Wall v. Wade (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-01-0123, 25 pp.) (Gregory, J.) No. 13-6355, Feb. 3, 2014; USDC at Roanoke, Va. (Kiser, J.) 4th Cir. Holding: A district court erred in dismissing a Muslim inmate’s suit challenging a Virginia correctional policy ...Read More »
Civil Rights – Excessive Force Claim – Constitutional – Search & Seizure – Shooting – Unarmed Suspect
Boyd v. Weiner (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-015-14, 9 pp.) (Timothy M. Cain, J.) 6:12-cv-01039; D.S.C. Holding: Viewing the forecast of evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, four hours after a bank robbery and shooting, the defendant-deputy sheriff saw ...
Tagged with: Bank Robbery ShootingRead More »
Civil Rights – Lawyer Fee Reduced for ‘Paltry’ Jury Award
McAfee v. Boczar The 4th Circuit reduces an attorney’s fee award of $322,340.50 to a flat fee of $100,000, in this suit in which the plaintiff won a jury award of $2,943.60 for her claim that defendant deputy sheriff violated her Fourth Amendment rights by arresting her without probable cause to believe the plaintiff had violated a Virginia statute requiring disclosure of the location of a dog who bit plaintiff.Read More »
Civil Rights – Deputy Wins $1.1M for Free Speech Violation
Durham v. Jones The 4th Circuit upholds a $1.1 million jury award to a deputy sheriff who was fired in retaliation for reporting to state and local officials and the news media that superior officers threatened and then terminated the deputy for his refusal to change his internal reports about his use of pepper spray and physical force to subdue a fleeing motorcyclist, which his superiors feared might lead to a lawsuit against the sheriff’s office.
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Civil Rights – No Police Immunity in Excessive Force Claim
Cooper v. Sheehan Two deputy sheriffs, who shot plaintiff five or six times as he appeared on his porch with a shotgun pointed down to investigate sounds around his home, are not entitled to summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity from plaintiff’s excessive force claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
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Civil Rights – Constitutional – Municipal – Town Council Members – Legislative Immunity
Price v. Town of Atlantic Beach Read liberally, plaintiff’s complaint generally alleges that the defendant-town council members (1) passed an ordinance that affected plaintiff’s construction project and (2) convened a meeting of the town’s Property Maintenance Board that discussed the construction project and property.Read More »
Civil Rights – Fee Cap Upheld for Inmate Assault Suit
Wilkins v. Officer Gaddy The 4th Circuit rejects plaintiff prisoner’s constitutional challenge to a provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that caps recovery of attorney’s fees for an inmate’s successful civil rights claims, and upholds a district court’s award of $1.40 of plaintiff’s asserted $92,306 in attorney’s fees for his recovery of $1.00 in nominal damages for winning his suit alleging injuries from a beating by a prison guard.Read More »
Civil Rights – Search & Seizure – Tort/Negligence – Slander
Grimmett v. Hamilton Even though the complaint alleges that a domestic dispute had occurred, plaintiff alleges that he was the victim; however, defendants arrested plaintiff, allegedly without probable cause. Since defendants did not file any evidence in support of their motion for summary judgment, their conclusory statements are insufficient to entitle them to summary judgment on the ground of qualified immunity.Read More »
Civil Rights – Rehearing Denied in Reporter Shield Case
U.S. v. Sterling The 4th Circuit denies rehearing en banc of its July 19 decision that a news reporter does not have a First Amendment or common law shield to protect him from testifying at the criminal prosecution of a former CIA agent on trial for disclosure of national defense information, allegedly used in the reporter’s book.Read More »
Civil Rights – Constitutional – Fourth Amendment Seizure – Excessive Force Claim – Taser – Tort/Negligence – Assault & Battery
Gilyard v. Benson Where plaintiff did not comply with a deputy sheriff’s directives, walked towards the deputy, took a combative body stance, and said, “Stun me” in response to the deputy’s taser warning, a reasonable officer could have believed force would be necessary to place handcuffs on plaintiff.
Tagged with: Fourth AmendmentRead More »