AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel
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Two homosexual men
arrested at home in the early morning on charges of assaulting an officer
claimed that the arresting officers refused to allow them to get additional
clothing, forcing them to remain in their boxer shorts and only issuing
them jumpsuits after they got to the police station. The plaintiffs had
repeatedly changed their story, now contending that officers repeatedly
struck them and violated their equal protection rights as homosexuals by
forcing them to remain in their shorts. They also asserted claims for intentional
infliction of emotional distress. The officers moved for summary judgment
and the plaintiffs then filed affidavits in response, based on "personal
knowledge and belief," for the first time revealing which officers
they claimed committed each act. The appeals court upheld the trial's court's
rulings striking the affidavits since it was not possible to tell which
statements in the affidavits were based on personal knowledge, as required,
and which were only based on mere belief. Without the affidavits, the defendants
were entitled to judgment as a matter of law, even construing any remaining
evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs. The court also
stated that the complaint about being kept in boxer shorts, even if motivated
in part by reaction to the plaintiffs' homosexuality, was not unconstitutional.
Ondo v. City of Cleveland, #14-3527, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 13474, 2015 Fed.
App. 175P (6th Cir.).
Two lesbian women claimed that the city failed to treat complaints they file in the same manner as those filed by heterosexuals, in violation of their equal protection rights and in retaliation for their exercise of their First Amendment rights in filing the complaints. They reported that a registered sex offender was violating the law by living near a school and also complained that they faced harassment by certain persons on the basis of their sexual orientation. While the municipal defendants were aware of the plaintiffs' sexual orientation, the court found no evidence of discriminatory intent on the basis of sexual orientation in the decisions not to pursue the complaints. Additionally, there was no evidence that the city's alleged non-responsiveness was motivated by retaliation against the plaintiffs for filing their reports, in violation of their First Amendment rights. Butler v. City of Batavia, #08-1361, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 7229 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
An undersheriff was entitled to qualified immunity on an equal protection claim asserted by a lesbian who obtained an emergency protective order based on alleged domestic violence by her estranged girlfriend, but not on claims that he refused to enforce a permanent protective order that she subsequently obtained. The emergency order allowed the girlfriend to access the home for a period of time to retrieve some of her property, while the permanent order barred her from the premises altogether. The plaintiff claimed that she was provided with a lesser degree of protection than that provided to heterosexual victims of domestic violence. The court also allowed a Fourth Amendment claim to proceed on the basis that the undersheriff told the plaintiff not to return to her home while her girlfriend was present, and that he would arrest her if she did, which allegedly facilitated the girlfriend's seizure of some of the plaintiff's property from the premises. Price-Cornelison v. Brooks, No. 05-6140, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 9628 (10th Cir.).
295:110 California court rules that victim of alleged crimes could sue county on basis of failure to protect him because of his homosexuality; suit claims that county district attorney told alleged perpetrator that plaintiff's homosexuality justified commission of alleged crimes Ortland v. County of Tehama, 939 F.Supp. 1465 (E.D.Cal 1996).
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