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

POLICE MISTAKENLY SHOOT HOSTAGE – ARE THEY LIABLE?

On July 10, 2018, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Mason-Funk v. City of Neenah, et al.[i], in which the court examined a police shooting of a man who was an armed hostage of a barricaded gunman.  The relevant facts of Mason are as follows: At approximately 8:35 a.m. on December 5, 2015, Flatoff entered Eagle Nation Cycles in Neenah, Wisconsin, with a MAC-10 machine pistol and took four individuals in the shop, including Funk, hostage. Flatoff had a dispute with an individual named Vance Dalton, and demanded that he come to the shop. Winnebago County Dispatch notified the [...]

By |January 2nd, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

SOUTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT ADDRESSES ABANDONMENT OF CELL PHONE

On June 13, 2018, the Supreme Court of South Carolina decided State v. Brown[i], in which the court discussed whether a burglary suspect, who apparently dropped his cell phone at the scene of a burglary, abandoned his Fourth Amendment reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the phone. The facts of Brown, taken directly from the case, are as follows: On December 22, 2011, one of the victims and his girlfriend returned from dinner to his condominium on James Island in the city of Charleston. The victim testified they went straight to the living room because "I had arranged [...]

By |December 26th, 2018|Categories: Legal updates|

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS QUALIFIED IMMUNITY FOR ARREST AND USE OF FORCE: PART TWO – EXCESSIVE FORCE

On June 4, 2018, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals of decided Manners v. Cannella et al.[i], in which the court discussed whether officers were entitled to qualified immunity for an arrest and use of force incident.  This is a two-part article.  Part One discussed whether probable cause existed to arrest Manners.  Part Two will discuss whether the use of force was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.  The relevant facts of Manners are as follows: Close to three in the morning on June 24, 2014, Livingston Manners was sitting in his car on the side of Plunkett Street, a residential [...]

By |December 18th, 2018|Categories: Legal updates|

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS QUALIFIED IMMUNITY FOR ARREST AND USE OF FORCE: PART ONE – PROBABLE CAUSE

On June 4, 2018, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Manners v. Cannella et al.[i], in which the court discussed whether officers were entitled to qualified immunity for an arrest and use of force incident.  This is a two-part article, with Part One discussing whether probable cause existed to arrest Manners.  Part Two will discuss whether the use of force was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.  The relevant facts of Manners are as follows: Close to three in the morning on June 24, 2014, Livingston Manners was sitting in his car on the side of Plunkett Street, a residential [...]

By |December 11th, 2018|Categories: Legal updates|

SIXTH CIRCUIT DISCUSSES CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS, OFFICER OBSERVATION AND PROBABLE CAUSE

On June 6, 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided the United States v. Boyd[i], in which the court discussed whether probable cause existed, based on an informant’s undercover drug purchase and officer observations, to justify a search of the defendant’s apartment for drugs.  The relevant facts of Boyd are as follows: Officer Aaron Ham works for the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team. He has investigated drug crimes for over seventeen years. One day in May 2016, an informant told Officer Ham that Michael Boyd was selling drugs out of his apartment on McCourtie Street in Kalamazoo. Officer Ham drove [...]

By |December 4th, 2018|Categories: Legal updates|

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT DISCUSSES FALSE ARREST, ARGUABLE PROBABLE CAUSE AND EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE

On June 19, 2018, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Cozzi v. City of Birmingham et al.[i], in which the court discussed the legal principals involved in a Fourth Amendment false arrest suit.  The relevant facts of Cozzi are as follows: On two consecutive days, a man demanding narcotics robbed a Walgreens pharmacy and attempted to rob a Rite Aid pharmacy. In both instances, the perpetrator wore a partial face mask and handed the pharmacy technician a note that said he was a bomb specialist carrying explosives. At the Walgreens, the man acquired two pill bottles, containing a total [...]

By |November 27th, 2018|Categories: Legal updates|