Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

CORNU-LABAT v. MERRED (E.D.Wash. 8-2-2012)

with 2 comments

Senior District Judge Edward F. Shea decided that the fact that Plaintiff was at the same high school basketball game gave probable cause to arrest him for “keep[ing] under surveillance” another person at the basketball game in violation of a protection order.  Given that the Plaintiff was sitting on the opposite side of the auditorium from the subject of the protective order, and was watching his son play in the basketball game, it is hard to see how there was probable cause that “surveillance” was happening.  Perhaps reasonable suspicion was present to ask the Plaintiff why he was at the game, but probable cause that surveillance, as opposed to mere sports spectatorship, was occurring seems like a stretch in the circumstances.

It is also noted that Judge Shea’s account of the policemens’ knowledge of the terms of the protection order seems to contradict his earlier decision in March 2012. More specifically: (i) in March, Judge Shea wrote that the policemen received a copy of the protective order prior to arresting plaintiff; but (ii) now Judge Shea writes that the policemen were merely working from incorrect information about the terms of the protective order rather than reading the protective order itself. No explanation for this apparent factual discrepancy is provided in Judge Shea’s recent opinion.

Written by Burgers Allday

August 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. […] comment: Judge Shea again. More Judge Edward Shea here. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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