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Search and Seizure: Vehicle

     Monthly Law Journal Article: GPS Devices and the Fourth Amendment, 2010 (12) AELE Mo. L. J. 101
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Home Searches and the Community Caretaking Doctrine, 2011 (1) AELE Mo. L. J. 101
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure, Qualified Immunity and the Technological Age, 2012 (6) AELE Mo. L. J. 501.

     A 30-day impound of a motorist’s vehicle under a state statute after she lent it to a driver with a suspended driver’s license amounted to a seizure that required compliance with the Fourth Amendment. A federal appeals court ruled that the exigent circumstances the justified the seizure of the vehicle disappeared once the car arrived in the impound lot and the plaintiff showed up there with both proof of ownership of the vehicle and a valid driver’s license. The defendants provided no justification for the continued seizure. Brewster v. Beck, #15-55479, 859 F.3d 1194 (9th Cir. 2017).

    A motorist claimed that a state trooper unconstitutionally initiated a traffic stop and questioning, detainment, and arrest of him without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. The state trooper was entitled to qualified immunity from the claim that he lacked reasonable suspicion warranting a fifty-minute extension of a traffic stop while he summoned a drug dog that alerted to the plaintiff's pickup. The trooper did not violate clearly established Fourth Amendment law in concluding that he had reasonable suspicion to detain the plaintiff until the drug dog arrived based on objective, particular facts including a discrepancy between the motorist’s statements about his past record and what dispatch informed the officer about the motorist’s past. De La Rosa v. White, #15-3399, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 5273 (8th Cir.).
   Officers conducting surveillance for loud-music violation decided to stop a motorist driving by. He turned into a parking lot, went into a store, and then returned to his truck. An officer heard the music coming from the truck as it pulled away, and he followed. When the motorist saw the officer following, he turned down his music. He was stopped for loud music and excessive speed. Other officers arrived and the motorist allegedly refused to get out of his truck when requested. He claimed that he was threatened with a Taser, and arrested for obstruction of justice and resisting arrest. A federal appeals court upheld dismissal of the lawsuit, finding probable cause for the arrest. There was probable cause to stop a vehicle driver for speeding based on observations, even though the officers did not know the driver's exact speed, Tapley v. Chambers, #15-3013, 840 F.3d 370 (7th Cir.).
     A taxi driver claimed that a city commission violated his Fourth Amendment rights by mandating that all city cabs install technology systems equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking abilities. He argued that this amounted to an illegal property-based search. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendants, as the record was devoid of evidence as to whether the plaintiff had any property interest in a taxi at the time of an alleged trespass or physical intrusion. El-Nahal v. Yassky, #14-405, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 15767 (2nd Cir.).
     An 18 year-old driving to a Michigan summer camp took a wrong turn and accidentally wound up at the Canadian border. The toll-booth operator gave him a laminated card, prepared by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that stated: "You are being allowed to turn around without traveling to Canada. Please present this card, along with your identification to an open CBP inspection booth prior to departing. Thank you." The back said "All persons, baggage, and merchandise arriving in the Customs territory of the United States or from places outside thereof are liable to inspection and search by a Customs official." Directed to turn around without crossing the border, he merged into traffic containing cars returning from Canada. When he came to a CBP inspection booth, the officers searched his vehicle despite him saying that he had not crossed the border. Marijuana and drug paraphernalia was found and he pled guilty to state misdemeanor charges. He then sued for unlawful search and seizure. Upholding dismissal of that claim, a federal appeals court ruled that a traveler’s subjective intent not to leave the country does not provide an exception to the government’s authority to conduct suspicionless searches of vehicles at the border. D.E. v. Doe, #15-2128, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 15670, 2016 Fed. App. 292P (6th Cir.).

     After a woman reported that her former boyfriend had attacked and threatened to shoot her, police found the ex-boyfriend in a car they stopped nearby and handcuffed him, putting him in their squad car. The driver consented to a vehicle search that revealed a gun in a shopping bag, which the ex-boyfriend admitted was his. Sentenced to prison for being a felon in possession of a firearms, he sued over the stop of the vehicle. A federal appeals court stated that while the search of the vehicle was consensual and the arrest was not unlawful, the stop of the car, which the defendants admitted that they lacked probable cause to stop, was an unreasonable seizure of the plaintiff's person, entitling him to damages. Giddeon v. Flynn, #15-3464, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 13735 (7th Cir.).
     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).
     An officer was entitled to qualified immunity in a female motorist's lawsuit claiming that he used excessive force against her during a search of her car after stopping her for a suspected window tint violation. He had probable cause to stop and search her car, and she refused to let him search it, struggling with him to prevent the search and stop him from taking her keys to turn off the car. The only force complained about was two yanks to get her out of the driver's seat. The officer did not use any other force or handcuff her, so his use of force did not violate clearly established law under the circumstances. Merricks v. Adkisson, #14-12801, 785 F.3d 553 (11th Cir. 2015).
     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).
     A K-9 officer stopped a motorist for a traffic violation, and issued a warning after attending to everything related to the stop, including checking driver's licenses. He then asked for consent to walk his dog around the vehicle, which was refused. The officer continued to detain the motorist until a second officer arrived and then retrieved his dog who alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle. A search subsequently found methamphetamine. The detention lasted about seven to eight minutes following the time the warning was issued until the dog alerted. The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote, held that absent reasonable suspicion the extension of a traffic stop in order to conduct a dog sniff constitutes an unreasonable search. On remand, the court should consider whether the detention for the dog sniff was independently supported by individualized suspicion. Rodriguez v. United States, #13-9972, 2015 U.S. Lexis 2807. While the decision was made in the context of a criminal proceeding, the Court's reasoning would also apply in a federal civil rights lawsuit.
     Officers had reasonable suspicion for an investigatory Terry stop when they saw a man they believed was a suspect in two homicides in a group on a porch. When they approached, the entire group fled, and it was reasonable for them to conduct further investigation, including stopping a vehicle fleeing the scene, detaining the occupants, drawing a weapon, and handcuffing a suspect while attempting to control the scene and account for those who had been on the porch. Matz v. Klotka, #12-1674, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 19074 (7th Cir.).
     Commercial fishers driving on a public highway in an auto were stopped by officers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to check for violations of fish and game laws. None were found during the inspection. In a lawsuit, the fishers claimed that the stop and search of their vehicles violated their rights and that officers from the Department had harassed them over the years. A federal appeals court found that the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity as the law on suspicionless warrantless searches was clearly established. The search lacked any suspicion of unlawful conduct or any statutory authority making the search permissible under an administrative search exception to the warrant requirement. A substantive due process claim, however, was time barred under the applicable statute of limitations. Tarabochia v. Adkins, #11-35837, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 17422 (9th Cir.).
     An officer's mistaken perception that the driver rather than a passenger was drinking alcohol in a double parked vehicle was objectively reasonable. Reasonable suspicion justified an investigatory stop and there was an objectively reasonable fear of danger justifying the officers drawing their weapons, handcuffing the vehicle occupants, and conducting a protective sweep of the vehicle when the driver failed to properly raise his hands and moved in the vehicle with his hands concealed. The 30 minutes taken for the stop was not unreasonable and the officers were entitled to qualified immunity on unlawful search and seizure claims. Williams v. Decker, #13-2074, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 13727 (8th Cir.).
     A state trooper stopped an interstate motorist for speeding, and based on her answers to a few questions, decided to ask if he could search her car for drugs. She refused, and the trooped called for help from a K-9 unit officer to conduct a dog sniff. A two hour search was conducted and no drugs were found. A federal appeals court agreed with the trial court that the K-9 officer could not establish probable cause for the car search prior to the dog sniff. Additionally, there were disputed facts as to whether the dog alerted before jumping into the car and whether the K-9 officer facilitated the dog's entry into the car before probable cause was established, so his motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity was denied. Felders v. Malcom, #12-4154, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 11627 (10th Cir.).
     A police officer allegedly made a "high-risk" stop of a woman's vehicle, which he mistakenly identified as stolen based on an automatic license plate reader's error. She was detained for up to 20 minutes at gunpoint, forced to her knees, and handcuffed. The dismissal of the lawsuit was reversed, as a rational jury could find for the plaintiff on her wrongful seizure, false arrest, or excessive force claims. Qualified immunity was not available as the court could not say, as a matter of law, that the officer could have reasonably believed that the force used was lawful under the alleged circumstances. There was no indication at the scene of the incident that the motorist posed any threat. Green v. City and County of San Francisco, #11-17892, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 8824 (9th Cir.).
    The totality of the circumstances gave a California Highway Patrol officer reasonable suspicion that a driver was intoxicated based on his pickup truck matching the description of a vehicle that a 911 caller reported as having run her off the road. The officers smelled marijuana as they approached, and they found 30 pounds of it when they searched the truck's bed. Reasonable suspicion considers “the totality of the circumstances,” and depends “upon both the content of information possessed by police and its degree of reliability.” The 911 call had adequate indicia of reliability based on the short time before the suspect vehicle was spotted and the caller's claim of eyewitness knowledge. A reasonable officer would conclude that a false tipster would think twice about calling 911. Reasonable suspicion for a brief investigative stop does not require that an officer "rule out the possibility of innocent conduct." The fact that the officer failed to observe additional suspicious conduct during the short period that he followed the truck did not destroy the reasonable suspicion of drunk driving. The traffic stop did not violate the Fourth Amendment. Navarette v. California, #12-9490,188 L. Ed. 2d 680, 2014 U.S. Lexis 2930.
     A police officer was not entitled to qualified immunity for continuing the detention of two vehicle occupants and carrying out the search of their persons and of the car, as well as having a drug sniffing dog smell around the car. The limited investigation allowable after a traffic stop had ended when the driver was given a warning. Any supposed consent was coerced as no reasonable person would feel free to leave during the continued investigation while the vehicle was detained. The continued investigation was not based on any reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, nor was there any reason to believe that either the driver or the passenger were armed and dangerous. Huff v. Reichert, #13-1734, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 4446 (7th Cir.).      Finding that an Arizona sheriff violated the constitutional rights of Hispanic drivers by stopping motorists of that origin in the course of an intended crackdown on illegal immigrants, a federal judge enjoined the practice of using race or ancestry as grounds for stopping, detaining, or holding occupants of vehicles, including in crime sweeps labeled "saturation patrols." In the quest for illegal immigrants, the court found, many U.S. citizens and legal residents of Hispanic origin were stopped and detained. Melendres v. Arpaio, #CV-07-02513, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 73869 (D. Ariz.).
    Federal agents and deputy sheriffs carried out an inspection at a border checkpoint. A father and a number of others were detained when his son fled the checkpoint in a vehicle. Three months after this incident, the father and a passenger in that vehicle were stopped while driving in a national park on the basis of a be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) report that had issued on the father's vehicle after the prior incident. Unlawful search and seizure claims were rejected because the rangers who stopped the vehicle had a reasonable suspicion that the vehicle might contain a fleeing felon or weapons. The appeals court denied, however, federal agents' motion to thrown out a false imprisonment claim under an exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act for claims arising from the detention of goods. No goods were then being detained after the son fled the checkpoint in the vehicle. The court also rejected excessive force claims against the rangers based on them drawing their weapons and handcuffing the father and his passenger during their traffic stop since they had reason to believe that those in the car might be dangerous. Davila v. United States, #12-50044, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 6749 (5th Cir.).
     A police officer was sued on a motorist's claim that he violated her Fourth Amendment rights by reading a piece of her mail while he searched her car with her consent following a traffic stop. It violates a person's rights when an officer reads their private papers, the text of which was not in plain view, while conducting a search based on generalized consent to search an area in which the letter was found. The officer was entitled to qualified immunity, however, as this right was not yet clearly established at the time. Winfield v. Trottier, #11-4404, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 4635 (2nd Cir.).
     The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, rejected the ruling of the Florida Supreme Court that the state had to, in every case, present an "exhaustive set of records" concerning the reliability of a drug sniffing dog used to find probable cause to search a vehicle. The proper test as to whether probable cause existed was the totalty of the circumstances test. In this case, there was evidence of the dog's training and his proficiency in finding drugs. The officer had probable cause to search the car and the defendant had not adequately contested the evidence of the dog's reliability. Florida v. Harris, #11-817, 2013 U.S. Lexis 1121.
     A man and his wife traveling in a car with the wife driving encountered a police officer using a radar device. The husband knew this because he had a radar detector. He gave the officer "the finger" to express his disapproval of what the officer was doing. The officer stopped the vehicle, which had not been speeding or committing any traffic violations. When both occupants got out, they were ordered to get back in the car, which they did. Subsequently, the husband again got out of the vehicle, seeking to speak to the three officers present, and repeated twice that he felt "like an ass." He was arrested for disorderly conduct. Reversing summary judgment for the defendant officers, a federal appeals court ruled that the vehicle stop was not lawful, and that qualified immunity for the officers was improper, since a reasonable officer would not have thought that the mere insult of "giving the finger" provided a basis for initiating a law enforcement process, or that there was probable cause for a disorderly conduct arrest. A malicious prosecution claim also should not have been rejected on the basis of summary judgment for the defendants. Swartz v. Insogna, #11-2846, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 186 (2nd Cir.).
     After a traffic stop for an expired registration, a motorist drove off, and the officer pursued him, stopping him a second time and using pepper spray against him. The motorist pulled a gun and shot the officer four times before running him over twice, killing him. A civilian witness to the incident approached the shooter and asked him to drop his gun. When he refused, the witness himself drew a gun and shot and killed him. He feared that the man might shoot either him or his son, who had gone to try to assist the dying officer. The dead motorist's father filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the dead officer, the town and its police officials and the civilian shooter. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the dead officer and the town, as the plaintiff failed to present any evidence showing that the officer had violated the motorist's rights in any way. There was no evidence that the initial stop was without grounds, and he had not shown that the car's registration was then current. The court also rejected arguments that excessive force had been used by the officer during the second stop. Kenney v. Floyd, #12-163, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 24699 (1st Cir).
     The operators of a shuttle bus service in Arizona brought a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming that Border Patrol agents who repeatedly stopped their bus violated their Fourth Amendment rights. The buses never crossed the border with Mexico. Five supervisors of the agents were entitled to dismissal of the claims against them as there was no clear allegation that these five defendants, through their own actions, violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights. A viable claim was alleged as to one defendant, however, as the plaintiffs plausibly asserted that he had them stopped on the sole basis of the apparent Mexican ancestry of themselves and their passengers. A reasonable Border Patrol supervisor could have known that this was a characteristic insufficient to create reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify a stop. Chavez v. U.S., #10-17659, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 12555 (9th Cir.).
     Officers who saw a vehicle "filled to the brim" with piles of clothing and other personal items going around apparently at random in a high crime neighborhood at 1:30 a.m. had reasonable suspicion to stop the car. Once stopped, the officers saw a child sitting in a child seat with diapers and clothes in his lap. They soon learned from a dispatcher that his wife had reported him as attempting to leave town with the child. They then had sufficient grounds for a more prolonged detention and investigation based on these factors and the man's nervousness. They also had a basis to transport him to the police station based on information about a domestic incident with his wife. When he failed to be able to produce a driver's license, there was probable cause for an arrest. He was a Marine back from duty in Iraq and allegedly mentally disturbed. Subsequently, the officers acted lawfully in detaining and committing him for psychiatric evaluation. His rights were not violated. Hoover v. Walsh, #11-1333, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 11929 (6th Cir.).
     The U.S. Supreme Court held that attaching a GPS device to a vehicle to track a criminal suspect constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment. It upheld the ruling of a federal appeals court suppressing the evidence and overturning a conviction based on it, since the device was attached without a valid warrant authorizing it. The Court declined to consider the government's alternative argument that the attachment and use of the device was a reasonable search, because it was not raised in the courts below. U.S. v. Jones, #10-1259, 2012 WL 171117, 2012 U.S. Lexis 1063.
     A member of a municipality's auxiliary police reserve stopped a motorist, despite his lack of authority under state law to do so. After arresting her and learning that she was homeless, he allegedly took her to an empty parking lot and sexually molested her under the pretext of taking her to a homeless shelter. She sued over the sexual assault as well as for a search of her car and its contents, carried out after she was under arrest and confined to the back of the officer's vehicle. The defendant could not assert a qualified immunity defense, because he was clearly acting in excess of his legal authority. The search of the vehicle violated the Fourth Amendment since the arrestee could not then reach anything in it and there was no basis to suspect that the search would produce any evidence of her supposed traffic violation or any other crime. Johnson v. Phillips, # 11–1367, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 25572 (8th Cir.).
     A man who alleged that officers detained him and searched his car because someone complained that he was filming a woman on the street from his vehicle adequately stated a valid Fourth Amendment violation. The officers lacked probable cause because "nothing remotely" indicated that anything he was doing was illegal. Catledge v. City of Chicago, #11-1110, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 13611 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
     In an unlawful search and seizure lawsuit over officers' warrantless search of a man's home and vehicle following his arrest, officers were properly denied qualified immunity. There were genuine issues of fact as to whether the search of his home, which they characterized as a protective sweep, lasted for ten minutes or three hours, and whether they had consent to enter his home. There was also a genuine issue as to whether they had probable cause to search his vehicle, which they might not have connected to him prior to their search of his home. Asher v. McClure, #10-13751, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 8247 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
      Following the involvement of a motorist's vehicle in a fatal collision with a pedestrian, the downloading of data from the car's sensing and diagnostic module (SDM), also sometimes referred to as an event data recorder (EDR), violated his Fourth Amendment rights, so that the trial judge erroneously denied a motion to suppress the resulting evidence. The downloading took place a year after the accident, and was not incident to arrest, and was also done without a warrant. The court held that the defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data. People v. Xinos, #H034305, 2011 Cal. App. Lexis 153, .192 Cal. App. 4th 637 (6th Dist.).
    A federal appeals court has ruled that police must obtain a warrant before using Global Positioning System (GPS) devices to monitor vehicles and their locations. The court reasoned that the use of such devices constitutes a seizure under the Fourth Amendment because "prolonged GPS monitoring reveals an intimate picture of the subject's life that he expects no one to have." Evidence obtained by the GPS device was the result of tracking the location and speed of a suspect's vehicle around the clock for 28 days, and the transmission of data to law enforcement agents who placed the device on the vehicle. While the decision came in a criminal appeal, the reasoning would also apply in a federal civil rights case contending that the placement of such a device on a car without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment. U.S. v. Maynard, #08-3030, 615 F.3d 544 (D.C. Cir. 2010).
     A federal appeals court has held that a police dog's action in leaping into a car, which was left open by a motorist, was based on "pure instinct" that drugs would be found there and did not constitute a violation of the motorist's Fourth Amendment rights. The dog, once inside, alerted to the areas of the passenger seat and glove box. Evidence including cocaine and cash subsequently found in the glove compartment when officers then conducted a search did not need to be suppressed. While the ruling occurred in a criminal case, the same reasoning would apply in a federal civil rights lawsuit concerning similar facts. The appeals court, after reviewing a video of the incident involving the drug-sniffing dog, rejected the motorist's claim that the officer who was handling the dog had encouraged it to leap into the car. Prior caselaw has held that an interior sniff of a vehicle may be a 4th Amendment violation if the officer facilitates or encourages the dog's entry into a car. In this case, the dog's interior sniffs, "as a natural migration from his initial exterior sniffs, did not constitute a search requiring a warrant or probable cause." United States v. Pierce, #09-3865, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 20212 (3rd Cir.).
     An officer pulled over a motorist, informing him that his vehicle did not have a required inspection sticker, then discovering that his driver's license was suspended and that his vehicle registration was expired. The officer told the driver to exit the car, and searched his person as well as the vehicle, despite the driver's refusal to consent to the car search, and later conducted an inventory search of the car. The driver claimed that his Fourth Amendment rights had been violated. The officer argued that, before conducting the first search of the vehicle, he had observed that the driver had bloodshot eyes as well as seeing a marijuana seed in the vehicle, which was disputed. The appeals court ruled that the officer was not entitled to summary judgment as to the first vehicle search, Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the officer would not have had probable cause to conduct the first vehicle search on the basis that there were drugs in the car. Gomez v. Markley, #08-3515, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 13591 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
     A federal appeals court rejected a constitutional challenge to a municipal ordinance barring the use of wireless phones without a "hands free" device while driving. Officers had probable cause to stop a motorist for violation of the ordinance, so there was no violation of the Fourth Amendment. The plaintiff also failed to show any violation of equal protection in the ordinance's enforcement. Schor v. City of Chicago, No. 08-2837, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 17993 (7th Cir.).
     A police officer ticketing the plaintiff's car near a crime scene saw bolt cutters in plain view in the backseat. While the plaintiff was detained for suspected burglary of another construction site, he admitted to owning the car and receiving a ticket. After a detective confirmed, by a visual examination, that a paint chip and damaged parts found at a crime scene matched the car, there was probable cause to seize the car. The appeals court rejected the plaintiff's claim that officers had to obtain a warrant to seize the car under these circumstances. Morgan v. Township of Glencoe, #08-2003, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 14595 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
     The highest court in New York ruled that officers may not place a global positioning system (GPS) location tracking device on a private motor vehicle without obtaining a warrant to do so. In this case, officers placed the tracking device on the defendant's car, and used it to track the vehicle's location for 65 days, including its speed and location readings approximately once a minute while the car was in motion. This was allegedly done without a clear justification. The court stated that the 24-hour a day information about a vehicle's location provides disclosure of private trips that may lead to inferences about such things as amorous, religious, and political associations. The court stated that the “potential for a similar capture of information or ‘seeing’ by law enforcement would require, at a minimum, millions of additional police officers and cameras on every street lamp,” so that the GPS tracking devices involve a higher level of privacy threat than simple tracking beepers the U.S. Supreme Court has previously allowed to be placed on cars without a warrant. "Without judicial oversight, the use of these powerful devices presents a significant and, to our minds, unacceptable risk of abuse. Under our State Constitution, in the absence of exigent circumstances, the installation and use of a GPS device to monitor an individual's whereabouts requires a warrant supported by probable cause." People v. Weaver, #53, 2009 N.Y. Lexis 944.
     Police officers were entitled to qualified immunity for their actions in seizing a vehicle from a parking lot and returning it to the purported owner, who had insurance documents and a vehicle registration showing that the vehicle was hers. She also showed the officers a court-issued summons, which indicated that the vehicle was being operated in violation of state law and without her permission. The possessor of the vehicle claimed that carrying out the seizure without a warrant violated his Fourth Amendment rights, but the officers could reasonably have believed that their actions were legal. Bumgarner v. Hart, #08-1724, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 4650 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
     Police officer had probable cause to stop a vehicle for violation of an excessive noise statute for playing loud music. When a second officer arrived on the scene, subjecting the motorist to a dog sniff of his car was not a Fourth Amendment violation, since it did not unduly prolong the length of the stop while the citation for noise was being written. Further proceedings were required, however, as to the reasonableness of the searches of the motorist's car and person after the dog allegedly alerted to the driver's seat. This search, the court stated, was not justified as a search incident to arrest, and the motorist's claim that the officer conducted a digital body cavity search of his anus, if true, would indicate an unreasonable search. Pillow v. City of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., No. 07-6464, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 22737 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
     County police officers, a city police officer, and an FBI agent were conducting surveillance on a street when they thought they saw a burglary in progress at a house. They entered the house, and encountered two children, one of whom they tackled, pointing a gun at his head, and using mace against him, while the second child watched. Other children were in a vehicle outside the home with their mother, and officers attempted to stop it. In a lawsuit brought by the mother and her six children, a federal trial court granted the FBI agent summary judgment on claims concerning the alleged seizure of the vehicle and its occupants, since there was no evidence that he was anywhere near the vehicle at the time, and could not be held vicariously liable for the alleged actions of the other defendants concerning the vehicle, since they did not act at his direction or even with his knowledge. The appeals court denied the motion by the FBI agent, the city officer, and one of the county officers for summary judgment on claims by one child who was inside the house for excessive use of force. The court ruled that the alleged spraying of the child with mace while two other defendants allegedly held guns to his head could constitute "excessive" use of force. Couden v. Duffey, No. 03-369, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 9681 (D. Del.).
     A county sheriff could not be sued, on the basis of his role as supervisor of deputies who arrived on the scene after FBI agents arrested the plaintiff for bank robbery, and impounded the getaway car, resulting in the impound lot later selling the vehicle after sending the arrestee a notice and publicly posting one. Even if the deputies were found to have violated the plaintiff's rights, the sheriff did not personally participate in, authorize, or acquiesce in their actions. The court also rejected the argument that the impounding of the vehicle under these circumstances constituted conversion since a law enforcement officer may tow and impound a vehicle following a driver's arrest for bank robbery or similar offenses. Eaton v. Whetsel, No. 07-6262, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 11367 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     While police acted properly in stopping a motorist's vehicle for a traffic violation, and in asking her to exit the vehicle when she could not produce her vehicle registration or proof of insurance, there were questions of genuine fact as to whether they acted in an objectively reasonable manner in acting as though she posed a risk to them or others based on her "argumentative" behavior, and in conducting a pat-down search, even though they never stated that they believed that she was armed. During the traffic stop, the motorist fell, appeared to have a seizure, and died, apparently of a ruptured berry aneurysm. The court rejected a state law wrongful death claim, since there was no evidence that anything the officers did caused the bleeding or the motorist's death. The plaintiff, the motorist's estate, could proceed with a Fourth Amendment claim arising out of the pat-down search. Pinnock v. City of New Haven, No. 3:05cv927, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 39008 (D. Conn.).
     A police officer stopped one motorist for speeding, and a second driver, who had been following the first vehicle, stopped on his own and told the officer that the two vehicles had been traveling together. The officer concluded that the second driver must have been speeding also, and ticketed both drivers. The second driver claimed that the officer engaged in race discrimination. The appeals court rejected that argument, noting that the first driver was white and was the motorist stopped by the officer. Additionally, as the plaintiff driver was never seized or searched, he could not pursue a Fourth Amendment claim. Probable cause existed for the ticket. Idahosa v. Despines, No. 07-2544, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 9485 (7th Cir.).
     A police officer stopped a motorist based on his knowledge of a report that Mexican gang members had threatened a man at a residence and his observation of two Hispanic men making a turn and looking at that man's apartment. Rejecting the argument that the stop violated the motorist's rights, a federal appeals court found that the officer made the stop on the basis of his experience and observations, which indicated that the motorist and his passenger might be in the area to carry out the recently reported threat. Lopez v. Bartlett, No. 06-55860, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 4690 (9th Cir.).
     Police officers followed a suspect's vehicle on the basis of reasonable suspicion that he was engaged in drug activity, and observed him commit what they reasonably believed were multiple traffic offenses. They also did not issue the arrestee a traffic summons until after his vehicle had collided with an unmarked police vehicle. In light of that, the plaintiff failed to show that the officers, as he claimed, caused the accident, filed a false report for the purpose of violating his constitutional rights, or engaged in traffic stops based on race. The officers were entitled to qualified immunity. The court also rejected claims against an auto dealer asserting that it lent the police department vehicles knowing that the officers would carry out traffic stops on the basis of race. Martin v. Lakewood Police Dept., No. 07-4542, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 3786 (3rd Cir.).
     City and towing company did not violate the rights of a motorist by placing a "boot" on her car, and having it towed and impounded from its location in a condominium building's parking area after the motorist failed to pay certain parking tickets. The vehicle owner had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the parking area because it was shared in common with other occupants of the building. The seizure of the vehicle under the circumstances was authorized by an Illinois state statute, and the plaintiff did not claim that the established procedures for such seizures were violated. Police officers had probable cause to believe that the car was subject to impounding, and the applicable law did not require a warrant to boot and tow the vehicle. Kosyla v. City of Des Plaines, No. 06-2032, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 28034 (7th Cir.).
     Sheriff's deputies believed that a parked car was "suspicious" because some boxes and a 5-gallon can could be seen within it. The vehicle was observed within days of some "controversial" international meetings being held in Miami, Florida at which political demonstrations were anticipated, the Free Trade Area of the Americas ("FTAA") ministerial hearings, in November 2003. Upon being informed of the vehicle by the deputies, the officer in charge of the city's bomb squad arrived on the scene and "rendered it safe" by destroying it. The officer, based on the circumstances, was entitled to qualified immunity and had at least "arguable" probable cause to take the actions he carried out. Claims against the city will proceed. Vogel v. City of Miami, No. 07-20436, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 85438 (S.D. Fla.).
     An officer who conducted a search of the arrestee's vehicle while the arrestee was being taken to the police station was not entitled to qualified immunity on an unlawful vehicle search claim. A search, which occurred immediately after the arrestee was placed in the patrol car, was proper, and incident to arrest, but the later search was no longer incident to arrest. Brown v. Fisher, No. 06-3207, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 24258 (10th Cir.).
     Officers had sufficient grounds to stop the plaintiff's truck, based on information from witnesses who reported seeing fireworks being set off from a dark colored pickup truck in the area. There was, therefore, no unlawful search and seizure. Miller v. O'Bryan, No. 1:05-CV-0429, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 56911 (N.D.N.Y.).
    Officer's observation of a motorist's defective brake lights was sufficient to support a traffic stop of his vehicle. A federal appeals court rejects the motorist's argument that the officer acted improperly by allegedly pulling him over because his vehicle was "run down," rejecting a claim for supposed "economic profiling." Steskal v. Benton County, No. 06-35053, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 20415 (9th Cir.).
     Officer who stopped vehicle he claimed was going over the posted 25 mile per hour speed limit was not entitled to summary judgment on claims arising from the stop and search of the vehicle, when the driver claimed that he was traveling at exactly the speed limit. The issue of what speed the motorist was traveling at was a factual dispute which had to be resolved by the trial court. Strepka v. Sailors, No. 05-cv-02546, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 47858 (D. Colo).
     Even if traffic rule violations are "civil in nature" under California state law, this did not render officers' actions in stopping a vehicle and arresting the "belligerent" driver who refused to produce his driver's license. The federal appeals court rejected the argument that traffic offenses were "decriminalized" under state law, but found that even if they had been, this would not somehow transform the officers' actions into a Fourth Amendment violation. Officers have discretion to make custodial arrests under California law for failure to present a driver's license after operating a vehicle. Trotter v. Stonich, No. 05-56320, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 19954 (9th Cir.).
     The defense of qualified immunity available to officers in federal civil rights lawsuits filed under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 does not apply to claims arising out of the same incident asserted in a California state law civil rights lawsuit filed under Cal. Civil Code Sec. 52.1 for interference with statutory or constitutional rights. The case involved claims that deputies acted improperly in connection with the plaintiffs' detention, the search and seizure of their car, and the subsequent search of their home. While the deputies were entitled to qualified immunity on a federal civil rights claim because certain actions, even if unlawful, were "reasonable mistakes," an intermediate California appeals court ruled that the defense of qualified immunity does not apply as to the California state civil rights claim, requiring further proceedings. Venegas v. County of Los Angeles, No. B186764, 2007 Cal. App. Lexis 1267 (Cal. App.).
     U.S. Supreme Court rules that a passenger in a car subjected to a traffic stop by a police officer is seized for Fourth Amendment purposes, as much as the driver is, and therefore may challenge the constitutionality of the stop. While the case arose in the context of a criminal prosecution, its reasoning would also be applicable in a federal civil rights lawsuit brought under the same circumstances. Brendlin v. California, No. 06-8120 127 S. Ct. 2400 (2007).
     Motorist who was stopped by a state trooper for driving 61 miles per hour in a 30 m.p.h zone failed to show that the officer acted unreasonably in detaining him for an additional four minutes after he wrote a traffic ticket, in order to await the arrival of a requested police dog, and an additional twelve minutes to search his vehicle after the dog alerted to the passenger side of the car. All of the officer's actions were reasonable under the circumstances, including the motorist's strong body odor, which the officer thought might indicate drug use, and information that the officer had concerning the motorist's prior drug arrest, and his observation of the motorist's pupils, which were small, and which could be indicative of drug use. Morris v. Dean, No. 06-14739, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 10832 (11th Cir.).
     Motorist's claim that a traffic stop and laws that required him to have a state issued license, vehicle registration, and license plates to drive a vehicle, rather than using what he called "private property identification plates" violated his constitutional right to travel were meritless. The court noted that these requirements at issue, if the motorist did not comply with them, only denied him one method of transportation--a self-driven car, and therefore did not impermissibly burden his right to travel. Dean v. Honish, No. 07-1369, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 11197 (7th Cir.).
     The use of a drug-sniffing dog to sniff outside a motorist's vehicle was not a search under the Fourth Amendment, so there was no requirement that the officers get the motorist's consent before using the dog in this manner. The use of the dog sniff on the outside of the car did not change the valid traffic stop into an unreasonable seizure. Hugueley v. Dresden Police Department, No. 05-1348, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 4922 (W.D. Tenn.). [N/R]
     Ferry transportation company's policy of randomly selecting passengers and vehicles for searches of their carry-on baggage or trunks, adopted in response to the Maritime Transportation Security Act, 46 U.S.C. Secs. 70101-70119, did not violate the Fourth Amendment under the "special needs" doctrine. The searches conducted were not overly intrusive and there was a special need to prevent terrorist attacks on large vessels involved in mass transportation which were found by the Coast Guard to be at an elevated risk of attack. Cassidy v. Chertoff, No. 05-1835, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 29388 (2nd Cir.). [N/R]
     Tennessee Highway Patrol officers were entitled to qualified immunity for stopping a vehicle containing three family members, based on mistaken dispatches giving them reason to believe that the occupants had been involved in a robbery. Appeals court reinstates, however, father's excessive force claim against two troopers who allegedly tackled him and threw him to the pavement face first while handcuffed when he reacted "with horror" to the shooting and killing of a family dog which ran out of the vehicle. Smoak v. Hall, No. 05-6511, 460 F.3d 768 (6th Cir. 2006). [2006 LR Nov]
     Evidence supported jury verdict that a series of traffic stops, equipment compliance citations, and a vehicle impoundment were carried out against a California man to unlawfully retaliate against him for his protected free speech activity of complaining about a California Highway Patrol officer to his department. Federal appeals court upholds award of $500,000 in compensatory damages, but rules that punitive damage awards of $4 million were excessive and must be substantially reduced. Plaintiff also receives $800,000 in attorneys' fees. Grassilli v. Barr, No. D044931, 2006 Cal. App. Lexis 1384 (Cal. 4th App. Dist.). [2006 LR Nov]
     Drug suspect's arrest, pursuant to arrest warrant was lawful, and so was the search of the car he was going towards at the time of his arrest, which an informant had told officers had previously had marijuana in it. A search of his second car, found parked in a lot in his apartment complex, if conducted, was not legal, since the officers lacked a warrant, probable cause, a concern for officer safety, or consent to search it. Mack v. City of Abilene, No. 05-10844, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 21033 (5th Cir.). [2006 LR Oct]
     Complaint in lawsuit brought by Hispanic and African-American motorists claiming that county police had a policy of racial profiling in traffic stops was sufficient to meeting the minimum requirements of pleading in federal court, including claims against the county for municipal liability. Feliciano v. County of Suffolk, No. 04-CV-5321, 419 F. Supp. 2d 302 (E.D.N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
     There were issues of fact as to whether an officer's stop of a vehicle and search of a passenger in it was motivated by racial bias, and whether the stop of the vehicle was justified by reasonable suspicion of a crime, barring summary judgment. Johnson v. Anhorn, No. 03-2424, 416 F. Supp. 2d 338 (E.D. Pa. 2006). [N/R]
     Officers had probable cause to stop motorist's vehicle under the Fourth Amendment when it was missing a required front license plate. An officer's subsequent impounding of the vehicle was not "extortion" or any other "racketeering" offense required to support the motorist's subsequent claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1951(b)(2), since there was legal authority for his actions. Further, the court rules that the city, as an entity, was not legally capable of "malicious intent" required to support a civil RICO action against it under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1961 et seq. Banks v. Department of Motor Vehicles, No. CV 05-2037, 419 F. Supp. 2d 1186 (C.D. Cal. 2006). [N/R]
     Mother and her five children could proceed with their lawsuit asserting civil rights claims based on officers' actions in approaching her car with guns drawn in front of her house when they mistakenly believed that her 14-year-old son, who exited the vehicle, was a fugitive they hoped to apprehend at a nearby house. Couden v. Duffy, No. 04-1732, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 10801 (3d Cir.). [2006 LR Jun]
     Officers had a reasonable articulable suspicion of criminal conduct sufficient to stop and search suspect's truck, based on information from a confidential informant and other information suggesting that the suspect and an accomplice were buying decongestant tablets containing pseudoephedrine in large quantities to use for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Officers had probable cause to make an arrest after discovery of a large quantity of syringes and needles, including one used needle, and a bag containing 11 boxes of pseudoephedrine tablets. Kilgore v. City of Stroud, No. 04-6273, 158 Fed. Appx. 944 (10th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Officer's stop of a motorist's vehicle was based on reasonable suspicion that the vehicle matched the description of a getaway car involved in an armed bank nearby, so that the investigation, lasting twenty minutes, and involving the handcuffing of the driver while the car trunk and inside were searched did not violate the motorist's Fourth Amendment rights, despite the fact that it turned out that she and her vehicle were not involved in any criminal activity. Lavender v. City of Blue Ash, No. 05-3058, 162 Fed. Appx. 548 (6th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
     Police officer was not entitled to qualified immunity on motorist's claim that he commanded her to stop her vehicle through display of his authority, although she was an "innocent" driver. Her right to be free from unreasonable seizure was clearly established. Kingdom v. City of Rivera Beach, No. 05-10870, 154 Fed. Appx. 131 (11th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Officers' observation of obscured vehicle registration sticker on license plate gave them probable cause to stop truck for investigation, even if their real motivation was to investigate a 9-1-1 call concerning the driver of a truck allegedly taking photos of a little girl walking in the area. No reasonable jury could have found that they lacked probable cause for the stop or that the motorist's subsequent consent to the search of his truck and home was coerced. Davis v. Novy, No. 04-4096 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 265 (7th Cir.). [2006 LR Feb]
     Police officer's videotaping of a traffic stop, and of a subsequent search of the motorist's home, did not violate any clearly established right of the motorist, who was stopped for speeding. The officer was also entitled to qualified immunity for asking the driver whether he would be willing to submit to a search of his person, vehicle and home, which revealed marijuana in his pocket. While the drugs were suppressed during a criminal prosecution against the motorist on the basis that the consent given was not voluntary, the federal appeals court ruled that a reasonable officer, under the circumstances, could have believed that the consent was consensual. The Vermont Supreme Court ordered further proceedings, however, as to whether officers engaged in unnecessarily destructive behavior of the motorist's property during the search of his home, and whether they violated his rights when, following the initial search of his home, they returned and allegedly forced their way in again over his wife's objections. Sprague v. Nally, No. 03-489, 882 A.2d 1164 (Vt. 2005). [N/R]
     Texas state troopers were entitled to qualified immunity for using force against vehicle passenger during traffic stop which resulted in her suffering a broken arm when there was reasonable suspicion to investigate whether she was guilty of public intoxication, and her "aggressive demeanor" and the possibility that she had a weapon justified a pat-down search and handcuffing. Her "further resistance" to the search and handcuffing provided the authorization for the amount of force used. Padilla v. Mason, No. 08-03-00123-CV, 169 S.W.3d 493 (Tex. App.--El Paso 2005). [N/R]
     Impoundment of car from the owners' driveway after an officer observed the husband teaching his unlicensed wife how to drive was an unreasonable seizure unjustified by the "community caretaking" doctrine. Summary judgment for city and towing company in lawsuit was improper. Miranda v. City of Cornelius, No. 04-35940, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 24666 (9th Cir.). [2006 LR Jan]
     A motorist was not precluded, by his state misdemeanor conviction for going through a stop sign, from pursuing his federal civil rights claim based on his alleged unreasonable stop, unreasonable detention and unreasonable search. Under California state law, the misdemeanor conviction was not necessarily binding in a subsequent civil lawsuit. Federal court rules that, in a federal civil rights lawsuit, a prior state court proceeding will be given the same preclusive effect, or lack of effect, as would be given to that proceeding in state court. Heck v. Humphrey, No. 93-6188, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), which bars federal civil rights lawsuits for damages if success in that claim would necessarily imply the invalidity of a conviction not previously set aside, does not, the federal trial court held, apply if the plaintiff is no longer in custody. Cole v. Doe 1 through 2 Officers of the City of Emeryville Police Dept., No. C-03-5643, 387 F. Supp. 2d 1084 (N.D. Cal. 2005). [N/R]
     Officer acted properly, while investigating a prowler call, in stopping the only car observed in the area, which had tinted windows obstructing his view inside, and he and another officer acted properly in attempting to conduct a pat-down search of a passenger outside the vehicle who was known to be a convicted narcotics felon. Appeals court fails to reach issues of whether officers acted lawfully, however, in shooting passenger, and in hitting him and using a dog against him after the shooting, in light of disputes as to whether he was actually armed with a gun and continued to pose a threat after he was shot. Holeman v. City of New London, No. 04-5031, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 21213 (2nd Cir.). [2005 LR Nov]
     Officer's alleged premature termination of breathalyzer test when motorist was initially unable to produce an acceptable breath sample, resulting in driver's license being suspended for purported refusal to submit to the test, was not a "conscience-shocking" act sufficient to support a claim for violation of substantive due process. Depoutot v. Raffaelly, No. 05-1529, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 21444 (1st Cir.). [2005 LR Nov]
     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]
     Search warrant issued for impounded auto as part of investigation of double murder was not a "valid" warrant on which reliance was objectively reasonable when the make, model, year, VIN, and license plate number were wrong and actually described another auto owned by another member of the same family. Officers were therefore improperly granted summary judgment on claims that they unlawfully searched the vehicle. Knott v. Sullivan, No. 04-3045, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 16588 (6th Cir.). [2005 LR Sep]
     Police officer did not violate tow truck driver's Fourth Amendment rights by stopping her vehicle to investigate whether she had towed a car in violation of the provisions of a county ordinance, when the ordinance required that the car owner or their agent be present, and the towing company had a history of repeatedly ignoring that provision of the law. Poole v. Pass, No. 1:04CV1268, 351 F. Supp. 2d 473 (E.D. Va. 2005). [N/R]
     Sheriff's deputies did not violate an arrestee's rights by impounding his motor home and inventorying the contents after his arrest for driving without a valid driver's license. Despite the arrestee's argument that there were other occupants of the vehicle who could have driven the vehicle away, the impoundment was carried out under the sheriff department's standard policy, and there was no evidence that the deputies acted for the sole purpose of conducting a criminal investigation or in bad faith. Rose v. Loos, #03-35986, 130 Fed. Appx. 78 (9th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Police chief should have known that the warrantless seizure of 70 "derelict" vehicles from salvage yard property was unlawful and that ordinance providing for such seizures without pre- or post-deprivations hearings violated due process. His supposed reliance on the ordinance and consultation with a city attorney did not excuse him from knowing the applicable law. Lawrence v. Reed, No. 04-8030, 406 F.3d 1224 (10th Cir. 2005). [2005 LR Jul]
Officer had reasonable suspicion to make an investigatory traffic stop based on a number of factors, including traffic violations, and the location and time of day, entitling him to qualified immunity on racial profiling claims asserted by vehicle's occupants. Anderson v. Bott, No. 03-16169, 127 Fed. Appx. 266 (9th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     California officers who presented a car owner with the choice of being arrested on the basis of a "repo man's" citizen complaint or agreeing to allow him to repossess the vehicle did not violate her Fourth Amendment or due process rights. They were faced with conflicting versions of who had last had possession of the vehicle and were trying to peacefully resolve a late-night confrontation. Meyers v. Redwood City, No. 03-15872, 400 F.3d 765 (9th Cir. 2005). [2005 LR May]
     Federal appeals court upholds constitutionality of Detroit anti-vice operation involving the use of undercover female police officers posing as prostitutes in high-crime areas to make arrests for soliciting prostitution and seize vehicles driven or utilized by males, imposing forfeiture if applicable fees and fines were not subsequently Ross v. Duggan , No. 02-1987, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 28049 (6th Cir. 2004), recommended for full publication, 2005. [2005 LR May]
     Police officer could not have had sufficient reasonable suspicion to stop a car based on an anonymous phone call which said teenagers in baggy pants were looking into the windows of cars in a hotel parking lot and his observation of the motorist's car coming from the hotel soon after the report of the call. The officer was not entitled to qualified immunity because he reasonably should have known that he needed to corroborate the anonymous tip. The call itself did not report any criminal conduct. Srisavath v. Richardson, #03-5869, 115 Fed. Appx. 820 (6th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Officer did not violate clearly established law in stopping a cab and detaining its driver, despite the fact that the cab bore a different number than the vehicle reported to be involved in an armed robbery when the cab was within a mile of the reported crime and the driver matched a general description of a suspect. Davis v. City of Cincinnati, No. 03-4599, 113 Fed. Appx. 662 (6th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     A determination by a state traffic tribunal that there had been probable cause under Rhode Island law to stop a vehicle barred relitigation of the issue in the motorist's subsequent federal civil rights lawsuit claiming that the stop was unlawful. Wiggins v. Rhode Island, #02-1418, 326 F. Supp. 2d 297 (D.R.I. 2004). [N/R]
     Officer had a proper basis for stopping a vehicle even if motorist was correct in disputing the officer's claim that he had not come to a complete stop, when he did not dispute that he failed to give a turn signal and that he was in violation of a requirement to display temporary vehicle tags. Officer was entitled to summary judgment in motorist's federal civil rights lawsuit, since he did have two undisputedly valid reasons for stopping the vehicle. Carr v. City of Erie, #03-3607, 110 Fed. Appx. 236 (3rd Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     The application of a California statute, prohibiting "unauthorized" emergency vehicles from using emergency light bars, to the law enforcement department of a recognized Indian tribe was discriminatory and preempted by federal law. There was no rational justification for treating tribal emergency vehicles differently than other authorized state, federal or private emergency vehicles. County sheriff's department therefore acted improperly in repeatedly stopping and citing the tribe's police officers for violating the statute whenever they traveled on non-reservation roads to respond to emergency calls from noncontiguous sections of the reservation. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians v. Smith, No. 02-56943, 388 F.3d 691 (9th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Summary judgment in federal court on civil rights claims arising out of officers' traffic stop of motorist barred him, under the doctrine of collateral estoppel from relitigating in North Carolina state court, in the context of state law claims, essential elements of his negligence, false arrest, and assault claims which had been decided against him in the federal proceeding. Defendant police officers and municipality were therefore entitled to summary judgment, since the federal court found that the officers acted reasonably in their stopping and detention of the motorist and in their show of force and pat-down search executed at the time of the stop. Williams v. City of Jacksonville Police Department, No. COA03-1450, 599 S.E.2d 422 (N.C. 2004). [N/R]
    It was clearly established prior to August of 1999 that a traffic stop of a vehicle was not permitted without some reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity, so that officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on a claim that they stopped a vehicle merely because it was observed at an "odd hour" driving through a "high crime" area in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Holeman v. City of New London, No. 3:00CV1608 (DJS), 330 F. Supp. 2d 99 (D. Conn. 2004).[N/R]
     Summary judgment for officers on motorist's illegal search claim overturned because of a material issue of fact as to whether a firearm seized was visible from outside the vehicle. Boone v. Spurgess, No. 03-3841, 385 F.3d 923 (6th Cir. 2004). [2004 LR Dec]
     Motorists' claims against individual officers that they were stopped and searched without probable cause were time-barred when they were not named as individual defendants until after the statute of limitations expired. While the city had allegedly refused to release the officers' names to the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs only filed their lawsuit one month before the statute expired, and failed to pursue discovery requests to obtain the officers' names until seven months later, so they were not entitled to tolling (extension) of the statute of limitations. Hines v. City of Chicago, #03-1595, 91 Fed. Appx. 501 (7th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Officer's suspicion that vehicle was speeding was objectively reasonable despite his reliance on his own observations rather than on use of radar device when he followed the vehicle for approximately a third of a mile to confirm that it was traveling at an excessive speed. His stop of the vehicle was therefore proper, and the officer acted properly in directing a passenger to exit the vehicle following the valid stop when the car contained four persons and the stop was in a "high-crime" area. Further proceedings were needed, however, on passenger's claim that the officer used excessive force against him in the course of the stop and on the issue of whether the passenger cooperated with the officer's instructions or was validly arrested for obstruction of justice. Veney v. Ojeda, 321 F. Supp. 2d 733 (E.D. Va. 2004). [N/R]
     Officers had sufficient reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle and request that the driver perform field sobriety tests after they observed a pickup truck weaving in its lane and straddling the dividing line on the highway. Blackstone v. Quirino, 309 F. Supp. 2d 117 (D. Me. 2004). [N/R]
     Officers were entitled to qualified immunity for arresting a motorist for refusal to obey orders to exit his vehicle to sign a speeding citation and for arresting his brother, a passenger, for interference with the officers in repeatedly advising the driver not to obey them. Use of pepper spray was also justified when vehicle occupants, in response to officer reaching his hand inside the vehicle, began to roll the window up on his arm. Lawyer v. City of Council Bluffs, No. 03-1032, 361 F.3d 1099 (8th Cir. 2004). [2004 LR Aug]
     Police officers who responded to a radio call for back-up during a traffic stop were entitled to qualified immunity in motorist and passengers' lawsuit challenging the reasonableness of the detention and its length, as they did not personally participate in the stop and detention and were entitled to rely on statements made by the officer who had observed the vehicle and the alleged grounds for the stop. Lewis v. City of Topeka, Kansas, 305 F. Supp. 2d 1209 (D. Kan. 2004). [N/R]
     Police officer could not be held liable for investigatory stop of car when a reasonable officer could have had articulable suspicion that the motorist had solicited a prostitute, even if that was not the officer's subjective motivation for making the stop. Federal appeals court overturns $17,500 award to motorist. Bolton v. Taylor, No. 01-2227, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 8758 (1st Cir). [2004 LR Jun]
     Inoperable tag light on truck gave officer a basis for a traffic stop, and subsequent "belligerent and confrontational" behavior by motorist provided probable cause for a custodial arrest. Officer's use of Taser gun to accomplish the arrest was not excessive force under the circumstances. Draper v. Reynolds, #03-14745, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 9498 (11th Cir.). [2004 LR Jun]
     FBI agent seeking bank robbery suspect acted reasonably in stopping a vehicle and mistakenly detaining its driver and passenger based on circumstances of his observations, including passenger's presence inside store at time when confidential informant was to have met with suspect there, and his wearing of a white baseball cap, along with order from superior to stop the vehicle. Agent was therefore entitled to qualified immunity from unlawful seizure claim. Schultz v. Braga, 290 F. Supp. 2d 637 (D. Md. 2003). [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]
     Officers' stops and detentions of African-American bicyclists, in response to information that "two black males" had stolen bicycles in the area, did not constitute selective enforcement of law based on race, in violation of equal protection. King v. City of Eastpointe, No. 01-2303, 86 Fed Appx. 790 (6th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
      Motorist convicted of cocaine trafficking on the basis of evidence uncovered during search of his vehicle following a stop for following too closely behind another vehicle could not pursue a federal civil rights claim seeking money damages for alleged unlawful search and seizure when his conviction had not been set aside, and a damage award would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction. Ballenger v. Owens, #02-7394, 352 F.3d 842 (4th Cir. 2003). [2004 LR Mar]
     Police had probable cause to conduct a warrantless search of the trunk of a city-owned motor vehicle being used by a fire department employee based on information obtained by a confidential informant that the employee had unlawfully been collecting absentee ballots at a house party and had placed a bag of them in the trunk of his city vehicle. Luellen v. City of East Chicago, #02-3188, 350 F.3d 604 (7th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Motorist asserted a claim for violation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act ("DPPA"), 18 U.S.C. § 2721, after police officer who pulled her over obtained private information from vehicle licensing records concerning her and her husband, allegedly without a permissible purpose for doing so, since he had no probable cause or reasonable suspicion to "run the plate" of the vehicle. Luparello v. Incorporated Village of Garden City, 290 F. Supp. 2d 341 (E.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
     Motorist asserted a claim for violation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act ("DPPA"), 18 U.S.C. § 2721, after police officer who pulled her over obtained private information from vehicle licensing records concerning her and her husband, allegedly without a permissible purpose for doing so, since he had no probable cause or reasonable suspicion to "run the plate" of the vehicle. Luparello v. Incorporated Village of Garden City, 290 F. Supp. 2d 341 (E.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
    Officers had probable caused to arrest the driver for obstruction of traffic and search the vehicle when he was found "asleep" at the wheel of his car in the street at an intersection during rush hour. There was no violation in arresting him for both obstruction of traffic and possession of a controlled substance even if they didn't know what the powdery substance found in the vehicle was. Ochana v. Flores, #02-2227, 347 F.3d 266 (7th Cir. 2003). [2004 LR Feb]
     Deputy was entitled to qualified immunity for stop, search, and brief detention of motorist based on a witnesses report that she had seen persons carrying "guns or squirt guns" getting into a van similar to the one he was driving. Haynie v. County of Los Angeles, No. 01-55731, 339 F.3d 1071 (9th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Nov]
     Officer did not detain a stopped motorist for an unreasonable length of time. His decision, while writing a citation for a lane violation, to seek assistance from his supervisor and wait for the supervisor to arrive, made after the driver demanded the names and badge numbers of the officers involved in the stop, was reasonably related to the circumstances that caused the stop in the first place. Wilson v. Trumbull County, Ohio, No. 02-3134, 69 Fed. Appx. 282 (6th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Placing parking tickets on illegally parked cars was sufficient to provide due process notice to vehicle owner of the claimed parking violations and of the fact that accumulating three unpaid and unappealed such tickets could result in the placing of an immobilizing "wheel boot" on the auto. Plaintiff showed, however, that the city failed to provide a "meaningful opportunity" to be heard before or after the placement of such a "boot" on his car, since the tickets did not explain how to contest the validity of the placement or explain how and when the "boot" could be removed. Individual defendants, however, including the city's mayor, a police officer, and a parking monitor, were entitled to qualified immunity from liability because the law in the area of "wheel booting" was not clearly established. Gross v. Carter, 265 F. Supp. 2d 995 (W.D. Ark. 2003). [N/R]
     Vehicle owner's claim for alleged unreasonable seizure of her vehicle accrued, for purposes of a three year statute of limitations on the date that she realized that her vehicle had been seized, rather than a later date when she obtained clear title to the vehicle. Lawsuit was therefore time-barred. Jonker v. Kelley, 268 F. Supp. 2d 81 (D. Mass. 2003). [N/R]
     Boat owner was properly awarded $100,000 in damages for unfruitful search of his boat for drugs; affidavit for search warrant failed to provide probable cause since it did not show the basis for a belief in the reliability and veracity of the informant, or the basis of his purported knowledge, nor did the agent submitting the affidavit attempt to independently investigate the information. Maudsley v. State of New Jersey, 816 A.2d 189 (N.J. Super. A.D. 2003). [2003 LR Oct]
     Officers providing security outside concert site had reasonable suspicion that there might be weapons inside a vehicle, which gave them an adequate basis for making an investigatory stop of the car. Officers' conduct did not amount to an arrest of the driver or the passengers. Alexander v. Haymon, 254 F. Supp. 2d 820 (S.D. Ohio 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]
     African-American motorist did not show that police officer's traffic stop of her vehicle was racially motivated. The officer had grounds to stop her based on observations of her vehicle crossing the center line of the highway, and there was no evidence that similarly situated persons of another race were not stopped and ticketed. Johnson v. Crooks, No. 02-1915, 326 F.3d 995 (8th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Jul]
     Sweep of high school for drugs with drug sniffing dogs by sheriff's personnel at the request of school authorities, combined with pat-down searches and a strip search of a student in a private room on the basis of individualized suspicion once a package of drugs was found were not unreasonable. Officers also did not use excessive force in allegedly choking a student to prevent him from swallowing a package of marijuana seeds, but their subsequent strip search of him in the school's parking lot was "excessively intrusive." Rudolph v. Lowndes County Board of Education, 242 F. Supp. 2d 1107 (M.D. Ala. 2003). [2003 LR Jun]
     When officers knew that the vehicles in question had been rebuilt from salvage and had been told that replacement parts might either not have VIN numbers or else not match the public VIN of the vehicles, there was a genuine issue of fact as to whether the officers reasonably believed that missing or mismatched VIN numbers established probable cause for seizure of the vehicles. Appeals court rules that there was also a valid issue as to the adequacy of the procedure provided by the state of Arkansas for car owners to recover vehicles seized by police. King v. Fletcher, No. 022-1967, 319 F.3d 345 (8th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Upholding jury verdict in favor of officer on false imprisonment claim by motorist and passenger detained on suspicion of drug offenses, Nebraska Supreme Court finds jury instructions adequate on when an officer may arrest without a warrant. Nauenburg v. Lewis, No. S-01-576 655 N.W.2d 19 (Neb. 2003). [2003 LR May]
     Officer did not use excessive force in positioning his truck directly in front of motorist's truck, drawing his gun, and physically removing motorist from vehicle after motorist had allegedly been involved in two hit-and-run accidents and had failed to stop after a roadblock with marked police vehicles, three stop stick attempts, or after all his tires had deflated. Harrell v. Purcell, 236 F. Supp. 2d 526 (M.D.N.C. 2002). [N/R]
     N.C. intermediate appeals court upholds dismissal of motorist's constitutional due process challenge to program under which he was issued a traffic citation for running a red light after an automatic camera allegedly photographed his vehicle doing so. Structural Components Int. Inc. v. City of Charlotte, No. COA02-200, 573 S.E.2d 166 (N.C. App. 2002). [N/R]
     California officers' initial stop and investigation of vehicle without license plates was reasonable, but there was a jury question as to whether they acted improperly in engaging in a prolonged two hour detention of the driver and her passenger, and whether they improperly engaged in a warrantless search of the two occupants' home during that time when all that was consented to may have been an officer accompanying the driver into the home to retrieve the passenger's California identification card. Intermediate appeals court reinstates lawsuit by vehicle occupants.. Venegas v. County of Los Angeles, #B148398, 128 Cal. Rptr. 2d 627 (Cal. App. 2 Dist. 2002). [2003 LR Apr]
     Washington State Patrol exceeded the authority granted in a state statute, RCWA 46.55.113, in adopting a regulation that requires the impoundment of every vehicle driven by a driver arrested for having a suspended or revoked license. Statute only authorized impounding of vehicles at the discretion of the officer. In Re Impoundment of Chevrolet Truck, #71848-2, 60 P.2d 53 (Wash. 2002). [N/R]
     Motorist's claim that she did stop at a blinking red light barred summary judgment for officer in her lawsuit claiming that his stop of her vehicle violated her Fourth Amendment rights, since she had a clearly established constitutional right not to be stopped without reasonable suspicion that she had violated a traffic law. Lamarche v. Costain, 225 F. Supp. 2d 83 (D. Me. 2002). [N/R]
     Impoundment of motorist's truck after a minor traffic accident, based on the vehicle not being licensed, registered, or insured was not an illegal seizure, since it was based on the state's determination that such vehicles are a threat to public safety. Search of vehicle was justified as a safety precaution because of the motorist's affiliation with a group known to carry weapons and assert that they were not subject to the law. Bybee v. City of Paducah, #01-6440, 46 Fed. Appx. 735 (6th Cir. 2002). [2003 LR Jan]
     Officer who impounded a motorcycle could reasonably have believed that he had a basis to do so because of a stolen vehicle report from the motorcycle's seller, despite information that the motorcycle was the subject of a private contract dispute, when the alleged purchaser refused to cooperate with the officer's investigation by showing proof of payment, proof he had obtained title, or, indeed, the location of the motorcycle. Officer was entitled to qualified immunity under these circumstances from Fourth Amendment claim. Pickens v. Miller, 216 F. Supp. 2d 1011 (N.D. Cal. 2002). [N/R]
     Vehicle owner had no privacy interest in auto parked on city street; no warrant was required to seize vehicle after default judgment issued for failure to pay parking fines. Administrative parking violation notices provided were sufficient to give vehicle owner notice of available pre- and post-deprivation remedies. Rackley v. City of New York, 186 F. Supp. 2d 466 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). [2002 LR Jul]
      Motorist and his wife were entitled to nominal damages for unreasonable detention and search of their vehicle during a traffic stop, but could not be awarded damages for injuries that resulted from the discovery of incriminating evidence during the search and from the motorist's time in custody on charges of unlawful possession of the weapons and narcotics found during the search. Padilla v. Miller, 143 F. Supp. 2d 479 (M.D.Pa. 2001). [N/R]
     Officers were justified in conducting a search of a vehicle's passenger compartment and front seat for weapons in order to ensure their safety after an arrestee refused to exit his car and was therefore taken from it by force. Smith v. City of New Haven, #3:99-CV-157, 166 F. Supp. 2d 636 (D. Conn. 2001). [N/R]
     344:117 Federal jury awards $50,000 in damages to motorist allegedly stopped without justification and illegally searched and battered by officer. Morrison v. Simmons, No. 98-CV-560, U.S. Dist. Ct. Dayton, Oh., June 2, 2001, reported in The National Law Journal, p. A7 (June 25, 2001).
     341:75 Audio tape of police radio, including sound of siren in unmarked car being activated, was properly admitted into evidence and shifted the burden to the motorist plaintiff to show the inauthenticity of the tape; his mere assertion that he had heard no siren did not create a genuine issue of fact in his lawsuit over the stop and search of his vehicle. Smith v. City of Chicago, No. 99-2965, 242 F.3d 737 (7th Cir. 2001).
     341:78 Officers acted reasonably in making investigatory stop of vehicle driving at half the allowable speed limit at 4 a.m. through a neighborhood which had been an area of recent violent criminal activity; motorist's initial refusal to stop justified officers' conduct, including approaching stopped vehicle with guns drawn. Watkins v. City of Southfield, No. 98-2336, 221 F.3d 883 (6th Cir. 2000).
     341:78 Officer was entitled to qualified immunity for making checkpoint stop of hunter's vehicle to conduct a deer tag and weapon safety check; appeals court expresses no opinion on whether checkpoint was actually unreasonable, but holds that the law on the subject in November of 1997 was not "clearly established." Mollica v. Volker, No. 99-9287, 229 F.3d 366 (2nd Cir. 2000).
     339:36 After evidence of 80 pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms seized from airplane were suppressed in criminal prosecution of plane owner, he could not recover, in subsequent federal civil rights case, damages related to the expenses of defending against the criminal charges. Hector v. Watt, No. 00-3084, 235 F.3d 154 (3rd Cir. 2000).
     329:74 Evidence that occupants of a motor vehicle worked in the "adult entertainment industry" and that one of them was a prostitute who had worked in a legal brothel was irrelevant to issues in federal civil rights lawsuit over officer's detention of them following a vehicle stop and search of their possessions; introduction of evidence would also be prejudicial; state law emotional distress claim did not alter result. Skultin v. Bushnell, 82 F.Supp. 2d 1258 (D. Utah 2000).
     329:75 California highway patrol officer owed a duty of reasonable care to occupants of a motor vehicle that he ordered to pull over to highway's center median rather than right shoulder; appeals court reinstates personal injury lawsuit by vehicle occupants injured when an oncoming truck struck their vehicle from behind. Lugtu v. California Highway Patrol, #D032518, 2000 Cal. App. LEXIS 216, 94 Cal. Rptr. 2d 113.
     330:85 Federal appeals court upholds $245,000 award of compensatory and punitive damages to three 17- year-old boys, two African-American and one white, on claim that two police officers illegally stopped and searched their vehicle and used excessive force, including pulling and squeezing their testicles, during pat-down search, and were motivated by racial bias in carrying out one-hour stop, search and detention; alleged racial bias was a proper basis for punitive damages award. Price v. Kramer, #97-56580, #98-55484, 200 F.3d 1237 (9th Cir. 2000).
     331:99 $4.95 million settlement reached in lawsuit over death of man, who allegedly was beaten by officer, when police used pepper spray on his brother during a traffic stop. Plaintiffs claimed the action was racially motivated. Smith v. Village of Hoffman Estates, No. 97 L-605, U.S. Dist. Ct. (N.D. Ill.), June 27, 2000, reported in Chicago Tribune, Sec. 2, p. 1 (June 28, 2000).
     331:101 There was a factual issue as to whether three plainclothes officers had reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigatory stop of the occupants of a car when they thought the occupants acted "nervous"; officers were entitled to qualified immunity, however, on excessive force claims based on their firing back after shots were fired at them. Jackson v. Sauls, #98-8980, 206 F.3d 1156 (11th Cir. 2000).
     332:126 Forty-five minute length of traffic stop of a vehicle was justified when the trailer it was pulling did not display valid registration plates as required by Massachusetts state law and officer had to obtain information from another state as to what that state, from which the motorist had come, required plates on a trailer. Standifird v. Town of Boxborough, 84 F.Supp. 2d 213 (D. Mass. 2000).
     334:158 Federal appeals court rules that the absence of a visible shoulder harness pulled across the bodies of a motorist and their passenger gave officers in Iowa an articulable suspicion that a state seatbelt law was being violated, justifying an investigatory stop of the vehicle; officer's allegedly perjured testimony that he saw unattached shoulder harnesses hanging down, when vehicle seat belts attached at the seat rather than from above, was irrelevant to the existence of grounds for the stop. Thomas v. Dickel, No. 99-3239, 213 F.3d 1023 (8th Cir. 2000).
     325:7 Officer's observation of vehicle stopped the night before, in which occupants had been minors smoking marijuana, combined with observation of occupant returning to vehicle from liquor store with large bag, provided him with reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify stop; finding liquor within gave him grounds to arrest minor occupants; officer was entitled to qualified immunity for overnight detention of 17-year-old minor held in jail because police officer father declined to accept custody of son. Trzaskos v. St. Jacques, 39 F.Supp. 2d 177 (D. Conn. 1999).
     325:14 Officers acted reasonably in stopping vehicle, ordering occupants out at gunpoint, handcuffing occupants, and placing them in the back of police vehicle, based on radioed reports that gave them reasonable suspicion that occupants had been involved in the possible shooting of a security guard or police officer during a fight in a tavern parking lot; detention for 30 minutes to an hour did not change investigatory stop into an arrest. Houston v. Clark County Sheriff Deputy John Does, #97-3911, 174 F.3d 809 (6th Cir. 1999).
     317:78 Federal appeals court reinstates class action lawsuit claiming that Border Patrol agents stopped motorists without reasonable suspicion of illegal immigration activity solely on the basis of Hispanic appearance in the day; class of "all motorists" driving in the area after dark also approved, since ethnic origin cannot be determined in the dark. Hodgers-Durgin v. De La Vina, #97-16449, 165 F.3d 667 (9th Cir. 1999).
     {N/R} Factual issues existed as to whether county had policy of violating motorists' rights or was deliberately indifferent to unconstitutional treatment of motorists stopped for traffic infractions. Henry v. County of Shasta, 133 F.3d 512 (9th Cir. 1997).
     306:92 Officer conducted illegal search of inside of vehicle when he had not arrested motorist or taken custody of her vehicle and did not have any reason to suspect that weapons were in vehicle or that motorist was dangerous; appeals court upholds award of $1 in nominal damages and 33 cents in attorneys' fees; officer waived qualified immunity defense by not pursuing it at trial. McCardle v. Haddad, 131 F.3d 43 (2nd Cir. 1997).
     298:158 Federal appeals court upholds award of $10,000 each to two black men stopped in car for purported investigatory stop and ordered out of vehicle at gunpoint, when they did not fit details of descriptions of suspects sought; officer's conduct, under the circumstances, violated the Fourth Amendment and officer was not entitled to qualified immunity Washington v. Lambert, 98 F.3d 1181 (9th Cir. 1996).
     299:170 Police department not liable for alleged pretextual stop of vehicle based on drug courier profile when there was no evidence of a policy or custom of making such stops Ryan v. Board of Police Com'rs of City of St Louis, 96 F.3d 1076 (8th Cir. 1996).
     283:110 Warrantless seizure and search of truck parked in driveway of arrestee's home did not violate Fourth Amendment when vehicle matched kidnapping victim's description of vehicle in which she had been abducted, and officers believed that vehicle was the location in which offender had hidden his gun Capraro v. Bunt, 44 F.3d 690 (8th Cir. 1995).
     284:124 Officers were entitled to qualified immunity for mistakenly stopping car in which suspect was not riding, since stop was based on reasonable suspicion, but were not entitled to qualified immunity for alleged use of excessive force in carrying out the search of the occupants of the vehicle, who were female driver and five children, rather than male suspect sought Taft v. Vines, 70 F.3d 304 (4th Cir. 1995). [Cross-reference: Defenses: Qualified (Good-Faith). Immunity] {N/R} Factual issues concerning whether there was reasonable suspicion for investigatory stop of vehicle precluded summary judgment/qualified immunity for defendant officers Karnes v. Skrutski, 62 F.3d 485 (3rd Cir. 1995). [Cross-reference: Defenses: Qualified (Good-Faith). Immunity]
     274:157 Bare allegation of improper search during valid traffic stop was insufficient to state claim for Fourth Amendment violation Marcias v. Raul A (Unknown), Badge No 153, 23 F.3d 94 (5th Cir. 1994).
     Factual questions existed as to whether employees of company impliedly consented to search of their vehicles without individualized suspicion or probable cause simply based on presence of sign in parking lot stating that vehicles parked there would be subject to search McGann v. Northeast Illinois Reg Commuter RR, 8 F.3d 1174 (7th Cir. 1993).
     Investigatory stops of autos based solely on motorists' match with specified drug courier indicators, absent individualized suspicion, violated the Fourth Amendment; court finds that many of the indicators used would apply to a "substantial percentage" of law-abiding motorists Whitfield v. Bd of Cty Com'rs of Eagle Cty, 837 F.Supp. 338 (D.Colo 1993).
     State liable for $2,95372 for injuries to driver and vehicle resulting from state police officer pulling driver from stopped vehicle without determining whether vehicle's transmission was in "park" or "drive" Martin v. State Through DPS, 597 So.2d 1092 (La App. 1992).
     Alcohol control officer lacked probable cause to search vehicle for illegal liquor; suspect's last known complicity with bootlegger was three years earlier Howard v. Vandiver, 731 F.Supp. 1290 (N.D.Miss 1990).
     Police use of a roadblock to stop a fleeing motorist can constitute a fourth amendment seizure Brower v. Inyo County, 44 CrL 3175 (March 21 1989).
     Officer entitled to qualified immunity for searching car in which he saw object which he believed might be a weapon passed between passengers. Navratil v. Parker, 726 F.Supp. 800 (D.Colo 1989).
     Main "river block" stopping all canoes on river violated constitutional rights because of further searches of stopped canoeists without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. Hatfield v. Com'r of Inland Fisheries, 566 A.2d 737 (Me 1989).
     Investigative stop and search of car in parking lot may have been improper. Melson v. Kroger Co, 578 F.Supp. 691 (E.D. Mich 1984).
     Prior notice not necessary before towing illegally parked vehicles Breath v. Cronich, 729 F.2d 1006 (5th Cir. 1984).
     Proper notice given to out of state resident for seizure and sale of van; city liable for deputy's acts, not sheriff Cais v. Pichler, 473 N.Y.S.2d 719 (NY City Civ Ct 1984).
     Detainment of individuals and car search done in reasonable belief they had set fire to officer's house Diehl v. Gavin, 585 F.Supp. 1310 (M.D. Pa 1984).
     OK to probe tailpipes Department of Transportation v. Armacost, 474 A.2d 191 (Md 1984).
     Sheriff liable for damages to vehicle being towed Breath v. Cronvich, 729 F.2d 1006 (5th Cir. 1984).
     Roadblocks for sobriety check upheld Little v. State, 479 A.2d 903 (Md 1984).
     Drug capsules in plain view illegally observed by police Tetreault v. State, 485 N.Y.S.2d 864 (A.D. 3 Dept 1985).
     Sheriff not liable for deputy's seizure of truck without probable cause -- no personal involvement or gross negligence in supervision Bigford v. Taylor, 834 F.2d 1213 (5th Cir. 1988).
     " See also: Administrative Liability: Training; Assault and Battery: Physical; False Arrest/Imprisonment: Improper Detention

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