Legal Update Archive2018-08-06T22:11:41-04:00

SEVENTH CIRCUIT HOLDS SHOOTING AT CAR AND TASER REASONABLE ON FLEEING SUSPECT

On February 11, 2020, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Smith v. Adams et al.[i], in which the court examined whether officers used excessive force under the Fourth Amendment when they shot a fleeing suspect’s car and tased him after he crashed.  The relevant facts of Smith, taken directly from the case, are as follows: Late one evening, officers from the Evansville Police Department responded to a 911 call about shots fired and a group of people fighting. Officers Adams and Hollins were first on the scene and saw three people, including Smith, arguing near a parked car. They [...]

By |January 18th, 2021|Categories: Legal updates|

GEORGIA COURT HOLDS OFFICER MUST TESTIFY TO TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE FOR ODOR OF MARIJUANA TO ESTABLISH PROBABLE CAUSE OR REASONABLE SUSPICION

On January 7, 2020, the Court of Appeals of Georgia decided In the Interest of C.B., a Child[i], in which the court examined whether an officer had sufficient reasonable suspicion to justify the pedestrian stop of C.B.  The relevant facts of C.B., taken directly from the case, are as follows: The record reflects that at about 10:00 p.m., while driving on Highway 19 in Glenwood, Georgia, a police officer saw a person, C.B., wearing a backpack and walking on the side of the road. The officer knew that there had been numerous break-ins within the last two weeks in Glenwood, [...]

By |December 29th, 2020|Categories: Legal updates|

SUSPECT ACTS LIKE HE SWALLOWED DRUGS AND SUES OFFICER AFTER NO DRUGS LOCATED

On January 23, 2020, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Baker v. Fermon et al.[i], which serves as an excellent review of the law related to probable cause, searches of a person’s body for drugs, and malicious prosecution.  The relevant facts of Baker, taken directly from the case, are as follows: Baker was a passenger in a car stopped on September 27, 2014 around 2:30 a.m. by John Fermon, a Bloomington, Illinois, police officer. (Baker does not contest the validity of the car stop.) At this stage, we construe in Baker's favor the evidence of the events that followed. See [...]

By |December 23rd, 2020|Categories: Legal updates|

FIFTH CIRCUIT GRANTS IMMUNITY FOR OFFICERS IN SUIT FOR IMPROPER DECONTAMINATION AFTER PEPPER SPRAY

On January 21, 2020, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Hoke v. Anderson et al.[i], in which Sara Hoke and Amanda Hoke, two sisters, sued several officers for excessive force under the Fourth Amendment for, among other things, allegedly failing to properly decontaminate them after spraying them with pepper spray. The incident that gave rise to this suit took place in 2016 in Austin, Texas, after the Southwest Festival.  Sara and Amanda Hoke, twin sisters, attended the festival and, when the bars closed at 2:00am, thousands of people took to the streets, including the Hoke sisters, who became involved [...]

By |December 15th, 2020|Categories: Legal updates|

NINTH CIRCUIT DISCUSSES EXCESSIVE FORCE

On January 23, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Del Valle v. Thorne and Del Valle v. Zastrow[i], in which the court examined whether two deputies were entitled to qualified immunity for an alleged use of excessive force under the Fourth Amendment.  The relevant facts of Del Valle, taken directly from the case, are as follows: In September 2016, Thorne and Zastrow, who were then Sonoma County deputy sheriffs, responded to a neighbor's call about a domestic dispute at Del Valle's house. The neighbor reported that the dispute sounded verbal, not physical, and that Del Valle's wife sounded [...]

By |December 8th, 2020|Categories: Legal updates|

SEVENTH CIRCUIT GRANTS QUALIFIED IMMUNITY TO OFFICER WHO USED LEG SWEEP

On December 17, 2019, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Johnson v. Rogers[i], which serves as an excellent review regarding the law related to excessive force.  The facts of Johnson, taken directly from the case, are as follows: The events we describe were captured on video. The video lacks a sound track, but the officers' descriptions about what Johnson said are uncontested, because he was too inebriated to remember much about the encounter. Despite being cuffed behind his back, Johnson managed to stand. The officers walked him backward about 10 feet and sat him down on a patch of [...]

By |December 1st, 2020|Categories: Legal updates|

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