Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Judge John McBryde issues a terrible decision

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This is the case of Jessica Curs, a young girls basketball coach who allegedly swore in front of the children (which she and at least some other witnesses deny) at a basketball game.  Two months after the incident she was arrested and held in jail for six hours.  The case got some media attention and the charges were dropped.

In a short opinion, woefully lacking in serious legal analysis, Judge John McBryde has dismissed Curs’ civil suit.  I am not going to make any detailed comments about the shortcomings of Judge McBryde’s opinion.  Simply not worth the effort.  Suffice it to say that this opinion needs to be reversed and this case needs reassigned.

Case:  CURS v. Melson, Dist. Court, ND Texas 2015

ON EDIT:  Well, I can’t resist one criticism.  Judge McBryde writes:  “Nor has plaintiff alleged facts to show that Melson lacked probable cause for an arrest.”  This is not required or even possible.  It is the police officer’s burden to show probable cause (or, at least “arguable probable cause”) as part of the qualified immunity defense.  It is not the role of the civil complaint to foresee and preempt all defenses that a civil defendant may try to argue.

Written by Burgers Allday

December 16, 2015 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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