on the basis of enforcement of a state court order for replevin (possession) of property (employer's records in the possession of a former employee) in the absence of any claim that the sheriff participated individually in the action or that the seizure was conducted pursuant to any official policy or custom. Buzzanco v. Lord Corporation, 173 F. Supp. 2d 376 (W.D. Pa. 2001). [N/R]
     Plaintiff failed to show sufficient evidence of a city custom to impose liability for excessive use of force when only a single incident of use of such force was shown. A newspaper article reporting that 87 people a year filed complaints against the police department did not show how many of these complaints alleged the use of excessive force. Ward v. City of Des Moines, 184 F. Supp. 2d 892 (S.D. Iowa 2002). [N/R]
     Officers were not entitled to summary judgment on claim that they detained a shopping mall customer on suspicion of shoplifting without reasonable grounds to do so, but plaintiff customer failed to adequately allege a claim against the city for failure to train officers in arresting, detaining, and interrogating racial and ethnic minorities by citing only this incident in which officers allegedly subjected him to illegal seizure. Hall v. City of White Plains, 185 F. Supp. 2d 293 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). [2002 LR Jun]
     Arrestee stated a claim against county for sheriff's alleged policy of handcuffing all arrestees which he claimed was instituted with deliberate indifference to consequences such as his fall down a stairway following which he was injured. Jackson v. Sheriff of Ellis County, Texas, 154 F. Supp. 2d 917 (N.D. Text. 2001). [N/R]
     Plaintiff did not show that the city had a custom or policy that caused the deprivation of his due process rights to his property in the absence of a pattern of similar incidents in which property seized during searches was not returned after it was determined that it had no connection to any crime. The fact that construction equipment was seized from two residences and that criminal charges related to the seizures were later both dropped did not show such a pattern when both searches were conducted on the same day by the same officer. Brown v. Knapp, 156 F. Supp. 2d 732 (N.D. Ill. 2001). [N/R]
     Single incident of alleged excessive use of force by officers while making arrest did not show that the county had a policy or widespread custom of excessive use of force. Plaintiff's own statement concerning a single prior incident involving him, and his assertion that the county officers "have a reputation" for excessive use of force was insufficient to assert a claim. Williams v. Prince George's County, Md., No. Civ. A DKC 2000-184, 157 F. Supp. 2d 596 (D. Md. 2001). [N/R]
     Arresting officer's testimony that he was subsequently fired from his job for not writing enough tickets, even if true, was not "closely related" to plaintiff arrestee's claim that the city had an official policy or custom of using excessive force against arrestees or of ignoring citizen complaints about policy. Plaintiff's own statement that the mayor "was aware" of police officer's alleged "reign of terror" because he was the mayor, was insufficient to allow claims against the city to proceed. Outlaw v. Nasworthy, No. A01A0199, 551 N.E.2d 785 (Ga. App. 2001). [N/R]
     City policy of allowing police officers to substitute the fact that a "citizen's arrest" has been made for probable cause to arrest was unconstitutional. Corcoran v. Fletcher, no. 98-5817, 160 F. Supp. 2d 1085 (C.D. Cal. 2001). [2002 LR Feb]
      Police department was not liable for officer's actions in going to his ex-wife's residence, while on vacation and intoxicated, shooting into the house, and then taking ex-wife's new husband and his own children hostage. Plaintiffs did not show that there was a city policy of ignoring complaints concerning domestic violence by officers. Hansell v. City of Atlantic City, Civ. A. No. 96-CV-5957, 152 F. Supp. 2d 589 (D.N.J. 2001). [2002 LR Jan]
     Single act of alleged excessive force by police officers is insufficient to impose liability upon a county since it does not show the existence of a county policy, practice or custom. Vincent v. Prince George's County, Md., 157 F. Supp. 2d 588 (D. Md. 2001). [N/R]
     347:171 Man shot by confidential informant with gun allegedly borrowed from police officer could sue officer on "state-created-danger" theory; officer was not entitled to qualified immunity; city was not liable, however, as no policy or customer of inadequate storage of evidence (including the gun) was shown, and no policy of inadequate training. McClendon v. City of Columbia, No. 00-60256, 258 F.3d 432 (5th Cir. 2001).
     345:137 Pedestrian stopped and searched by village police officers stated a claim against the municipality based on officers' and police chief's purported statements to her that there was a village policy of searching anyone who could not produce identification. Steinbrecher v. Oswego Police Officer Dickey, 138 F. Supp. 2d 1103 (N.D. Ill. 2001).
     343:103 City could not be held liable for deaths of motorists killed in a collision with a pursued car, regardless of the constitutionality of the city's policies, training and supervision on high-speed pursuits, when individual officers involved in the chase did not violate the decedents' constitutional rights. Trigalet v. City of Tulsa, Okl., #98- 5261, 239 F.3d 1150 (10th Cir. 2001).
     347:174 Tennessee Supreme Court rules that a city or county could be vicariously liable for an officer's actions alleged to violate a state "hate crimes" statute, without requiring a showing of an official municipal policy or custom. Washington v. Robertson County, #M1999-01332- SC-R23-CV, 29 S.W.3d 466 (Tenn. 2000).
     342:87 City could not be held liable for alleged assault on man sitting on park bench by unidentified person claiming to be a police officer, when plaintiff was completely unable to substantiate his claim that it was indeed a police officer employed by the city who assaulted him. Saltz v. City of New York, 126 F. Supp. 2d 657 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).
     341:73 City liable for $400,000 to motorist shot by off-duty Colorado officer; department adopted a policy requiring officers to always be on duty and always be armed, but provided no training on how to handle police response when off-duty, and without police vehicle, uniform, or radio. Brown v. Gray, No. 99-1134, 227 F.3d 1278 (10th Cir. 2000).
     341:70 County was not liable for alleged failure to allow mother of children to contest county's obtaining of permanent custody of her children, when there was no showing that it was a county policy or custom to deny parents a hearing; county social worker who allegedly failed to notify state court that mother wanted to assert her parental rights, however, was not entitled to absolute immunity, as she was not a "legal advocate" or prosecutor in the case. Holloway v. Brush, No. 96-3732, 220 F.3d 767 (6th Cir. 2000).
     341:67 County liable for $767,302 in damages and $77,500 in attorneys' fees to arrestee injured by untrained deputy sheriff during arrest; appeals court upholds liability on the basis of failure to train; plaintiff also awarded $20,000 in punitive damages against deputy. Brown v. Bryan County, OK., No. 98-40877, 219 F.3d 450 (5th Cir. 2000).
     339:44 Officer's use of racial slurs to four black men during investigatory stop of their vehicle was insufficient to show that the town had a policy or custom of racial hostility towards blacks; there was also no showing of inadequate training or supervision where officer was suspended for his actions and required to undergo cultural sensitivity training. Polite v. Town of Clarkstown, 120 F. Supp. 2d 381 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).
     338:28 Broad generalizations that drug addicts are "prone to steal," contained in affidavit for a search warrant, were insufficient to provide probable cause for the search and seizure of methadone clinic patient records during investigation of theft from nearby jewelry store; no showing, however, that county policy or custom caused search. Doe v. Broderick, Nos. 99-1893, 99-1894, 225 F.3d 440 (4th Cir. 2000).
     337:13 City was liable for strip search of female arrestee in custody for violation of municipal code provision prohibiting possession of an unlicensed dog, since neither the arresting officer nor the matron who conducted the search suspected that she possessed weapons or other contraband. Huck v. City of Newburgh, 712 N.Y.S.2d 149 (A.D. 2000).
     337:7 Federal trial court rules that a California sheriff is a county official rather than state official and therefore could be sued in his official capacity for damages under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 on claim that he had a policy or custom which encouraged deputies to "violate the civil rights of women"; lawsuit based on deputy's alleged rape of woman in her home, where he came to investigate domestic violence complaint, could proceed. Roe v. County of Lake, 107 F. Supp. 2d 1146 (N.D. Cal. 2000).
     333:137 Georgia county sheriff's action in arresting, for assault, his wife's co-worker, who had a verbal confrontation with her, was not county policy since the county had no say in how he performed his duties. Sheriff, however, was not entitled to qualified immunity, since no reasonable officer could have thought the mere verbal confrontation constituted a criminal assault. Fletcher v. Screven County, Georgia, 92 F.Supp. 2d 1377 (S.D. Ga. 2000).
     335:165 Prosecutor's statements to a newspaper following murder suspect's acquittal could not be the basis for a defamation lawsuit under California state law since they only expressed opinions protected under the First Amendment and could not be interpreted as statements of facts; even if defamatory, they could not be the basis for a federal civil rights lawsuit; prosecutor was a state, not county, official for purposes of a wrongful prosecution claim. Weiner v. San Diego County, #98-55752, 210 F.3d 1025 (9th Cir. 2000).
     330:91 Sufficient evidence existed for a jury to be able to conclude that an "informal" New York City policy existed of driving street artists out of the community; trial court denies city summary judgment in lawsuit brought by artist arrested three times while protesting application of licensing ordinance to artists who sold their work on the street. Lederman v. Adams, 45 F.Supp. 2d 259 (S.D.N.Y. 1999).
     325:9 Arrestee could not seek to impose liability on city for alleged policy of failure to supervise and discipline officers for misuse of pepper spray when the evidence showed that city trained officers in its use, required them to report its use in a form reviewed by supervisors, and plaintiff himself failed to file any complaint with the department about its use against him. Horrington v. City of Detroit, 49 F.Supp. 2d 1022 (E.D. Mich. 1999).
     326:19 Mere conclusion in complaint that officials inadequately supervised officers and prosecutors was insufficient to state a civil rights claim, absent any concrete evidence of this; alleged town policy of deliberate indifference to the rights of the public could not be based on a single incident. Altman v. Kelly, 36 F.Supp. 2d 433 (D. Mass. 1999).
     326:20 Police officers did not violate dog owner's property rights when they shot and killed her pit bull, which had just bitten a woman and was coming towards them and ambulance attendants in a menacing manner; city did not act with deliberate indifference to plaintiff's rights by limiting training to situations involving mad dogs with rabies. Hooper v. City of Detroit, 50 F.Supp. 2d 689 (E.D. Mich. 1999).
     327:39 Officer was legally justified in shooting and killing a man advancing towards two officers with a knife held to his own throat who had previously stabbing his brother; the fact that he posed a threat to the officers rendered irrelevant any evidence of possible alternate strategies officers might have used prior to that point, or evidence concerning the officer's past disciplinary records or city use of force policy. Yellowback v. City of Sioux Falls, #20719, 600 N.W.2d 554 (S.D. 1999).
     327:40 Bare allegation that individual officer's purported misconduct conformed to official city policy was sufficient to allow federal civil rights claim against city to proceed. Golden v. City of Chicago, 187 F.R.D. 567 (N.D. Ill. 1999).
     327:40 Florida statute, allowing sheriff to appoint deputies with the "same power" as the sheriff had, failed to make a deputy a final policymaker for the county in making several arrests. Brown v. Neumann, 98-5722, 188 F.3d 1289 (11th Cir. 1999).
     329:71 Arrests and threatened arrests of anti- abortion protesters on highway overpass for alleged violation of a state statute prohibiting "loitering" violated their First Amendment rights as overpass was similar to a public street and therefore a public forum; officer was entitled to qualified immunity, however, as he relied on the constitutionality of the statute, acted on the orders of his supervisor, and believed that the protesters represented a hazard to traffic safety; no showing of official policy or custom as required for municipal liability. Lyttle v. Brewer, 77 F.Supp. 2d 730 (E.D. Va. 1999).
     329:73 City was entitled to summary judgment on claims that it inadequately trained and supervised two officers where the plaintiffs presented no evidence of any municipal policy or custom allowing unlawful dwelling entry or the use of excessive force during arrests. Brown v. Shaner, #97-4406, 172 F.3d 927 (6th Cir. 1999).
     330:90 City was entitled to summary judgment on arrestee's excessive force inadequate training/discipline claims when he stated, in response to discovery request, that he did not intend to rely on prior incidents of the alleged use of excessive force; further discovery was not warranted before ruling on city's motion for summary judgment when plaintiff did not explain why he had not sought such information before. Nicholson v. Doe, 186 F.R.D. 134 (N.D.N.Y. 1999).
     322:156 City's alleged policy of allowing off-duty officers not to attend the trials of those they arrest while moonlighting as private security stated claim for an unconstitutional policy. Sturm v. Ross, 11 F.Supp. 2d 942 (S.D. Tex. 1998).
     {N/R} Mere speculation that city and its officers was involved in fabricating evidence and conspiring to deny constitutional rights, without specific evidence, was an insufficient basis to try to hold city liable under federal civil rights law. City was not liable for officer's arrest of man for public intoxication. Couch v. City of Sheffield, 708 So. 2d 144 (Ala. 1998)
     322:147 Jury properly awarded $1 in nominal damages and $20,000 in punitive damages (later reduced to $15,000) against officer who allegedly used excessive force against arrestee during booking process; trial court improperly dismissed claims against city following trial of claims against individual officers, since plaintiff could pursue city's liability even if he was barred from receiving anything more than $1 in damages against municipality. Amato v. City of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., #97-9623, 170 F.3d 311 (2nd Cir. 1999).
     321:138 City could not be liable for alleged failure to adequately train, supervise, and discipline an officer who shot an arrestee when officer's actions in shooting arrestee, who had come towards him brandishing a screwdriver, were objectively reasonable; municipal liability must be based on policy causing a violation of plaintiff's rights. Henderson v. Municipality of Cool Valley, 17 F.Supp. 2d 1044 (E.D. Mo. 1998).
     320:119 Officers were not entitled to qualified immunity for failure to make forced entry into woman's apartment after she made 9-1-1 call reporting her husband's attempt to murder her. Didzerekis v. Stewart, 41 F.Supp.2d 840 (N.D. Ill. 1999).
     320:118 Federal appeals court rules that giving domestic violence 9-1-1 calls lower priority than other 9-1-1 calls may constitute an equal protection claim; finds that trial court did not adequately explore whether such a policy existed or whether it was rationally based. Fajardo v. County of Los Angeles, #96-55699, 179 F.3d 698 (9th Cir. 1999).
     319:109 Officer who allegedly raped female motorist he followed home after stopping her for traffic offense liable for $100,000 in damages; officer acted "under color of law," constituting civil rights violation; city and police chief were not liable, absent any showing of an official policy or custom. Rogers v. City of Little Rock, #97-2286, 97-2556, 152 F.3d 790 (8th Cir. 1998).
     318:91 City was not liable for death of arrestee caused by cocaine poisoning after he swallowed drugs officers were attempting to get him to expel from his mouth; officers' use of Heimlich maneuver and pepper spray were not unreasonable under the circumstances; no deliberate indifference or inadequate training on the part of the city was shown. Singleton v. City of Newburgh, 1 F.Supp. 2d 306 (S.D.N.Y. 1998).
     318:90 City liable for $200,000 and county for $375,000 to arrestee based on city and county policies of declining all cross-complaints in criminal cases; arrestee contended that he, rather than neighbors with whom he had altercation, was arrested and prosecuted simply because neighbors were the first to phone and complain; federal appeals court rules that "first-come first-served" policy on criminal complaints was irrational and a violation of equal protection. Myers v. County of Orange, #97-9055 & 97- 9093, 157 F.3d 66 (2nd Cir. 1998).
     317:67 City could not be held liable for inadequate training or supervision concerning arrests for disorderly conduct or proper use of handcuffs when plaintiff failed to show a record of prior incidents which would indicate deliberate indifference to a known problem. Gold v. City of Miami, #96-5395, 151 F.3d 1346 (11th Cir. 1998).
     316:59 While employer had a right to fire a counselor who reported the rape of a resident of a group home to the district attorney, county could be held liable for assistant county administrator's alleged instruction to employer (who provided services to the county) to fire employee in retaliation. Hennessy v. Santiago, 708 A.2d 1269 (Pa. Super. 1998).
     316:58 California sheriffs are state officials rather than county policymakers, so California county could not be liable for sheriff's policies regarding release of prisoners from county jail which allegedly resulted in detainee who posted bail being kept in custody on warrant which sheriff's personnel knew or should have known did not apply to her. County of Los Angeles v. Superior Court, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 860 (Cal. App. 1998).
     315:35 County policy of handcuffing all arrestees was "inherently reasonable" in light of possible risks of not doing so; handcuffing arrestee suffering from asthma was not excessive force. Limbert v. Twin Falls County, 955 P.2d 1123 (Idaho App. 1998).
     314:27 Off-duty intoxicated deputy's action of shooting and killing man in barroom brawl was unforeseeable; county could not be held liable for failure to warn deputies against carrying firearms while intoxicated; county's policy prohibiting deputies from being "drunk and disorderly" in public was sufficient. Huffman v. County of Los Angeles, #s. 97-55175, 97-55230, 97-55341, 147 F.3d 1054 (9th Cir. 1998).
     313:11 Allegation of corrupt activity by police chief and officer, standing alone, could not be basis for imposition of liability on city for inadequate training. Jacobs v. City of Port Neches, 7 F.Supp. 2d 829 (E.D. Tex. 1998).
     310:153 Alleged municipal policy of encouraging officers to make arrests by awarding them "productivity points" could not be the basis of municipal liability in federal civil rights claim alleging excessive force; plaintiff did not allege any relationship between policy and the use of excessive force. DuFour-Dowell v. Cogger, 980 F.Supp. 955 (N.D.Ill. 1997).
     310:153 Police department could not be liable for officer's alleged misconduct during interrogation of arrestee, in absence of any claim that officer acted pursuant to a departmental policy or custom; mere fact that department was officer's employer was not enough for federal civil rights liability. Torres v. Knapich, 966 F.Supp. 194 (S.D.N.Y. 1997).
     309:135 District of Columbia had a clear policy of requiring officers to report other officer's use of excessive force while making arrests; plaintiff arrestee who claimed that this was disregarded in his case could not impose liability on District in absence of showing a pattern of disregard for the policy and a failure of the District to take appropriate action. Gregory v. District of Columbia, 957 F.Supp. 299 (D.D.C. 1997).
     306:88 City could not be sued for officer's alleged arrest of man for public drunkenness without probable cause, when no policy or custom was shown and city provided proper training on the need for probable cause for arrest; isolated incidents of "rudeness" by officers in the past could not be linked together to show a policy of arresting without probable cause. Fulton v. City of Roswell, 982 F.Supp. 1472 (N.D.Ga. 1997).
     304:56 Homeowners could sue city and officers for losing all physical evidence relating to theft of $96,000 from an ice chest buried under their home, including the ice chest; claim stated for denial of access to courts to file civil lawsuit to recover stolen money from alleged thief. Harrell v. City of Jacksonville, 976 F.Supp. 777 (C.D. Ill. 1997).
     303:41 City not liable for shooting by officer cooperating with internal investigation of fellow officer who called him a "rat"; no showing that alleged policy of inadequate training or supervision of such cooperators caused the incident. Morrissey v. City of New York, 963 F.Supp. 270 (S.D.N.Y. 1997).
     303:40 City could not be held liable for alleged false arrest of murder suspect when plaintiff could not point to any policy or custom causing a violation of his rights; police commander's general statement that officers' actions were consistent with department policies and practices was not an admission of a policy causing harm. Lester v. City of Chicago, 950 F.Supp. 870 (N.D.Ill. 1997).
     303:39 Officer's use of force was objectively reasonable when he shot and killed disturbed man armed with a knife and pot of hot grease when he believed the grease was about to be thrown at him; officer's request, after incident, to attend training course on alternatives to use of firearms did not show policy of inadequate training. Huong v. City of Port Arthur, 961 F.Supp. 1003 (E.D. Tex. 1997).
     303:38 Deputy sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity for taking woman's children into custody and giving them to her husband; deputy found terms of protective order confusing and sought advice from a county prosecutor. Hollingsworth v. Hill, 110 F.3d 733 (10th Cir. 1997).
     302:25 City could not be liable for officer's alleged "gross negligence" in handcuffing DUI arrestee when nothing showed a link to any municipal policy. Horne v. Crozier, 565 N.W.2d 50 (S.D. 1997). 302:24 Town not liable for police officer's sexual molestation of 13-year-old girl at police station when it had no reason to know that he would molest a child and no policy of deliberate indifference to such conduct; officer's alleged prior adulterous conduct with a fellow officer's girlfriend did not alter result; officer, convicted of child molestation, liable for $600,000. West v. Waymire, 114 F.3d 646 (7th Cir. 1997).
     301:14 Officers entitled to qualified immunity for entering couple's home without a search warrant to arrest non-resident son pursuant to an arrest warrant after son answered door; no clearly established law prohibited entry under such circumstances and municipality could not be held liable for failure to teach officers that such conduct was unconstitutional when it was not clear that it was. Joyce v. Town of Tewksbury, Mass., 112 F.3d 19 (1st Cir. 1997).
     301:9 Arrestee could sue District of Columbia for false arrest without having named individual officers as defendants; no District liability for alleged civil rights violations in absence of showing that officers acted pursuant to "established procedure" of District or that District was deliberately indifferent in training and supervision of officers. Taylor v. District of Columbia, 691 A.2d 121 (D.C. App. 1997).
     289:5 Federal appeals court rules that evidence of alleged unconstitutional policies concerning use of dogs against suspects was properly excluded during trial of claims against only individual police officers; further rules that, once jury found that no unreasonable force was used in this one instance, city and police chief were entitled to judgment on claims against them for alleged unconstitutional policy Quintanilla v. City of Downey, 84 F.3d 353 (9th Cir. 1996).
     290:19 Complaint which alleged that officer shot man carrying a machete on the street without further warning after telling him to "freeze" adequately stated claim against District of Columbia for inadequately training and supervising of officers on the use of deadly force; federal appeals court rules that even a single incident of such use of force was adequate to support a complaint of inadequate training and supervision Atchinson v. DC, 73 F.3d 418 (DCCir. 1996).
     291:42 City could not be liable for alleged excessive use of force while search warrant for residence was being executed, in the absence of any evidence of a municipal custom or policy of encouraging or tolerating the use of excessive force while executing search warrants or the execution of illegal search warrants Jenkins v. Wood, 81 F.3d 988 (10th Cir. 1996).
     291:43 Federal appeals court rules that, under Alabama state law, sheriffs are not final policymakers for a county in the area of law enforcement; sheriff's law enforcement activities, in that state, are an exercise of state, rather than county, power; county therefore was not liable for sheriff's alleged violations of arrestee's civil rights in connection with his prosecution McMillian v. Johnson, 88 F.3d 1573 (11th Cir. 1996).
     292:57 Police departments could not be held liable for officers' alleged use of excessive force against arrestee in the complete absence of an allegation of a municipal policy or custom causing the officers' actions Patterson v. Wauwatosa Police Dept, 930 F.Supp. 1293 (E.D. Wis 1996).
     292:58 Town was not liable for "prank" during which officer dressed up as a robber, armed with a rifle filled with blanks and staged fake robbery of convenience store clerk working alone at night, firing blanks; no official policy caused the prank; individual officers involved in the prank did not act under color of law, as the prank was staged for personal motives and was unrelated to their duties as officers, despite the fact that they were on duty at the time that it was carried out Haines v. Fisher, 82 F.3d 1503 (10th Cir. 1996).
     294:91 City could not be held liable, under federal civil rights law, for alleged assault on nightclub patron by off-duty officer "moonlighting" as security guard, in absence of a municipal policy or custom of deliberate indifference, which was not shown Watson v. Mayor & Aldermen of Savannah, 477 S.E.2d 667 (Ga App. 1996).
     293:67 Federal court awards plaintiff $162,20950 in attorneys' fees and court costs in lawsuit over alleged excessive force by deputy who admitted kicking him in the groin while he was handcuffed, despite award of only $500 in compensatory and $10,000 in punitive damages; judge notes that evidence "revealed" that county had tacitly condoned excessive use of force Duckworth v. Whisenant, 97 F.3d 1393 (11th Cir. 1996).
     294:83 City's action of indemnifying police officers against punitive damages award in lawsuit brought over shooting death of fast-food restaurant robber did not constitute a policy of "encouraging and ratifying" the excessive use of force; individual city council members who voted for payment of punitive damages award were also entitled to qualified immunity for their action Trevino v. Gates, 99 F.3d 911 (9th Cir. 1996).
     294:91 Update: Philadelphia settles for $500,000 in lawsuit brought by relatives of two who died when city dropped bomb on building containing barricaded black radical group resisting arrest and search warrants Philadelphia, City of, In re Litigation, U.S. Dist. Ct., ED Pa, reported in Chicago Sun Times, p. 33 (Jan 26, 1997).
     295:105 Alleged policy of handcuffing all arrestees behind their back, given exceptions for physical limitations such as broken arms, was reasonable; plaintiff presented no evidence showing evidence of racial discrimination in the use of deadly force or failure to adequately train officers in the use of force Frazier v. City of Philadelphia, 927 F.Supp. 881 (E.D.Pa 1996).
     296:120 Update: Federal appeals court upholds $1 million award to woman raped by on-duty police officer, and trial court ruling that there was no basis for liability by county; decision by police chief to return same officer to duty, ten years previously, after earlier accusation of rape, was insufficient basis to impose liability on county for later incident Jones v. Wellham, 104 F.3d 620 (4th Cir. 1997).
     297:131 U.S. Supreme Court overturns $800,000 award against county based on alleged inadequate screening before hiring deputy with arrest record who caused injuries to arrestee; single hiring decision could not be the basis for municipal liability in absence of evidence that sheriff consciously disregarded high risk that deputy would use excessive force Bd of County Com'rs of Bryan County, OK v. Brown, 117 S.Ct. 1382 (1997).
     298:147 Sheriff was not a county policymaker under Alabama law, but rather acted on behalf of the State; county therefore could not be held liable for his actions in federal civil rights action McMillian v. Monroe County, Alabama, 117 S.Ct. 1734 (1997).
     299:171 Mere negligence in police department policy concerning consistency of arrest warrant affidavits with underlying police reports was not sufficient to impose liability on town for alleged wrongful arrest and prosecution of man for sexual assault Mutter v. Town of Salem, 945 F.Supp. 402 (DNH 1996).
     {N/R} Question of whether city had an unconstitutional policy of imposing custodial detention for purposes of identification or making arrests on nonarrestable offenses was for jury to decide Pierce v. Multnomah County, Oregon, 76 F.3d 1032 (9th Cir. 1996).
     280:62 Officer who made false statements in affidavit for search warrant was not entitled to qualified immunity from liability when affidavit, absent false statements, would not have provided probable cause for issuance of warrant; intergovernmental narcotics enforcement task force could not be sued under federal civil rights statute when it was an intergovernmental association rather than separate legal entity Hervey v. Estes, 65 F.3d 784 (9th Cir. 1995).
     278:25 City was not liable for alleged unlawful revocation of man's pistol licenses in absence of a showing of a municipal policy or custom causing the revocation; individual police defendants entitled to qualified immunity despite plaintiff's claim they revoked his licenses on the basis of his nationality when there were other reasons for revocation Liu v. New York City Police Department, 627 N.Y.S.2d 683 (A.D. 1995).
     284:117 Federal appeals court rules that evidence that 911 dispatchers treated domestic violence calls differently from other calls could be sufficient to show a county policy or custom regarding domestic violence which violated the right to equal protection of law; court reinstates lawsuit over estranged husband killing wife and four others after she made a 911 call which did not result in dispatch of police vehicle Navarro v. Block, 72 F.3d 712 (9th Cir. 1995).
     279:37 City had a "special relationship" with female police officer ultimately shot and killed by her police officer husband after he repeatedly threatened to kill her, violated orders of protection, and she complained of these incidents to supervisory officials in the police department Sadrud-Din v. City of Chicago, 883 F.Supp. 270 (N.D.Ill. 1995).
     284:116 Update: Trial court rules that grant of qualified immunity to mayor of city for decision to drop explosive device on building housing barricaded black radical group resisting search and arrest warrants did not bar reinstatement of excessive force claims against city for that decision Philadelphia, City of, In re Litigation, 910 F.Supp. 212 (E.D.Pa 1995).
     283:100 Plain clothes officers were entitled to qualified immunity because there was no "clearly established" requirement that they announce their identity and purpose while executing search warrant on business premises; officer reasonably believed that suspect was reaching for a weapon when he shot and paralyzed him; municipalities could not be held liable in the absence of evidence of a municipal policy, custom, or usage St Hilaire v. City of Laconia, 71 F.3d 20 (1st Cir. 1995).
     277:3 County Sheriff's Department liable for $159 million for raid by 100 deputies on Samoan/American bridal shower at which deputies allegedly falsely arrested 36, used excessive force, and shouted racial epithets Dole v. County of Los Angeles Sheriffs, No C751398, LA Superior Central Ct, Los Angeles, Calif, Aug 16, 1995, Vol 108 no 167 LA Daily Journal (Verd. & Stl.), p. 4 [Cross-references: False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant; Governmental Liability: Policy/Custom; Malicious Prosecution]
     281:67 Jury awards $200,000 to arrestee for officer's alleged use of excessive force during arrest; finds city and police chief liable for policy of inadequate training, supervision, and discipline Hogan v. Franco, 896 F.Supp. 1313 (NDNY 1995).
     280:57 Jury awards $1 million to woman raped by on-duty police officer; trial court finds no basis for liability by county when all prior complaints about alleged sexual misconduct by police officers had been thoroughly investigated Jones v. Ziegler, 894 F.Supp. 880 (D.Md 1995).
     283:104 Inadequate training and supervision federal civil rights claim against city could not be based upon single incident and could not be maintained anyway in absence of allegation of deliberate indifference to constitutional rights; state law negligence claims against supervisory personnel, however, were not barred by Massachusetts immunity statute Gallego v. Wilson, 882 F.Supp. 1169 (D.Mass 1995). [Cross- references: Administrative Liability: Supervision, Training]
     283:105 Federal appeals court reinstates claim for policy of inadequate supervision against police department which allegedly failed to monitor identified "problem" officer after he was restored to full-duty following disciplinary suspension; failure to "red-flag" further civilian complaints of alleged abuse by officer could be a basis for a rational jury to find deliberate indifference to an "obvious" need Vann v. City of New York, 72 F.3d 1040 (2nd Cir. 1995). [Cross-References: Administrative Liability: Supervision]
     285:139 Allegation that township and police chief "whitewashed" evidence of use of excessive force by police was sufficient to state a claim for governmental liability in instance where officer allegedly placed man in restaurant in a choke hold when he told officer, in response to his questions, that he wanted to call his lawyer Illiano v. Clay Township, 892 F.Supp. 117 (E.D. Pa 1995).
     286:154 Update: Jury awards $15 million against city; finds that dropping bomb on building housing barricaded black radical group resisting search and arrest warrants was excessive use of force Philadelphia, City of, In re Litigation, U.S. Dist. Ct. ED Pa, June 24, 1996, reported in The New York Times, p. A7 (June 25, 1996).
     287:170 Mere fact that officer was employed by city was insufficient, standing alone, to state a claim for federal civil rights liability in suit brought by man who alleged that officer attacked and arrested him for no reason; such liability must be based on official policy, practice, or custom DeJesus v. O'Connor, 897 F.Supp. 131 (S.D.N.Y. 1995).
     268:58 Homeless persons were not entitled to injunction against city absent a showing that city had an official municipal policy of harassing them solely because of their homeless status; federal appeals court notes that there is no constitutional right to trespass on public lands or store one's personal belongings there Church v. City of Huntsville, 30 F.3d 1332 (11th Cir. 1994).
     268:59 Allegation that officer declined to break into apartment to rescue minor girl from intruder who was raping her, despite her mother's pleas to do so, because he did not want to be liable for property damage stated claim against officer for willful and wanton negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and gender discrimination Doe v. Calumet City, 161 Ill 2d 374, 641 N.E.2d 498 (1994).
     271:108 Police chief and officer were entitled to qualified immunity for warrantless probes into home of armed man barricaded in his house for six hours; appeals court rules, however, that warrantless probes were not justified by exigent circumstances when man inside had not pointed gun at anyone or threatened to use it; city was liable for policy of routinely failing to obtain warrants in "critical incidents" regardless of circumstances O'Brien v. City of Grand Rapids, 23 F.3d 990 (6th Cir. 1994).
     272:117 Administrative inspection warrant did not justify forcible warrantless entry into home to arrest homeowner Alexander v. City and County of San Francisco, 29 F.3d 1355 (9th Cir. 1994).
     273:135 Having a jury determine whether officer was entitled to qualified immunity in case where it was alleged that he warned and cited plaintiff because of his political beliefs was "proper," or at worst "harmless," federal appeals court rules; $35,350 jury award against officer upheld, but award against city overturned in absence of evidence of municipal policy or custom; $55,000 attorneys' fee award ordered reconsidered Sloman v. Tadlock, 21 F.3d 1462 (9th Cir. 1994).
     273:137 Reasonable police officers could not have believed they had probable cause to arrest man who yelled "Get the hell out of here" to undercover police officer disguised as intoxicated vagrant who approached him three times asking him for money Beech v. City of Mobile, 874 F.Supp. 1305 (S.D.Ala 1994).
     273:139 Claim that village knew that officer had previously allegedly attempted to solicit sexual favors in exchange for dropping traffic citations yet took no remedial action was sufficient to state federal civil rights claim against village Carney v. White, 843 F.Supp. 462 (E.D. Wis 1994).
     Single incident in which it was alleged that individual was injured by officers was insufficient to show an official policy or custom required to impose liability on municipality; city could not be found liable in federal civil rights lawsuit simply for being officer's employer; denial of individual's complaint by police department showed that department had system and standards for disciplining and controlling its officers Branham v. City of Dearborn Heights, 830 F.Supp. 399 (E.D. Mich 1993).
     U.S. Supreme Court to examine whether an Alabama sheriff, a state employee under state law, was "final policymaker" for county in authorizing raids on tavern; federal appeals court ruled that county was entitled to summary judgment in federal civil rights lawsuit and that sheriff did not make final policy for county Swint v. Wadley, 5 F.3d 1435 (11th Cir. 1993), opinion modified on denial of rehearing, 11 F.3d 1030 (11th Cir. 1994), cert granted, 114 S.Ct. 2671 (1994).
     City liable for $50,000 for officer's alleged use of excessive force against woman, based on alleged custom of failing to respond to citizen complaints concerning excessive force; city could be liable despite jury's failure to find either chief of police or city manager liable Brown v. City of Margate, 842 F.Supp. 515 (S.D.Fla 1993).
     Claim that city failed to restrict an individual officer's use of dangerous weapons or to properly train him in their use did not suffice to allege a municipal policy or custom, since it only alleged a "singular occurence" Sweeney v. Chapman, 813 F.Supp. 557 (E.D. Mich 1993).
     City police chief who allegedly ordered seizure of copies of free circulation newspaper which contained article criticizing him was not final policymaker for city when Police Commission fired him for his actions; city accordingly could not be held liable for the seizure Coming Up, Inc v. San Francisco, 840 F.Supp. 1315 (N.D.Cal 1993).
     City could not be held liable for officers' alleged refusal to allow anti-abortion protester arrestee to use the restroom; no evidence indicated that the city had a policy of prohibiting arrestees from using the restroom Stewart v. City of Wichita, Kansas, 827 F.Supp. 1537 (D.Kan 1993).
     Suit against city alleging officers used excessive force against detainee pursuant to official policy dismissed because plaintiff failed to point to any specific policy or any factual basis for a policy allowing excessive use of force Graham v. District of Columbia, 795 F.Supp. 24 (DDC 1992).
     Plaintiff who allegedly was shot y officers during raid on home with search warrant obtained with false information did not adequately allege the existence of city policy or custom to support his claims against the city Sledd v. Lindsay, 780 F.Supp. 554 (N.D.Ill. 1991).
     Arrestee's "conclusory assertions" failed to allege a claim for a policy of inadequate training, supervision, or discipline of arresting officer by city and police department Judge v. City of New York, 785 F.Supp. 366 (S.D.N.Y. 1991).
     Single incident did not demonstrate city policy of intentionally colliding police vehicles with motorcycles Morgan v. City of Marmaduke, Ark, 958 F.2d 207 (8th Cir. 1992).
     City liable for $25,000 for officer's beating of man; federal appeals court holds that evidence of municipal policy can include other alleged acts of brutality by the same officer after the incident in question Foley v. City of Lowell, Mass, 948 F.2d 10 (1st Cir. 1991).
     City could not be held liable for violation of civil rights by false arrest and use of excessive force by officers in the absence of any evidence at all of a municipal policy or custom independent of the officer's conduct in one single instance Wedemeier v. City of Ballwin, Mo, 931 F.2d 24 (8th Cir. 1991).
     City could not be held liable under federal civil rights law for alleged police beating when it had no authority under state law to make official policy concerning police actions Crigler v. City of St Louis, Mo, 767 F.Supp. 197 (E.D. Mo 1991).
     County can be sued for alleged policy of encouraging district attorney to demand releases of civil rights claims against county and officers concerning police misconduct before dismissing baseless criminal charges Sassower v. City of White Plains, 742 F.Supp. 157 (S.D.NY 1990).
     Man shot five times in his home and rendered paraplegic by deputy constables who arrived in response to a call for assistance awarded $6277 million; county policy or custom of inadequate training of deputies was a jury question Walsweer v. Harris County, 796 S.W.2d 269 (Tex. App. 1990).
     County potentially liable for sheriff's alleged beating of arrestee while intoxicated; policy of condoning such violations could be inferred from failure to take action on alleged past violations Mosier v. Robinson, 722 F.Supp. 555 (WD Ark 1989).
     If plaintiff could establish the officers' seizure of his gun during arrest was unlawful, link to department policy was sufficient to bring claim against city Katz v. Morgenthau, 892 F.2d 20 (2d Cir. 1989).
     Once federal civil rights claims are dismissed against city for failure to allege policy or custom, state law claims should be dismissed also Phipps v. City of Chicago, 718 F.Supp. 719 (N.D.Ill. 1989).
     City liable for unconstitutional practice of breaking down doors without warrant when arresting felons; punitive damages of $819,983 awarded against police chief and mayor; $34 million compensatory also awarded Bordanaro v. McLeod, 871 F.2d 1151 (1st Cir. 1989).
     City liable for $25,000 for unconstitutional policy of detaining warrant less diabetic arrestee for four hours even after determining he was not intoxicated McConney v. City of Houston, 863 F.2d 1180 (5th Cir. 1989).
     City could be liable when officer detained by plaintiff en route to hospital and his wife subsequently died Davis v. City Reswell, 295 S.E.2d 317 (Ga 1982).
     Plaintiff sues city for false arrest and for denial of medical treatment Walters v. Village of Oak Lawn, 548 F.Supp. 417 (N.D.Ill. 1982).
     No liability for officer's alleged misconduct Batista v. Rodriguez, 702 F.2d 393 (2nd Cir. 1983).
     City could be liable under Section 1983 for alleged beatings committed by four officers Pitt v. City of NY, 567 F.Supp. 417 (S.D.N.Y. 1983).
     Neither officer nor city liable for shooting that left innocent youth paralyzed Languirano v. Hayden, 717 F.2d 220 (5th Cir. 1983).
     U.S. Supreme Court rules suing individual in "official capacity" imposes liability on employer Brandon v. Holt, 105 S.Ct. 873 (1985).
     U.S. Supreme Court reverses Tuttle's $15 million judgment and rules single incident of misconduct not enough to infer policy/custom Oklahoma City v. Tuttle, 37 CrL 3077 (1985).
     U.S. Supreme Court rules single unconstitutional act grounds for liability Pembaur v. City of Cincinnati, No 84-1160, 3/25/86; 54 USLW 4289
     U.S. Supreme Court grants certiorari regarding applicability of "single incident" rule when several officers are involved City of Springfield v. Kibbe, No 85-1217, 38 CrL 4199, 3/12/86
     On remand from U.S. Supreme Court, 6th circuit still finds liability; single incident rule not applicable because city was the bad actor in failing to train Rymer v. Davis, 775 F.2d 756 (6th Cir. 1985).
     Although city cannot be liable under Section 1983 for hiring "one bad apple," it can be liable for "leaving one bad apple in the barrel" or for retaining a police officer who was the subject of numerous complaints Williams v. City of Chicago, 658 FSupp 147 (N.D.Ill. 1987).
     County not liable for failure to prevent man from killing ex-wife Evidence that police treated domestic abuse differently than vehicular homicides did not show constitutional violation Trethewey v. DeKalb County, Ga, 662 F.Supp. 246 (N.D.Ga 1987).
     City liable for officer's sexual assault of arrestee because of custom of failing to investigate or act on complain of police sexual misconduct Harris v. City of Pagedale, 821 F.2d 499 (8th Cir. 1987).
     Summary judgment for defendant city was proper when plaintiff's complaint concerning denial of medical care during custody failed to allege any municipal policy Harris v. City of Detroit, 408 N.W.2d 82 (Mich.App. 1987).
     No municipal liability for injury caused by stun guns when officers used them in manner inconsistent with express policy Thomas v. City of Zion, 665 F.Supp. 642 (N.D.Ill. 1987).
     Arrestee awarded $9OO,000 in damages for ruptured testicle; city was liable under either municipal custom or deficient training theory Spell v. McDaniel, 824 F.2d 1380 (4th Cir. 1987).
     Plaintiff's assertion that she personally observed repeated improper police methods adequate to allege municipal policy Kelley v. City of New York, 659 F.Supp. 639 (E.D.N.Y. 1987).
     City was not liable for arrests if made with warrants signed by court clerk rather than judge at instigation of city attorney Joiner v. City of Ridgeland, Mississippi,669 F.Supp. 1362 (S.D. Miss., 1987).
     Federal appeals court overturns jury verdict against city and police chief; failure to maintain cross-indexed filing system did not show policy of condoning misconduct Sarus v. Rotunda 831 F.2d 397 (2d Cir. 1987). Arrest of one individual for traffic offense did not show policy of such arrests when there was probable cause to believe individual would not appear in court Tanner v. Heise, 672 F.Supp. 1356 (D. Idaho 1987).
     Man found not guilty of arson of police car after world series game did not show official policy LaBate v. Butts, 673 F.Supp. 887 (E.D. Mich 1987).
     County not liable for alleged brutality by officer; did not know of supposed violent nature Bee v. DeKalb County, 679 F.Supp. 1107 (N.D.Ga 1988).
     Decision fails to clarify how to determine who is a "policymaker" for municipal liability purposes City of St Louis v. Praprotnik, 108 S.Ct. 915 (1988).
     Subsequent incidents of alleged excessive force inadmissible to demonstrate municipal policy Harvey v. Hankins, 681 F.Supp. (WD Mo 1988).
     Municipality can be liable for alleged racial discrimination in beating of Hispanic even in absence of allegation of policy under 42 USC Sec 1981; Sec 1983 claims, however, must he dismissed Mendez v. Rutherford, 687 F.Supp. 412 (N.D.Ill. 1988).
     Evidence of single incident in which arrestee was beaten is insufficient to show city policy of inadequate training or supervision Edwards v. City of New York, F.Supp. 1579 (S.D.N.Y. 1988).
     " See also: Assault and Battery: Handcuffs, Firearms Related: Intentional Use, Other Misconduct: Racial - 1981, Search and Seizure: Strip.

Back to list of subjects             Back to Legal Publications Menu