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

NINTH CIRCUIT DISCUSSES ROUTINE SECURITY SCREENS FOR EMPLOYEE WHO MADE A THREAT

On October 24, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Nickler v. County of Clark et al.[i], in which the court examined whether the county or its employees violated the constitution by requiring an employee to undergo a daily security screen search. In this case, Nickler was employed as a clerk at the Clark County (Nevada) District Attorney’s Office.  In December of 2012, she was temporarily removed from work after making a comment that her supervisor considered to be threatening.  After being allowed to return to her position and obtaining a “Certificate of Fitness,” she was required daily, to [...]

By |April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

THIRD CIRCUIT FINDS NO SEIZURE WHEN OFFICER REQUESTED PERSON TO TAKE HANDS OUT OF POCKETS

On October 3, 2018, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided the United States v. De Castro[i], in which the court examined whether a person was seized under the Fourth Amendment when an officer requested that he take his hands out of his pockets.   The relevant facts of De Castro are as follows: During the early evening hours of September 22, 2014, an anonymous source called 911 to report a Hispanic male pointing a gun at juveniles outside a vacant flower shop on the 1800 block of North 31st Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The suspect was reportedly wearing a gray [...]

By |April 16th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

SIXTH CIRCUIT EXAMINES CURTILAGE AND OFFICER CONDUCT DURING A KNOCK AND TALK

On September 6, 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Morgan v. Fairfield County[i], in which the court discussed whether deputies violated the Fourth Amendment when they went into a back yard and side yard while conducting a knock and talk. The relevant facts of Morgan are as follows: Morgan and Graf owned a home together on about a one-acre lot. The front of the house faced the road, and a sidewalk ran from the road to their front door. In the front window and on a vehicle parked on the property were no-trespassing signs. There were neighboring homes—each [...]

By |April 9th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT HOLDS REPEATED TASING WAS EXCESSIVE FORCE

On September 12, 2018, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Glasscox v. City of Argo et al.[i], in which the court examined whether repeated use of the Taser after a vehicle pursuit amounted to excessive force. The relevant facts of Glasscox are as follows: Mr. Glasscox, who lives with Type 1 diabetes, suffered a severe hypoglycemic episode while driving his pickup truck on Interstate 59 South near the City of Argo, Alabama. His condition caused him to begin driving erratically. After other drivers on the interstate reported his erratic driving, the Argo City Police dispatched Officer Moses to the [...]

By |April 1st, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

THIRD CIRCUIT UPHOLDS IMMUNITY FOR AGENTS THAT USED INVALID SUBPOENA TO OBTAIN EMAIL

On September 20, 2018, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided Walker v. Coffey et al.[i], in which the court discussed whether state law enforcement officials should be entitled to qualified immunity for intentionally using an invalid subpoena to get an employer to provide one of its employee’s emails as evidence in a criminal prosecution. The relevant facts of Walker are as follows: In October 2015, before her trial had been scheduled, Coffey and Zimmerer sought to obtain Walker's work emails from her employer, Penn State, as part of their investigation. Coffey and Zimmerer initially asked Penn State to produce [...]

By |March 22nd, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

EXCESSIVE FORCE, FALSE ARREST, RETALIATION AND A WINDOW TINT ARREST

On September 19, 2018, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Alston v. City of Darien et al.[i], which serves as an excellent review of the law related to Fourth Amendment false arrest and excessive force claims and First Amendment retaliation claims. The relevant facts of Alston are as follows: City of Darien Police Officer Anthony Brown conducted a traffic stop of a car he saw driving on the highway with a dark tint on its windows. As Brown approached the stopped car, he noticed that portions of its license plate were obstructed, including the county's name, the expiration date, [...]

By |March 19th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|