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

FIFTH CIRCUIT AFFIRMS QUALIFIED IMMUNITY FOR OFFICERS IN DEADLY VEHICLE PURSUIT

On March 8, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Morrow et al. v. Meachum[i], in which the court examined whether an officer was entitled to qualified immunity from suit when he maneuvered his police SUV into the path of a fleeing motorcycle which resulted in the death of Moon, the twenty-two year old operator of the motorcycle. The relevant facts of Morrow, taken directly from the case, are as follows: On June 26, 2014, Meachum was patrolling I-20 near the town of Cisco, Texas. He was driving a marked police SUV. At around 5:30 p.m., Meachum observed motorcyclist [...]

By |October 29th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

DO POLICE HAVE A DUTY TO SEEK OUT THOSE WHO MIGHT OBJECT TO A CONSENT SEARCH?

On March 6, 2019, the Court of Appeals of Georgia decided the State v. Lee[i], in which the court examined whether law enforcement officers are required to give a detained co-occupant/defendant an opportunity to object to the officers' entry into his residence to conduct a search pursuant to the consent of a co-occupant.  The relevant facts of Lee, taken directly from the case, are as follows: So viewed, the undisputed evidence shows that Jason McCoy, Chief of Police for the City of Soperton, received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a social media post allegedly made by Dustin Lee. [...]

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

COPS’ CREDIBILITY IS BEING SUCCESSFULLY CHALLENGED

For years law enforcement officers have believed that their word would be believed.  That day is gone!  Four events have eroded what once was a quality we took for granted.  It is the actions of the few that is affecting the rest of us.  First, officers’ misconduct and falsehoods are displayed almost daily in the media.  Secondly, social media posts by the public as well as officers paint an unflattering image of a few stupid cops.  Thirdly, juries want support in video or forensic evidence to corroborate an officer’s testimony.  And lastly, more law enforcement officers are being place on [...]

By |October 14th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

TWO TRAFFIC STOPS, ONE VIOLATION AND THE CONSTITUTION

On March 13, 2019, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Cruise-Gulyas v. Minard et al.[i], in which the court examined whether an officer violated the First and Fourth Amendments when he stopped a driver for giving him “the bird.”  The relevant facts of Cruise-Gulyas, taken directly from the case, are as follows: Officer Minard pulled over Debra Cruise-Gulyas for speeding. He wrote her a ticket for a lesser violation, known as a non-moving violation. As she drove away, apparently ungrateful for the reduction, she made an all-too-familiar gesture at Minard with her hand and without four of her fingers [...]

By |October 8th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT DISCUSSES VEHICLE CONSENT SEARCH

On February 27, 2019, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided the United States v. Burwell[i], in which the court examined whether the district court erred when it granted a motion to suppress in a vehicle consent search case.  The facts of Burwell, although lengthy, are stated below in their entirety because consent search cases are very fact driven.   The facts, taken directly from the case, are as follows: The material facts of this case are undisputed. On September 16, 2016, at approximately 2:46 a.m., Anniston City Police Officer Josh Powers pulled over a black Chevrolet Tahoe that Burwell was [...]

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

SIXTH CIRCUIT DISCUSSES OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING DURING A KNOCK AND TALK

On February 14, 2019, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Naselroad v. Mabry[i], in which the court examined whether plainclothes officers were entitled to qualified immunity for a warrantless search and officer involved shooting that began as a knock and talk.  The relevant facts of Naselroad, taken directly from the case, are as follows: On October 7, 2013, Eric Miller was hunting deer on the property of Betsey and Larry Spengler in Winchester, Kentucky. Using a bow and arrow, he shot a deer that then escaped onto the neighboring Naselroad property. He searched for the deer but to no [...]

By |September 18th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|