Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Stolen credit card leads to arrest for child pornography

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Case: CHISM v. WASHINGTON STATE (9th Cir., Aug. 25, 2011)

What happened: A couple’s stolen credit card was used to purchase internet services that were used to distribute cp. Police got a search warrant and arrest warrant for the husband and executed those. It turned out that the couple had no child pornography and were not the ones who purchased the wrongfully-used internet services.

Decision: police may be liable here (2 to 1 panel decision). Majority opinion pointed out a couple misstatements of fact in the warrants and found them significant. Also, in the warrant application, police failed to disclose information they had that pointed away from the innocent, plaintiff couple.

Comment: This decision potentially impacts any of us who have had a credit card stolen, or will in the future. I wonder how the couple is making it. This situation must have put great emotional stress on them.

Court opinion.

Written by Burgers Allday

September 3, 2011 at 1:16 pm

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