The 2006 SCOTUS case called Brigham City has left exigency exception / emergency exception 4a jurisprudence in a bit of a mess. While there was clearly probable cause under the facts of Brigham City, some commentators and lower courts have used the case to remove the probable cause requirement from of the exigency exception and/or the emergency exception.
Case: Sandoval v. LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 2014
Good Ninth Circuit decision clarifies that probable cause is required to invoke the exigent circumstances exception, at least in 9C. The opinion goes on to state that even if the emergency exception does not require probable cause, the emergency aid exception does require “particularized or imminent threats of violence.” In this case: (i) there was no probable cause, meaning that the policemen could not use the exigent circumstances exception to 4A; and (ii) there were no imminent threats of violence, meaning that the policemen could not invoke the emergency aid exception.
By the way, once the police got inside the home, they shot the family’s pet dog to death, so the denial of qi here may mean that the police might end up being liable for killing the dog.
Case: Vazquez v. City of Atlantic City, Dist. Court, D. New Jersey 2014
Plaintiff disputes the accuracy of Sydnor’s version of events. Plaintiff maintains the surveillance video shows he never touched Weiss prior to Sydnor grabbing him. (Pl.’s SUMF ¶ 20). Further, he alleges he never pushed Sydnor, grabbed Sydnor around the waist, or kicked, punched, or struck him. (Id. at ¶¶ 26-29). Plaintiff maintains the surveillance footage shows Sydnor grabbing and throwing Plaintiff to the ground, not the other way around. (Id. at ¶ 30). According to Plaintiff, he continually asked Sydnor “what are you doing?” when he was grabbed. (Id. at ¶ 22). Sydnor did not tell him that he was under arrest until after he was on the ground and handcuffed. After being handcuffed, Plaintiff states Sydnor said “you’re a firefighter tough guy? I’m going to make sure that you lose your pension. I’m going to make sure you lose your job.” (Id. at ¶ 23). Sydnor denies saying this to Plaintiff. (Sydnor’s Response to Plaintiff’s Facts (“Sydnor’s Resp. Pl.”), Dkt. Ent. 62, ¶ 23).
Case: Fried v. Tetzlaff, Dist. Court, D. New Jersey 2014
Comment: The policemen remembered to yell, “stop resisting,” so maybe that makes it okay./snark
Dr. Cornu-Labatt was arrested for violating a protective order in which he was not in actual violation. I thought he got a raw deal at the district court level:
Now Dr. Cornu-Labatt has lost his appeal:
Long story short: prior to making an arrest, police don’t need to look at a protective order document if they rely on a faulty computer database summary of the protection order. While the various court opinions have been less than optimally clear about this, it appears that police had a copy of the protective order, but chose not to read it (or read it and ignored it).
Comment: Shoddy, unfair.
In Lago Vista (2006), the Supreme Court determined that police can arrest a driver for failure to use a seatbelt. Taking things a step further, the Eleventh Circuit (11C) has now decided that a policeman can arrest you if your turn signal doesn’t work (even if you don’t know it).
Case: Reid v. Henry County, Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit 2014