AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability
of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel


     Back to list of subjects             Back to Legal Publications Menu

Interrogation

     Monthly Law Journal Article: Civil Liability for Intentional Violations of Miranda. Part One: Liability Considerations, 2009 (7) AELE Mo. L. J. 501.
     Monthly Law Journal Article:
Civil Liability for Intentional Violations of Miranda. Part Two: Criminal Admissibility,2009 (8) AELE Mo. L. J. 501.
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Civil Liability for Coercive Interrogation, 2010 (3) AELE Mo. L. J. 101.
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Greene v. Camreta - The Ninth Circuit's Ruling on Questioning Minors in Abuse Investigations, 2010 (6) AELE Mo. L. J. 101.
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Civil Liability for Improper Interrogation of Minors--Part 1, 2010 (7) AELE Mo. L. J. 101.
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Civil Liability for Improper Interrogation of Minors--Part 2, 2010 (8) AELE Mo. L. J. 101.
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Beguiling a Confession – Subverting Miranda, 2011 (7) AELE Mo. L. J. 401.

     A man was in a crowd outside a nightclub when shots were fired killing another person.  Investigators gathered security videos and interviewed witnesses. They spoke to the man’s mother, who informed them that he had cognitive impairments. When he went voluntarily to be interviewed, he made statements about whom he had been with and where he was standing that were contradicted by the videos, and he was arrested for obstruction of justice. During further interrogation, he denied involvement in the shooting over 140 times, but eventually confessed, following a polygraph. After the polygraph, he stated that he wanted a lawyer, but detectives convinced him to waive his rights and employed various interrogation techniques, falsely stating that he had been identified as the shooter and had failed his polygraph test.The court in the criminal case suppressed the confession, stating that the man was “functionally illiterate” and had previously been found incompetent to stand trial for a different crime. A federal appeals court rejected claims of unlawful interrogation. The plaintiff failed to demonstrate that his right to be free from the interrogation tactics was clearly established. The officers had probable cause for his arrest for obstruction, defeating his false arrest claim. Brady claims relating to the officers’ failure to disclose certain statements known to them during the interrogation were rejected, as Brady does not require the disclosure of favorable evidence before trial. Gill v. City of Milwaukee, #16-2846, 850 F.3d 335 (7th Cir. 2017).
     Two persons lawfully repossessing cars were stopped for a traffic violation. The officers were aware of recent robberies in the area, and grew suspicious, so they called a victim to the scene, who identified the two as the men who had robbed him the night before. During questioning, one of the men, who suffered from a learning disability and had a low IQ, confessed to several robberies and implicated the other man. The other man pled guilty in exchange for probation. Further investigation revealed that both men were innocent. Neither man was imprisoned. They sued the officers for fabricating one man's confession, failing to disclose an alibi witness, and coercing the other man's confession. Summary judgment was granted to the defendants as there were insufficient facts to show that the defendants concealed evidence unknown to the plaintiffs or that their actions caused any loss of liberty. No reasonable jury could find that the interrogation in question shocked the conscience. Probable cause existed for the criminal charges, defeating claims for malicious prosecution. Cairel v. Alderden, #14-1711, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 8354 (7th Cir.).
     Four detectives and an investigator participated in an investigation of a burglary and the sexual assault of a child. In the course of it, they interviewed an 18-year-old man with cognitive disabilities who confessed to the burglary but not the sexual assault. He was charged with both crimes, and he was placed in pretrial detention after multiple judges found probable cause, partially based on the confession. He claimed that his disability had prevented him from understanding what was happening during the interviews, and that his confession was false. A later medical exam supported his explanation, and the charges were dropped. A federal appeals court upheld the denial of qualified immunity to the detectives and investigators on a claim that they had used the confession to maliciously prosecute the plaintiff even though they knew it was untrue. The plaintiff plausibly alleged the individual defendants' knowledge or reckless disregard for the truth that his confession was untrue. He also showed that the underlying right was clearly established in 2009, when the events took place. Sanchez v. Hartley, #14-1385, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 371 (10th Cir.).
     A family member told state Children's Protective Services that a father was neglecting his son. This resulted in the agency's social worker interviewing the child at his elementary school with no court order or parental consent. The social worker then interviewed the father, who maintained that both his marijuana use and prescription drug use were medically authorized. A second interview of the child was conducted at the school with his paternal grandmother present, but still without parental consent or a court order. The social worker then obtained a court order placing the child in protective custody pending a hearing, and took the child from school. A judge returned the boy to his father, but ordered no more marijuana use and drug testing of the father. A federal appeals court found that the social worker was entitled to absolute and qualified immunity on claims that he interviewed the child without parental consent or a court order, allegedly stated falsehoods in the petition for the protective custody, and improperly removed the child from school. Barber v. Miller, #15-1404, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 22200, 2015 Fed. App. 296P (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
     The plaintiff, a U.S. citizen, sued the FBI for violations of constitutional rights under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, claiming that FBI agents detained, interrogated, and tortured him over the course of four months in three countries in Africa. Upholding the dismissal of the lawsuit, the federal appeals court stated that when the actions occurred during a terrorism investigation, "special factors" required hesitation in allowing a Bivens lawsuit for money damages. Bivens actions are usually not favored in cases involving the military, national security, or intelligence gathering. Further, the U.S. Supreme Court had never “created or even favorably mentioned a nonstatutory right of action for damages on account of conduct that occurred outside the borders of the United States.” The issue of remedies involving matters of foreign policy and national security are usually left to the political branches of government. Meshal v. Higgenbotham, #14-5194, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 18453 (D.C. Cir.).
    A $20 million settlement as been reached in a wrongful conviction lawsuit brought by a man who spent 20 years in prison on a life sentence for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl before DNA evidence pointed to someone else as the culpable party. The settlement will be paid by county law enforcement and law enforcement agencies from a number of towns involved in the investigation. The lawsuit claimed that a confession given by the plaintiff was not true and was coerced as a result of four straight days of interrogation, including one session that lasted 24 hours. The girl's blood soaked shoes, which had blood from the rapist/murderer, were ever introduced in evidence at trial, which the lawsuit pointed to as proof that the prosecution was a "frame-up." The plaintiff was convicted three separate times in jury trials before being exonerated. The settlement is reportedly the largest wrongful conviction settlement for an individual person in the U.S. Rivera v. Lake County Illinois, #1:12-cv-08665, U.S. Dist. Ct. (N.D. Ill. March 20, 2015).
     A federal appeals court has upheld a $7 million damage award against two police officers who were accused of having framed a mentally challenged man with an IQ of 67 for the brutal rape, multiple stabbings, and murder of a 58-year-old woman. He was exonerated of any involvement in the crime through DNA testing after almost 26 years in prison. The officers allegedly spent hours alone with him after his arrest in 1983, telling the then 15-year-old boy information about the crime scene and then "tricking" him into repeating the information back in a manner that looked ike a confession. The jury's award is against the officers personally, with one liable for $4 million and the other for $3 million. Spadaro v. City of Miramar, #13-14884, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 932 (Unpub. 11th Cir.). The facts of the case are covered in a prior decision. Spadaro v. City of Miramar, #11-61607, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 16714 (S.D. Fla.).
    After a man was acquitted of murder and rape charges against him were dismissed, his lawsuit failed to establish that officers violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination as he failed to show that the officer's conduct overbore his will. He voluntarily rode with the officers to the scene of the crime and during the ride the officers made no threats or promises, not was there any indication of physical coercion. No Sixth Amendment violation was shown as no statements he made without a lawyer present were used at trial. The plaintiff was advised of his Miranda rights before interrogation and signed a waiver form. An officer's statement to him that Missouri was a death penalty state was not coercive and was truthful. Dowell v. Lincoln County, Missouri, #13-2317, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 15282 (8th Cir.).
      Five men initially convicted and then exonerated of involvement in the 1989 brutal rape and beating of a female jogger in Central Park in New York City have reached a $40 million settlement in a lawsuit over their arrests, prosecutions, and imprisonment. The proposed settlement works out to approximately $1 million for each year the plaintiffs spent incarcerated. They claimed that incriminating statements they had made had been coerced. They were convicted in 1990 and incarcerated, but DNA and other evidence later showed that the beating and rape had not been committed by the five black and Hispanic teenagers, who were ages 14 to 16 at the time of the crime, but by another person, a convicted rapist and murderer who stated in a confession that he acted alone. McRay v. City of New York, #1:03-cv-09685, U.S. Dist. Ct. (S.D.N.Y), reported in The New York Times, June 19, 2014.
     A man was charged with the murder and sexual assault of his three-year-old daughter. Charges were dropped after his defense attorney obtained DNA evidence and had it privately tested, but he was first imprisoned for eight months after detectives coerced a confession from him and delayed DNA testing, according to his lawsuit. A jury awarded him $15.5 million, including $6.2 million in punitive damages on malicious prosecution and other claims. Fox v. Hayes, #08-3736, 600 F.3d 819 (7th Cir. 2010). Offers to settle for less were rejected both before and after the verdict. A primary insurance policy required the insurer to defend the detectives up to a policy limit of $1 million. The county also had express insurance policies for $5 million from a second company, and further excess coverage from a third insurer. $8,166,000 of the damages awarded were upheld, including $3.4 million in punitive damages. The detectives assigned to the plaintiffs any claims against the insurers in exchange for an agreement not to seek punitive damages against the detectives' personal assets. A federal appeals court rejected the plaintiffs' claim against the secondary insurer that it breached a good faith duty to reasonably settle the claims and inform the detectives of their alleged conflicts of interest. The appeals court upheld the finding that the secondary insurer never had any control over the defense of the case before the jury verdict and accordingly had no duty either to settle the case or inform the detectives of a supposed conflict of interest. Fox v. Am. Alt. Ins. Corp., #13-1290, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 12799 (7th Cir.).
     In a settlement, the Illinois State Police agreed to pay a total of $40 million to five men who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Dixmoor, Illinois in 1991. They spent a total of 70 years in prison between them before being cleared by DNA evidence. Their lawsuit accused officers of having coerced false confessions from them. Barr v. Kachiroubas, #12-cv-9327 (N.D. Illinois). Claims against the Village of Dixmoor remain pending.
    Two children were found dead, sexually assaulted, and mutilated in the basement of an apartment building in which a 24-year-old man lived with their mother. The killer was ultimately determined to be a neighbor with a record of attempted sexual assault. Police instead initially focused on the man who lived with the children's mother, who was mildly mentally retarded. He was taken to a police station, isolated in an interview room, falsely told that he had failed a polygraph exam, and confronted with false evidence. After several days of interrogation, and in a state of great fear, he signed a false confession, including details of the crime that he could not have known, which were allegedly fed to him by investigators. Convicted and sentenced to life, he was released 22 years later, when his innocence became clear. A federal appeals court overturned a grant of qualified immunity, noting that without the false confession, there would have been no direct evidence linking the plaintiff to the crime. If an officer fabricates evidence to obtain a confession, it violates a defendant's due process rights. There was sufficient evidence for a rational jury to conclude that defendants who had interrogated the plaintiff had coerced him into signing a false confession. Halsey v. Pfeiffer, #13-1549, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 7696 (3rd Cir.).
     A man was convicted twice of first degree murder. In the first conviction, however, the prosecutor relied on evidence obtained in violation of his Miranda rights, and that conviction was later thrown out on habeas corpus. The second conviction was obtained without the illegally obtained evidence. A federal appeals court found that the plaintiff's Fifth Amendment violation claim was not barred by his subsequent conviction. The plaintiff might be able to show that he was entitled to at least nominal damages on the Fifth Amendment violation. The plaintiff adequately stated a municipal liability claim against the county sheriff's department, which was subject to suit for its investigative activity. The plaintiff would also be allowed to amend his complaint to attempt to state a claim against the prosecutor. Jackson v. Barnes, #09-55763, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 6962 (9th Cir.).
     Officers who arrested and detained a woman for two days for investigative interrogation under a material witness warrant were not entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity. Even if the officers were following a prosecutor's instructions, execution of the warrant was a police function rather than a prosecutorial function under the New York state material witness statute and the explicit terms of the warrant itself. Further, the officers actively avoided a court-ordered material witness hearing and their failure to present the arrestee before a court left her with no means of then contesting her detention. Simon v. City of New York, #11-5386, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 17016 (2nd Cir.).
     A mentally retarded adult man was interrogated by a police investigator and was subsequently charged with misdemeanor lascivious conduct with a minor after making statements in response to allegedly leading questions. He was later ruled incompetent to stand trial. A federal appeals court found that the police investigator's conduct did not violate the man's substantive due process rights as the investigation and charging decision did not "shock the conscience." Indeed, the investigator had altered his style of questioning, more fully explained the Miranda warnings, and placed the man in a "less intimidating" room for the interrogation. No reasonable jury could find that the investigator or city failed to make reasonable accommodations for the man's disability. Folkerts v. City of Waverly, #12-1083, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 3847 (8th Cir.).
     A man falsely convicted of murder based on an allegedly coerced confession sued a city and a number of persons involved in the investigation. A federal appeals court held that the Fifth Amendment rather than the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause governed the coerced confession claim. The plaintiff would be allowed to amend his claim to state a Fifth Amendment claim to try to show that officers used coercive and abusive interrogation techniques that they either knew or should have known would create false evidence. Hall v. City of Los Angeles, #10-55770, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 19980 (9th Cir.).
     A U.S. citizen who had been confined as an enemy combatant and his mother filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against a former deputy assistant U.S. attorney general, asserting claims for unlawful detention and abusive interrogation, including an assertion that he had been tortured. The defendant had essentially written legal memoranda presenting the case for detaining terrorism suspects, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, as enemy combatants, and using interrogation techniques considered controversial. The defendant was entitled to qualified immunity, as, at the time of the defendant's conduct, it was not clearly established that a suspected terrorist, who was not a criminal defendant or convicted prisoner, was entitled to the same constitutional rights as they had while in military custody by Presidential order. It was also not clearly established, at the time, that the interrogation techniques allegedly involved rose to the level of illegal torture. Padilla v. Yoo, #09-16478, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 8934 (9th Cir.).
     A prisoner was questioned for between five and seven hours in a conference room at a prison by two deputies who asked him about crimes he was accused of engaging in before his incarceration. He confessed and was later convicted, with the confession admitted into evidence despite the fact that he had been given no Miranda warnings during the questioning. The U.S. Supreme Court held that the prisoner had not been taken into custody for Miranda purposes, since he was told at the beginning and reminded later that he was free to leave and go back to his cell. Additionally, he was not physically restrained or threatened, was interviewed in a well-lit, average-sized conference room where the door was sometimes left open, and was offered food and water. These "facts are consistent with an environment in which a reasonable person would have felt free to terminate the interview and leave, subject to the ordinary restraints of life behind bars." Howes v. Fields, #10-680, 2012 U.S. Lexis 1077.
     A caretaker at a daycare center tried to gently shake a baby when he showed no signs of life, and then administered CPR. The baby died. The caretaker was arrested once without a warrant, questioned, and then arrested a second time under a warrant, and charged with murder, but never tried on that charge. The second arrest of the caretaker violated the Fourth Amendment, as there was then evidence that the mother had allegedly shaken the baby days before and threatened to kill it, likely causing the several days of lethargy and fever the baby experienced before stopping breathing. The mild shaking of the baby by the daycare worker was a justified precursor to doing CPR. There were also allegations that the principal arresting officer was romantically interested in the mother, which could form part of the basis for a malicious prosecution claim. After the first arrest, when the arrestee phoned a lawyer, all questioning should have stopped, but did not, which could form the basis for an unlawful interrogation claim. Aleman v. Village of Hanover Park, # 10-3523,   2011 U.S. App. Lexis 23241 (7th  Cir.).
     An officer arrived at the home to investigate complaints that a woman and her parents had taken unauthorized control of an elderly woman's property and care there. The officer confronts a caretaking woman outside the home, and asked her about the location of the elderly woman. When she refused to answer his question, and attempted to flee inside the house, he placed her under arrest for obstruction, grabbed her arm, and handcuffed her after a struggle. A federal appeals court rejects First Amendment and Fifth Amendment claims, ruling that there was no clearly established law that the woman had a right to refuse to answer the officer's questions during a Terry investigative stop. The officer was entitled to qualified immunity, as he could reasonably, under these circumstances, believe that her refusal to answer his question amounted to obstruction. The court also rejected a claim that the officer handcuffed the woman too tightly, finding that any injury was de minimis (minimal). Koch v. City of Del City, #10-6105, 660 F.3d 1228 (10th Cir. 2011).
     The U.S. Supreme Court has vacated a federal appeals court ruling that the decision to seize and interrogate a minor at school about suspected sexual abuse without a warrant, court order, exigent circumstances or parental consent was unconstitutional, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court held that it had jurisdiction to hear an appeal of the appeals court's holding by the defendants despite the fact that they were granted qualified immunity from liability. The Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the rule adopted by the federal appeals court as to the interrogation of juveniles at school, but vacated the ruling as moot since the minor has moved to another state and therefore no longer has a stake in a ruling concerning the practices of California governmental employees. Camreta v. Greene, #09–1454. 2011 U.S. Lexis 4016.
     A New York man was convicted of and incarcerated for over nine years for a murder he did not commit, with the primary evidence against him being his confession containing non-public details about the crime. After his exoneration, he sought damages against the state under an "unjust conviction and imprisonment" statute. The plaintiff claimed that he has a low IQ, dropped out of school in eighth grade, and was suffering from AIDS-related dementia at the time of his interrogation. The officers interrogating him were aware of these facts, and allegedly coerced him into making a false confession. DNA evidence subsequently implicated another man in the murder, who then confessed to the crime. The highest court in New York ruled that the plaintiff's prior false confession did not bar his claim for damages on the basis that he caused or brought about his own conviction. Warney v. State of New York, #35, 2011 N.Y. Lexis 502 (NY).
     The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-to-2 decision, ruled that statements made to police by a wounded crime victim who died before the trial of the case began may be admitted into evidence without violating the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment. The statements were made identifying the shooter, the majority concluded, for the primary purpose of enabling the officers to deal with an emergency (the armed man) rather than for the primary purpose of providing evidence of the crime. Michigan v. Bryant, #09-150, 2011 U.S. Lexis 1713.
     Officers who interrogated a suspect played audiotapes implicating him in a number of drug offenses before giving him his Miranda warnings and questioning him. A trial court did not act erroneously in refusing to suppress the defendant's subsequent statements at the police station. Playing the tapes did not constitute interrogation, and the defendant made no statements in response to the tapes prior to receiving and waiving his Miranda rights. U.S. v. Vallar, #07-3641, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 2839 (7th Cir.).
      Over ten years after being convicted of sexual assault and homicide, a man was exonerated by DNA evidence. He sued the city of Chicago, a number of police officers, and a prosecutor, claiming that several detectives and the prosecutor had coerced him into falsely confessing to the crimes in violation of the Fifth Amendment. A federal appeals court has rejected the prosecutor's appeal of the denial of his motion for absolute prosecutorial immunity, finding that there were unresolved disputed factual issues concerning the prosecutor's role in obtaining the confession that rendered it impossible to decide the immunity issue on appeal. If the prosecutor was acting in an investigatory role, rather than a prosecutorial role, he would not be entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity. Further, while he could still be entitled to qualified immunity if he did not violate clearly established law, he would not be entitled to qualified immunity if he aided in coercing a false confession. Hill v. Coppleson, #09-1878, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 23940 (7th Cir.).
    A man being interrogated for three hours regarding a shooting was largely silent, but did not explicitly invoke his right to remain silent, or ask for an attorney. Towards the end of the questioning, he answered yes to a question as to whether he prayed to God to forgive him for the shooting. He moved to suppress his statements, arguing that his silence invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, noting that a suspect's Miranda right to counsel must be invoked "unambiguously," and that the same standard applies to invoking the right to remain silent. Berghuis v. Thompkins, #08-1470, 2010 U.S. Lexis 4379.
     The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors could use the confession of a child molester who invoked his right to counsel and to remain silent when initially questioned, but who subsequently admitted to the crime three years later. A request for a lawyer can only bar further questioning by police, the Court stated, for a maximum period of 14 days. Maryland v. Shatzer, 130 S. Ct. 1213 (2010).
     The U.S. Supreme Court has held that while Miranda warnings concerning the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer must be given to all suspects prior to custodial interrogation, the warnings need not use the exact same language in all instances, but can vary the exact phrases used so long as the substance includes the four warnings required by Miranda. A suspect "must be warned prior to any questioning [1] that he has the right to remain silent, [2] that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, [3] that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and [4] that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires." The language in which these four warnings are conveyed, however, may be varied. Florida v. Powell, 130 S. Ct. 1195 (2010).
     After a couple's three-year-old daughter was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered, the father was allegedly framed by police detectives for the crime, and coerced until he agreed to a "confession" that the detectives had concocted, arresting him and causing him to be jailed and face a possible death penalty on a charge of first degree murder. Charges against him were eventually dropped eight months later on the basis of DNA testing that excluded him as the source of the DNA found on his daughter's body. No one else has been accused of the crime. A jury returned awards for the father and his wife on claims of violation of due process, false arrest, malicious prosecution, emotional distress, and punitive damages, as well as the wife's loss of consortium. A total of $9.3 million was awarded to the father and $6.2 million to his wife. A federal appeals court, while generally upholding the awards to the plaintiffs, ordered either a reduction of damages to a total of $8,166,000 or to $8 million and a new trial on the false arrest and emotional distress claims, at the election of the plaintiffs. Fox v. Hayes, #08-3736, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 7154 (7th Cir.).
     A husband and father was shot and killed after his 12-year-old daughter went to get a gun for him. Police suspected that he might have been murdered by his family members. The wife and daughter claimed that they were improperly detained in a police mobile unit for one-and-a-half to two hours when officers, actually engaged in installing a surreptitious listening device in their home pursuant to a warrant, falsely told them that there was a hostage situation involving a gun in the area so that they could not return to their home. The daughter, who was subsequently arrested, claimed that officers interrogated her without advising her of her right to have her attorney or mother present, and denied her access to her attorney or mother. She disputed the officers' claim that she had waived her rights. Denying motions by the officers for qualified immunity or judgment as a matter of law, the court instructed the jury on both unlawful detention and unlawful interrogation claims, The jury was also instructed on qualified immunity. The jury, answering special interrogatories, found that the officers' had not violated the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights through unlawful detention, and that they did not engage in conduct that "shocks the conscience" in violation of due process in their interrogation of the daughter. While the plaintiffs argued that the trial judge acted erroneously in submitting the instruction on qualified immunity to the jury, the appeals court ruled that, even if this were the case, it would have been harmless, in light of the jury's answers to special interrogatories indicating a "total defense verdict" on all issues, including whether the officers engaged in unlawful detention or improper interrogation. Gonzales v. Duran, #08-2184 590 F.3d 855 (10th Cir. 2009).
     As a 14-year-old boy, one of the plaintiffs, now an adult, allegedly falsely confessed to murdering his younger sister, following a series of "coercive" and "grueling" interrogations. He and his accused 15-year-old accomplice, who also sued, were allegedly isolated and subjected to many hours and days of questioning, during which time they were lied to, threatened, cajoled, and pressured by teams of police officers. A federal appeals court overturned summary judgment for the defendant police detectives, finding that such tactics, if true, violated the Fifth Amendment, and also "shock the conscience" in violation of substantive due process. 'Psychological torture' is not an inapt description," the court stated. The defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity on claims relating to the interrogations, which allegedly resulted in coerced statements used in various proceedings. Qualified immunity applied, however, to claims relating to the arrest and search warrants, since the warrant applications, while arguably omitting some exculpatory information, did not demonstrate reckless disregard of the boys' rights or deliberate falsification. A vagrant who suffers from schizophrenia was later convicted of voluntary manslaughter in connection with the sister's death after the sister's DNA was found on one of his shirts. Crowe v. County of San Diego, #05-55467, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 894 (9th Cir.).
     A man was charged with murdering his wife who had been raped and killed while jogging near her home. He was released after eight months and another man, a serial rapist, was convicted of the crime, based in part on DNA evidence. The freed man claimed that he had been subjected to excessive interrogation totaling 38 hours, deprived of sleep, harassed, and humiliated, all to try to coerce him into making a false confession, after which a confession was falsified, resulting in his incarceration while the defendants ignored or neglected exculpatory evidence in their possession. A jury awarded the plaintiff $5.2 million in damages, along with punitive damages against some defendants. (One punitive damage award was reduced by the trial judge, and other punitive damage awards were overturned). An intermediate Maryland appeals court has upheld this result. The court upheld the award of liability against the county based on a finding that there was a pattern and practice of coercive interrogation techniques, such as sleep deprivation, a manual advising officers that they could read a suspect his rights "or wait until after he admits," and past lengthy interrogations, including one lasting 72 hours, and violations of a rule requiring that a suspect be presented before a court within 24 hours, as required by state law. Prince Georges County Maryland v. Longtin #1818, 2010 Md. App. Lexis 9.
     A caseworker and a deputy sheriff seized and interrogated one of a woman's daughters for two hours in a private office at her school, allegedly without a warrant, probable cause or parental consent, because they suspected that the woman's husband had been sexually molesting her. The caseworker later obtained a court order removing both of the woman's daughters from her home and subjected them to "intrusive" sexual abuse examinations. A federal appeals court found that the "special needs" search doctrine could not apply to justify the seizure, given the deep involvement of law enforcement personnel and purposes. The decision to seize and interrogate the first daughter without a warrant, court order, exigent circumstances or parental consent was unconstitutional, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. But the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity because the application of the Fourth Amendment to an in school seizure of a suspected sexual abuse victim was not clearly established. The caseworker was not, however, entitled to qualified immunity on a claim of having made a false representation. Further proceedings were required on due process claims regarding the obtaining of the child removal order and the exclusion of the mother from her daughter's medical examinations. Greene v. Camreta, #06-35333, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 26891 (9th Cir.).
     A police director was not entitled to qualified immunity on claims based on the actions of two officers who allegedly interrogated an arrestee for several hours, placed an ammonium packet under his nose, and kicked and punched him. Supervisory personnel can be held liable for constitutional violations carried out by subordinates, based on either personal participation or a causal connection between the supervisor's actions and the alleged violations. If the plaintiff's allegations were true, there had been numerous prior instances in which one of the officers used force on arrestees. These prior incidents, if they occurred, would have been enough to give the director notice of misconduct that was rampant enough to require corrective action, yet he allegedly failed to take any. Williams v. Santana, #09-10198, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 18014 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
     Based solely on a statement by a four-year-old that she had been sexually assaulted when she was three, a police detective seized a student and interrogated him for almost two hours in the principal's office at his school. The questioning culminated in the student confessing that he had molested the child three times, which was the basis for filing juvenile criminal charges against him. The confession was subsequently suppressed as coerced, and the charges dismissed, following a determination that the four-year-old was incompetent to testify at trial. A federal appeals court granted summary judgment to the defendant detective on a Fourth Amendment claim arguing that the seizure was unlawful because it was based on unreliable statements of the four-year-old, finding that the law on the subject at the time was not clearly established. It rejected summary judgment, however, on a Fifth Amendment claim concerning the alleged coercion of incriminating statements from the suspect. Stoot v. Everett, #07-35425, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 18079 (9th Cir.).
      In a lawsuit arising from the interrogation of an 11-year-old minor, then in foster care, regarding the death of a two-year-old child, 6th Amendment claims against an assistant prosecutor were properly dismissed since no arrest or formal judicial proceeding had then been initiated. Additionally, the assistant prosecutor was entitled to qualified immunity, as it was not "well established" that a minor had any 6th Amendment right to counsel in connection with the filing of a petition in an action affecting the parent-child relationship. Murray v. Earle, #08-50603, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 11882 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
    Arrestee could pursue civil rights claims against officers based on alleged violations of his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights during searches of two homes and his subsequent prosecution on drug charges. The trial court erroneously ruled that the order of the criminal trial court denying the arrestee's motion for suppression of the evidence, including self-incriminatory statements, barred his lawsuit. While the charges against the plaintiff were dropped and he never went to trial, he could pursue a Fifth Amendment claim based on the allegation that his coerced statements had been used at the suppression hearing. Best v. Portland, No. 07-2765, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 2289 (7th Cir.).
     A county and its detectives were not liable for violating an arrestee's rights by allegedly beating him and questioning him without reading him Miranda rights. Any excessive force claim was time barred, while there was no showing that any evidence allegedly obtained in violation of Miranda was used against him in a criminal proceeding, so that it was entirely possible that his conviction was sufficiently supported by other independent evidence. Large v. County of Montgomery, No. 08-3167, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 1088 (Unpub. 3rd 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 detainee, despite the claim that he was not given Miranda warnings, failed to show a claim for violation of his right against self-incrimination when no questioning was carried out after he was taken into custody. Dzwonczyk v. Syracuse City Police Dept., 5:08-CV-00557, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 103315 (N.D.N.Y.).
     After a woman called 911 to complain about a domestic dispute, her boyfriend was found dead from a gunshot wound in the back of his head. She was interrogated by police for between six and eight hours before she confessed, but a jury later acquitted her of murder charges. Interrogation techniques used by deputies, such as telling her that she would never see her children again, not letting her sleep, and not allowing her to take anti-anxiety medicine, did not shock the conscience in violation of her due process rights. The court further found that medical examiners did not have a duty under Florida law to continue investigating the decedent's cause of death, even though the evidence did not rule out the possibility that the wound might have been self-inflicted. The court also found that there was probable cause for the arrest under these circumstances. Smith v. Campbell, No. 08-11161, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 19085 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
     Officers and a town were not entitled to dismissal of a woman's claim that she was unlawfully detained. While it could be argued that any reasonable person would have felt free to leave when she was being questioned by one of the defendant officers, the court stated, the arrival of three officers changed the circumstances enough to possibly constitute an unlawful seizure or improper interrogation, requiring further proceedings. The court rejected the argument that the plaintiff had clearly already been seized by the one officer before the others arrived, and that they therefore could not be liable for her seizure. Saenz v. Lucas, 07 Civ. 10534, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 69571 (S.D.N.Y.).
     While an inmate was in custody awaiting trial and in a hospital being treated for asthma, a police officer guarding him allegedly talked with him about his pending case and secretly recorded the conversations, which were then used in the inmate's criminal trial for rape. No Miranda warning was provided. A federal trial court ruled that these allegations were sufficient to state at least a "theoretical" Fifth Amendment claim for violation of the privilege against compelled self-incrimination. A police chief who was not even employed by the municipality at the time of the incident, and who played no personal role in it, however, was entitled to summary judgment. Bellamy v. Wells, No. 5:07cv00035, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 15738 (W.D. Va.).
     If, as the plaintiff claimed, the defendants "engineered" a false murder case against him, subjected him to an in-custody interview without Miranda warnings, and coerced a co-defendant into making a "confession" through the use of intimidation and threats, as well as withholding evidence of a later recanting of that "confession," the plaintiff asserted a viable claim for violation of his constitutional rights. The alleged misconduct had resulted in his detention for five months on capital murder charges. Claims for both qualified immunity and Eleventh Amendment immunity were rejected by the court. Sampson v. Lambert, No. 8:07CV155, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 8838 (D. Neb.).
    A twelve-year-old child was interrogated away from his mother and a prosecutor then ordered police to arrest him in connection with the death of a toddler. His conviction was subsequently overturned on the basis of a coerced confession in violation of the Fifth Amendment. He subsequently filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the prosecutor and her employer for alleged violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. After the lawsuit was filed, the prosecutor allegedly told a Marine recruiter that the plaintiff would "always" be a suspect in the murder, resulting in the rejection of his enlistment. A federal appeals court overturned qualified immunity for the prosecutor, ruling that the prosecutor could not reasonably have believed that there was probable cause for the arrest. The court also ordered further proceedings on claims against the county based on its alleged withholding of exculpatory (Brady) materials, and on the Plaintiff's malicious prosecution, First Amendment retaliation, and defamation claims. Harris v. Bornhorst, No. 06-3729, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 724 (6th Cir.).
     Police officers had no obligation to give a "Miranda-like" warning to witnesses questioned at a police station in order to advise them that they were not under arrest and were free to leave. Officers asked the wife of a man being investigated for insurance fraud to come to the police station and questioned her for two and a half hours, but this did not constitute a "seizure" for Fourth Amendment purposes. The plaintiff never asked the officers whether she was under arrest, or whether she was free to leave. Under the circumstances, the inference arose that she had no wish to terminate the questioning. Hall v. Bates, No. 07-1043, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 26478 (7th Cir.).
     A police sergeant allowed an attorney, who was also an arrestee's alibi witness, to enter an interrogation room, stated that the attorney/witness could not act as the arrestee's lawyer, and then left the room, while videotaping their conversation. The arrestee then sued the sergeant and the city for alleged violations of his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. A federal appeals court found that the sergeant was entitled to qualified immunity because there was no clearly established law on the subject of Fourth Amendment protection for an interrogation room conversation between a pre-trial arrestee and an attorney who was also an alibi witness. A reasonable officer, therefore, could have believed that the action of videotaping the conversation was lawful. Additionally, there was no violation of the Fifth Amendment since the conversation did not constitute an interrogation. Sowards v. City of Milpitas, No. 05-16530, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 24583 (9th Cir.).
     Eleven arrestees who claimed that FBI agents who interrogated them improperly interrogated them about their political activities and affiliations and then improperly disseminated that information, in violation of their First and Fourth Amendment rights, were not entitled to injunctive relief even if those allegations were true. They failed to show that the alleged past wrongful conduct would subject them to a threat of future injury or continuing harm, particularly when the records derived from the arrests had been expunged. Bolger v. District of Columbia, Civil Action No. 03-0906, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 66716 (D.D.C.).
     While the plaintiff alleged a valid cause of action for conducting an interrogation "shocking to the conscience" in violation of his 14th Amendment rights by claiming that he was threatened with physical harm if he refused to make a statement, he was not entitled to a ruling that the defendants were liable as a matter of law, and his claim ended when a jury made a determination that his rights had not been violated. Excluding from evidence a transcript of the interrogation was not erroneous, as nothing in it suggested coercion or a threat of harm. Loritz v. San Diego County, No. 05-56613, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 10167 (9th Cir.).
     Because a ruling in a federal civil rights lawsuit that a minor's confession to involvement in the murder of his mother would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction, under a plea bargain to plead "no contest", of accessory after the fact, he was barred from pursuing his claim for coercive interrogation when the conviction had not been set aside or reversed, under the principles established in Heck v. Humphrey, #93-6188, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Federal appeals court rules that the adjudication in juvenile court, while not a criminal proceeding under state law, was properly viewed as the "functional equivalent" of a criminal proceeding for purposes of the application of the rule in Heck. Morris v. City of Detroit, No. 06-1367, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 30948 (6th Cir.). [N/R]
     Police detective who elicited suspect's admission that he had sexual contact with a ten-year-old child by telling him, during a non-custodial interrogation, that all information would stay "confidential" because a juvenile was involved did not violate the suspect's rights. Even if the statement did misrepresent the suspect's Fifth Amendment rights, this was not conduct which "shocks the conscience." McConkie v. Nichols, No. 05-2727, 446 F.3d 258 (1st Cir. 2006). [2006 LR Jul]
     Suspects may not be seized for custodial interrogation without probable cause, and a police captain was not entitled to qualified immunity for alleged involvement in doing so. No reasonable officer could have believed that forcing a suspect to come to a police station against his will for questioning was not a seizure for custodial interrogation, and the captain did not claim that he had probable cause for an arrest. Svitlik v. O'Leary, No. 3:03CV1500, 419 F. Supp. 2d 189 (D. Conn. 2006). [N/R]
     Suspect questioned, and searched on the premises of his employer, an auto manufacturer, during an auto vandalism investigation, voluntarily consented to answer questions and to be searched by sheriff's deputy, so that he could not pursue a federal civil rights claim for these actions. Despite his argument that he did not feel free to leave and that the deputy read him his Miranda rights, the court found that there was no "objective coercion" in the incident. Aquino v. Honda of America, Inc., No. 04-4274, 158 Fed. Appx. 667 (6th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Refusal to allow suspect to call his lawyer or otherwise speak to his counsel while he was being interrogated could not be the basis for a claim of violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel when it occurred before he was charged, rather than after the initiation of formal criminal proceedings. James v. York County Police Dept., No. 05-2852, 160 Fed. Appx. 126 (3rd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Casino patron who alleged that two casino private security guards conspired with a state trooper while engaging in custodial interrogation of him to deny him requested access to a lawyer, sufficiently stated a federal civil rights claim against the security guards. Lassoff v. New Jersey, No. CIV.A. 05-2261, 414 F. Supp. 2d 483 (D.N.J. 2006). [N/R]
     Mere failure of police officers interrogating suspect to read Miranda warnings cannot be the basis of a federal civil rights claim for damages even when it results in a confession used at trial to convict suspect of murder of his girlfriend. Suspect's sole remedy was the suppression of his confession, after reversal of his conviction, at his second trial, which still resulted in his conviction for murder. Hannon v. Sanner, No. 04-2608, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 7542 (8th Cir.). [2006 LR May]
     Federal appeals court reinstates false arrest claims against police chief and officer in arrest of married couple for bank robbery based on unclear videotape and allegedly coerced confession by wife purportedly induced by threats to have a state agency take away her children unless she admitted her involvement. Court also rules that evidence presented factual issues as to whether the city had a municipal policy of deliberate indifference towards the coercing of confessions from female suspects with such tactics. Claims against city were based on both failure to train and failure to correct officers' complained of behavior. Sornberger v. City of Knoxville, No. 04-3614, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 1394 (7th Cir.). [2006 LR Mar]
     Federal court certifies class action status for lawsuit brought by former Chicago post-arrest detainees who claimed that they were subject to improperly long interrogation room confinement, deprived of sleep accommodations, and held for over 48 hours before receiving a probable cause hearing. Dunn v. City of Chicago, No. 04-C-6804, 231 F.R.D. 367 (N.D. Ill. 2005). [N/R]
     Police officer's misrepresentations to teenager's mother that he would be questioned nearby and only for an hour concerning investigation into triple murder, allegedly made to obtain consent to his removal from the home, and resulting in him being taken to another county, interrogated for four hours, subjected to a polygraph exam, and being denied requests to leave, be with his mother, or see a lawyer, if true, would violate child's clearly established constitutional rights. Myers v. Potter, No. 04-6022, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 19248 (6th Cir.). [2005 LR Oct]
     Detective who had probable cause to arrest a suspect for murder before interrogating him was entitled to qualified immunity in suspect's lawsuit claiming that his rights were violated when the detective failed to videotape the interrogation, purportedly so that he could "fabricate" the suspect's confession. Arline v. City of Jacksonville, No. 3:03-CV-685, 359 F. Supp. 2d 1300 (M.D. Fla. 2005). [N/R]
     Motorist's privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment was not violated at the scene of a traffic accident by an officer's demand that he provide evidence of auto insurance. The privilege is not violated unless a suspect is compelled to give self-incriminating testimony utilized in court. Burrell v. Virginia, No. 02-2347, 395 F.3d 508 (4th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Although detectives' interrogation of an eleven-year-old girl, which produced her confession of involvement in the death of a two year old, was custodial and produced an involuntary statement in violation of her Fifth Amendment rights, the questioning detectives could not be held liable for her subsequent prosecution and conviction, later overturned. A decision by the trial judge to admit her confession was superseding cause of her damages. Murray v. Earle, No. 03-51379, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 5220 (5th Cir. 2005). [2005 LR May]
     U.S. Supreme Court: Police officers did not act unreasonably in detaining an occupant of a home in handcuffs during the execution of a search warrant, and they also did not violate her rights by questioning her, during the detention, concerning her immigration status. Muehler v. Mena, #03-1423, 125 S. Ct. 1465 (2005). [2005 LR May]
      Issuing summonses to appear in court to a motorist who refused to provide information at the scene of an accident concerning his auto insurance status did not violate his Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights, and individual defendants in his federal civil rights lawsuit were entitled to qualified immunity. Burrell v. Virginia, No. 02-2347, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 1329 (4th Cir.). [2005 LR Mar]
    City reaches $2 million settlement in case where a 7-year-old male was arrested and charged with the murder of an 11-year-old girl after making incriminating statements to police following his interrogation by several teams of police officers, conducted without the presence of any parent, guardian, or attorney. The boy was released twenty-six days later, and an adult was then charged with the killing. R.G., Minor v. City of Chicago, No.02L-7637, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Law Division, reported in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, p. 23 (December 17, 2004). [N/R]
     Man who was pardoned after his rape and murder conviction was called into question by DNA evidence failed to show that the officers who interrogated him coerced a false confession for purposes of asserting a civil rights due process claim. In addition to being given a Miranda warning before the interrogation, the plaintiff produced no evidence that there was any psychological or physical abuse of him by the officers. Washington v. Buraker, No. Civ.A. 3:02CV00106, 322 F. Supp. 2d 702 (W.D. Va. 2004). [N/R]
nbsp;    An interrogation which never resulted in any confession used in criminal proceedings could not be the basis for a federal civil rights lawsuit by an arrestee claiming that the interrogators violated his Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination. Gibson v. Picou, #03-3035, 101 Fed. Appx. 154 (7th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     An arrestee's civil rights claim for coercive interrogation and torture by officers allegedly used to compel him to falsely confess to a murder did not accrue, for purposes of the statute of limitations, until his conviction was overturned. Accordingly, his claims were not time-barred. Patterson v. Burge, #03C4433, 328 F. Supp. 2d 878 (N.D. Ill. 2004). [N/R]
     Arrest and conviction for failing to identify himself by name while detained by an officer, in violation of a Nevada state statute requiring persons stopped to provide such identification, did not violate arrestee's Fourth or Fifth Amendment. Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Court of Nevada, #03-5554, 2004 U.S. Lexis 4385. [2004 LR Jul]
     U.S. Supreme Court grants review on case involving the scope of permissible detention and questioning of persons, not suspected of crime, found inside a residence during the execution of a search warrant. Mena v. Simi Valley, Calif., 332 F.3d 1255 (9th Cir. 2003), cert. granted, Muehler v. Mena, No. 03-1423, 2004 U.S. Lexis 4190 (June 14, 2004). [2004 LR Jul]
     Even if murder confessions officers obtained from juvenile suspects were coerced, they could not be held liable under federal civil rights law for violation of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when the statements obtained were not used against the suspects in a criminal trial, but only in grand jury proceedings leading to their indictment and in a hearing to determine whether they should be tried as adults. Crowe v. County of San Diego, 303 F. Supp. 2d 1050 (S.D. Cal. 2004). [N/R]
     Arrestee could not successfully seek damages based merely on a custodial interrogation without Mirada warnings when none of her elicited statements were ever used against her at trial. Federal appeals court also overturns $80,000 malicious prosecution award to arrestee, who claimed that officers filed false charges against her and maliciously pursued them in order to assist her officer boyfriend, who she accused of domestic abuse. Plaintiff's opening statement at trial put the question of the defendant officer's truthful character into issue, so it was prejudicial error to exclude evidence of that character. Renda v. King, #01-2421, 347 F.3d 550 (3rd Cir. 2003). [2004 LR Feb]
     Police officer was not shown to have used investigative techniques in child abuse investigation that were "so coercive and abusive" that he knew or should have known that they would yield false information. Officer had probable cause for arrest of suspect even if portions of his affidavit supporting the arrest were inaccurate as to the number of child victims who had told the officer the arrestee had sexually abused them. Gausvik v. Perez, No. 02-35902, 345 F.3d 813 (9th Cir. 2003). [2004 LR Feb]
     Officer's failure to give Miranda rights warnings to an arrestee before questioning him about whether he had a license for the gun that was discovered in plain view in his parked automobile did not violate the arrestee's Fifth Amendment rights and could not form the grounds for a federal civil rights lawsuit. Seizure of weapon from the passenger area of the auto for the purpose of ensuring the officer's safety also upheld as proper, and arrestee could not pursue a false arrest claim in the absence of any evidence that his conviction on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon had been overturned. Mosley v. Yaletsko, 275 F. Supp. 2d 608 (E.D. Pa. 2003). [2003 LR Dec]
     Officers could not have reasonably believed that suspect voluntarily consented to being detained, transported to the police station, and interrogated for over five hours, after being approached at his home by officers with guns drawn. Hatheway v. Thies, 335 F.3d 1199 (10th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Nov]
      U.S. Supreme Court reverses federal appeals court decision that wounded suspect subjected to custodial treatment while being treated in a hospital for life threatening injuries, but who was never charged with any crime, could pursue damage claims for violation of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination even though no statements he made were ever used against him in court. On remand, further consideration will occur of whether plaintiff may pursue a claim of liability for a substantive due process violation. Chavez v. Martinez, 123 S. Ct. 1994 (2003). [2003 LR Aug]
     Officers could detain employees of business while executing a search warrant on the premises to find evidence of alleged fraudulent practices, but they could not require them to submit to custodial interrogation as a condition of release. Ganwich v. Knapp, No. 01-35677, 319 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Jun]
     Federal appeals court overturns injunction requiring that police notify cooperating witnesses being interrogated that a lawyer, purporting to represent them, has arrived at the station. Court rejects ruling which was purportedly based on the First Amendment rights of the lawyer to associate with his client. First Defense Legal Aid v. City of Chicago, #02-3376, 319 F. 3d. 967 (7th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Apr]
     Arrestee with developmental handicap was properly awarded $1 in nominal damages and $10,000 in punitive damages on a claim that a police officer improperly coerced his confession to a charge of stealing a wallet during a custodial interrogation. Ayuyu v. Tagabuel, #01-15119, 284 F.3d 1023 (9th Cir. 2002). [2002 LR Oct]
     U.S. Supreme Court to review federal civil rights lawsuit over custodial interrogation of a wounded suspect while being treated in a hospital for life-threatening injuries. Suspect was never charged with a crime, so no statements were ever used in court, but appeals court ruled that he could still pursue his claims. Martinez v. Oxnard, No. 01-1444, cert. granted 2002 U.S. Lexis 4044. Appeals court decision below is Martinez v. City of Oxnard, No. 00-56520, 270 F.3d 852 (9th Cir. 2001). [2002 LR Jul]
     Officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on arrestee's claim that they coerced her confession to participating in the making of bomb threats against her employer by lengthy questioning, verbal harassment, and making threats about the custody of her son. Edwards v. Pretsch, 180 F. Supp. 2d 499 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). [2002 LR May]
      "Coercive" questioning of suspect with "limited intellectual capacity" which allegedly elicited false confession to murder could violate suspect's Fifth Amendment rights despite reading of Miranda rights; officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on claim that they then knowingly used "false or unreliable" evidence to secure suspect's conviction for murder. Wilson v. Lawrence County, Mo., #00-2828, 260 F.3d 946 (8th Cir. 2001). [2002 LR Apr]
     An officer did not violate a motorist's rights or impermissibly "detain" her following a stop for speeding when he asked her "what she believed law enforcement was doing about the war on drugs." Motorist was free to go and it did not violate her rights to attempt to start a conversation with her. Officer also did not violate her rights by later walking drug sniffing dog around the car when his suspicions were aroused by her responses. U.S. v. Morgan, #00-1965, 270 F.3d 625 (8th Cir. 2001). [2002 LR Apr]
    Criminal suspect stated a prima facie claim for violation of his constitutional rights based on police sergeant's alleged "coercive interrogation" after he had been shot five times by another officer and was undergoing medical treatment for life-threatening injuries in an emergency room. Interrogated suspect was allegedly "losing consciousness sporadically" during questioning and was not read Miranda warnings. Martinez v. City of Oxnard, # 00-56520, 270 F.3d 852 (9th Cir. 2001). [2002 LR Mar]
     Store customer was not "seized" when a police officer questioned him after he participated in a fight with store employees. Officer did not arrest or restrain him, and only later sent him a summons in the mail, precluding false arrest claims under Pennsylvania state law or federal civil rights claim. Colbert v. Angstadt, 169 F. Supp. 2d 352 (E.D. Pa. 2001). [N/R]
     344:122 Officers investigating child sexual abuse allegations had a duty, under Washington state law, to avoid negligence in doing so; appeals court reinstates lawsuit by parents arrested but later acquitted of involvement in child sex ring; improper interrogation techniques during interviews with children alleged. Rodriguez v. City of Wenatchee, # 43812-3-I, 994 P.2d 874 (Wash. App. 2000).
     340:59 Even if the techniques used to interview child complainants were improper and coercive, nursery school teacher indicted and prosecuted for alleged sexual abuse of children could not recover damages since these interrogation techniques did not violate her own constitutional rights; prosecutors were entitled to absolute immunity for presenting children's testimony to grand jury and at trial. Michaels v. New Jersey, #99-5486, 222 F.3d 118 (3rd Cir. 2000).
     332:121 U.S. Supreme Court denies review of decision denying officers qualified immunity in civil rights lawsuits over Miranda violations aimed at acquiring impeachment evidence. California Attorneys for Criminal Justice v. Butts, #97-5649, 195 F.3d 1039 (9th Cir. 1999), cert. denied, Butts v. McNally, 120 S. Ct. 2717 (2000). EDITOR'S NOTE: Additionally, in Dickerson v. U.S., No. 99-5525, 120 S. Ct. 2326 (2000), the U.S. Supreme Court turned away arguments that Miranda requirements could be replaced, via legislative enactments, with other remedies, or that a totality of the circumstances test should instead be used to judge whether an elicited confession was voluntary.
     325:10 Detectives who allegedly continued to question criminal suspects after they invoked the right to remain silent and asked for an attorney could be sued for violation of the constitutional right against self-incrimination; alleged training that statements elicited through such questioning may be used at trial for impeachment purposes did not entitle detectives to qualified immunity. California Attorneys for Criminal Justice v. Butts, Nos. 97-56499 & 97-56510, 195 F.3d 1039 (9th Cir. 1999).
     323:165 Failure to provide interpreter to deaf woman before officers arrested her was not disability discrimination; officers had probable cause to make the arrest, did not arrest her because of her disability, adequately conveyed Miranda warnings with a written statement, and did not subject arrestee to custodial interrogation. Patrice v. Murphy, 43 F.Supp. 2d 1156 (W.D. Wash. 1999).
     321:141 No federal constitutional claim could be asserted for police detective's alleged destruction of man's bus pass, since he had an adequate post-deprivation remedy of filing a state lawsuit for the value of his lost property; failure of detective to read man Miranda rights did not violate constitutional rights; detective's alleged threats to use force against man did state a possible claim. Harris v. St. Louis Police Dept., #98-1810, 164 F.3d 1085 (8th Cir. 1998).
     314:26 Interrogations by detective squad of juveniles facing possible delinquency charges would not be enjoined by federal court; case-by-case determination as to whether interrogations were coercive was required; proper remedy for any alleged violation of Miranda rights was suppression of incriminating statements rather than federal civil rights claim. Deshawn v. Safir, #97-7410, 156 F.3d 340 (2nd Cir. 1998).
     313:11 Arresting officers' failure to give arrestee Miranda warnings could not serve as the basis for federal civil rights law; officers, who arrived at home in response to arrestee's own 911 call could lawfully arrest him without warrant, upon probable cause. Cronin v. West Whiteland Township, 994 F.Supp. 595 (E.D. Pa. 1998).
     310:155 Man arrested for murder and then confined, for ten years, in psychiatric facility while incompetent for trial, entitled to new trial in civil rights lawsuit against officers alleging false imprisonment and malicious prosecution; suit claimed that confession to police was procured through prior taped conversations with minister who allegedly "fed" suspect details of crime; exclusion of tapes from evidence was reversible error. Sutkiewicz v. Monroe County Sheriff, 110 F.3d 352 (6th Cir. 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).
     308:122 Arrestee convicted of robbery and murder could pursue his federal civil rights claim that his confessions were coerced by use of excessive force even while his appeal from his convictions was still pending; arrestee could also pursue claim that his privacy and freedom of religion rights were violated by displaying nude photographs of him at his trial. Jackson v. Suffolk County Homicide Bureau, 135 F.3d 254 (2nd Cir. 1998).
     305:72 Criminal trial court's ruling that accused's confession was voluntary did not bar him from relitigating the issue in a federal civil rights lawsuit when jury subsequently acquitted him and he maintained, before jury, that confession was coerced. Zamarripa v. City of Mesa, 125 F.3d 792 (9th Cir. 1997).
     305:67 City liable for award of $50,000 in damages and $400,000 in attorneys' fees against police commander who allegedly tortured suspect in murder of two officers in order to get him to confess; state statute required indemnification of employee acting within scope of his employment; convicted cop killer further awarded $50,000 in damages and $500,000 in attorneys' fee in judgment against other officer which city also paid for. Wilson v. City of Chicago, 120 F.3d 681 (7th Cir. 1997).
     302:27 Update: Full federal appeals court reinstates summary judgment for police detective who allegedly slapped arrestee in interrogation room; court rejects claim that this occurred during custodial interrogation when no questions were being asked and detective's conduct was not intended to, and did not, elicit any incriminating statement. Riley v. Dorton, 115 F.3d 1159 (4th Cir. 1997).
     290:24 Arrestee should be allowed to pursue his civil rights lawsuit against detective for allegedly slapping and scratching him during custodial interrogation, despite lack of "significant injuries," federal appeals court rules Riley v. Dorton, 93 F.3d 113 (4th Cir. 1996).
     290:25 Evidence adequately supported claim that police investigator coerced bank teller supervisor's confession to taking money from vault; jury awards $150,000 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages against police investigator, and trial court finds punitive award excessive Niemann v. Whalen, 928 F.Supp. 296 (S.D.N.Y. 1996).
     286:154 Suspect convicted of second-degree murder after his motion to suppress his confession as coerced was denied was precluded from later pursuing federal civil rights lawsuit based on alleged coercion of confession through physical force and racial slurs; state court's consideration of suppression motion gave him a "full and fair" opportunity to litigate issue of confession and he was barred by "issue preclusion" from relitigating it Simmons v. O'Brien, 77 F.3d 1093 (8th Cir. 1996).
     282:91 Police officers' alleged failure to read Miranda warnings to woman they were questioning about alleged theft, without more, did not give rise to federal civil rights claim, federal appeals court rules; further, woman's Fourth Amendment rights were not violated when she voluntarily responded to officers' questioning and later voluntarily went to police station for further questioning to attempt to clear matter up Neighbour v. Covert, 68 F.3d 1508 (7th Cir. 1995). [Cross- reference: Search and Seizure: Person]
     280:59 Arresting detective's failure to read Miranda warnings to arrestee before interrogation, and threat to place arrestee in holding cell if he did not talk did not give arrestee valid federal civil rights claim when no incriminating statements were made in response to interrogation and all interrogation ceased once arrestee stated he wished to remain silent until an attorney was present Mahan v. Plymouth County House of Corrections, 64 F.3d 14 (1st Cir. 1995).
     274:153 Suspect's in-custody confession to murder was voluntary; he was given Miranda warnings and waived his right to remain silent; his testimony that he was beaten and coerced into confessing was "simply incredible" Brown v. Nickerson, 849 F.Supp. 1318 (E.D. Mo 1994).
     274:153 Failure to give Miranda warnings did not violate woman's rights when questioning did not result in any charges being brought against her Reyes v. Granados, 879 F.Supp. 711 (S.D.Tex. 1995).
     277:10 Federal appeals court upholds jury verdict for officers in lawsuit brought by suspect who claimed that they coerced his confession to attempted rape; barring evidence of his innocence of criminal charge was not erroneous since it would confuse the issue of whether the officers violated his rights during interrogation West v. Carson, 49 F.3d 433 (8th Cir. 1995).
     267:45 Suspect who allegedly was coerced into confessing to killing his wife, and who immediately retracted his statements receives $225,000 settlement in suit alleging violation of Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights Crouch v. Gillum, U.S. Dist. Ct., MD Fla, No 91- 101-CIV-T-98(A), March 17, 1994, reported in 37 ATLA Law Rptr. 377 (Dec 1994).
     {N/R} Failure to give Miranda warnings is not a civil rights violation; it causes only the suppression of the staements Angara v. City of Chicago, 897 F.Supp 355/at 359 (NDIll 1965).
     Suspect subjected to continued interrogation by officers who deliberately decided to ignore his requests for a lawyer and his right to remain silent could sue officers for violation of constitutional rights; officers were not entitled to qualified immunity when their deliberate intention was to violate the suspect's rights in order to try to obtain a confession inadmissible in prosecution's case in chief, but possibly usable in impeachment Cooper v. Dupnik, 963 F.2d 1220 (9th Cir), cert. denied, 113 S.Ct. 407 (1992).
     Motorist who failed field sobriety tests had no right to consult with counsel prior to deciding whether to submit to breathalyzer test Moos v. Norton, 789 F.Supp. 352 (D.Kan 1992).
     Police detectives were not entitled to qualified immunity for allegedly telling arrestee during interrogation he would receive a life sentence if he didn't talk Cinelli v. Cutillo, 896 F.2d 650 (1st Cir. 1990).
     Conviction for robbery and second degree murder did not prevent relitigation of voluntariness of confession in civil rights case Owens v. Treder, 873 F.2d 604 (2nd Cir. 1989).
     Detectives who allegedly coerced co-defendant's statement not liable for murder suspect's incarceration when other evidence was sufficient to provide probable cause Williams v. Thezan, 702 F.Supp. 699 (N.D.Ill. 1989).
     No civil rights liability for failure to give Miranda warnings; remedy was exclusion from evidence, not civil liability Warren v. City of Lincoln, Neb, 864 F.2d 1436 (8th Cir. 1989).
     Arrestee who conveyed alibi plans to detectives during interrogation without counsel could pursue civil rights claim on 6th amendment right to counsel Cinelli v. City of Revere, 820 F.2d 474 (1st Cir. 1987).

Back to list of subjects             Back to Legal Publications Menu