AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel
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Other Misconduct: Access to Courts
A woman claimed
that officers arrested her on false charges and subsequently conspired
together with other officers to prevent her from filing a lawsuit for false
arrest. There was strong evidence that two officers conspired with the
arresting officers to conceal facts that could be the basis of a legal
claim for false arrest and detention, so they were not entitled to qualified
immunity. The woman was arrested by an officer who stopped by her own home
to obtain her medicine and who was upset that the woman, her son's girlfriend,
was present in the son's bedroom. When she was unable to get a ride to
leave, she was arrested for trespassing. Among other things, the female
officer's name was allegedly later removed from an incident report as she
was on limited administrative duty at the time, without authority to participate
in an arrest. L. v. Board of Police Commissioners, #12-3193, 2013 U.S.
App. Lexis 16101 (8th Cir.).
Parents of son who died from a gunshot wound to his head failed to show that city and county law enforcement failed to conduct a proper investigation which resulted in their inability to obtain damages against persons they believed killed their son. No deliberate indifference was shown to their right to access the courts, and every independent investigation reached the same conclusion, that the son had shot himself. Scheeler v. City of St. Cloud, No. 04-2800, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 5145(8th Cir. 2005). [2005 LR May]
Children of African-American woman shot and killed in drive-by shooting during 1960's period of racial unrest could not recover damages based on alleged obstruction by sheriff's office of efforts to investigate the shooting. Alleged interference, while "inexcusable" if true, was insufficient to constitute a claim for a violation of the right of access to the courts, since it would not have prevented the plaintiffs from filing a wrongful death lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations. Chappell v. Rich, No. 02-10200, 340 F.3d 1279 (11th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Dec]
332:123 Husband's assertion that officers engaged in a campaign of harassment designed to make him surrender property in his pending divorce action which he might otherwise have attempted to retain stated a claim for interference with his right of access to the courts. Csoka v. County of Suffolk, 85 F.Supp. 2d 117 (E.D. N.Y. 2000).
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