Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Arrest warrant plus pot in the toilet pipes does not excuse lack of search warrant

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Case: SHORTER v. DOLLAR (M.D.Ala. 11-7-2011)

After examining the contents of the [exterior ¨sanitary sewage pipe¨], which the [police officers] believed to be marijuana, the [police officers] exploded through the Plaintiffs’ front door and used force to effectuate an arrest of the Plaintiffs in the presence of the Plaintiffs’ minor child. Furthermore, the [police officers] also conducted a search of the Plaintiffs’ home immediately after completing the arrest. To reiterate, all of this was done without a search warrant for the Plaintiffs’ residence and while the [police officers] were holding nothing but an arrest warrant for a third party accused of rape who resided at a different address. Applying these alleged facts to well-established precedent outlined above, it is clear that the [Defendant police officers] have violated the Plaintiffs’ right to be free from unlawful entry.. . . The police officers’ search of the Plaintiffs’ home in the absence of a search warrant is presumptively unconstitutional. Under the alleged facts, the [police officers] had no reason to look into the Plaintiffs’ [¨sanitary sewage¨] pipe or to rush into the Plaintiffs’ residence without a warrant.

Decision: Police may end up being liable here.

Written by Burgers Allday

November 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

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