Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Unmeritorious police4aqi suits brought by prisoners

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Case: Cook v. O’NEILL, Dist. Court, ED Wisconsin 2014

Comment: There is a perception that prisoners bring unmeritorious* lawsuits because they are bored and it is one of the few activities that they can say that they have a right to pursue. I believe that some jurisdictions have special screening for prisoner lawsuits, or at least criminal appeals brought by prisoners. This blog is on the civil side, specifically, Fourth Amendment, and indeed there are a fair number of opinions finding, on qualified immunity grounds, against prisoners suing the police for perceived, but usually not actual, Fourth Amendment violations. My opinion is that these suits tend to hurt Fourth Amendment rights of innocent people because the prisoner suits are often frivolous, or borderline frivolous, such that there is a natural tendency by judges to get rid of these prisoner 4a suits with dispatch. This blog generally ignores these prisoner suits, but I decided to link one in this post so that readers can have some feel for the types of police4aqi cases that I routinely skip over. I thought this one was interesting for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on.


* Not all prisoner appeals and/or other lawsuits are unmeritorious. Compounding this problem, without doing independent research into the underlying facts of the lawsuit it is impossible to know, with reasonable certitude, that any given prisoner lawsuit is one of the unmeritorious ones. However, taken in the aggregate, I believe that I know, with reasonable certitude, that they are generally unmeritorious.

Written by Burgers Allday

January 13, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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